We all have expectations, both for ourselves and for our loved ones.
Tuscan Gardens® is the result of ensuring that our expectations for senior living for our family members are met.
The inspiration for this loving, warm, vibrant community is Maria R. Giordano, the late mother of Tuscan Gardens® founder, Laurence J. Pino, Esq., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
Maria was a special woman – a devoted wife, loving mother and a doting grandmother. Her family was her joy, her purpose and her passion. She was a published author of “Reminiscing: Memoirs of the First Italian War Bride,” and a wonderful cook.
A brief excerpt from her book provides unique insight into this amazing woman’s life and loves…
Reminiscing Memoirs of the First Italian War Bride
By Maria Giordano Pino
I walked timidly through the door to my family home. It was still our home and yet it wasn’t. American soldiers had moved in and taken over the rooms.
The Americans carried freedom into Bari, Italy in September of 1943 and spread it through the streets. Everything about them was free. It was an attitude they wore on their shoulders, from the way they talked to the way they gave away their possessions. Freedom was their privileged birthright. And they marched into Italy to share their freedom with us.
We welcomed the conquerors into our land. We wanted their freedom and we took it, but it came with a price for my family. The palace of the Giordano Family of Bari, Italy became the regional headquarters for the Allied Forces.
The old marble floors echoed as my heels clicked up the staircase and across the immense hallway. I scouted the familiar rooms, moving quickly from the hallway, searching for anything special that I could carry back to the farm with me. When the word came to leave and evacuate our house in October 1943, we had only four hours to gather our belongings. Now was my chance to take back more.
“Hello,” a friendly young soldier said as he stepped through the dining room entrance. “I thought I heard someone here.” He spoke in Italian, with a Sicilian dialect, but he was clearly American, dressed out in a military uniform. His warm eyes lit on my face and he smiled at my reserve. “It’s okay, you can stay, I was just doing work in the other part of the palace.”
“We are the Giordanos,” Mario said in a loud voice and looked the American squarely in the eyes.
The American smiled at Mario, offering a measure of respect to the teenager. Then he turned and looked at me again and said, “Oh, so-so-so- this is your home?” He grinned as he waited for a response. I looked away so as not to embarrass him because of his stuttering.
“When I first came here, I-I-I saw this picture,” he said and walked closer to our family portrait that was hanging on the wall. He looked up at it and then looked back at me and continued to talk like he had known me for years.
“One of my buddies was here and I said to him, ‘One day I’m gonna meet this girl and I’m gonna marry her,’ he said boldly, with no trace of a stutter, as his eyes landed on the tiny image of me standing next to my parents.
Sam Pino waited patiently in front of Bari’s beautiful Petruzzelli Theater, looking up and down the streets for me and my chaperone. He saw me waving to him and he walked closer to greet me.
“Pino, these are my chaperones,” I said.
He looked a bit shocked at first and stared at the huge group. Altogether, I had brought seven chaperones with me that night.
Raising my children was the best experience of my life. I didn’t yearn for big episodes to make my life exciting. I had been through enough excitement and turmoil for two generations. I yearned for endless days to enjoy my husband and my children. I was with them all the time and I relished the slowness. I was always there with them, waiting until supper, their little baths, the prayers and the cozy bedtime. After they were in bed I didn’t rush to fall asleep. I savored the minutes with Sam until we fell asleep in each other’s arms
We were a close family and Sam called us “The Four Little Sheep.” Sometimes it felt like we didn’t have anybody with us as we maneuvered through life in America, so different from being surrounded constantly by family like I grew up in Italy. In America, we were alone. But as a result of that, we grew closer, dependent only on each other.
Mom did not quite make it to see and enjoy our Tuscan Gardens® tribute with her own eyes, passing away January 19, 2014, just shy of her 92nd birthday.
The fundamental question before us was compelling – what would Tuscan Gardens have to look and feel like to be worthy of our mother? It is a perennial tribute to and for her, lovingly built in Maria’s memory and honor.
It represents all that its founders wanted and dreamed of for their parents:
A luxurious environment that feels intimate and homey
Dedicated professionals who do more than care; they become family
The sights, scents and sensations of home
A lifestyle filled with opportunity, passions and discovery
A life of beauty, fulfillment and meaning
A culture of “sprezzatura,” a casual elegance with a natural ease
However, the most important thing for you to know about us is this: We have been where you are. We have experienced the same challenges, questions and dilemmas. It is everything we are honored to share with your loved ones.
With our experience, our dedication and our love and respect for seniors and the respect they have earned, we created Tuscan Gardens®. It is all that we wanted our parents to have. We are delighted to share it with your loved ones.