Monday, October 1, 2007

Jin-Kim Family Crest

Family History

The Jin-Kim family began in recent years with the marriage of Linda Jin and Elice Kim. The couple originally met in Seattle, and following a private marriage moved to Italy. The early years of their acquaintance were marked by chance encounters and brief but happy exchanges on the streets of Seattle as well as the classrooms of the University of Washington. The pair first hit it off at the Academy of Young Scholars Welcome Reception, when Linda fatefully chose a seat next to the alluring Elice in an auditorium filled with empty seats. The subsequent establishment of a shared acquaintance sealed the budding friendship. However, the relationship did not take a serious turn until their third year, when the two found each other, again fatefully, often sitting together in Biochemistry. Most mornings began with Elice eating a poppy seed muffin and Linda commenting on how Elice was once again eating a poppy seed muffin. Then, in the cold winter of that third year, a freak snow-storm and suspended bus routes forced Elice to spend the night in Linda’s apartment. Of course after that weather-induced romantic night, marriage was a must. The two then wed and lived happily ever after in Rome.

About our Crest

The strip of blue water running down the center of our crest represents the Tiber River. On one side of the river, there is a partial map of Trastevere where our apartment was. The two of us lived on Via San Francesco di Sales in a small, but cozy apartment near many artisans and, as we later found out, a penitentiary. The dark, grayish-blue background stands for our nightlife, which mainly consisted of late dinners and preparing for the next day’s adventures.

On the other side, a picture of cobblestones and a yellow flower represent the Campo de’ Fiori (“Field of Flowers”). We thought the cobblestones were appropriate since we spent so much time walking/tripping on them. The flower has 5 petals (5 weeks of the program) and is centralized because we spent much of our time there (and also for compositional purposes). The background is red like marinara sauce because of the many, many pasta dishes we consumed during our stay.

Every day, we crossed the Tiber via Ponte Mazzini to get from Trastevere to the Campo de’ Fiori and back. A bridge in the center represents this connection and gives a sense of unity as it spans from one side of the crest to the other.

We included books in the bottom section of our crest to symbolize our student status as well as our interest in reading. It also represents how we spent most of our time—learning about and “reading” the city of Roma. The sun was the inspiration for the yellow background of this section. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather almost every day as we learned and explored. Ah, Roma.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

SMACK Family Crest

This is the crest of the five girls living in the Rome Center apartment, otherwise known as “SMACK,” an acronym for our names. As with all crests, this one too is filled with symbols of our family.

The Smack family came to fame as food connoisseurs, each having a special appreciation and skill for selecting delicacies from around the world. The girls soon became so well known that they opened a restaurant – the TuttiGusti – which features a selection of their favorites. In the morning, a breakfast buffet is offered with Italian pastries and creamy yogurts. Afternoon lunch dishes include a variety of pastas, meats, and salads served in large portions. Dinner offers a romantic menu of traditional Italian wines with similar dishes and fancy deserts – tiramisu, cookies, gelati, and a wide selection of Nutella products. The restaurant has a warm, homely ambiance – quaint and cozy, lit with glowing candles, decorated in blue and red flowers. Pilgrims from all over Italy come to taste the Smack family cuisine, and many have stayed in order to share their own specialty dishes. Thus the kitchen holds a melting pot of cooks from around the world.

The basic shield is composed of four quarters with each quarter representing one of the girls living in the apartment (except Susie). On the top right is a bottle of Fanta. After our long treks through the city, there is nothing more refreshing to Kelsea than an ice-cold bottle of Fanta. Below that is a cappuccino representing Mindy, who, despite our reprimanding words, has continued to average three cups of coffee a day. On the top left, is a cornetto. This cornetto symbolizes all pastries in Rome and specifically the ones from the Forno in the Campo, one of Anyie’s favorite places in Rome. Similar to Mindy’s addiction to caffeine, Anyie is addicted to pastries and averages about three visits a day. Finally, on the bottom right is a cute high-heeled shoe. I think we would all agree that Christina wins the cute card for our apartment and she always is wearing heeled shoes. We admire her skill at gracefully recovering when she trips while walking through the tricky cobblestoned streets of Rome.

In the center of the shield is a circle containing five five-pointed stars. The repetition of these five-pointed stars throughout the crest is to represent the five girls living in the apartment. In addition, the red background with gold stars is modeled after the Chinese flag representing our heritage as all the girls in the apartment are Chinese.

Along the bottom are flowers because we live near the Campo de’Fiori.

In addition, notice the coloring of the crest. The main colors are blue and red because Christina, Susie and Mindy share the love of the color blue while Kelsea and Anyie prefer red.

Finally, let me explain the octopus. The octopus represents Susie. For those of you who have heard Susie tell this story, you have heard one of the greatest stories of all time. If you haven’t, though, please ask Susie about it as soon as possible because it will trump all other stories that you have ever heard. Our apartment has bonded through this story and thus it is wearing a crown and holding the shield as though it is the glue that holds us together. Susie’s cooking has also brought us together through our love of food.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Orioni Family (June, Junko, Megan, Melissa)

Family History
       The Orioni family is believed to have descended from hunters during the Ancient Roman times, but detailed records of the family’s history do not begin until the 1500s. In 1527, Jiordano Orioni saw the sack of Rome as a business opportunity, and he relocated his Civita-based olive press to Rome to fill a vacancy in the truffle-flavored olive oil market. Shortly afterwards, Pope Clement VII, attempting to promote new business enterprises in the wake of the disaster, tasted Jiordano’s oil as an act of solidarity for the businessmen, and was so impressed with the flavor that he named Jiordano the papacy’s exclusive olive oil provider.
       Jiordano tried to use his ties to the pope to get his son, Marcantonio Orioni, named a cardinal, but his suggestions were rebuffed. Angered, Jiordano sent oil tainted with hemlock, which killed the pope, although the public suspicion at the time rested on the Head Cook. When the next pope, Puffius III came to power, he promoted Jiordano to Head Cook, who brought Marcantonio as an assistant. Under the tutelage of his father, Marcantonio exhibited extraordinary culinary skills that drew the attention of Puffius III, who promoted Marcantonio to cardinal, in order to chain him to the church permanently.
       In 1551, Puffius III died unexpectedly of natural causes (although the death was rumored to be suspicious), and a conclave was called. Marcantonio, eligible for election, provided snacks for the gathered cardinals, and slipped in wild mushrooms instead of truffles, causing most of the cardinals to become hallucinogenic, leading to his own election as Pope Jammaj VIII. During his reign, Jammaj VIII decreed that Roman citizens could only purchase his family’s olive oil, and with the revenue that poured in, he was able to support restoration of ancient sites such as the Ara Pacis Augustae and the Roman Forum.
       One night, while at the Pantheon during a storm, Jammaj VIII was visited by a vision of a god as he gazed at the lightning flashing overhead. “Follow the green lizard to the center of the world,” said the figure. Marcantonio followed the lizard to a twelve-point star, where he found seven mystical objects of power, which have ensured his family's domination into the 21st century.

Crest Description
       Historical Representation: The focus of the crest is Il Magnifico, the lizard who guided Marcantonio to prosperity. He is surrounded by a dodeca-pointed star, symbolic of the center of the world and signifying the papacy and thus placing the Orioni family at the center of the world. The design is surrounded by truffles on the top edge to signify the fungi that brought the Orioni family to prominence within the papacy. The shells that line the left and right edges represent the pilgrimage Pope Jammaj VIII underwent. The two columns are representative of his extensive restoration projects.
       Current Representation: The lizard shown here signifies one of many that has followed the family in our stay in Rome--they are at the Forum, at the beach, and there is even one residing in our apartment (affectionately named Lizzie, or George). Various other symbols represent the art history sites that each of us researched (and also became affectionately attached to). The 12-point star is the pattern laid into Piazza del Campidoglio on top of the Capitoline Hill which was Junko's site. Columns appear in many ancient buildings and can be found in June's site, the Roman Forum, and in Melissa's site, Piazza San Pietro. Below the columns is a recent addition to the family crest—the balcony which shows the family’s current residence in Campo de’ Fiori.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Nutelli Family

The Nutelli Family Crest

Nutelli Family History

Nicolo Nocciolini, from the town of Noce in Northern Italy, came from humble origins. His town was famous for its folk-dancers, and his family pioneered the dance the Grande Bootina. He fell in love with Cesarina Cioccolati, of the noble Cioccolati family from Naples. Though neither family approved of the match, the two, who were madly in love, ran off to Florence. There they became cloth makers, and specialized in making pashminas. Over several generations, they rose through the ranks of the Florentine textile guilds, establishing themselves as the best pashmina makers of the city.

By this time, one of the Nocciolini descendents decided to change the family’s name to Nutelli, to disguise their humble origins. In 1557, thirty years after the sack of Rome, a cold spell in the city gave the Nutelli family the chance they needed to establish themselves as a major power in Italy’s most important city. With the demand for warm clothing outstripping the supply, the Nutelli family stepped in with their fluffy and fashionable pashminas, saving the lives of hundreds of Romans, and increasing their fortunes 11-fold in the process. They were now creamier and richer than ever.

They rose through the ranks of Roman society, intermarrying with many of the noble families, including the Tartufo, Linguine, and Gelati. Finally, in 1617, the great, great, great, great-grandson of Nicolo and Cesarina, Marcello Nutelli, became Pope Delicioso X. Delicioso was a rather weak man, and his papacy was marked by the influence of his sister-in-law, Zucchero Marrone. She was known as a Renaissance woman, that is, a woman of many talents. Her pet project for Delicioso was the construction of the eighth hill of Rome, to mark the permanence of the Nutelli family in city.

Pope Delicioso’s illegitimate son, Piccantini, was the failure of the family. He was a poor businessman, and squandered the family’s fortunes when he tried to expand the business to include hats and gloves. Following this, the family quickly faded into obscurity, with most of the descendents becoming minor cloth merchants.

Centuries later, four young maidens arrived in fair Roma for a leisurely summer. Residing together at the famed Palazzo di Campo de’ Fiori, they discovered that, despite their diverse backgrounds, they could all trace their ancestry back to Nicolo Nocciolini and Cesarina Cioccolati. Together they resurrected the Nutelli dynasty and created this new crest to represent the reunited Nutelli family.


The hazelnut and the chocolate were from the original Nutelli family crest. The hazelnut represents the Nocciolini family and the chocolate represents the Cioccolati family. We are not sure why they chose these symbols. The eight hills were added after Delicioso’s reign to commemorate his work in altering the city’s skyline. The music notes indicate the way in which the four identified their shared ancestry: they all knew the traditional Grande Bootina dance. The stairs that divide each portion of the crest are further proof of their familial connections. Each was clumsy enough to fall down the stairs of a famous monument in Italy: the Capitoline Hill, the Spanish Steps, the stairs of Italiaidea in the Piazza della Cancelleria, and the Rialto Bridge. The arms that encircle the crest are the arms of the four young ladies, each a different color of the rainbow. Finally, the pashmina at the bottom of the crest is both a nod to their ancestors, the pashmina specialists, and features the family motto “Insieme, per sempre” (Together, forever). The latter was added by the descendents, to celebrate their unshakeable bond, formed during this unforgettable summer.

Viva la Nutelli!

Famiglia Maschia

Family Crest History
Famiglia Maschia

The history of the Maschia family is long and illustrious, originating the in small town of Frazione, just south of Rome along the Tiber. From these humble beginnings, the ambitious family expanded into near-by areas and soon very far abroad, eventually distributing themselves all over the known world, becoming well known in all their exotic locals. After a time, though, the family elements slowly returned the Rome area from whence they came, congregating in the area near the Tiber in Rome called Trastevere, which was named by the Maschia family, simply meaning “across the Tiber,” when local residents roused the family’s modesty as they attempted to name the river the “Maschier” in recognition of the family’s importance. The modern incarnation of the Maschia family crest contains three symbols: the compass rose, a chef’s hat and instruments, and a boot and key arranged together.

Compass Rose:
The Maschia family’s association with the compass rose is an amusing one that reveals much about the family’s habits through the ages. It is a traditional Maschia game to pick the quickest route to a desired endpoint. Part way into the journey, though, another member of the family will loudly and persuasively counter with a drastically different route in an entirely new direction. Soon into this new route, yet another will be put forth, and this will continue for quite some time. Eventually the game comes to an end when the venturing party is either too tired to go further or through some freak of fate the family reaches their destination. The compass rose represents the family’s freedom of movement and lack of borders and restrictions when it comes to traveling to a new destination.

Chef’s Equipment:
The chef’s hat and various tools have long been symbols found with and associated with the Maschia family. For as long as sources record and right up to the present day the family has produced many successful chefs, all of which are highly regarded in this profession. Indeed, three of the six living members of the direct Maschia line are recognized chefs with superb skills in the kitchen. Particularly the family’s long secret cheesecake recipe keeps them in the good stead of food lovers everywhere. The chef’s hat and tools make clear to all who observe the crest that this family is famous for its cooking. They are, perhaps, most famous for having invented the Italian classics Tiramisu and Gelato.

Boot and Key:
The Boot and Key found on the Maschia family crest are a testament to the family’s long tradition of traveling great distances to operate their livelihood, namely studying Roman history and culture. Sometime adult family members have to travel over many hills and rivers multiple times a day to traverse the distance separating central Rome and their old family estate in Trastevere. The boot found on their crest symbolizes the far distances this family travels, and the key their love and respect of the home, the place that draws them through these great journeys over hill and dale, all the way into out present times.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


There are family coats of arms all over Rome marking buildings, public works or individual works of art with the heraldic imagery of the family who commissioned for the piece. During the course of our stay in Rome, each apartment will develop its own coat of arms. At the end of the quarter, the residents of each apartment will give a “tour” and explanation of the crest. The crest must have a title and a detailed history – real or fictional. A photo of each crest will be posted on the website along with a written narrative about the history and theme.