Italian Americans

By: Daelyn S.

First Years in America

They were taught English when they came to America. Life in New York was hard. Most people lived in tenement houses (a run-down and usually crowded apartment house, especially in a poor section of the city). Families often lived in one small room. People went outside to get fresh air and meet new people or see what their friends are up to.

Why they came

They had to pay a lot of money for taxes and rent so they came to America to get money then go back Italy. Diseases also were bad and killed many people some of the diseases were malaria and cholera and many more. Land was hard to farm, so it would be hard to grow any crop they had planted. Also friends and family said that it was better in America than in Italy because of those problems.

Where they settled

When they came to America they would usually move to Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.


Each village would have a festival to honor their village. Italians were known for growing grapes. They held a festival after all the grapes were picked. Italians made altars (a table or stand used for religious purposes) and asked Saint Joseph to help them make the altar. Saint Joseph took care of families, the poor, and orphans. Vegetables, pasta, fish dishes, breads, and sweets were placed on altars. Families invited relatives, friends, and even strangers to eat these special foods.

Fun Facts that you should know

Italians were also proud of Christopher Columbus. Tontitown is named after Enrico Tonti, an Italian explorer. In 1906, Generoso Pope came to the United States from Italy. He was only 15. Pope grew up and owned a newspaper company written in Italian.


  1. Italian Americans by Carolyn P. Yoder

Recipe for Straw and Hay Pasta

Ingredients and things you will need

  1. Wooden Spoon
  2. Chef's knife
  3. Large frying pan
  4. Large forks
  5. Colander
  6. Metal spatula
  7. Large pot
  8. Paper towels
  9. Bowls
  10. chopping board
  11. Cooked ham
  12. Parmesan cheese
  13. Flour
  14. Eggs
  15. Ground nutmeg
  16. Onion
  17. Peas
  18. Spinach noodles
  19. Heavy cream
  20. Butter
  21. Mushrooms