China doll


During the time of the mid to late 1960’s my Italian relatives were pursuing their journey to a new country, the United States of America. Some of my relatives had already made it across the Atlantic ocean to this new place, in hopes that they will find a new life full of opportunities. In the meantime back in Italy, there awaits a young girl who at the age of 10 is being sent on a flight to an unfamiliar place. When she was much younger, she dreamed of traveling. She is excited to go, however the people there are much different than she is accustomed to. Although she will be traveling to her family, she will still feel as if she is venturing the world alone, until she is gifted something she will hold on to forever. Her mother, my great-grandmother, gave her a very unique doll, a doll that had been kept in my family for many generations. My Nonna held onto this doll as it gave her a sense of familiarity and a connection to her mother. She did not go with the rest of her family on their first trip because she went later on due to her being too ill to fly. This doll who Nonna had named Elise has been passed down to my mother and will continue to be handed down through many generations so we never forget where our family came from, and the family members who helped us start our new lives in America through courage and love. Elise has become the inspiration of the Tocco family. 

Place(s): Italy
Year: 1966

– Gianmarco Tocco

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant