If you happen to work for the federal government, then you have a day off from work today, in honor of Columbus Day. You might want to use part of this holiday to come by your Main or South Abilene Public Libraries to find some good books, movies or more about Italy and/or the contributions Italian-Americans have made to our culture, food and more. Or perhaps your ancestry includes branches in Italy – we can help there too!
The Family Tree Italian Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Family Tree in Italy by Melanie D. Holtz is an in-depth guide to walk you through the journey of tracing your Italian family both in the United States and in Italy.
The book’s description says “you'll find: Basic information on starting your family history research, including how to trace your immigrant ancestor back to Italy; Strategies for uncovering genealogy records (including passenger lists, draft cards and birth, marriage and death records) from both the United States and Italy, with annotated sample records; Crash-course guides to Italian history, geography and names; Helpful Italian genealogical word lists and Sample letters for requesting records from Italian archives.”
This is a book that might ignite your passion for genealogy!
Your library certainly has a plethora of Italian cookbooks from such folks as Lidia Bastianich, Rachel Ray, Buddy Valastro, Giada De Laurentiis, Mario Batali and more, with wonderful recipes to try. But perhaps you’d rather learn how Italian food came to be one of the world’s most popular cuisines.
How Italian Food Conquered the World by John F. Mariani is a fascinating look at how Italian immigrants to America created, through perseverance and sheer necessity, an Italian-American food culture and how it became a global obsession.
In Sprezzatura: 50 ways Italian Genius Shaped the World by Peter D'Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish, 50 chronological essays tell us about Italian cultural achievements that have impacted us. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), “Sprezzatura” is a book you can enjoy in small bites and get a lot out of.
From art to food, music to literature, Italians have contributed a great deal to make this country what it is today. Even if you’re not ethnically Italian, on Columbus Day, everyone can celebrate and embrace their inner "spirito italiano" — and your Abilene Public Library can help!
Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager, Main Library