What Learning Italian Did For Me


My mother and me at the house where my grandfather and Aunt Jennie were born in 2005.

As Italian-American Heritage Month continues throughout the United States, we are also set to celebrate one very special week beginning on October 21– La Settimana della Lingua Italiana Nel Mondo, which celebrates the impact the Italian language has had around the world.

While learning Italian is something that many Italian-Americans choose to do to celebrate their heritage, there are some people who have a hard time learning foreign languages. I consider myself intelligent, but I can’t do math to save my life– I believe that the same principle applies for many people who, try as they might, just cannot seem to grasp the complexities of another language. This is one reason why I did not include “learn Italian” in my recent “Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month” post– I did not want to alienate anyone.

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Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month


October is Italian-American Heritage Month in the United States– designated as such to coincide with the celebration of Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus is credited with the discovery of the New World in 1492 and was born in Genoa.

There are more than 15 million Americans who identify themselves as Italian-American, which makes our ethnic group one of the most robust nationally. When presenting about Italian-American history and culture, I always say that every one of us has at least some tie to Italy– either through bloodlines or perhaps a favorite food or piece of art. Italian life, art, culture and cuisine has touched us all in some way and the month of October pays tribute to the spirit that permeates through Italian blood.

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