History and Facts about Italy & Sicily
Sicily on Wikipedia – This web site includes information about each town and info about the geography, art and history of Sicily. It even tells you about the trains, autos and airports!
Flags of Sicily and Italy – This site has many flags of Sicily and Italy. You can also link to a hisotry of Italy, mapes showing the hisotyr of Italy and Sicily, coat of arms and much more.
Did your ancestor fight with Garibaldi? Check this site for a listing of 1090 who did! The beginning is written in Italian, but it appears this list was published in 1864. You can also check the Archivio di Stato di Torino page which has a searchable database too.
The Towns of Italy & Sicily
Every Town in Italy – This website allows you to search for a town name by entering either the
whole word or just a few letters of the name. So if you are searching for a town that you don’t know the spelling but you know the first few letters, you can compare what it sounds like to this list. Once you find the town, click on it for the official town web site, mayor’s name, phone numbers, and even the email address for the town hall! Another good web site for this is the Italian Town Locator.
Every Town in Sicily – This page has a listing of every town in Sicily and for some towns, a
small bit of history and information about the town.
The Regions of Italy – This link has a nice map of Italy with information about each region-a
little bit of everything from history, art, architecture, landscape and more!
Information about each Comune – Click on the name of the comune you are interested in and you will get all sorts of interesting information including history, popular tourist spots, local products and handicrafts, travel information, recipes, and the best part: the most common surnames for that comune!
Arberesh Cities – In the 1400s, many Albanians emigrated to Italy and they settled many cities in Sicily, Calabria and Cosenza. More on this topic can be found at History of Albanians in Italy, Arberesh Mailing List, and Sicilian Peoples: The Albanians.
SicilyVideo.it – Here you can purchase a documentary type video of the town where your ancestors are from. Giovanni Montanti has made this video for about 45 towns in Sicily and is currently working on a video for Ventimiglia di Sicilia, which has been sponsored by myself and other families in America who descend from Ventimiglia di Sicilia. To purchase the Ventimiglia video, CLICK HERE. Giovanni has already completed the video for Misilmeri, which I also sponsored. To purchase the Misilmeri video, CLICK HERE. If you find that your ancestral town is not one that he has already filmed, contact him about sponsoring him to make the video for you and your fellow descendants.
Government Offices & Archives
See the Additional Town Databases page for some of the Archives that have vital records available online.
Italian Embassies around the world – This web site has a listing of all Italian Embassy offices around the world with phone numbers, addresses and email addresses.
Archivio di Stato di Palermo – (Palermo Province Archives) To find the Provincial archives for other Provinces, search Archivio di Stato di (province name). This PDF file is a catalog of items found in the Palermo Archives.
Maps, Postal Codes & White Pages
CAP-Italian Postal Codes – Here you will find all the postal codes so that you can mail letters to Italy. You can search by postal code, name of town, or pick a region, then a province, then a town.
Pagine Bianche – Italian White Pages
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection – Scroll down to Italy (or anywhere else for that matter) and explore and examine all the old maps. Fascinating and can be quite helpful!
Map a name in Italy – This site allows you to enter a surname (cognome) and it will place a dot on the map of Italy for every time that name is found in the white pages. The bigger the dot, the more people that are there! You can do the same for the United States.
Find your name in Italy – This website is especially great for people who don’t know where their Italian ancestors came from in Italy or Sicily. After you search your surname, a map will appear showing the number of times that name appears in the telephone white pages in each Region. Click a region and see each province listed, click a province and see all the communes, and so on. Once you get to the Comunes, you will see the name, telephone and address listing for all the people with your surname in that Comune. If you don’t know where your family originated, look for the Comune with the highest percentage of people with your surname and see what comes up!
Distance Between Towns – Use this website to find out how far it is from one town in Italy to another.
Time Zone Converter – Want to know what time it is in Italy or anywhere else in the world? This is the place to find out!
Italian Script Tutorial—This page gives you lots of information about deciphering old handwriting. On the left hand tool bar look for alphabet charts to see the way letters were written and click Italian surnames to see a helpful list of frequently used foundling surnames. Some pages are under construction.
Behind The Names – The etymology of Italian first names is discussed here, with a huge listing of Italian first names with their origins and English equivalents. You can also try First Name Translator.