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DVD Special Features

More Chicago Italian Stories

A selection of interview outtakes resurrected from the cutting-room floor. Individuals featured in And They Came To Chicago discuss growing up Italian American in Chicago, the old neighborhood, adjusting to American culture and visiting their hometown of origin in Italy, while offering up a host of favorite family anecdotes. Length: Approx. 18 mins.

And They Wrote About Chicago

The Italian American voice in literature is a multi-faceted, and influential, one. Italian American writers from Chicago have emerged in recent years with compelling works, both fiction and non-fiction, that reveal the range and depth of the Italian American experience in Chicago. In this feature, noted Italian American writers bring real and imagined worlds to life through their own voices.

In the Spotlight: Joe Mantegna

Born and raised on Chicago’s West Side, the Tony Award-winning actor relives his 1950s-era childhood, which he calls the Italian American version of Leave It To Beaver. With humor and insight, Mantegna discusses 16” softball, Chicago’s homegrown neighborhood game, the sanctity of the Italian garden, his Southern Italian roots and remarkable career. Length: Approx. 17 mins.

Little Italies of Chicago

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, each imbued with distinct characteristics brought by successive waves of immigrants. Since the 1850s, Italians formed their enclaves following patterns of chain migration, settling more than a dozen Little Italies across Chicagoland. Illustrated by rare historical images, take a tour through inner-city enclaves like Taylor Street and Little Sicily and to the city’s outskirts, where Italian settlements in Highwood, Roseland and Melrose Park flourished. Length: Approx. 5 mins.

History Makers

Since they first settled here, Italian Americans’ ingenuity and iron-clad work ethic helped tranform Chicago into world-class city. Here, we showcase famous and unsung figures in Chicago’s history and their extraordinary achievements, from 17th-century explorer Enrico Tonti, heralded as the first Italian to pass through the Chicago portage while in service to the French Crown, to Helen Mathilde Cirese, the first Italian American woman admitted to the Illinois Bar.

How They Saw Us, How We See Ourselves

A look at the depictions of Italian Americans in the press from the late 1800’s through the present day, from early accounts reflecting widely held attitudes during the peak immigration years, to the Italian American response to a nationally publicized case involving a school play at a Chicago area middle school.

Resource Guide

A guide to Italian American organizations, professional associations, Italian-language programs, and advocacy groups in the Chicago area and around the country. A selected bibliography of publications about the Italian American experience in Chicago and the United States, including archival resources related to Chicago’s Italian American experience. The lists are contained in two separate downloadable pdf files on the companion DVD.