Anita Maiorana Ferrante was born in Marettimo, an island off the coast of Sicily, to Pietro and Giuseppa Maiorana. Her father left Marettimo for America before Anita was born to earn enough money to reunite his family in Monterey. She met her father for the first time at the age of six when he returned to Marettimo in 1934 to accompany them to Monterey.
Their first home was an apartment on Van Buren Street. It was a festive time because the fishing industry was thriving. Her baby sister Rosalie was born in December of 1934 and they moved to a new home on Larkin Street. Two more sisters were born, Phyllis Maiorana Zahradka of Bracciano, Italy and Maria O'Farrell of Salinas.
Anita was a first grader at Walton Colton School where she quickly I learned to read and write English. She continued her education at San, Carlos Catholic School, Monterey High School and MPC. While in school she was her father and mother's bookkeeper and interpreter. She also worked at the Monterey hospital as a receptionist for five years.
In 1951 Anita returned to Marettimo with her mother, father and youngest sister Maria to visit family and reconnect with the island she, loved so much.
In 1952 she married Victor Ferrante. They owned and operated the Tip Top Coffee Shop on Cass Street where Anita made many lifelong friends. They had four children, Vickie Ferrante Ramirez (Ron), Diana Ferrante Miller (Carl), Tori Ferrante (Ann) and Maria Ferrante. She's the proud Nonna of six grandchildren.
With Anita's children grown and living on their own, she "still needed to be a mom." She placed a card on the bulletin board at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for housing students. Over a period of twelve years she warmly embraced thirty-five International students in to her home, all becoming a part of her family.
Anita has many passions that have been part of her full and successful life.
She is a devout catholic, a parishioner of San Carlos Cathedral, a member of ICF, and the Sons of Italy.
Her love for her family, extended and neighbors:
Christmas day revolves around an exquisite 40-foot dining table with a different themed decor each year welcoming her loving family. There are years when every member of the family (53 in all) are seated. A traditional Italian Christmas meal is served as they gather near her celebrated Presepio. Her talent in floral arranging and collecting antiques fill her welcoming home. Her lifelong interest as a collector of Vatican stamps is a collection she cherishes. She is the matriarch of the family and continues the legacy left by her mother and father.
Anita is a member of the Monterey History and Art Association and Merienda, Italian American Center Foundation, Monterey Commercial Property Owners Association (MCPOA). At the annual 4th of July parade she proudly represents MCPOA as she serves coffee and donuts to parade participants. She received the honor to christen the NOAA research vessel, Fulmar, at the Monterey Coast guard Pier in 2006.
Anita's love of Italy draws her to spend one month a year along with her sister Phyllis of Bracciano, Italy on the island of Marettimo in the house where she was born.
Monterey has held a special spot in the hearts of all who come from Marettimo because of the similarity of the beautiful coastlines. Her yearly visits to the island over the years have encouraged many to visit and enjoy the single beauty this island offers. It has been said that these visits are Anita's secret to youthfulness. She is proud of her origin and is known by many as the "ambassador" of Marettimo.