Italianità: The Essence of Being Italian and Italian-American

Whether we hail from Napoli or New York, Bari or Boston, Poughkeepsie or Palermo, there is a special quality that binds us – Italiani nel Mondo – together.

And that agent is Italianità, the essence of being Italian.

We are all Italian, but trying to define exactly what that means – what makes us all part of one global family – well, that can be a little tougher.

In this book, William Giovinazzo explores the culture and history of Italians and Italian-Americans, from the time when the Greeks first colonized Italy, to the influx of Italian immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, to John Travolta strutting his stuff in a New York disco.

In an insightful and entertaining journey, which also takes in food, religion, relationships, and – of course – the Mafia, we explore how the two groups are the same and how they differ. Ultimately, we discover how Italianità is a complex and multifaceted entity; it’s what makes Italian and Italian-American societies the wonderful, life-affirming, vibrant cultures that they are.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Awakening

Chapter 2: Italy! What a Concept!

Chapter 3: To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Chapter 4: What Shall We Do With The Dago?

Chapter 5: What is an Italian?

Chapter 6: Italian Steel

Chapter 7: At the Table, No One Grows Old

Chapter 8: The Beautiful Language

Chapter 9: The Donation of Constantine

Chapter 10: The Beautiful People of Palermo’s Prison

Epilogue: Italianità


Foreword by Anthony Fasano, host of The Italian American Podcast, and author of Forty Days in Italy Con La Mia Famiglia.


“In this love letter to his heritage, William Giovinazzo explores the essence of “being Italian.” Describing Italianita as a flowing river, he leads readers along its many branches – history, tradition, religion, culture – and delves deeply into the many facets of the Italo-American experience. Written from the heart, with passion as well as erudition, Italianita should be required reading for every Italian-American as well as for all who strive to live with Italians’ joyful sense of abundance and appreciation. Bravo!”

Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua and the forthcoming La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World


Italian-American History | Little Italy

Author: William Giovinazzo

Published September 17th 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781911121565 | Print and eBook formats available.

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Book Categories: History, Italian-American, People and Travel.