"You may have the universe, if I may have Italy,“ Giuseppe Verdi once said, and anyone familiar with Italy’s glorious history in the arts, sciences, and fine art of living can understand these passionate words. Less known is how descendants of Italy have created Italian diasporas all over the world, from Australia and Argentina to Brazil and of course the United States with its thirty million Italian Americans and “Little Italies” spread throughout the country.
The child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning author, teacher, and scholar, Professor Joseph Luzzi will discuss how his “two Italies”––the earthy southern Italian world of his immigrant childhood and the refined northern Italian realm of his professional life—join and clash in unexpected ways that continue to enchant the many millions who are either connected to Italy by ancestry or bound to it by love.
From the dramatic struggles of his ancestors in the impoverished Italian region of Calabria to his own adventures amid the Renaissance splendor of Florence, Luzzi creates a compelling family saga and deeply personal portrait of Italy that leaps past facile clichés about Italy and Italian American that we have inherited from popular media like The Sopranos and Under the Tuscan Sun. Join him for what promises to be a lively and unique exploration of the mysteries of Italian culture and its extraordinary American afterlife.