Raffaella Gerola was born in Milano. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in the Silvio Pellico School for Interpreters and Translators and graduated with honors. Her more than 30 years experience and commitment in the field of translation and interpreting has led her to tackle first the electrotechnical sector and then her passions , namely art, archaeology, and modern history, both as a translator and a linguistic collaborator during various international conferences. For about six years, she has lived and worked in Parre, in the upper Seriana Valley (Bergamo province), an area that she and her family have enjoyed since she was a child.
Recently, we asked Raffaella to share a little bit about who she is and insights into her love of all things Italian!
- How long have you been doing this work?
I have been working with Melanie and Lo Schiavo Genealogy for two years now.
- What motivated you to pursue this career?
I’m more of a local agent (Citizenship Specialist) and an interpreter than a genealogist. Yet when I first spoke with Melanie and her team, I discovered I could “put into action”, and together, all my experience, and interests, and past jobs. It was such an interesting opportunity, and I immediately felt at ease with the team, as if we had been working together for a long time.
- What was one of the most surprising things you discovered in your work?
People! Past and present. Their stories, the lives that transpire from a chat or a document. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
- What is one thing people get wrong when it comes to doing research?
In my case, it’s not something that happens when doing research, it’s something that always happens when I first explain Lo Schiavo’s mission: in Italy people are always asking me what exactly a genealogist is, they think a genealogist has something to do with genetics!
- What are the top 3 tips you can share?
Be patient, be curious, be open to new solutions but firm (ops, this makes 4 tips, perhaps).
- What is your favorite place/thing about Italy?
My favourite place is Etruria, a big area spread over Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio. I do love Etruscan places. Yet every place, as small as it can be, has its own treasure: be it a taste, an art piece, a landscape.
- What is your favorite Italian expression?
BOH? It means “I honestly have NO IDEA”, it’s quick, immediate: I do not think other languages have an equivalent expression!
We work to the highest genealogical standards and are constantly studying and expanding our knowledge through a variety of educational opportunities. While at times clients simply want us to find a document in an Italian archive, we go above and beyond simple document retrieval in the quality of our translation and analysis of each document. We think standards and education in the field are important. Because of this belief, a client is afforded protections and recourses, if our work was not up to professional standards.
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