Tracing her roots.
On Thursday’s all-new Very Cavallari, Kristin Cavallari found herself reflecting on her family lineage in the years following brother Michael‘s death. As E! readers surely recall, the Laguna Beach veteran tragically lost her brother to hypothermia following a car accident in December 2015.
Upon realizing that Michael was the last one able to pass on the Cavallari surname, the Uncommon James mogul expressed an interest in tracing her roots.
“With my brother being gone there’s no one else, on my side of the family, carrying on the Cavallari name,” Kristin shared with husband Jay Cutler. “My brother was the last Cavallari.”
Furthermore, as Kristin and her father Dennis Cavallari have “grown apart a little bit” after losing Michael, she felt reconnecting with her roots might giving her deeper ties to the family.
“I’m interested in researching the Cavallari name and developing relationships with my extended family,” the mother of three explained to the Very Cavallari camera. “Also, I just want my kids to have a really good understanding of where they come from.”
Being a supportive husband, Jay signed off on Kristin hunting down her origins.
While in Los Angeles for the Emmys, Kristin and Jay took some time to sit down with Dennis and hear all about the Cavallaris. Understandably, Kristin hoped this visit would allow them to “reconnect.”
“Since I started to get interested in tracing my family roots, I reached out to my dad because I really want to pick his brain on what he knows about the Cavallari name,” the True Roots author stated in a confessional. “And I know he has a lot of photos, obviously, he knows a lot more about my great-grandparents than I do. You know, my grandparents that came over from Italy.”
Thankfully, Dennis helped fill in some of the blanks as he showed pictures of relatives and shared that his grandfather, Frank Cavallari, came over in 1903. While taking a look at a family photo, Kristin realized how much her brother looked like a young Dennis.
“My dad and my brother were close, and, because of that, I think our relationship is very surface,” The Hills alum continued later on. “It puts a little bit of a void between us. So, I am hoping that with this family tree and tracing the roots…I don’t know, maybe it just gives us something to bond over and he’ll open up a bit more.”
The more they looked through the photos, the more Kristin wanted to hunt down their extended family. Thus, she and Dennis filled out DNA kits.
“So, do you think there’s people in Italy still?” Kristin inquired.
“Oh, I know so,” Dennis responded.
Amid waiting for results, Kristin began doing research on her own. Not only did Kristin find several mentions of the Cavallari surname, but she also realized there were multiple spellings floating about.
Realizing this was a far bigger project than she thought, Kristin decided to hire a researcher, named Fabio, in Italy.
During a FaceTime session with Fabio, Kristin learned that her family originated from a small Italian town, called Monterado. In fact, Fabio claimed there are only 2,000 inhabitants in the village.
Nonetheless, one of Kristin’s cousins still resides in the Italian hamlet.
“It appears that your side of the family lives all around Monterado,” Fabio shared. “You know, Italians love the family. If you come out here, they will want to meet you.”
Since Kristin and her dad thought their family came from Genoa, this revelation was particularly shocking for the Little James boss.
“It would be so much fun to go over there,” Kristin concluded. “I would love to go to Italy, I just feel like right now is not an ideal time with opening up a store.”
Will Kristin contact her Italian relatives? For that answer, be sure to catch the rest of season three!
Watch a brand new episode of Very Cavallari Thursdays at 9 p.m., only on E!
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