My southern Italian family has many blue-eyed, blonde haired members. In researching I found that my father's maternal uncle was blue-eyed. So were 3 of my father's five sisters. If I remember high school biology, blue eyes is a recessive gene. That means all of my father's grandparents had the blue-eyed gene. How likely is it that in one little town in southern Italy. at least 4 families ( and more if you keep going back) had the blue-eyed gene. Who has the scientific and/or historical knowledge to explain this to me correctly?
I don't have the scientific knowledge but from a historical basis, the south had lots of invaders, including the blue eyed blonde and red haired Normans. That would explain the hair and eye color. BTW, my Neopolitan grandmother was blonde, blue eyes.
In my extended Bertellotti family from Stazzema, there were many blue-eyed blonds, some so fair that their hair was almost white. Another surname in Stazzema is Ridolfi or Rudolf, in other words, a Germanic surname.
I have read that some types of light eyes, e.g. hazel & green & gray, are dominent--though this may be an out-of-date idea. People sometimes see eyes that are not clearly brown as blue, when in fact they are other colors light colors, e.g. grey-green. Peg
That was my first thought, the Normans! I know Roman history and I good with the Renaissance, but I really need to know more Italian History from 1700 to the present. Another topic for my reading list!
There are redheads too, and probably if I really checked, green and hazel eyes as well. I am amazed at the wealth of personal information one can find on some of these old records.
There is a book called La Storia that you can find on amazon. It is about the history of the immigration experience of Italians to the US. It includes a lot of background history pre-turn of the century that may be of interest.