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 think the thing that probably gave me new insight into the Italian part of my heritage (since I am second generation and had only a few years access to the members of the generation that was born in Italy and came here as children at the turn of the century) was when I was in my career and had an office colleague who on finding out my name stated she was more Italian than I. For the year we worked together I learned more of Italy and its culture since she was born there than from all my family combined. But for many who still think of Italy as one religion culture her Jewish roots and name would not register as Italian to many non-knowing americans. I was interested now that I have lost touch with her on the Jewish history and culture in Italy (I know she was from the Rome area). I do realize that Jews were part of the waves of slaves or "Roman citizens" brought to current Italy during the conquests of most of the known world by the ancient Romans. Is there any good reference source or book on this subject? Any info would be appreciated.
There are 149,000 plus references to JewishHistory in Italy onthe internet so that choosing an appropriate reference is difficult and best suited to your appropriate review and selection based upon the specificity you wish. Peter