The Italian Legacy
If you grew up in an Italian family in a country other than Italy, you may not realize that your family is part of one of the largest migration phenomena in modern history. Between 1861 and 1985, over 29 million Italians left their homeland in search of a better life. This site is dedicated to those families and their descendants.
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Italian immigrants grew up as citizens of a new country, absorbing its history and culture and often knowing very little of the country their ancestors fled. Too often, the impoverished immigrants were treated as undesirables, and, responding to a fear of rejection, their children quickly distanced themselves from their origins, changing their names to more acceptable versions, and working hard to 'fit in' with the people around them.
After one or two generations, family members identified completely with the new country. For many today, their knowledge of Italian culture is limited to a taste for Italian food, or an appreciation of Italian cars, fashion or art.
Assimilation is a natural process, and is not, in any way, a negative part of the migration experience. At the same time, there are many organizations around the world that work to maintain a connection to their Italian roots, believing that this is an enriching experience for everyone involved. Italian festivals are a great example of families celebrating their heritage while still appreciating the country where they live.
This site is for people with Italian ancestry who know very little of the country that shaped their family's beliefs, attitudes and points of view. Italy is an amazing place, a small land mass in the center of southern Europe that has produced a disproportionate number of creative geniuses, and contributed much to the world we know. Just how much, you'll discover from browsing these pages.
Why Is Italian Culture So Influential?
Because the Italian peninsula sits squarely in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, its peoples have been center stage for the drama that is European history, and consequently have often played a pivotal role. From the classical Greek period through the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, and continuing into the 21st century, Italians have made major contributions to every human endeavor.
The Italians have never been a people to rest on their laurels. Their inquisitive natures and restless minds compel them to invent, create and explore.
Someone once joked that Italians are forever chasing perfection. That may well be the case, but the end result is that, in so many ways, the world is a better place. On this site we'll take you on a journey through the many manifestations of this obsession, from the timeless creations of Italian art through to the everyday pleasures of Italian cuisine.
Are You An Italian-American? Italian-Australian? Italian-New Zealander?
Italian immigration is not a recent phenomenon. Throughout recorded history, Italians have traveled to every corner of the earth. There are people of Italian descent in most countries, many of whom have never seen Italy. But in some way or another, they often retain traits that are quintessentially Italian, whether it be an independent spirit, an artistic flair, or a tendency to dramatize everyday events.
Because of political and economic conditions, or sometimes just for the sake of adventure, many Italians left their homeland to pursue their fortunes in other countries. An Italian may have been born a peasant in his own country, due to circumstances beyond his control. But put him in a new situation in a new country with better opportunities for advancement and he'll reach for the stars, if not for himself then certainly for his children. The achievements of Italians in countries like the Americas, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, are ample evidence of their ability to thrive when presented with a second chance.
This site celebrates all things Italian, from art and music, food and wine, to fashion and fast cars. It's a thank you to our families for braving the challenges of starting a new life on foreign soil, yet passing on to us a rich and colorful heritage from the 'old country'.
So grab a cup of Italian coffee and take a journey with us through the wonderful world of The Italian Legacy.
- The Italian Legacy Blog
- The Italian Legacy blog will keep you of up to date on changes to the site. Join us in celebrating all things Italian.
- Site Map: Your Guide To The Italian Legacy Site
- The Italian Legacy site map lists all the current pages on the site.
- A Brief History Of Italy: Italian History Highlights
- Our brief history of Italy looks at the events that made Italy the nation that it is today.
- A Brief History Of Rome: The History Of The Eternal City
- This brief history of Rome reveals the intermingling of myth and reality which is very much a part of the city's persona.
- A Brief History Of Florence: Birthplace Of The Renaissance
- Our brief history of Florence tells the story of an obscure Roman soldriers' refuge that became the catalyst for the Renaissance and the banking epicenter of Europe.
- Pompeii: The Eruption Of Vesuvius And Its Aftermath
- The Vesuvius eruption which destroyed Pompeii has fascinated people for centuries, making the Pompeii ruins one of italy's most popular tourist attractions.
- Aeolian Islands: Italy's Volcanic Hideaways
- The Aeolian Islands, located off the northeastern coast of Sicily, are one of Italy's best kept secrets.
- Italian Immigration: The Great Italian Diaspora
- Italian immigration patterns peaked in the 19th and 20th centuries. Discover how many Italians actually live abroad.
- Italian Immigration To America: Italians In The USA
- Italian immigration to America peaked in the 20th century. By 1978 there were over five million Italians living in the USA.
- Italians In New Zealand: Italian Migration To The South Pacific
- The Italians in New Zealand are a small but thriving community, contributing enormously to the fishing, agricultural and mining industries, as well as the multicultural lifestyle.
- The New Zealand Italians: Books On Their Stories
- The history of the New Zealand Italians is well chronicled in two great books - Alla Fine Del Mondo and Famiglie Strombolani.
- Italian Culture: What's Important In Italian Life
- Italian culture looks at how Italians live and what's important to them.
- Italian Art: Etruscan Art & Roman Art
- Italian art has its source in prehistoric times, but it's the later developments, from Ancient Rome through to the Renaissance, that have had a lasting impact.
- The Italian Language: Learn How To Speak Italian
- The Italian language has long been considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Here's how to learn the basics quickly and easily.
- Italian Music: The Various Forms Of Italian Music
- Are you a fan of Italian music? Whether you love opera, the classics, rock or rap, most likely there was an Italian involved somewhere in the mix,
- Italian TV: The Best Of Italian Television
- Many Italian TV shows are now available on DVD with English subtitles. Here is our current list of must-see Italian television programs.
- Italian Fashion Designers: Our Top Six Selection
- Italian fashion designers are among the most sought-after in the world. Here is our selection of the top six best known Italian fashion houses.
- Italian Jewelry Designers: Our Top 8 Italian Jewelry Designers
- Italian jewelry designers enjoy a stellar reputation worlwide. Here's our list of top Italian jewelry designers.
- Italian Cars: The Top 6 Italian Car Manufacturers
- For fans of Italian cars, here are the top six Italian car manufacturers.
- Italy Travel: Planning Your Italian Vacation
- Here is a list of our Italy travel pages to help you plan your itinerary.
- Italy Trips: 10 Must-See Locations In Italy
- When planning Italy trips, whether it's your first or your tenth, it's useful to have a good idea what's on offer in the various regions. Here are our Top 10 Italy trips.
- Hotels In Italy: How To Find The Right Italian Hotel
- Looking for hotels in Italy? Try our all-in-one search system to locate the best Italian hotels.
- World Heritage UNESCO Sites - Europe
- Here is a recent list of the World Heritage UNESCO sites in Europe
- World Heritage UNESCO Sites - Italy
- Italy has the largest number of World Heritage sites in Europe. Here is the list by region.
- Rome Tourist Attractions: Our Top 10 List
- If you have only a short time in Rome, we've put together our list of top 10 Rome tourist attractions.
- Study In Italy: Take A Learning Vacation In Italy
- There are a variety of ways to study in Italy, from taking formal classes to going on a cooking vacation. Here are some ideas on how to study in Italy.
- Couch Surfing In Italy: Getting To Know The Locals
- Couch surfing is an enjoyable way for the adverturous traveler to see the real Italy.
- A Walking Tour In Italy: Three Of The Best Walks
- Thinking of trying a walking tour in Italy? Here are two of the best walks for beginners.
- Cooking Vacation: Take A Cooking Vacation In Italy
- If you love cooking and want an experience to remember, make your next holiday a cooking vacation in Italy.
- An Italian Cuisine History: The Events Behind The Recipes
- Our Italian cuisine history looks at the histories of Italy's 20 regions and how culture influences cuisine.
- Italian Recipes: Two Great Collections of Italian Recipes
- Our collection of Italian recipes offers a variety of dishes from every Italian region.
- Italian Recipe: Chicken And Cheese Dumpling Soup
- This simple Italian recipe, chicken and cheese dumpling soup, is a tasty winter treat for family and friends.
- Italian Genealogy: Researching Your Italian Family Tree
- If you're about to get involved in Italian genealogy, her are some resources that will help you trace your family tree.
- Italian News: Today's News From Italy
- If you're interested in what's happening in Italy, our Italian news feed will bring you the daily highlights.
- Italian Recipes
- Books On Italy
- Italian Music Downloads
- Affiliate Links: A Brief Explanation Of Affiliate Programs
- Affiliate links explained...
- About Us: The Italian Legacy
- Meet the people behind the Italian Legacy web site.<br>
- Contact Us
- Contact us with your comments, questions or requests.
- Invitation Page: Share Your Information
- On this invitation page, you'll see a form where you can share original articles, tell us your story or that of your family, or simply share your favorite Italian recipe.
- Italian Legacy Advertising Rates
- If you have a complementary site and would like to advertise on one of our pages, here are the Italian Legacy advertising rates.
- Airport Transfer Bookings: Book Online Here
- To save time and avoid stress, book your airport transfer service direct to your accommodation.
- Puglia Holidays: Discovering Italy's Hidden Treasures
- Italy is so much more than Rome, Venice and Florence. Puglia holidays are designed to explore the stunning landscapes of one of Italy's more picturesque southern regions.