Brigid Bergin, Reporter
Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
Now that a strike on the Long Island Railroad has been averted, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family can depart on their 10-day Italian vacation Friday with slightly less scrutiny.
De Blasio said this is the first time they've been able to go away together for a week in two years.
“It’s a very important moment for us, especially the opportunity to go to the hometown of my grandfather and grandmother,” de Blasio said at a press event Thursday on Sandy rebuilding efforts.
The mayor’s itinerary includes stops in Grassano, the hometown of his maternal grandmother Anna Briganti, along with Sant’Agata de’ Goti, the birthplace of the mayor’s grandfather Giovanni de Blasio.
The family will also make stops in Rome, Naples, Capri and Venice.
Asked Thursday if he’s ready to go and what he plans to eat while he's there, the mayor replied, “No, I am not yet packed. Yes, I am looking forward to the trip. Eggplant parmigiano is my all-time favorite Italian meal.”
Then the mayor quickly qualified his answer, “but this is the truth, my mother Maria de Blasio, may she rest in peace, still no one has come close to an eggplant parmigiano as great as hers.”
But de Blasio hasn't given up. He added, “I will search all of Italy seeing if I can find one.”