The Baulio, also known as a chest, is the name of the large luggage container used by Italian immigrants’ grandparents to transport all the necessary items to aid in their resettlement to Canada. The name, baulio, may not be proper Italian, but rather a dialect word from my grandparent’s town – Corvara, Abruzzo.
On this baulio is written the name of their ship – Cristofaro Colombo – the date of departure – October 22, 1965 – and their destination points – from Naples to New York to Toronto. My mother’s sole memory of arrival were many “for sale” signs, for which she believed were signs selling salt.
My grandmother does not recall transporting any object of sentimental value. She states that all she took with her were items that had a practical purpose. A family of five could not afford to transport anything that did not have a practical value.
The family had three baulio’s, one of which came to and from Toronto three times accompanying my grandfather on his sole journeys.
Finally, all three found their way to College st, where they first settled. My mother, the eldest and first to get married, was given the baulio full of household items as her marriage dowry. Only two baulio’s remain in the family and continue to store handmade linens for tables and beds.