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Our History

This section consists of several articles about the history of our area of origin, links to web sites pertaining to Italian Immigration to the USA, and references to books of interest on the subject.   Papers
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sannicola.jpg Historical Notes about the Churches of Massa
by Michele Di Leone

This article was reviewed by Michele Di Leone, Anna Di Leone’s father. It was published by the Pro Loco of Massia di Faicchio paper the “Acer” No 4 Sept 2003. It takes us through the history, achitecture and traditions of the churches of Massa where many Cofrancesco were Christened, married, worshipped etc.

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(Available in English soon)

cosimogiordano.jpg A Manuscript of 12 September 1862
by Michele Di Leone

A very interesting article written by Michele Di Leone about Cosimo Giordano, one of the most famous "briganti", and his relations with the people living in the area of Massa after the unification of Italy.

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(Available in English soon.)

massa_carcara.jpg The Industry of Lime and Charcoal
at Massa di Faicchio
by Michele Di Leone

Another article by Michele Di Leone, published by the Pro Loco of Massia di Faicchio paper the “Acer". This time he tells us about the industry of lime and charcoal, developed in Massa di Faicchio in the mid of last century, in which  Michele Cofrancesco had a special role.

0136_fat_arrow.pngRead full paper...  

(Available in English soon.)


Italian Immigration
to the USA
You can visit the following web sites to have more information and other resources about Italian immigration to the USA.

Italian Immigrants at Ellis Island
  Link   Italian Immigrants
Pictures of italian immigrants in the United States.

  Link   Why Italians Come Over
An article of the New York Times, October 28, 1888.

  Link   The Barge Office - 1898
An article titled "The Arrival of the Immigrant" by Cromwell Childe in the New York Times Magazine, August 14, 1898.

  Link   Immigration Web Resources (Cyndi's List)
A great list of links about immigration (and more...)

Learn More

The Italian Heritage The following books provide valuable and fascinating information about the history of Italy and the immigration of Italians to the United States.  They are of interest to the descendants of Italian immigrants as well as to Italians who chose to remain in their native land.

Travellers bullet-red-10.png  BOOK

A Traveller's History of Italy
by Lintner, Valerio

A Traveller’s History of Italy covers the period from 200,000 BC through modern Italy. Obviously this paperback volume cannot provide a detailed historical record, however it does a creditable job of bridging the gap between voluminous historical textbooks and the historical “notes” that one often sees in the typical travel guides to Italy.

It is ideal for the serious traveler who wants the “back-story” of the places he is going to visit. What it does not do, nor is it intended to do, is to provide detailed information about the various ancient ruins, churches, and other destinations that a typical tourist wants to see. Rather it provides a historical framework into which a serious traveler can place what he is seeing into a broader context.

In addition to the text, it contains a historical gazetteer of important cities and towns cross-referenced to the main text; and a list of Emperors, Popes, and Heads of State, as well as an extensive chronology of major events in the history of Italy.

To purchase this book click
here. bullet-red-10.png  BOOK

La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience
by Mangione, Jerre and Morreale, Ben

Harper-Collins Publishers, Inc, 1992

This book spans from the time when Italian explorers first crossed the Atlantic to 1990.  It paints a vivid picture of the events in Italy leading up to the Risorgimento, the unification, and the disillusionment that resulted in the great migration.  La Storia continues with the immigrant struggles in a new land and concludes with their successes and the great contributions that Italians have made to the United States.

Click here to purchase this book. bullet-red-10.png  BOOK

The Italian American Experience in New Haven: Images and oral histories. 
by Riccio, Anthony V.

State University of New York, Albany, 2006
Based largely on interviews with Italian Americans living in New Haven, Connecticut, this book traces the immigration of Italians who found work at the 800 firms during the 1900 to 1920s in this bustling manufacturing town.  By 1900, over 5000 Italians lived in New Haven.  By some estimates their number grew to as high as 60,000 by 1920!  Readers will find the stories told in the peoples own words, and accompanied by photographs, to be of great interest.  Their experiences were paralleled in immigrant towns throughout the United States.  Mention is made of immigrants from San Lorenzello, but no Cofrancescos are named.  However the New Haven Directory of 1928 lists 25 Cofrancesco families, with some of the men employed in New Haven factories. 

Click here to purchase this book.

the_scattered-small.jpg bullet-red-10.png  BOOK

The Scattered Italians Reflections on a Heroic Journey
by Gambino, Thomas

Author House, 2007 
This is a is wide ranging, if somewhat unusual, book by a second generation Italian American, raised in New York by his mother and her Sicilian father. This close contact with his maternal grandfather, and later with his father and Sicilian paternal grandparents who lived nearby, provided Thomas Gambino with an intense exposure to Italian culture and values that shaped his entire life. He made innumerable visits to his homeland, lived and worked in Rome for seven years, and became an Italian citizen in 2005. Presently living in Hawaii, he plans to live some of his later years in Italy.

His book briefly recounts the history of Italy as it relates to the development of the character of the Italian people and the events leading to the diaspora (scattering) of the Southern Italians following the Risorgimento, in search of a better way of life. He traces his life from growing up in a cold water flat in Brooklyn through college and then 34 years in the airline industry, which gave him the opportunity to travel extensively to Italy as well as other countries throughout the world.

Mr. Gambino presents his views of the present political and economic conditions of modern day Italy and the challenges the Country now faces. The author, displaying his Sicilian heritage, is at times blunt, direct, and opinionated, but always informative and thought provoking: a book well worth reading.

Click here to purchase this book.

Emigrant Nation
bullet-red-10.png BOOK

Emigrant Nation: The making of Italy Abroad
by Choate, Mark I.

Between 1880 and 1915 some 13 million Italians left their homeland and immigrated to the Unites States, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries. Officials of the newly unified Italy sought to maintain a connection among the “little Italys” throughout the world, and to their motherland, by establishing educational, cultural, business, and financial links. Perhaps one of the most well known institutions to emerge was the Bank of Italy, established by the Italian immigrant Amadeo Giannini in 1904, to serve the Italians who settled in San Francisco, California. In 1930 this bank became the Bank of America.

This book explores the various institutions and programs that were to emerge, and the debate that took place in Italy over priorities and the emigrants best interest.

The following link provides access to an extensive review of this book, and places where a copy can be purchased.

  Link   Emigrant Nation

bullet-red-10.png BOOK

An Italian in America
by Severgnini, Beppe

Rizzoli (Milan, Italy), 2001
Beppe Severgnini, a well-known Italian journalist, and his wife Ortensia, lived in Georgetown, Washington D.C., USA for a year in the mid 1990s. This book recounts, in an insightful and humorous way, the differences he found between the American and Italian way of life. The American reader will be surprised to learn that things we take for granted are found strange or unusual to an Italian. Conversely, the Italian reader will discover information about the American way of life that he does not find in tourist guides. Available in Italian and English.

  Link   Un Italiano in America

  Link   An Italian in America

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 September 2010 )

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