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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

La Merica

Did you ever ask yourself how could it be the sea voyage experience, the travelling conditions and the landing in Ellis Island for all of you who had italian family members emigrate to the United States in the early years of the 20th century?

When I walk down to Genoa Old Port, sometimes I sit in one of the cafes and think about those thousands of Italians who departed from Genoa (Maritime Station “Ponte Federico Guglielmo”, known today as “Ponte dei Mille”) seeking a new life in the Americas. I think at the different reasons and at the desire to emigrate of those italians: poverty combined with personal goals and expectations which were not realizable in their home country.

To remember those grandparents, in Genoa has been recreated at the “Galata Maritime Museum” the exhibition La Merica! where you can experience what the crossing must have been like for your ancestors. Genoa, in fact, was the harbour from which loads of italians and other europeans reached Ellis Island, passed the rigorous checks and found fortune in the New World, helping to make it a richer and freer country.
The exhibit “La Merica!” is quite moving, multi-media and interactive. Furthermore, if your ancestor was born in Genova and emigrated from this city, there’s a computer where you can find photos of his or her original documents.



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