Husband and wife Chris and Alana Loreto first traveled to Italy in search of their Italian roots in 2014. That very special trip took place in Abruzzo, where Chris’ maternal grandparents came from. They were both from the tiny village of Ofena and immigrated to Timmins, Canada, separately in the 1930s. Their marriage was arranged, but they didn’t k...

When Beverly Paladeni Riter retired from a career in public health in 1995, there were no rocking chairs or fuzzy slippers awaiting her. Instead, the mother of three put her nursing talents to use, volunteering with the American Red Cross and other organizations to provide disaster relief in the US and abroad.  There was plenty to do. In 2001, Rite...

As a third generation Italian American born in the baby boomer era, I remember growing up getting bits and pieces of my family roots from my parents about my paternal and maternal grandparents who emigrated from Southern Italy around 1910.  My Aunts and Uncles of the second generation also provided me insight into their early upbringing as children...

“Mio Dio!” (Oh my God!) - these are the words Janet Badia most associates with her first trip to Italy to discover her family’s roots; as she recalls, “they capture both the surprise and delight of an incredible adventure.” Janet traveled to Italy with her sister Lisa for the first time in 2012. Growing up immersed in the local Italian American com...

“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...

On Law & Order: SVU (and its upcoming spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime), Chris Meloni portrays no-nonsense NYPD officer Elliot Stabler. But on the latest episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots, airing Feb. 9, it’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. who plays detective as he digs into Meloni’s family history and uncovers some surprising truths about th...

My husband and I planned our first trip to Italy quite a few years ago. We wanted to see all the touristy spots, such as Rome, Florence, and Venice. At the time, I had family in Italy that I had never met, and Bill encouraged me to try to contact a cousin in Italy with whom I was a childhood pen pal. The last contact I’d had with Franco was back in...

In celebration of Italian American Heritage Month, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) and Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) present: My Roots, My Heritage, a free and interactive genealogy webinar designed to help you discover your family’s origins and unique story. Whether you are curious about your family’s early years,...

If you happen to work for the federal government, then you have a day off from work today, in honor of Columbus Day. You might want to use part of this holiday to come by your Main or South Abilene Public Libraries to find some good books, movies or more about Italy and/or the contributions Italian-Americans have made to our culture, food and more....

Nearly three years ago, I started writing this monthly column on how to research your Italian roots. I thought it might be useful to revisit the initial column which provided some tips for those who are just starting out. Learning about your ancestors can be extremely interesting and extremely frustrating at the same time, but I can tell you from o...