Italy, Utah, Colorado, California, emigration, immigration, Frederick Jackson Turner, Puccini, colonialism, remittances, Chambers of Commerce


In 1879, a young postal worker in the small town of Lendinara, Italy, decided to emigrate. Adolfo Rossi, twenty-two years old, was discouraged with his prospects in his small town near Venice. Adolfo lived at home with his mother in the heavily populated Polesine valley. Although he had a steady job, he wanted to become a journalist. In Adolfo’s words, while taking a walk along the Adige river one night, a strange idea struck my mind like a bolt of lightning. I reflected only a moment and committed myself to an audacious resolution. “No, I will not stay vegetating here,” I thought. “The world is big, there’s America, and New York is a vast metropolis. I will go there, I will study those famous Americans, I will learn English. I will begin as a manual laborer there but, in the land of action and liberty I will learn to better understand life and men and one day I will return to Italy, rich at least with experience. Then it will be easier to dedicate myself to journalism.

Original Publication Citation

2014, pp. 363-381.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Immigrants in the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences, edited by Jessie L. Embry and Brian Q. Cannon (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press)




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor