Being born into a loving Sicilian-Louisiana family, nurtured within the heart of New Orleans’ multicultural mélange of fabulous food, music, art and celebrations, gave me a perspective that I now acknowledge as truly extraordinary! Earliest memories are sensuous–fresh-baked schicciata, earthy pan bread pressed to perfection by loving hands, pungent...

When I was a young boy, our family schedule on Sundays always included a trip to my grandmother’s (Nana’s) home along with all 32 cousins and 22 aunts and uncles. Typically, the adults enjoyed Italian desserts and loud discussions around the table, while the cousins played outside or in Nana’s basement. Part of her basement décor was a portrait lin...

Mimmo Gangemi ritorna in libreria con Il popolo di mezzo, un bellissimo libro in cui riprende il tema dell’emigrazione italiana in America che già aveva trattato con successo nel romanzo La signora di Ellis Island. Una “storia d’amore e di anarchia” ma anche di risentimento, frustrazione e di forte odio degli immigrati italiani verso il nuovo Conti...

It has been ten years since I moved to Rome but I have yet to sit down and write out exactly how I did it. That is partly because I believe that the individual reasons and ways that people move are so personal they are impossible to replicate. That being said, it is the question that I get from non-Europeans most often: how did you do it? You can l...

Even though only 25 percent of my DNA leads back to Italy, I have always considered myself Italian. Given my surname, everyone assumes I’m pure Italian. (Everyone except my Irish mother who always reminded me that the majority of my roots lay in Ireland.) The fact that I grew up in a part of Illinois inhabited by few Italians did nothing to separat...

A former quarry on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa will be transformed into a natural theater and a memorial dedicated to all those who have died trying to reach the Italian island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The island’s mayor, Totò Martello, announced that the memorial will be paid for by the municipality and will be constructed betw...

Italy is a country with one of the largest historical diasporas. In the past forty years, it has also turned into a country of immigration, while continuing to be a point of departure. Since the 2010s, the number of Italians emigrating abroad has visibly grown in size. What are the characteristics of this new phenomenon, and how does it differ from...

As we all continue to navigate these times that are so unprecedented in so many different ways, we continue to search out those moments that give our lives a sense of normalcy. And humor. Here’s a recent one for me: With my dad having been born in Italy, I have lived my 60 years savoring many of the traditions that go along with that: Large — and l...

“The moment we spotted Pienza from the road, perfectly placed atop the rolling Tuscan hills, I was transfixed. We pulled over to take in the first view of my ancestral town. It was so quiet and the air around me was thick with the smell of burning olive branches. I just knew that was the exact same view that my ancestors saw when riding their horse...

ANGELO PELLEGRINI, fond of wearing basil as a boutonniere, was fonder still of the Italian bean he called “monachine.” It grew like Jack’s beanstalk astride Northwest cedar poles and, like Pellegrini, aged well in its adopted country. He always ate them slowly, mashing each brown-and-white orb with the tines of his fork, swiped through a smear of o...