These pages are dedicated to the descendants of those Italians who crossed the ocean and emigrated to an unknown land leaving their town and their loved ones to look for a better future for themselves and their family.
As an Italian-American who was born in Italy and has traveled and worked there,
I am often surprised by the misconceptions that the descendants of Italian
immigrants have about Italy. Few speak the Italian language, some may recall a few words spoken in their families that may
very well have been from a dialect of the region their ancestors came from;
most are ignorant of modern Italian history and what little they know has
been colored by the not-too-flattering perceptions of fellow Americans
of other backgrounds. One thing, however, is readily apparent after briefly
talking with any of them: their pride about their ancestry tempered by
the tales of bigotry and prejudice that their immigrant ancestors had to
endure in the United States; shame for that treatment; and an avid interest
in Italy and the Italians as evidenced by their assiduous search for their roots. They may or may not know the reasons their families
migrated to the United States but they do know that in spite of the adversities,
through hard work and thriftiness, these families carved a good life for
themselves and their children.
No one can claim to fully understand Italy or the Italians. Indeed
Metternich, the Austrian foreign minister in the early 19th Century stated,
and perhaps rightly so, that Italy is "only a geographic expression". Understanding
Italy is not an easy thing to do, some would say an impossible thing to
do given the diversity of the country and the character of its population
shaped by Italy's mountainous topography which has made travel and communications
between regions almost impossible, the government of these regions by various
foreign nationalities, and the State of the Church which for all practical
purposes served as a wedge between the North and South of Italy.
With these pages, I hope to contribute to a better understanding
of Italy and Italians to the Italian-American Community and provide some
insight as to what is happening in Italy today and why.
To the Pages
Please send your comments or suggestions to:giovanni2ATgeocities.com
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