About Nonna Rina
Rina Manfredi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 26, 1928. Her parents had traveled from Italy in search for a better life in South America. When she was 5, Rina's mother had to return to her hometown to care for her grandmother. Leaving her father in Argentina to work, Rina traveled back to Italy with her mother and younger brother, never seeing her father again. They returned to a small town in the mountains named Solaro, in the province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna. Living in severe poverty, Rina lived through
the hardships of World War II. She survived the invasions of her town and massacres of partisans by hiding under her bed. When she was 18, she fell in love and married a man named Celeste Mulazzi. She lived with him and 11 other people in a 5-room house where they had two children, Margherita and Giulio.
Rina and Celeste had dreams of moving to America to pave a better life for their family. Nine years later, they immigrated to New York and settled in a tenement in Little Italy with four other families. It was the first time they ever felt heat or had seen a toilet bowl. Celeste found work as a cement mason while Rina worked as a cleaner in the AT&T building. She also had a second job cooking lunch for the neighborhood priests and bishops. In 1970, Rina and Celeste raised enough money to build a house in Long Island. For years, Celeste worked every weekend to finish the house. In 1984, Rina and Celeste finally left Manhattan and moved into their new home on Long Island. Now, Rina enjoys traveling to Florida in the winter months and cooking for her family and friends.
Enjoy Nonna Rina's Recipes: