Mother Cabrini opened an orphanage in the French Quarter in 1892 As a Yellow Fever Epedemic was leaving many orphans in New Orleans, Mother Cabrini arrived. In 1904, she received $75,000.00 from Captain Salvatore Pizzati to build a new orphange which is became Cabrini High School in 1959. Records show that 7,849 people died in New Orleans in 1853 d...

In the arc of my family’s history, there have been many hardships—grueling emigration, job loss, war, poverty—much of which I can’t fully relate to. But in the growing crisis that has paralyzed Italy, the U.S. and much of the world, I now have a glimpse at just one of many unforgiving realities that our ancestors faced for much of their lives. It g...

A native of Toronto, Joseph Yanuziello is the master craftsman behind some of the world’s most sought-after guitars. In the boutique guitar marketplace, where instruments routinely command $5,000 or more, Joseph Yanuziello’s instruments have become so popular you might think his company’s motto is “sold out.” As fast as he can build his stunning in...

Born in Italy and trained by the Army as a cameraman, Gino Bartucci toured the country photographing atomic bombs, filming bombers flying overhead and helping create documentaries. Gino Bartucci was born in Malvitani di Rende, a small village in Calabria. Of the nine children born to Vincenzo and Maria Carmella (Pisello) Bartucci, six survived infa...

If any language proves that there’s room at the linguistic table for everyone… it’s Italian! This week, we continue our examination of the languages of Italy as we take a closer look at her many Regional Languages and Dialects, including the unique blend of Italian and English spoken by Italian Americans through the generations. We’ll discuss the s...

In continuing the series on the lives of my great-grandparents, I bring you the story of how in 1893 my Italian great-grandfather, Michele Lombardi, arrived in the United States at the age of 9 with his mother. The following is in his own words, from the “Rambling Episode” he wrote in 1969 about his life. “We went by train from Isernia to Naples an...

Twenty-one-year-old S. Z. Poli came to America in 1881 with little more than the ability to carve lifelike figures from wax. He parlayed that skill into a theatrical empire and prestige in his adopted home of New Haven. Players like Houdini, Sophie Tucker and George M. Cohan performed for working-class immigrants in his magnificent theaters through...

Italian Americans have made their mark on American history since arriving from Italy during the late 1880’s. By 1920, more than four million Italians called the U.S. their home. While the majority suffered prejudice and hardships, many were able to turn those difficult times into prosperity. Notable Italian immigrants and children of immigrants bec...

It’s often said that language is the living history of a people, and the Italian language has had a very exciting life! In this week’s episode, we dive into the history of the Italian language, from its Latin roots to its standardization straight through to its evolution into the languages of Italy’s 100 million person diaspora.  Our team also disc...

Mass immigration changed the face of America forever. The tidal wave of immigrants coming to America from Europe (1880-1910) transformed an English-dominated, American culture into a melting pot of refugees and renegades in search of new opportunities and a new way of life.  “When Irish, German, Italian and other European immigrants came to the Uni...