Information on Palla family

From Nando (Fernando) Palla, Switzerland

Hello AJ Michelini
Hello Susann M. and Kathy K.

By chance I found in the internet your question about the family Palla. As member of this family I was surprised and I try to inform you what I know.

In the „story of the Luigi Filippini Fountain in Cevio” by M. Arlington and Kathy K.  we saw a picture of a family in Cevio. The old woman in the center is our great-grandmother (the mother of my grandmother) Milla (Maria Ludovica) Moretti-Filippini, in the family she was called our „Mamma grande”

The young man on the right is my uncle Aurelio Palla (died 1968) The girl on the left is our aunt Tilde (Mathilde Palla, died 20..) One of the girls sitting on the floor is our aunt Laura Palla (died about 1995). The young woman in between Aurelio and Mamma grande is the youngest daughter of Mamma grande, Ines Moretti (died 106 years old). The other two young women might be Sestina and Lorinda Moretti, two daughters of Mamma grande.

As a child I and my two sisters spent quite a lot of holidays in Cevio. I knew my grand-aunts Lorinda, Sestina and Ines quite well and I spent a lot of amusing and great moments in their big house in the piazza at Cevio. Zia (aunt) Lorinda baked fantastic cookies!!!

Now I try to explain what happened with the family Palla.

Milla was born in Cevio (1854-1936). She was the daughter of Gio. Battista Filippini from Cevio (1818-1894).He was for few years in Australia. Returne to Cevio he married (1872) Giovanna Maria Filippini origine from Visletto the dauther of his associate. They had four sons and two daughters. One of the sons died at birth. The others Carlo, Luigi, Leonardo and also the daughters Angelina and Milla went all to California where they worked on a ranch in Marshall.

The farm was led by Luigi Filippini associated to Giocondo Moretti. Giocondo Moretti at first had searched without success for gold in Australia anf than he imbarked directly to California, where he became farmer with his associate Luigi Filippini. He married Milla Filippini in 1872. Seven girls were their children, four of them born in California: Ida, Lorinda, Corinna (=our grand-mother) and Elvira. After returning to Cevio 1901 Annita, Sestina and Ines were born.

Corinna Moretti (dauther of Milla and Giocondo Moretti) my grandmother (born 1878 in Point Reyes, California, died 1902 in Cevio) married Filippo Palla my grandfather (born 1867 in Cevio, died 1953 in Cevio), also a emigrate from Cevio, who had a ranch producing milk and butter near Los Angeles, where he stayed for about 20 years. After the death of his brother he returned to Cevio. He married 1902 my grandmother. They had 5 children: Giuseppe (my father), Alfonso,Tilde, Aurelio and Laura.

Giuseppe’s children Corinna Palla, Fernando Palla (me), Rosanna Oppenheim-Palla were born in Zürich, his wife, my dear mom Charlotte Palla-Senn came from Zofingen a smal town in the the german speaking part of Switzerland.

Alfonso married with Rosa Palla-Antonini had 2 children: Sandro Palla (living in Zürich) and Renata Bertoli-Palla (living in Lugano), Aurelio (married with Elsa Delorenzi) had 1 daughter Giovanna Rampazzi-Palla (living in Ascona) So there are 6 cousins from the Corinna Palla-Morretti line.

My aunts Tilde and Laura Palla weren’t married they lived the whole life in Cevio in our house at the Piazza just in front of the house of Mamma grande (where the picture mentioned above was shooted time ago!). The house of Mamma grande is now in possesion of my second cousins Riccarda Liebich-Respini and Renzo Respini.

My parents as all my aunts (exept the wife of Alfonso Palla, Rosa Palla) and uncles are lost.

The descendence of the other daughters of Mamma grande Milla Moretti-Filippini were as far as we know 16 boys and 7 girls. The respective family names are Respini (Riccarda Lieblich-Respini and Renzo Respini), Moretti, Filippini (Annita married her cousin Alfred Filippini whose father was Carlo.

I hope this information will be helpful on your search.

Regards from Switzerland

Nando (Fernando) Palla

2 thoughts on “Information on Palla family

  1. Nando,

    Thank you so much for your explanation of who is in the picture. For years we have wondered who everyone was. Our Grandmother (Stella Filippini Murphy) passed away in the 1960’s. She is the one that could have answered our questions. Sue and I have such fond memories of visiting Cevio in 2007 with our families. Ever since we were little we had heard about magical Cevio. We are hoping to come back again soon, as we so throughly enjoyed it. If you ever come to California, I would love to host you at our house.


    • Nando, Thank you for this information. Unfortunately I just found it. My Gr Gr Gr Grandfather was Giuseppe Domenico Palla and his wife was Paolinia Mattei. Their daughter was my gr gr grandmother Maria Giacomina Palla Leoni. From what I know my great grandmother was sent ( 1890’s) from Cevio as a girl to California (Petaluma, Marin Co.) to live with her mothers sister Isolina Maria Palla Dolcini.
      Thanks, Al Nichelini

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