My uncle is Joe Soprani, the accordion player. He won the U.S. accordion championship, and came in second in the World accordion championship (should have won first!). He's played with everyone from Jon Bon Jovi (he said Jon's a great guy) to Pavarotti (he said Pav's a "pompous ass").
A personal discovery I made was that the tiny town of Castelvetere Sul Calore, in the mountains near Naples, was where my great grandparents came from before immigrating to the U.S., and that the village was settled in 1000 A.D. by Longobard tribes. It was also the scene of many medieval feudal conflicts.