Family Holds Picnic for Italian Little League Team

MONTOURSVILLE -- The Little League team from Emilia, Italy wasn't showing off their skills on the baseball field during this day off in Lycoming County. They were busy eating and socializing at a picnic in Montoursville.

"It's not in a restaurant where they have to watch what they do, watch what they say. Here they can do whatever," said Sam Aloisio, Sons of Italy Lodge 138.

The Williamsport Sons of Italy hosted a picnic for the team at the home of member Ken Dirocco.

"It's exciting for us, it really is," Dirocco said.  "We love all the American teams too, but when you got a team from Europe and they're from our home country, it's great."

"It's better than we expect in Italy. A better welcome than we expect in Italy, sure," said parent Griviano Bortlotti.

The Sons of Italy wanted to give the team picnic food instead of Italian food and the kids loved it.

"They eat Italian food all their life. They don't eat hot dogs and hamburgers and fried chicken," said Aloisio.

Back in 2008, the Emilia Little League team made it to the World Series and the Dirocco family hosted a picnic for them. Now eight years later, some of the same people are back again.

"It was a great surprise!" said Bortlotti. "We didn't expect it to see ourselves eight years ago. It was a great surprise."

The Sons of Italy and the Dirocco family wanted to give the team a day to relax and feel somewhat at home while at the Little League World Series.

"I'm just so glad that we could do it for them," said Aloisio.

"It is an experience, a wonderful experience," Bortlotti added.