226 episodes

The first and finest podcast for Italian Americans... delivering history, discussion, and connection with smarts, heart, and a lot of laughs. 🇮🇹🇺🇸

The Italian American Podcast The Italian American Podcast

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 272 Ratings

The first and finest podcast for Italian Americans... delivering history, discussion, and connection with smarts, heart, and a lot of laughs. 🇮🇹🇺🇸

    IAP 217: Master Classes for the Masses: Danielle Oteri on Teaching Italian History for All

    IAP 217: Master Classes for the Masses: Danielle Oteri on Teaching Italian History for All

    It’s sometimes the hidden stories that can tell us more about our history than we ever dreamed of.

    In this week’s episode, Danielle Oteri of Feast on History talks to us about her latest project, a series of classes focusing exclusively on Southern Italy by Context Learning. These 90-minute courses are designed to take learners on a journey through the territory once occupied by the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies as they discover Southern Italy’s art, cuisine, culture, and history.  It’s a Masterclass for the Masses!

    We’re discussing not just Southern Italian history, but the idea that new history is being discovered every day in some of the most surprising places and ways. From the quest for historic records thought to be lost, to the long held “facts” of history being upended by modern science and a random circumstance, you’ll leave the conversation looking at history in a whole new light.

    And of course, we will find ourselves in a fascinating discussion of Italy’s forgotten foodways, including historic dishes and traditions that are no longer part of the Italian American diet, but that are still invaluable clues into our family histories, and how the monastic life brought us some of our favorite pastries, like sfogliatelle and babà.

    Join us as we “feast” on Southern Italian history with Danielle, and then visit Context Learning to sign up for one of her fascinating classes!

    • 50 min
    IAP 216: Italians Swindled to New York with Special Guests Joe Tucciarone and Ben Lariccia

    IAP 216: Italians Swindled to New York with Special Guests Joe Tucciarone and Ben Lariccia

    For many Italian American families, the story of an immigrant's sacrifice usually begins in the years between 1880 and 1920, known as the Great Wave of Italian Immigration to the United States.

    But for 2,800 unfortunate souls, immigration to the “Land of Opportunity” came earlier, and at a much greater cost.

    Between late 1872 and early 1873, thousands of unsuspecting Italian laborers were victims of an international scheme in which con men descended upon “every village and hamlet in Italy promising that a great deal of money was to be made in the United States.” But the promises of jobs, housing, and the opportunity for a better life were unfounded, and the newly-arrived immigrants found themselves stranded at journey’s end with only the clothes they wore and their life’s savings stolen.  Most would end up wards of the United States government.

    On this week’s episode, historians Joe Tucciarone and Ben Lariccia join us to explore this shameful chapter in early Italian American history, and to discuss their newly-released book, Italians Swindled to New York: False Promises at the Dawn of Immigration, the first-ever work to reveal this fascinating tale that would become an international scandal in its time.

    We’ll examine how this under-studied saga reflects upon the first significant trickle of Italian Immigrants to America, what drove these men and women into the clutches of swindlers and predatory lenders, how American industrialists would use these victimized Italians as a tool in their battles with American labor, and how this toxic tale at the genesis of the Italian American experience might have defined the Italian immigrant experience for generations to come.

    It’s a thought-provoking exploration into a little-known, and greatly important chapter in the Italian American story.

    • 51 min
    IAP 215: Our Italian American Holiday Recovery Guide

    IAP 215: Our Italian American Holiday Recovery Guide

    Another holiday season has come and gone here in Italian America.

    The fishes have been served, the champagne has been popped, and the lentils have been eaten, so we’re kicking off the new year with the best thing we can think of to combat the post holiday blues… a collective therapy session!

    We’re getting together to share our reflections on this year’s Christmas and New Year's celebrations, with a thoughtful eye on how Italian American family traditions are evolving in an ever-changing world.  We’ll explore what practices and customs have changed, and how technology might just be redefining the entire concept of the holidays.

    We’re discussing our attempts (or lack thereof) at some New Year's resolutions, and considering the ways in which we might find new opportunities to make 2022 a definitional year here at the Italian American Podcast.

    It's a conversation with depth, heart, and some incredible questions that often bubble up when we sit down at the table, as well as, of course, the non stop laughter that comes with the gathering of great friends. If you are an Italian American who just survived another year of Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's,  you won’t want to miss out on this thought-provoking episode!

    • 52 min
    IAP 214: Christmas Special 2021

    IAP 214: Christmas Special 2021

    It’s almost time to say “Buon Natale,” as Christmas is right around the corner! Since this is the final episode before the Feast of the Seven Fishes and Christmas arrive in earnest, we’re sending you into the holiday in style with our annual Italian American Podcast Christmas Special!

    In what has become a nice little tradition here at the Italian American Podcast, some of our Podcast famiglia are gathering together right before the holiday madness begins to reflect on our favorite traditions, share recipes, unwind Christmas mysteries, and figure out exactly which designer panettone is really worth the price!

    As we explore our most beloved Christmas memories and reflect on what traditions are important to each of us, you’ll be taken back into the recesses of your own joyous Natale recollections, and learn a thing or two about what makes an Italian American Christmas so special!

    Remember, you and yours can listen along with us to six-plus hours of uninterrupted, never repeated, and carefully curated Italian and Italian American Christmas classics by visiting our one-of-a-kind Yule Pot Playlist at www.yulepot.com.

    We hope these songs are ringing through your home come Christmas Eve and that you and yours enjoy a healthy, safe, and BUON NATALE!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    IAP 213: What Makes A House an Italian American Home?

    IAP 213: What Makes A House an Italian American Home?

    Picture an Italian American family... Where are they gathered?  Are they around the table with a pot of coffee?  Or are they in the kitchen preparing a Sunday meal?  Perhaps they are in the basement pressing grapes or jarring tomatoes?  For most of us, scenes of the famiglia are also scenes of the home.  You've got to wonder... what is it exactly that makes a house an Italian American home, and what do these shared domestic traditions tell us about our community, our culture, and ourselves?

    For Italian American Podcast co-host Dolores Alfieri-Taranto, those types of questions are at the heart of the second season of her new hit podcast “Bella Figura- The Tradition of Living Beautifully."

    So in this week's episode, we're all joining in the conversation, and eschewing the fashionable concept of “Green Building Certification” in favor of a designation a little closer to home, and asking what it takes for a home to qualify as Red-White-and-Green Certified?

    Just what are the must-haves of an Italian American home, and what do those commonalities of the Italian American domicile tell us about our community’s history?  What does the formal, and for many decades plastic-covered, living space that never gets lived in reveal about our socio-economic history? Why is a well-stocked pantry more about our shared values than our modern shopping habits, and why are there images of saints in many homes where the family might have very little commitment to organized religion?

    These questions, and many more, are at the heart of an episode that explores the essence of what makes our homes, and our families, certifiably Italian American!

    To listen to Dolores's podcast, visit www.bellafigurapodcast.com.

    This episode is sponsored by Mediaset Italia.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    IAP 212: Italian Americans in World War II

    IAP 212: Italian Americans in World War II

    "Yesterday, December 7, 1941— a date which will live in infamy— the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

    That iconic quote by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced the United States’ entry into World War II after the surprise military strike on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. At the time, the United States was a neutral country, but Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to prevent the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia.

    Peter L. Belmonte is a retired U.S. Air Force officer, author, and historian. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, he has published articles, book chapters, reviews, and papers about immigration and military history, including extensive studies on Italian Americans in World War II.

    In this week’s episode, we sit down with Peter to learn about the Italian American experience of World War II, a countless number of whom enlisted immediately after the Pearl Harbor attacks. We talk about these brave men and women and what their experiences were like from an ethnic perspective.

    We also discuss what it was like for Italian Americans to be fighting against Italy, and how World War II came to shape the Italian American ethnicity, helping these soldiers and civilians feel both Italian and American at the same time.

    While our country pauses to commemorate the 80th anniversary of these attacks, we remember our paesani who took up the call to serve and protect this great nation.

    To purchase Peter's book on Italian Americans in World War II, click here.

    This episode was sponsored by Mediaset Italia.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
272 Ratings

272 Ratings

Tish B. ,

Great Info

Loved the show about dual citizenship. I always wondered what it meant and what it offered!!!!

Mo vaccarella ,


Very enjoyable. Love the Italian Sicilian heritage being kept alive.

DeeDeeDee1982 ,

Episode 183 the lawsuit for Columbus Day

At 12 minutes in the lawyer says that the “minority community doesn’t understand that we can’t wipe out one communities heritage and ceremonies to replace it with another.....” Well he sits very uneducated about Columbus and the colonization of America then bc that is exactly what happened here on this continent, that Columbus and many others did to Indigenous people. Both sides of my family are recent Italian American immigrants to this country and I’m in full support of getting rid of the worship of a man who does not represent me or my culture. This lawsuit is ridiculous and there are so many ways we as Italian Americans to honor our culture and repair the harm of our ancestors.

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