This is fascinating information from Rabbi Barbara Aiello. But I have read somewhere that the origin of the name Aiello comes from a General who lived in the area of Sorrento, Italy sometime around the 11th Century. How does this square with Rabbi Aiello's suggestion that the Aiello stock first came to Italy as a result of the Spanish Inquisition, which occurred centuries after the first instance of the Aiello name in Southern Italy?
“Deep down in the ‘toe of the boot, there is a rich but nearly forgotten Jewish history,” says Aiello. In fact, modern historians now believe that prior to the Spanish Inquisition that reached into Sicily and Calabria, nearly 50 per cent of the population of the entire region was Jewish.” http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/2008/01/florida-italian-americans-jewish-roots.htmlhttp://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/2008/01/florida-italian-americans-jewish-roots.html
Of course General Aiello -- if such a person existed -- could have been an early arrival from Spain. But I would need more evidence to make a call either way.
For my part, my family are devout Catholics, and I have never heard the theory that Aiello's are Sephardic Jews.
Interesting, but not conclusive! Maybe a genetic profile would clarify the situation?