Walk through the Houses of Providence Great Room during the week and you are likely to spot Tony Mauro and Vito Silvestri chatting by the window. The two Italian “brothers from another mother” ﬁrst met in the Houses four years ago when Tony’s wife Maria moved in.
“He was on the 3rd floor with his wife and my wife, Octavia, was on the 4th floor and we met in the recreation room. Then we started talking… and talking,” says Vito.
It turned out that Tony was from the southern tip of Italy, Calabria, and Vito was from the country’s central region, Puglia. As the men got to know each other, their friendship flourished. They quickly discovered that they had a lot in common and could lean on each other for support.
“As soon as we met, I realized we share lots of similar things together,” says Tony. “We both have children – boy and girl – similar in age and we both have grandchildren… I have five, Vito has two. Many times we sit and talk about our kids.”
Adds Vito, “We've become best friends. If I don't come here one day, he calls, he says, I didn't see you. Or me, I'll come look for him in the morning.”
To help each other out, Vito would often drive Tony home from Providence or take him shopping and then they would sit and have coffee. “I never saw Tony have a regular coffee though. He always has espresso.”
When Vito stopped driving, their social circle became more central. “The Houses became my club,” says Vito. “I can talk to anyone here, say hello to anyone. And I like to walk, so Tony and I walk with our wives.”
Tony chuckles and adds, “And whenever we are together, someone always asks if we are brothers. I
tell them yes... with another mother."