Louis “Luigi” Borda came to America from Italy in 1969. His 1967 Fiat 500, which he purchased in 2007, made that trip at about the same time. Borda came with his mother, Angelina, and older siblings from Calabria at age 3 to reunite with his father, Fioramanti, who had come to South Philly earlier to work as a laborer with his brother.
Louis is a Geography Teacher at J. R. Masterman, Philadelphia’s celebrated academic magnet school for accomplished students. Self-published in 2009, Luigi Discovers Philadelphia, is Borda’s first in what he hopes will become a series, where Luigi will eventually travel to all 50 states and abroad. The book series, Andiamo! Let’s Go!, evolved after Luigi wrote a local weekly column based on the travels of his ’67 Fiat 500. Since then, the car has been featured in several televised interviews, starred in city-sponsored parades, and even drove the Phillies Phanatic onto the field before a baseball game!
The concept of the books is to help young readers learn not only the cities and states, but also what makes each location unique and memorable. The car, affectionately named “Philly”, along with its owner, a little boy name Luigi, are the main characters in a series of educational books that begin with the story of their arrival in America. Luigi and Philly take readers on tours of their home states. From the most populous city to the state capital, the pair enjoy many notable destinations along the way. Young readers will discover unique cultural attractions, see natural wonders, visit amusement parks, attend sporting events and learn one odd factoid about that particular state in each book.
In the first book, Luigi and Philly travel from Italy to America and discover the city of Philadelphia, PA. They are not sure they want to stay until they are steered on a fun ride through the historical city. Young readers are introduced to Luigi’s immigrant experience and the concept of US & World Geography. Filled with fun, colorful illustrations and maps, as well as a matching game page at the end! Come along for the ride … Andiamo! Let’s Go!
Take a peek inside Luigi Discovers Philadelphia and get your copy today!