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Zoom Speaker Series: Italians in the Lowcountry

June 3, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Please join author Christina Butler for a virtual book talk on Italians in the Lowcountry: Sunny Italy’s Charleston Colony. The illustrated discussion will include glimpses from chapters in the book, addressing Italians in the Lowcountry from the colonial era, through the antebellum period and Reconstruction, and into the twentieth century and beyond. In addition, the conversation will highlight the importance of Italian cultural and architectural influence in the city past and present.  Butler will share excerpts from more in-depth book interviews with former mayor Joe Riley, Spoleto Festival USA Executive Director Nigel Redden, Italian Americans like the Sottile’s whose ancestors started many thriving businesses, and Italians who have recently moved to the Lowcountry and continue to enhance the city’s cultural, academic, and commercial life today.  Time will also be allotted for discussion and Q and A following the presentation.

To RSVP to this virtual event, fill out the RSVP form at the bottom of this page or call 843-723-9912.

NOTICE: Zoom event links and passwords are always distributed on the day of the event to the email you RSVP with in the form below. The email that will be sending the link and password will be dreutter@charlestonlibrarysociety.org. If you have any questions, please call 843-723-9912

To purchase your signed copy of Italians in the Lowcountry, click here.

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.


June 3, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm