Long Lost Lovers Reunited After Nearly 40 Years

Love knows no limits, whether they be distance, time, or any other factor. Barbara Canazzi, ’71 and ’76, can vouch for this from personal experience.

Canazzi was one of 39 students who traveled to Siena, Italy as part of the Siena program in the spring of 1970, and studied art history. While studying abroad, she met a young man named Massimo Mercurio at a party at the Enoteca in Siena on March 23, 1970. They dated until Canazzi returned to the United States in July. “We kept in touch and saw each other a few times but a long distance relationship was difficult at best, and sadly, we broke up,” Canazzi said.

Barbara Canazzi, '71 and '76 and Massimo MercurioThanks to Facebook, the two hearts would soon reconnect for the first time in 39 years. In February 2012, she received a friend request from two of Mercurio’s best friends who were also her friends, and through them, she reconnected with her long lost love. Her friends invited her to visit them in Italy, and Canazzi had an “amazing summer.”

“I spent time with Massimo in the south of France where he was living at the time,” Canazzi noted. “He’s a musician, and worked in Monte Carlo and Menton. I also spent time in Siena with our friends and Massimo’s sister,” she added.

“Although we were all a bit older, no one truly changed,” Canazzi reflected.

After that visit in summer 2012, Canazzi kept in touch with Mercurio via Skype. He also visited her in Buffalo for six weeks in 2014, and again in March 2015.

However, this visit would not end like the previous ones. “We were tired of saying good-bye, so this time he stayed. We were married in April,” Canazzi beamed.

Now, the two happy hearts are living in Buffalo, with plans to take frequent trips to Italy to see family and friends.

Canazzi credits the Siena program with changing her life. “To this day, studying in Siena was not only one of the best times of my life, but I formed friendships that still grow after 45 years; and now I can add something more that came from that experience,” she mused.


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