Back to my roots: returning to Italy as an Italian American

Dec 28, 2022 568

BY: Gina Spinelli

Lately, I’ve got about 16+ tabs open in my browser at all times. There are a few duplicates–dedicated to the same family tree page on, a scan of my great-grandfather’s naturalization document, Google Translate, a Facebook group dedicated to Italian Americans pursuing Citizenship, a half-drafted email to the small commune where my great-grandparents lived requesting birth and marriage certificates, flight searches to Rome, The 1950 US Federal Census and multiple YouTube videos listing out “The best things about living in Italy.”

This array of tabs tells a contradicting story. It is one of arriving and leaving. In an effort to make a permanent move to Italy from the U.S., I am applying for my Italian citizenship through my lineage, or “de jure Sanguinis”. Doing so requires a deep dive into my heritage and ancestry. Early on, this quest became just as much about where my family came from as it is about where I’m going.

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