Orestes Ferrara - The Family

Vincenzo Ferrara was the father of Orestes Ferrara.

When Garibaldi arrived in Naples on September 7, 1860, from Salerno, Vincenzo became part of his army.

Vincenzo fought in Maddaloni and Volturno. He was among the first ones to enter Capua. He won a Silver medal. That medal was the only vanity this man of supreme balance ever had.

Vincenzo is Lawrence Matacena's great-great grandfather.

Photo Circa 1850 Naples, Italy

Orestes Ferrara and his nephew Rafael Matacena Ferrara in Paris

Rafael traveled to Europe to see his family in Italy. On the way back to Cuba, he stopped in France to see his Uncle Orestes.

The reason Rafael immigrated to Cuba in 1912 from Naples, Italy at 22 years of age, was because his uncle Orestes Ferrara and the opportunities that the young republic of Cuba offered to a young Civil engineer and Architect who had just graduated.

Umberto Matacena Ferrara, Orestes Ferrara's Nephew, at the home of his brother Rafael Matacena
Central Mercedes, Sugarmill, Matanzas, Cuba in April 1938.

Umberto is standing at one of the two fish tanks the 38-manicured garden has.

Umberto immigrated to Cuba from Italy when he was 17 years old.

He immigrated again in 1973 to the US. Umberto died in Miami, Florida at 94 years of age in 1998.

The exquisite house is facing west so the picture was taken at sunset. As it is clearly shown the mansion and Umberto are facing the sun.

Maestro Sebastiano Matacena (Seba) was married to Emma Ferrara, Orestes' sister in the second part of the 1800.

Sebastian was the father of Rafael, Ada, Iris, Othello, Flora and Umberto. He is the grandfather of Orestes Matacena and great grandfather of Lawrence.

Sebastian was a music composer and the Operatic and Classical conductor for the Banda Centrale della Marina Militare Italiana who played for King Vittorio Emmanuele.

Sebastian was born in Naples, Italy where he married Emma. After Rafael and Ada were born he moved to La Spezia and build a mansion in the mountains overlooking the bahia.

During World War II when the Nazis invaded that part of Italy, the General Nazi in command of that region took the mansion as his home. Flora who was living there at the time, was put under house arrest for the whole period the Nazis stayed.

From left to right are Italian Army General Giocondo Tonarelli, Air Force General Pietro Turilli and Orestes Ferrara. at Pietro's apartment in Rome, Italy.

Giocondo was married to Flora Matacena Ferrara and Pietro to Iris Matacena Ferrara. Both women were sisters of Rafael and Umberto and nephews of Orestes.

Pietro's wife Iris was born in 1900 and lived to be one hundred years old. She died in 2000.

Giocondo's wife Flora was born in 1903 and she outlived the 100 year mark. She passed away in 2004 in Milan, Italy.

Iris Matacena Ferrara was married to Italian Airforce General Pietro Turilli.

Iris had the looks of a model and the love for adventure.

On these two pictures, the one on the left and the one below capture her essence

Iris Matacena Ferrara was an avid hunter as you can see in the photo. Along with her husband, Italian Airforce General Pietro Turilli, their hunting dog and their 16 gauche shotguns they went hunting each time they had an opportunity.

At 16 years of age Iris stop drinking water and drank only wine. She didn't like the taste of water.

Iris lived to be one hundred years old. Born in 1900. Died in 2000.

Raffaele Ferrara (the brother of Orestes) and his wife Amelia.
They always lived in Naples, Italy.

Emma and brother Orestes Ferrara.

Emma was married to Sebastian Matacena. She had 11 children. Five of them died when they were kids. The other six survived. Rafael, Ada, Iris, Othello, Flora and Umberto.

Her three sons Rafael, Othello and Umberto emigrated to Cuba because of Orestes Ferrara.

Her three daughters Ada, Iris and Flora stayed in Italy and married three Generals.

Ada married Navy General Capaldo, Iris married Airforce General Pietro Turilli and Flora married Army General Giocondo Tonarelli.

Italian Army General Giocondo Tonarelli. He was married to Flora Matacena Ferrara.

The Nazis took him prisoner and along with 200 other Allies Generals were taken by
foot to Russia.

Giocondo was the youngest General. Anyone who fell to the ground from exhaustion,
sickness or from being old was shot by a Nazi on the spot. He survived. He was 50
years old.

General Giocondo Tonarelli once said to Mussolini that wanted him to become a
"Black Shirt Fascist". -- "I don't pledge to you, Sir. Only to the King."

They had two boys, Rolando and Oreste.

Orestes Matacena is Orestes Ferrara's grandnephew. His parents Rafael and Aracelli Matacena named him after his great uncle. Orestes was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in a sugar mill plantation. Orestes has a son, Lawrence Rafael who was born in the US.

Orestes, who has played chilling villains, has worked in films and commercials with directors such as Charles “Chuck” Russell, Marcus Nispel, Barry Sonnenfeld, Doug Liman, Leon Ichaso, Michael Ritchie, and John Milius and with the great artist Bill Viola on Wagner's famous opera "Tristan und Isolde."

Orestes is also a writer, director, and producer.

Orestes has constructed and dedicated this website to his Granduncle Orestes Ferrara.


Flora Matacena Ferrara, left, and her cousin Vanda Matacena, right. and Iris Matacena, Flora's sister, were very close. Vanda was very "Napolitan" and very funny. Always laughing and making jokes.

Vanda had a Chinchilla coat and she stopped using it because she said that each time she did wear it people in the street will realize that she was rich and would snap her purse from her hand. So to pass as a "penniless" woman she bought herself a breathtaking long red Zorro coat.

They kept snapping her purse away and she could not understand why. The Zorro coat was no Chinchilla.

Flora was born in 1903 and reached more than 100 years of age. She passed away in 2004 at Milan, Italy where she lived. She was married to Italian General Giocondo Tonarelli.