THE MARCONI PROJECT
The Marconi project is an effort by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center to capture the memories and experiences of Italian immigrants in the greater Washington D.C. area. By sharing their rich history and stories we plan to preserve those memories digitally and make them available for generations to come.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, 17 million people left Italy in search of a better life than their poverty-stricken towns could provide. Of them, six million came to the United States between 1876 and 1925.
Our “Marconi Series” on Italian immigrants from the Washington area, is launched with an oral history about a young couple who married and left for America in 1913. After living briefly in Ohio, Fortunato Sansalone and Rosa Pelle Sansalone settled on 35 acres of wooded land, near Vineland, N.J. They cleared their property of red-oak trees for fruit and vegetable production. It was here that they raised eight children, and spent their last years. Their story is told by their son, Dr. William Sansalone, a longtime member of the Casa Italiana Washington community.
The Marconi Series is part of a larger project to establish an Italian American Museum with galleries that display objects from the early days of Holy Rosary Church and the Washington D.C. immigrant experience.
Video Clip of Interview with former NASA scientist Joe Novello
Ambassador Luigi Einaudi is Interviewed for the Marconi Project Series of Oral Histories
The Marconi Project, a series of interviews of Italian Americans in Washington, D.C., recently interviewd Ambassador Luigi Einaudi. Ambassador Einaudi discussed his distinguished career at the U.S. State Department, culminating in his appointment as Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). He also served at the OAS as Assistant Secretary General and Acting Director General. Ambassador Einaudi received awards from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was born in 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father emigrated from Italy in 1933. He is the grandson of the first full-term president of the Italian Republic after the Second World War.
The Marconi Project is led by the Casa Italiana Socioultural Center, Inc. and Board Members Willy Meaux and Tom Sweeney. Board Member Ciro DeFalco, a friend of Ambassador Einaudi, conducted the interview. (Courtesy Voce Italiana March 2020)
Pictured below from left to right are: Willy Meaux, Tom Sweeney, Ciro DeFalco and Ambassador Luigi Einaudi.
Damiano Durante, also known as Kosma, is a realist/symbolist painter, born in Salerno, Italy on 13th June 1971. As a recent immigrant to America, Kosma was the subject of the Marconi Project video
Listen to the inaugural interview with William Sansalone as he recalls the immigration story of his parents Fortunato and Rosa Sansalone. The interview is by Tom Sweeney.