Gladiator star Russell Crowe said Wednesday he was seeking his Italian roots and had an ancestor who was from Ascoli Piceno in southern Marche.
Russell Crowe, the Hollywood actor, who was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia, said on X (formerly Twitter): “I’ve been on the hunt to track down my Italian forebears for quite some time.
“Folkloric family tales and misspelling had seen me travel on a number of wrong tracks.
“Turns out my great great great grandfather, on my mother’s side, who travelled to NZ in 1864 was Luigi Ghezzi.
“Born in 1829 in Ascoli Piceno, Marche, the son of Augestine (sic) & Annunziata born in Parma.
“Luigi had been working in Argentina, took a boat to India, was shipwrecked, and ended up in Capetown. While there he met and married Mary Ann Curtain and they migrated to NZ.”
Crowe, 59, is fronting Rome’s bid for the 2030 Expo. His iconic catchphrase “at my signal unleash humanity” from Gladiator is a key element in the bid’s PR.
Ascoli Piceno mayor ready to welcome Crowe
The mayor of Ascoli in Marche said they were waiting for Russell Crowe with open arms.
The mayor, Marco Fioravanti, said, “As mayor I can only take the opportunity to publicly invite Russell Crowe to visit Ascoli, we’d be delighted to have him as our guest.
“It’s good news for us to learn that he has ancestors hailing from Ascoli Piceno.
“We’ll welcome him with open arms”.