This weekend my mother gifted me with a piece of the past--my paternal grandfather's passport.
No pictures back in 1901, so the Italian passaport listed a physical description. I never met my grandfather so this was way beyond kewl.
He had red hair (although he was southern Italian--Calabrian, in fact.) He had BLUE eyes. So I guess those Germanic tribes really did make it all the way down to the "toe" of Italy after the fall of the Roman Empire. He was short and had a moustache.
When his passport was issued, Italy was still a monarchy. So everything official was by the decree of His Majesty Vittorio Emanuelle III.
And because it WAS a monarchy, class systems still existed. So here's the kicker, under the heading of status, my grandfather's passport reads contadino: peasant.
As Dean Martin sang, Ain't that a Kick in the Head?