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...

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...

From a rustic, tiny synagogue she fashioned from her family’s ancestral home in this mountain village, an American rabbi is keeping a promise made to her Italian-born father: reconnect people in this southern region of Calabria to their Jewish roots, links nearly severed five centuries ago when the Inquisition forced Jews to convert to Christianity...

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...

The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” can literally apply to my vintage Leto family portrait (circa 1923). This famiglia photo of my Italian immigrant grandparents and their second-generation children tells a cherished story. This well-staged family portrait is a precious heirloom, a museum-quality artifact, a forever keepsake t...

On Dec. 19, 1921, Gary Zuchelli’s grandfather, Guido Zucchelli, came to America looking for new opportunities. On the same date, 100 years later, his family came together to celebrate just that. “He came over from Pranzo, Italy,” Gary said. “When he was born, the land was under the control of Austria, but it was included in the land given to Italy...

In celebration of Italian Heritage Month last fall, the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA) held a members-only Family Photo Contest in partnership with My Italian Family, who donated a Genealogy Research Package worth $3,000 to be awarded to the contest winner. OSDIA’s National Office received hundreds of captivating submissions a...

My Roots, My Heritage is an interactive webinar led by Marianna Gatto, historian and executive director of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles. This webinar is designed for those interested in discovering their family’s origins. Whether you are curious about your family’s early years, wish to identify your ancestors, locate familial villages...

For many people, just to hear the voice of a loved one again is worth more than gold itself. When historian and author Anthony V. Riccio set out to record Italian immigrant stories in Boston’s North End nearly 40 years ago, he did not know that these voices would one day prove to be that gold not just for the immigrants’ families, but for all those...

Italian immigrants in the United States are often thought of as clusters of Catholics who congregate in communities to preserve their culture and religion. In truth, the history of Italian immigration to this country is much more diverse and complex than the stereotype. This week will focus on the primary immigration routes of Italians for the last...