From Sassano to Chicago’s 48th & Federal Street: An Italian Migration at the Turn of the 20th Century

Jul 16, 2021 632

BY: John Cavallone

My journey started in the Fall of 2002 when my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, brought home a new history project from school.  The assignment: “Find out which ancestors came to America and Why.” I knew a little bit about my father’s paternal side, but not much.  By the time I was born, our family was 100% Americanized, though both of my parents were 100% Italian blood.  The language was not passed down nor many of the traditions.  For the families of both my parents, assimilating to the American culture was of high importance.

We visited my Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Rosario di Miele. Uncle Rosario was born in Sassano, Italy, migrated to Venezuela in the 1950s then came to Chicago in the ’60s. Aunt Rosemary is the family historian; she knew all about her grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and she was happy to pass the information to my daughter and I.

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