in central Italy has a population of around 1.3 million people today. However in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s there was a huge migration of its people to North America especially to USA. It reached its peak from 1900- 1915 with a huge exodus. Sadly the migration was driven by dire poverty and uneasy political situation where the poor peasants had very few rights under the old feudal system, not enough land to live off and to feed the large families. Going to America was a dream and the thought of travelling to New York to make their fortune was enough to send at least 500,000 Abruzzese to North America.
Other regions of Italy also saw huge numbers of migrants heading to USA and Canada in those years. The regions were from Fruili Venezia Giulia in the north of Italy to Sicily and Calabria in Italy’s south. This migration has been referred to as the Italian Diaspora
Migration then had another peak in the post second world war period especially in the 1950’s. Here many of the Abruzzese travelled to Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and of course Australia.
My father Sabatino and my mother Rosa were one of these migrants with a sponsored passage to Australia. This was in 1952 for my father and in 1956 for my mother.
Luciana researching for a client in the archives of a town hall in Abruzzo
Since I started my work in Abruzzo in 2004, I have had many many requests to research for clients the ancestral heritage and genealogy of family members. After detailed research and networking and piecing together information from documents and oral history I am able to reconnect children of Abruzzese migrants to their ancestral village.
This is particularly satisfying when my guests share this real emotional connection to their past and to their long lost family and creates memories to last a lifetime.
Here are some of the many villages I have had requests to research and reconnect:
Where is your family from?
Civitella del Tronto
Civitella Messer Raimondo
Fara San Martino
Roseto degli Abruzzi
Sant’Eufemia a Maiella
With virtually all my guests over the years, I find that this search and rediscovery in Abruzzo becomes the highlight of their Italian journey always wishing they had spent more time in beautiful Abruzzo. Come and discover YOUR ABRUZZO HERITAGE yourself.