Italians in the Santa Clara Valley

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Arcadia Publishing, 2007 - History - 127 pages
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Attracted by the mild climate and abundance of fertile land, Italians came to the Santa Clara Valley from all regions of Italy, including Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata, Tuscany, and Piedmont. Beginning in the 1880s, the "Eden of the World" beckoned Italian immigrants as farmers, ranchers, orchardists, vegetable growers, and winemakers. Italian men, women, and children filled the numerous canneries and packinghouses supplying the rest of the nation with fresh produce. Once the largest ethnic group in the valley, Italians' impact on the region has been profound, yet is often overlooked. The photographs in this book present a special glimpse into the lives of a people whose irrepressible optimism, kindness, and can-do spirit overcame the challenges and obstacles put before them.

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About the author (2007)

Author Frederick W. Marrazzo interviewed over 50 people about growing up as part of the Santa Clara Valley's Italian community. Inspired by a series of interviews Marrazzo did for his public access television program, Cronaca, which means "story" in Italian, he has here gathered the memorable tales of a forgotten generation, whose values and principles are more relevant than ever. Through this unique collection of photographs, Marrazzo illustrates how a very diverse Italian population made the Valley of Heart's Delight the community that it was and has become.

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