For the majority of Italian immigrants who came to Nebraska, their ancestors came from the same place in Italy: Carlentini, Siciliy. When these immigrants came over to Nebraska, they brought many things with them including religion and food. The immigrants also stayed in contact with their families and friends back in Italy, who sometimes followed them to the United States in a chain migration pattern.
After hearing stories from their family about the "Old Country", second and third generation Nebraskan Italians travel back to Carlentini, sometimes during Carlentini’s own Santa Lucia festival. They meet up with relatives who stayed in Italy, piecing together their family trees. Those who go to Carlentini marvel at the land their ancestors left and gain a better understanding and appreciation of how hard it might have been for their ancestors to leave.
In this section are materials related to the Old Country, what the Italian immigrants left behind in Carlentini, and what their descendants see today when they go back.
Text: Paige McCoy