Profile Image
Italia (Mastroppolito) Pozzani
February 18, 2024


Italia Mastroppolito Pozzani
June 27, 1933 - February 18, 2024

Italia Pozzani, of Somerville, passed away in the early afternoon on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at Mount Auburn Hospital, with loving family and friends by her side. She was 90.

Born on June 27, 1933, in the town of Orsara di Puglia, Province of Foggia, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Michele Mastroppolito and Carmela Buonassisi Mastroppolito. Italia immigrated to the United States in 1946 at the age of 13, and resided in the North End of Boston for a time before moving to Somerville.

She graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Boston’s North End in 1951. Being a lover of music, Italia completed a curriculum in piano performance at the Faelten Pianoforte School in Boston in June of 1952. She then continued her studies in piano performance and composition at il Conservatorio di Musica San Cecilia in Rome, Italy, graduating in June of 1954.

She was a dedicated civil servant, working for the State of Massachusetts, for former Governor John Volpe's administration as his personal assistant and translator from 1961-1963. As a proud Italian-American, Governor Volpe was able to deliver his speeches in Italian to the large immigrant community, thanks to Italia’s skilled translations. While at the State House, Italia also made many friends in government and used her access and influence to help numerous people in myriad ways. In recounting that time in her life, Italia frequently remarked, “Anyone who needed a favor knew to call Italia”. She also relished in attending functions at the Governor’s mansion, where she often played classical piano for invited guests and dignitaries.

On a trip back to Italy to visit her aunt with whom she lived during her time in Rome, she met Remigio Pozzani. After a long-distance courtship, the two married in Latina, Italy in August of 1965. Initially intending to live and raise their family in Italy, they resided near Remigio’s family in Como until May of 1966. At that point, they returned to the US and settled in Somerville, Mass. where they raised three happy, healthy, and successful children.

Italia was the embodiment of strength, determination, and poise. She was known for her joyous hospitality, gregarious nature, and for entertaining family, friends and guests with unforgettable multi-course meals, wine, and good company. Never hesitant to extend an invitation, she was known to host large dinner parties attended by ever-changing groups of interesting people—from visiting dignitaries and international students to esteemed scientists and local musicians. Famously, she once invited a visiting Italian naval commander and a dozen of his sailors to her home for pranzo—an experience which left many of the young men shedding tears of homesickness, joy, and gratitude.

Italia was also very proud of her heritage—participating in local Italian festivals and events, instilling that pride into her children, and ensuring that they establish and cultivate their own deep connection with her homeland.
Italia was a force of nature: fierce, independent, resourceful, loyal, and a loving and devoted mother—and there was no truer friend. She always sought to help people in any way she could, and she treasured her friendships.

In short, Italia was extraordinary. She will be deeply missed.

Italia is survived by her children, Elena Pozzani Lottfi and her husband, Khalid of Somerville; Linda Pozzani Bendok and her husband Brahim of Medford; Victor Pozzani and his wife, Amy Dattilo of Medford; her sister Giovanna Mastroppolito D'Angelo and the late Aldo D'Angelo of Medfield; and cherished grandchildren, Sofia Bendok, Joseph Bendok and Simona Pozzani. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Kathryn Mastroppolito and her late husband, James (Jack) Mastroppolito, cousins, nieces and nephews, and many close friends all over the world whom she considered her adopted family.

Family and friends are invited to gather for visiting hours at Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main Street, Medford on Sunday, February 25th, 4–8 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin Parish (formerly known as Saint Catherine of Genoa), 185 Summer Street, Somerville on Monday, February 26th, at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Italia's memory can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by visiting their site: or by calling 1-800-608-3023.

Content is coming soon...
Dello Russo Funeral Service
306 Main Street
Medford, MA 02155