The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia
History, Culture, People, and Ideas
Publication: Dec 21
9 x 12
211 color photos, 29 halftones, 2 maps
Essays and images showcasing the rich contribution of Italians and Italian Americans to Global PhiladelphiaRead the Introduction (pdf).
Italian arts and culture have been a significant influence on Philadelphia dating back to Thomas Jefferson and colonial times. Throughout the ensuing decades, Italian art and architecture styles flourished, and wealthy Philadelphians traveled to Italy and brought back objects to display in emerging institutions of art and culture. New immigration formed neighborhoods—such as South Philly, home to the Italian Market—and Italian business leaders, politicians, artists, musicians and sports figures came to prominence and became part of the social fabric of the city.
This glorious volume, The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia, celebrates the history, impact, and legacy of this vibrant community, tracing four periods of key transformation in the city’s political, economic, and social structures. The editors and contributors chronicle the changing dynamics of the city as Italian immigrants established themselves and as they continue to have lively interactions with people and institutions in Italy.
Interdisciplinary essays, along with nearly 250 gorgeous images, explore the changing perspectives and styles of those who contributed Italian influences. As travelers to and from Italy, settlers and their descendants brought everyday cultural practices, memories, and traditions, they created different Italian-American experiences that became important parts of American culture, a legacy that is thriving in contemporary, globalized Philadelphia.
Contributors: Gilda Battaglia Rorro Baldassari, Ann Blair Brownlee, Joseph F. Chorpenning, Jeffrey A. Cohen, Lisa Colletta, Steven Conn, Carmen R. Croce, Joseph V. Del Raso, William B. Ewald, Jean M. Farnsworth, Pietro Frassica, Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Jeremy Goode, Alan Greenberger, Cam Grey, Albert Gury, Scott Gabriel Knowles, David Serkin Ludwig, Salvatore Mangione, Barbara J. Mitnick, Luca Molinari, Jody Pinto, Inga Saffron, Chris William Sanchirico, Fred Simeone, Jennifer A. Thompson, Paolo Valentino, William R. Valerio, Maurizio Valsania, Stephen A. Willier, Barbara A. Wolanin, and the editors
"Italian Americans have been vital to the growth of the city of Philadelphia in many ways as business leaders and business owners, as patrons and performers of the arts, as chefs for bon vivants and of great food. But most importantly, these art- and culture-loving individuals and communities have formed social relationships that have made our city a much better place. Andrea Canepari and Judith Goode capture all of this and more. The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia is a great read for people of Italian ancestry or people who just love Italians.”
—Edward G. Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania
"This anthology provides elegant testimony to the profound impact of the Italian presence in Philadelphia. Through authoritative essays and striking visual images, it offers an invaluable tribute to what Italians brought to the city as they altered its physical and cultural environment and helped to make Philadelphia what it is today. It is a unique volume that deserves the attention of all readers who seek to learn more about the exchange between people and place.”
—Richard N. Juliani, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Villanova University, and author of Little Italy in the Great War: Philadelphia’s Italians on the Battlefield and Home Front (Temple)