First of all I want to thank Italy

10/09/2016 - 14:39

First of all I want to thank Italy magazine for allowing me to become a member. My question is this. I will be 70 this year and all my life I have been telling people that my family originated from Italy. My grandparents came to America in 1906. I am second generation American. My grandmother and grandfather spoke fluent Italian. My father spoke to my grandmother in Italian. They originated from Trento, Italia. So, here is the funny part. As I am going through a box of old photos I found my birth and baptismal certificate. On the baptismal certificate it states that my grandparents came from Austria. If they came from Austria that would mean that Trento was part of the Hapsburg Empire at that time, so what do you do now? Do you consider yourself Italian, or do you consider yourself Austrian. Do you end up calling everyone you met in your life who considered you Italian and now tell them it was all a big lie (all in jest of course). I believe at 70 years old I better just leave well enough alone. Why? Because everything we do is centered around being Italian. Our house is Italian, our food is Italian, (I just finished making spaghetti sauce from scratch), my wife thinks my family is Italian, (The only way to shut us up is to put our hands in our pockets), most of our friends are Italian (I'll never live it down), the Godfather is my favorite trilogy. And, I am not going to be caught dead in Lederhosen (No offense to my Germanic friends). My kids think they are half Italian. My grandkids think we are Italian. This could be a disaster. Your thoughts. Here is how I will justify it. If you pick up the phonebook in Trento there are about a hundred Fronza's. Sincerely, John FRONZA (If it ends in a vowel it must be Italian). 



Ethnically speaking you are Italian; however, there is a problem with the Trentino Alto Adige (and other areas, as well). The region was annexed in 1814 to the Habsburg Empire following Napoleon's defeat. It was re annexed to Italy in 1919. If your family left before 1920, they were considered Austrian citizens...although it is understandable that they felt totally Italian. Borders are politically drawn without taking into account people

Obviously, your background, [in strictly legal terms], is Austrian - not Italian.However, your ethnicity is Italian - so why bother telling anyone differently?If you do decide to 'come out' as an Austrian, this may help