Italians have greatly contributed to science, arts, technology, cuisine, sports and banking worldwide. Italian people are also known for their attention to clothing and family values.
In addition to the 60 million Italians living in
Italy, it is estimated that nearly 80 million people of full or part Italian ancestry live outside of Italy, mostly in South America, North America, Australia and Europe. Here are countries that have Italian blood:
1.Brazil 25 million, 2.Argentina 20 million, 3. USA 18 million, 4. France 4 million,
5.Canada 1.5 million, 6.Uruguay 1.3 million, 7.
850 000, 8.Venezuela 700 000 Australia
700 000, 10. Germany 600 000, 11. Switzerland 500 000, Peru
400 000, 13.Belgium 290 000, 14. United Kingdom 150 000, 15. Chile 100 000, Paraguay
45 000, 17. South Africa 30 000, 17. Holland 20 000, 18. Mexico 20 000. Costa Rica
A major wave of Italian immigrants came to
America during the 1880’s through the 1920’s, after Italy’s unification in1861, when over 4 million Italians entered the . However the impact was far greater in countries like United States Brazil and . The first Italian immigrants to Argentina America were from northern Italy, Veneto, Friuli, Lombardia and Piemonte. They were followed by people from southern Italy: Sicily, Calabria, Campania and . Abruzzi
Italian immigrants were originally discriminated against. In fact, there was a time when speaking Italian was a crime. It is ironic when we consider that
was named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer and geographer. America
Italians and their descendants in
America helped shape the country and contributed to the advancement in the quality of life in the . They gained prominence in politics, sports, media, fine arts, culinary arts and in many other fields of endeavor. No wonder that every year the United States President signs an executive order designating the month of October as the National Italian American Heritage Month. This proclamation is recognition of the many achievements and contributions of Italian Americans. US
Here is a short list of prominent Italian American personalities among many other great Italian legends: Rodolfo Valentino, Fiorello La Guardia, Gerardine Ferraro, Nancy Pelosi, Mario and Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Antonio Meucci, Ghirardelli, Enrico Fermi, Enrico Caruso, Antonin Scalia, John Sirica, Madonna, Susan Lucci, Susan Sarandon, Anne Bancroft, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo Di Caprio, Danny De vito, Al Pacino, Alan Alda, Sonny Bono, Danny Aiello, Ben Gazzara, Ernest Borgnine, Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perri Como, Julius La Rosa, Louis Prima, Connie Francis, Annette Funicello, Henri Mancini, Guy Lombard, Liberace, Tony Danza, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Yogi Berra, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Di Magio, Tony La Russe, Primo Carnera, Rocky Marciano.
I would like to add two names that are not well known but noteworthy nonetheless: Adelina Patti, a soprano who, while singing at the White House, touched the heart of President Abraham Lincoln, and Amadeo Giannini who founded The Bank of Italy in 1904 in
. San Francisco
It served working class citizens of the area, especially Italian Americans living in
San Francisco’s area. In 1928, The Bank of Italy merged with the smaller Bank of North Bay . In 1930 Giannini changed the name Bank of Italy to Bank of America . America
Today the Italians are the 5th largest ethnic group in the
after the Germans, Irish, English and Africans. Thanks to various organizations, such as the Italian American Heritage Commission in New Jersey, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in Washington D.C. and US
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marini New York University, Italian culture is florishing in the USA.