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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!


Green, White, and Red
Italian American culture is rich and varied. Check out these other About.com resources on National Italian American Heritage Month. And remember, your family doesn't have to be from the "old country" to celebrate!
 
 
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Discussions and Local Resources
Italian American Unity
"With all the contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States, we should start to voice our concerns like other minority groups. Unity is crucial for our socio-political survival and we must organize to ensure our rights and that we have been heard. Viva Italia!"
   
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