BY SANDRA MALATESTA
For Tina Sant’Agata… I always thought every time I went to Tina’s shop in Via Roma, that perhaps many people in every part of the island knew her. I was privileged because Tina lived with her family in the Palazzine del Sole in Via Venanzio Marone where I also lived with my family. I had known her since I was a child and her son Angelo was the same age as my sister Marina and they often played together. So when, as a married mother and as a mother, I went to her shop, I was thrilled because she came out from behind the counter and came towards me and held me, remembering our years together in those beautiful buildings where the sun reigned supreme. Her parents were Antonio Santagata, a financier and her mother Giuseppina a housewife. Tina had a sister Maria and a brother Giuseppe. Tina Santagata was born in Naples on April 7, 1923 and was a beautiful woman but, above all, a respectable person, she made herself known for her discreet way of doing things and for being a woman at that time always well groomed and dressed with great taste. Tina had married Arturo Caccavale (from Marigliano born on October 21, 1923 and died on January 12, 2017) and they had two sons Angelo and Pino. Two children followed too much because with Tina of her lived her sister Maria of her who gave her a big hand. Tina’s voice was often heard calling her children from the window to see if they were in our park and when she went to the shop there she entrusted her sister to her.
She wanted to open a shop that stood out in every sense and she succeeded. In the early years she sold a little of everything from toys to clothing, but then she wanted to devote herself to selling excellent branded and good quality children’s clothing with the help of Arturo when she retired from the police service. That shop soon became a place to buy nice things for the little ones and they went to buy people from all over the island, especially when there was a ceremony and the children had to be dressed up. Tina had such a sweet way of talking, that lip of lipstick always on her lips, her well-groomed black hair and that elegant way of dressing made her a classy woman. Time passed and the children got married and made Tina and Arturo grandparents. Angelo and his wife Carolina Colandrea had two sons Lorenzo and Daniele. Angelo died at 42 in 2004 still so young.
Pino and his wife Francesca Esposito have a teenage daughter named Giulia. when their father retired, they decided to stay in Ischia forever, despite being Sicilian by birth. It often happened that Tina gave away the clothes she hadn’t sold between collections. activities. And I wanted to remember her because her shop “TINA BIMBI” was a period of our lives for all of us in that area and, when on January 2, 2008 Tina left us forever, everyone talking about her said “Tina Bimbi is dead ” and not Tina Santagata almost as if that shop and she were one.