Omaha, Nebraska, Mayor Jean Stothert had never been in Tuscany. Recently the three-term Mayor found an opportunity to visit Sicily and Tuscany.
Mayor Stothert and 80 other Omahans visited Carlentini, Sicily. The two cities share a friendship agreement that will eventually become a Sister City agreement. The bond between Omaha and Carlentini goes back to the early days of mass immigration to the United States. Sicilian families, many from Carlentini, found employment working for the railroad in Omaha.
As human beings, it’s only natural to have a curiosity about where we came from. The United States is a nation of immigrants. The nation was founded by people from different countries and cultures. Between 1882 and 1954, an estimated 12-million immigrants went through the immigration portal at Ellis Island.
According to the Library of Congress, more than four million Italians immigrated to the United States by the 1920s. Are you ready for this? That represented more than 10-percent of the foreign-born population in the United States at the time.
Unfortunately, over time a lot was lost in the moving process. Names changed to sound more American. Families separated far and wide across the country to make a better life for themselves and live the American dream. A connection to family and culture was not as prevalent in the states as they were in the homeland.
Thanks to DNA tests like23 & Me and services like Ancestry.com it’s easier to pinpoint our heritage and trace our family tree back hundreds of years.
Nick Gibilisco wanted to take it a step further. Not only did he want to know more about his ancestors and where they come from (more so than stories passed down by his father and grandfather), he wants fully connect by becoming an Italian citizen. Not just for him, but his three children as well.
The process was long, tedious, and sometimes frustrating. However, today Nick holds dual citizenship in the United States and Italy and has his Italian passport. What he learned along the way gives him a renewed sense of pride about his heritage and a closer connection to his family going back several generations in Carlentini, Sicily.
As Nick was going through the process of getting his Italian citizenship, he met others who wanted to do the same things. He helped them. And then he helped another, and another, and another. It didn’t take long for Nick to figure out he provides a unique service so he started a company. In true Italian fashion, it’s called, I know A Guy: Citizenship and Genealogy Research.
After listening to this podcast episode, you too will know a guy who can help you down the path of dual citizenship, or find out if you even qualify.
NIck does not have a website, but he does have Facebook Page andInstagram Page, and you can email him directly to find out more about his services and the processes involved, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please give this podcast a like on whatever service you are listening to and if you have time, write a review. You can really help us out by sharing this episode with a friend. The pandemic has given us all a lot of time to think about our past and our future. You might just know someone who’s ready to take a leap of faith and move back “home” so to speak to try a different life, much like our ancestors did over 100-years ago.
Italy is open for business.
There is hope on the horizon. Slowly but surely, people are returning, including the co-publisher of Total Tuscany, Pat Campagna. Pat recently spent close to a week and a half exploring his family roots. The name Campagna is a dead giveaway that he's Italian. But not from the mainland. On this trip, Pat skips out on Tuscany and enjoys the island life of Sicily.
In this episode of the Total Tuscany Podcast, Pat is the guest on his own show. We go in deep on what it's like to travel with current Covid restrictions and testing. What's the difference between Sicily and Tuscany? Where there are several, but there are also similarities.
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If you have travel questions or need assistance booking a tour or tour guides in Tuscany, email us, email@example.com.
Travis Justice & Pat Campagna have been traveling to Tuscany since 2009. They produce the Total Tuscany Podcast and all the content on this website.