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Italian Community in Providence Celebrates 150th

On Sunday, March 27, the Italian community of Providence, Rhode Island, gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification.

Organized by the local Italian Cultural foundation, the event featured two history presentations: One in Italian about the year 1861, when the kingdom of Italy was officially declared and one in English about Italy’s main national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi.

The location chosen for the special event was itself of special significance: Holy Ghost is in fact the local Italian Parish ‘par excellence’.

Located in the Federal Hill area – the city’s little Italy — it has been a reference point for the community since the settling of the first Italian immigrants in the area.

To date, according to recent census data, Rhode Island and its capital Providence are respectively the American state and city with the highest percentage of residents (about one out of five) claiming Italian origins.

For more about the Italian side of things in the Ocean State and its capital city watch the video below, which was part of a special report on New England written by Stefano Salimbeni, filmed and edited by Luis Goncalves and aired by RAI Italia in its program FOCUS in September 2009.

About Stefano Salimbeni

Stefano is a Boston-based freelance reporter, correspondent and producer for Italy’s national TV network RAI. Over the past 15 years he has produced more than 800 “Italian-angled” news stories and features from New England and from around the United States for RAI’s international channel, RAI Italia, broadcast to over 60 million viewers of Italian origins or of Italian descent living outside of Italy. He also assisted, and occasionally still does, RAI’s main correspondents in producing news stories and special reports during major news events. For the past three years, Stefano has also been the US correspondent for Famiglia Cristiana, one of Italy’s most widely circulated national magazines. He came to Boston in 1996 to earn a master’s degree and fulfill a lifelong dream of being a journalist. Stefano’s work can be viewed on his personal website, www.stefanosalimbeni.com.