He said yes and headed to greet me. He appeared to be in his early 30s and was wearing a red T-shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers. We shook hands. He introduced himself as Costantino Rigon. “I’m an American,” I said. “I’m doing family research. My relatives might be from around here. My great-grandmother’s last name was Stoffella.”
His eyes bulged. “My mom was a Stoffella,” he said.
I reached into the front seat of my rental SUV and grabbed a legal notebook full of genealogical research. Costantino saw the name Luigi Stoffella -- my great-great-grandfather. His eyes bulged again. He said his great-grandfather’s name was Luigi.
“No way,” I said.
No way, he thought.
Did I really just drive into the Alps, yell to a guy on the street, and find that we’re related?