- Elvira Sperduto Oliver
I was well into adulthood before I realized that I was an American. Of course I had been born in America, and lived here all of my life, but it somehow never occurred to me that just being a citizen of the United States meant that I was an American. Americans were people who ate peanut butter and jelly on mushy white bread that came out of plastic packages. ME? I WAS ITALIAN.
Italy has a long and rich history. People have lived there for thousands of years,
even predating the Roman Empire as well as the Etruscan and Greek civilizatons.
But Italy as a nation is not very old at all.
In fact, it is younger than the United States of America.
While the USA was still celebrating its centennial and enduring a Civil War, in 1861, that’s when Italy was born.
Before that the Italian peninsuila consisted of a number of city-states and lands controlled by the Roman Catholic Church.