Recorded as Spitaro, Spitero, Spitiero, Spitari, Spiteri, Spitalari and others, this is a medieval Italian occupational surname. Not dissimilar to the popular Ferrari, it describes a skilled metal worker, but in this case one who specialised in the manufacture of important cooking utensils particularly the roasting spit. "Fast food" is not a new concept, and most villages in the past had a village cook who would prepare meals in quantity for sale to the public, using amongst other gadgets a large spit often driven by chains and gears from a treadmill often operated by a dog, although human examples also existed. Examples of similar skilled Italian trade names include Catinari (chain maker), Camanato (bell maker), and Lamieri, a blade maker, whilst Spataro described a sword maker. Unfortunately although the Roman Empire was a font of civilisation, after the fall of the Empire from about 412 a.d, Italy descended into chaos for the next fifteen hundred years, the area being fragmented into mainly poor principalities and statelets. As a result there was little record keeping of births, deaths and marriages, and on a national basis these did not really commence until the 20th century. The earliest record that we could find was that of Luiza Spitero who married Crescenzo Mendez at Caserta, Italy, on May 25th 1824.
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