Click here for genuine Italian leather bags, Murano glass, olive wood products and hand painted ceramics

Italian Ancestry, Italian diaspora, emigration from italy

Profile Menu
Genuine Italian Gifts
Profile Information
Facts & Figures
Area: 301,225 km²
Population: 60,157,214
Capital: Rome
Currency: Euro (€)
Calling code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Italian Flag
Italian Coat of Arms
Jack of the Italian Navy
Current time in Italy
Euro exchange rates
Weather in Italy
Profile Menu
Genuine Italian Gifts
Italian Migration
In the century following the Unification of Italy, nearly 30 million Italians emigrated. Although approximately 10 million returned to Italy, approximately 20 million settled permanently abroad.

Although the driving force was obviously poverty, there were several underlying causes for this. Unification caused a collapse of the feudal land system that had operated in the south of Italy since the Middle Ages. The redistributed land rarely ended up in the hands of the small farmers, who found it increasingly difficult to survive on the small, infertile plots that remained.

The improvement in general conditions in the south that followed Unification led to a population boom, forcing new generations to emigrate.

Lawlessness, rampant disease and punitive taxes made the idea of living in other countries more appealing and, as money filtered back from previous generations of emigrants, the exodus grew.

The arrival of the Fascist movement caused another wave of emigration, although this slowed for a while when Mussolini actually came to power. Finally, the desperate condition of post-war Italy led many more Italians to leave, this time there were many older relatives joining emigrants who had gone before.

United States

From the late 1800s, the United States were one of the main destinations for Italian emigrants, who mainly settled in New York, New Jersey, New England, Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Illinois.

Italian Ancestry, Italian diaspora, emigration from italy
Ellis Isand 1902

In total, about 5 million Italians immigrated and they are now the fourth largest ethnic group in the United States with over 17 million Americans claiming Italian ancestry.

Australia

Over 800,000 Australians claim Italian ancestry, with Italian being the second most widely spoken language, after English. Most of the immigrants arrived in the period following Unification.

The story of Italian migration to America
The story of Italian migration to Australia
'Stemme' - Italian Coats of Arms


A 'stemma' (pl.stemme) is the Italian word for 'coat of arms'. In Italy, every region, every province within that region and every commune within each province has its own coat of arms. That means that with 20 regions, 110 provinces and 8,100 comunes, there are a total of 8,230 Stemme to choose from!

This means that anyone with Italian ancestry has a unique 'coat of arms' that represents their heritage. There are many second and third generation Italians who have a great interest in their roots and in particular the area their ancestors came from. Although it is nearly always possible to find a printed version of the stemma of that area, they are often small and poorly done. We are offering a hand painted tile, supplied with or without a frame, of any stemma of your choice. The unframed tile can be inserted into a wall in either kitchen or bathroom and the framed tile makes an interesting and unusual picture to hang on the wall.

Find out more

Italian Ancestry, Italian diaspora, emigration from italy
You might also like...
  • The Mafia - Sacra Corona Unita
  • City of Catanzaro
  • Province of Naples
  • Golf in Italy
  • Ragu alla Bolognese
  • Pane Carasau
  • Mint
  • Province of Udine
  • Province of Piacenza
  • Region of Le Marche
Profile Information
Facts & Figures
Area: 301,225 km²
Population: 60,157,214
Capital: Rome
Currency: Euro (€)
Calling code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Italian Flag
Italian Coat of Arms
Jack of the Italian Navy
Current time in Italy
Euro exchange rates
Weather in Italy
Newsletter