Why Millions Fled Southern Italy and Sparked the Creation of Italian America

In 1860 Italy had Europe’s lowest rate of emigration, but over the next 50 years, the country would lose nearly 40% of its population—here's why.

In celebration of Italian American Heritage Month, our favorite moderator John M. Viola was invited to speak to the Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation (NOIA Foundation) about the history of Southern Italy and its impact on the Italian American story.

Recorded from a live presentation, join our friends in Cleveland as they explore a brief history of a united Southern Italy, from the Golden Age of the Norman Kingdom, through the Bourbon era and the end of the Kingdom’s 731 year sovereignty.

In this beginners overview of two of the most dynamic and important periods of the history of the Two Sicilies, you’ll discover some fascinating historic trivia, and as John shares the shocking statistics of what the South was really like on the eve of the Risorgimento, you’ll begin to understand the long-lost counter-history that explains why the nation that in 1860 had Europe’s lowest rate of emigration, would lose nearly 40% of its population within 50 years of the Italian Reunification.

Listen to the podcast here. 

Share your favorite recipe, and we may feature it on our website.

Join the conversation, and share recipes, travel tips and stories.