As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I'm originally from New Jersey (South Jersey) but am now residing in the Kansas City area. It's great to know that their is an Italian American community active in Kansas City. Most of the people have ancestors who came from two villages in Sicily (forget the names). They still keep up the annual feast of Our Lady of the Audience at the Holy Rosary church in the north end area. In fact, it is very prominent. Is anyone on here from KC? Are there any books or web sites about the Italian American community of Kansas City out there?