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Join CLS, Buxton Books, and the Dante Alighieri Society of Charleston as we celebrate the release of Italians in the Lowcountry. “Sunny Italy’s Charleston Colony.
The evening will include a discussion by Eugene Massamillo about Italy, Dante Alighieri, and the continued cultural presented and importance of Italians in Charleston. Author Christina Butler will present a brief illustrated overview of the recently released book, highlighting the themes covered, how the book came to be, and providing a summary of the Italian experience in early Charleston. The evening will include a viewing of Italian rare prints from the CLS special collections, live piano performances, and Italian wine and light snacks.
This limited-capacity event will be followed by a Zoom Speaker Series on Thursday, June 3rd that will go more in-depth into the book and the narratives within.
All attendees will be required to wear masks for the entirety of the event excluding when persons are actively drinking or eating. This event has a maximum capacity of 60, so RSVP ASAP to get to enjoy this celebratory book launch event!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Since its early days, Charleston, a 350-year-old port city in South Carolina, has had an important contingent of Italian residents who made artistic, cultural, and economic contributions much larger than their numbers. Especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the city was home to a small but diverse Italian population who worked hard in their chosen new city, and some of whom founded and operated integral businesses. Others toiled in phosphate mines and on farms in Charleston County. In the city, Italians worked as tradesmen and laborers, and operated successful restaurants, taverns, wholesale groceries, and fruit shops. A lucky few, like the Sottile and Chicco families, rose to the upper echelons of Charleston society in the quintessential American dream. In the twenty first century, recently arrived Italians continue to enhance the city’s cultural and artistic life.
Italians in Charleston utilizes historic documentation, images, and interviews to add the important and diverse stories and experiences of Charleston’s Italians and Italian Americans to the city’s historical narrative. It chronicles the Italian experience in from the colonial era to the present, with biographical sketches of noteworthy Italians, discussion of ethnic communities and businesses throughout the city’s history, and the contributions and the current Italian community in the greater Charleston area in the present. A preface from Cristiano Musillo, Consul General of Italy in Miami, and a section on the Spoleto Festival featuring interviews from former Mayor Joseph P. Riley and General Director Nigel Redden, highlight the important cultural contributions that continue today.