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 found an interesting web site that was put together for Italians abroad, that wish to return to their roots. Looking around on the site, you can find all of the Hamlets or towns of a larger city, and see a picture of that town. You will find this site very interesting. www.cuoretriveneto.it
Cuore Triveneto's Project ( quote from their web site)
When we first thought of this project, we were amazed to realise how many people from the Triveneto region are scattered throughout every continent. Millions of people with surnames like Bianchin, Ceccato, Favretto, Perin...
While many with these surnames are born in Italy, today most are the descendants of the destitute multitudes, who in the late Nineteenth century were driven by poverty and hunger to embark on steamers. They ventured on long arduous journeys of hope, "in search of fortune", as the title of Ulderico Bernardi's excellent volume reads. After this first large wave of emigrants, other waves followed during the first half of the Twentieth century.
Children of those "pioneers" have been born in Australia, in Argentina, in Brazil, in Canada, and in the United States of America. At great sacrifice they have become perfectly integrated into ways of life that were different from their own, often overcoming distrust and hostility. Motivated by an irrepressible desire to create a new life for themselves, they formed families. The families have expanded. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been born. Many have enjoyed and continue to enjoy success in their professional lives, while others have been less fortunate. Nevertheless, they have all distinguished themselves for their honesty, loyalty and dedication: those solid values that have been handed down from generation to generation and which are part of the genetic heritage of the people of the Triveneto region.
In navigating the Internet and in listening to the tales of many emigrants and descendants of emigrants, we began to understand just how strong the nostalgia and the longing, how deep this attachment to their roots is, and we became aware that a Triveneto heart beats in the breast of millions of people. We have come to understand how profoundly they love the land of their forefathers, the traditions, the colours and flavours, the language... This is the reason that CuoreTreveneto has chosen the Internet - the most modern and revolutionary means of communication - to establish a link between those who live far apart but share the same roots. Our intention is to provide the information necessary to make the reality of the Triveneto region better known; to promote the reestablishment of cultural and emotional ties with the land of origin; to rebuild friendships; to satisfy the intense need for a relationship with those a sharing a common identity. Our purpose is to offer ideas and stimuli for the rediscovery of one's roots and traditions.
The intention of Cuore Triveneto is, therefore, to create not only a virtual "bridge" between the past and the present, but a bridge that is real and concrete as well. By way of this "bridge" we can supply typical products and characteristic recipes redolent of antique customs. We also offer unique tourist itineraries that enable visitors to enjoy a fascinating "return to their roots"; a special moment long dreamed of and imagined in detail furnished from memory by many original emigrants. Today, the successive generations, who, having listened to the stories of their grandparents and parents, have come to understand what their homeland meant to their ancestors, can finally translate those dreams into reality.
Special attention has been dedicated to what the Triveneto region represents for Italy and Europe today. Many of the places that the emigrants reluctantly left so long ago are today very important manufacturing centres where thousands of people are employed. Some are tourist resorts visited by millions of vacationers every year, while others are fervid cultural realities which offer outstanding concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances.
All of this is provided to insure that the descendants of the families of emigrants can feel closer to their community of origin. Thus those children and grandchildren who were born abroad will be able to retain a historical memory and also maintain the most authentic traditions of the Triveneto, for only by looking at the values of the past can a better future be constructed.
Researching in the provience of Treviso, Italy, Provaglio Sopra, Val Sabbia of Brescia. Domege di Cadore
Forno di Rivara, TO, Canischio, TO
Surnames Melchiori of Oderzo, TV, Vendrame of TV, Rossi of Rai di San Polo, Bonotto of TV.