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National Italian American Heritage Month

Celebrate the many achievements and successes of Italian Americans

Every year the U.S. president signs an executive order designating the month of October as National Italian American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America.

Over 5.4 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 1992. Today there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent in the United States, making them the fifth largest ethnic group. The country was even named after an Italian, the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci. One way to celebrate Italian American heritage is with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture, which includes the accomplishments and successes of many Italian Americans.

Federico Fellini, the movie director, once said that "language is culture and culture is the language," and nowhere is this more true than in Italy. There was a time when speaking Italian was considered a crime, but nowadays many Italian Americans are learning Italian to discover more about their family heritage. Looking for ways to identify, understand, and bond with their family's ethnic background, they getting in touch with their family heritage by learning their ancestors' native language.

Bel Canto, Bella Lingua
The term bel canto, "beautiful singing," has probably meant different things at different periods in music history, but its origins are shrouded in the past.

Learn Italian With Your Children
It's never too early to learn a foreign language, whether it's nursery rhymes, counting exercises, or children's songs.

History of the Italian Language
From a local Tuscan dialect to the language of a new nation.

That's Italian!

An Italian American Dinner Party
Here is a menu that will remind you of those delicious dinners at grandmother's house while growing up, complete with stracciatella, lasagna, and torta di ricotta.

Italian Genealogical Resources
How to find Italian records, research outlines, look up volunteers, articles, mailing lists, surnames, online databases, and Italian genealogy organizations and societies.

Everything You Need to Make an Authentic Italian Meal
Never cooked Italian? Here's how to organize an authentic Italian meal, what ingredients you'll need, recipes and even suggestions for kitchenware. Buon appetito!

Christopher Columbus
The navigator discovered the North American West Indies in 1942.

Family Crafts for Columbus Day
Crafts, games, and other activities to mark the Christopher Columbus celebration.

Italian Genealogy
Learn how to find Italian records, get free research tutorials and outlines for Italy, search free Italian genealogy databases, and earn about Italian naming patterns.

Italian Language Quiz
Ever wonder what "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" might look like if there were only Italian language questions? "Vuoi diventare miliardario?" Take the quiz and find out how you would do (there are no prizes, the L. amounts only indicate difficulty).

Italian Recipe Database
With recipes for antipasti, soups, pasta, main courses, and desserts.

Italian Wine and Wineries
A beginner's guide to Italian wines.

Italy For Romantics
The best places in Italy's for honeymoons, destination weddings, and romantic getaways.

Marconi: Grandfather of Wireless
History of the Italian scientist who discovered the radio.

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