The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” can literally apply to my vintage Leto family portrait (circa 1923). Therefore, you might say this famiglia photo of my Italian immigrant grandparents and their second-generation children has a story of at least a thousand words. Many of us who cherish and share our old family photos know th...

As many who know me know, I’m of Italian descent. My grandparents came from Italy, and we grew up in an Italian American home, with many Italian delicacies on our table, and many of the Italian influenced celebrations of holidays/feast days, but our family, like many of my schoolmates’ families, were proud to be Americans, just as much as being Ita...

Not every famous personality who hails from Abruzzo is known in that central Italian region. Yes, people over there have heard of Madonna, Dean Martin, Alan Alda, Henry Mancini, Mario Lanza, Al Martino, Perry Como, Bradley Cooper, Penny Marshall, and the like, all of whom have Abruzzese origins. In Abruzzo, people might even know of Florida governo...

Rising international migration flows have sparked a heated debate on the effects of immigrants on host societies. One recurring concern expressed by some native residents is that ethnic religious organisations might slow down immigrants’ willingness and ability to assimilate. Irrespective of their characteristics and the faith they are linked to, r...

On July 8th 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano returned to France after having roughly surveyed the entire east coast of North America from Florida to Newfoundland.  A few months earlier, he had entered New York Harbor – the first European to do so. Thanks to the late Italian American activist John LaCorte of Brooklyn, that arrival was m...

Many years ago, while interviewing my cousin Herby for family recollections, he had mentioned that our grandfather, Antimo (nicknamed “Tony”) operated a produce store, around the corner from Arthur Avenue (across from St.Barnabus Hospital.) *Note: The timeline for this story is around the mid to late 1950’s.* Herby clearly recalled the fact that, w...

This is the story of an heirloom that isn’t. Sometime around 1977, my mother painted a portrait of my grandmother, my father’s mother. The painting, oil on canvas, was pretty big, maybe two feet by three. My mother framed it in her workshop down in the cellar, and gave it to my grandmother, who hung it on a wall of her tiny, wooden house, one town...

In most peoples’ minds, the state of Connecticut has very WASPy (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) associations: Yale University; “lace-curtain” wealthy families; and a Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (courtesy of Mark Twain, who once lived in Hartford). But did you know that, per capita and based on population, it is a state with the highest concentrati...

The Migration Project, an international exhibition bringing together 10 artists from Seattle and Italy, will open in Perugia Sept. 2 through Oct. 9. Curated by Antonio Carlo Ponti, the exhibit can be seen at the Civic Museum, located in the Palazzo della Penna in the heart of the city. The Migration Project is a juried-art show that includes 10 art...

The majority of Italian immigrants in New Orleans were from Sicily and started to arrive in large numbers in the 1880s to escape a homeland that had fallen into a corrupt, dangerous, and unlawful state. They arrived in a city where previous Italian immigrants had established a decent-sized community, dating back to the French era. In fact, the Ital...