Italian Roots

Embracing Italian Roots: Lorenzo Musci’s Journey of Resilience and Family Bonds

In the heart of Santeramo in Colle, a small town in the Province of Bari, Italy, in 1939, a poignant reunion took place. Lorenzo Musci, now approaching the age of eighty, had returned to his Italian roots after twenty-seven years in the United States. The purpose of his visit? To meet his grandchildren, born to his son who had decided to return to Santeramo.

This touching journey is a story of family, emigration, and resilience that spans several decades. The following is based on a text in the National Diary Archive of Pieve Santo Stefano. The archive contains the stories and images of hundreds of Italians who have left Italy and traveled across the world, from the 19th century to today.

Emigration to the USA

Lorenzo Musci’s emigration to the United States took place in 1912. He and his family settled in Ohio, where, life centered around hard work. Lorenzo’s five older children later primarily worked in the Akron rubber factories that produced tires for automobiles. However, Lorenzo’s expertise lay in agriculture, a tradition passed down from his ancestors.

To provide for his family, Lorenzo purchased a farm located not far from Akron. When they were young, the children attended a nearby school. The early years were not without hurdles, as Lorenzo’s wife struggled with their rural life. Eventually, she and Lorenzo moved to Akron, leaving the farm in the hands of Lorenzo’s second son, Luigi.

Nostalgia Beckons …

The desire to return to her Italian roots never left Lorenzo’s wife. After seven years of living in America, she was determined to return to her Italian roots. Lorenzo, however, had different thoughts on the subject. Daily arguments ensued, but it was impossible to persuade her to stay in the United States. Eventually, he gave in. The year was 1919, when the family embarked on their return journey to Italy.

A Bittersweet Reunion: Rediscovering Italian Roots

Returning to Italy after seven years in America stirred feelings of nostalgia and hardship. The aftermath of World War I had left Italy grappling with numerous difficulties, and poverty was pervasive. Despite the adversities, the family persevered. However, their yearning for America grew stronger. After nine months in Italy, Lorenzo’s wife decided that they should make their way back to the United States.

Return to the USA

Lorenzo and his family once again set sail for the United States. This time, accompanied by a young relative. This relative would later marry Lorenzo’s second son, Luigi.

Italian Roots Rekindled

In a large family with several children, only one of Lorenzo’s sons chose to make Italy his permanent home. During their initial return to their Italian roots, Lorenzo’s son had married and started a family. Although the United States held its allure, he found it impossible to return there with his parents and siblings, as he had built a life in Italy. This included owning a café close to the Santeramo Town Hall.

It was in 1939 that Lorenzo’s wife encouraged him to embark on a journey to visit their son in Italy and meet his grandchildren, whom he had never met before..

Mistaken for an American Spy …

However, Lorenzo’s return was not without its share of difficulties. Immediately after arriving in Santeramo, a Carabinieri Marshal came to see him. He issued Lorenzo with a travel document. Lorenzo would need to present the document to authorities in every town he visited during his stay.

Connecting with Italian Roots: Turismo delle Radici

The recurring cycle of emigration and return defined Lorenzo Musci’s life, mirroring the intricate choices that countless emigrants confront. His life story showcases the resilience of emigrants who left their corner of Italy in search of a better life. It is a story of family, sacrifice, and the enduring connection between two countries. Lorenzo’s journey, marked by departures and returns, is a narrative of love and longing, reflecting the experiences of countless Italian emigrants during the early 20th century and beyond.

In 2024, the Italian government is set to unveil an array of exciting events and initiatives under the banner of “Turismo delle Radici” or Roots Tourism. This unique form of travel is specifically designed for Italian nationals and individuals of Italian descent residing outside of Italy – a global community that boasts approximately 80 million people.

The project, spearheaded by the Italian government, will offer a remarkable opportunity for overseas Italians, individuals with Italian heritage, and enthusiasts of Italian culture to explore ancestral ties and connections with Italy. It will provide a profound immersion into the rich tapestry of traditions, culture, cuisine, wine, unforgettable experiences, and heartfelt emotions that characterize Italy’s essence.

Finally …

As lawyers who specialize in Italian and cross-border inheritance law, we are often asked to look into origins and inheritance. De Tullio Law Firm is therefore thrilled to be part of various Turismo delle Radici projects. Stay tuned for event updates and more. Additionally, if you require assistance with Italian inheritance matters, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Canadian Investors in Italian Real Estate 2023

In terms of international property investment, Canadian investors in Italian real estate face a complex and evolving legal terrain. This blog post builds upon a previous discussion and explores recent developments in the legal framework that directly impacts Canadian investors.

We’ll shed light on a crucial exemption to the Foreign Property Purchase Restriction Act (FPPRA), which holds the potential to significantly shape investment opportunities in Italy.

The FPPRA: A New Era in Property Investment

On January 1st, 2023, the Foreign Property Purchase Restriction Act (FPPRA) ushered in a new era for Canadians interested in acquiring Italian property. This  legislation aims to address concerns regarding the concentration of foreign-owned properties in certain regions of Canada.

Under the FPPRA, which restricts property purchases by foreign nationals in specific Canadian areas, Canadians seeking property abroad, including in Italy, face reciprocal restrictions.

A Pivotal Amendment: March 27th, 2023

However, the landscape of property investment took an unexpected turn on March 27th, 2023, with the introduction of a crucial amendment to Canada’s FPPRA. This amendment, found in section 3, paragraph 1, of the FPPRA, introduced an exemption from the property purchase restriction.

The amendment explicitly carves out certain properties from the FPPRA’s restrictions thereby offering a glimmer of hope for investors. This exemption applies to properties located outside Census Agglomerations or Census Metropolitan areas in Canada.

Defining Census Agglomerations and Census Metropolitan Areas

It’s essential to understand the definitions of Census Agglomerations (CAs) and Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). A CMA or CA is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centered on a population center, known as the core.

A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, with 50,000 or more residing in the core. On the other hand, a CA must have a core population of at least 10,000. Adjacent municipalities must show high integration with the core in the CMA or CA, assessed from past census data.

If the population of the core of a CA declines below 10,000, the CA is retired. However, once an area becomes a CMA, it remains so even if its total population falls below 100,000. This applies even if the core population dips below 50,000. Small population centers with a population count of less than 10,000 are called fringe. All areas inside the CMA or CA that are not population centers are classified as rural areas.

Unlocking Potential for Canadian Investors in Italian Real Estate

With this exemption in mind, the door for Canadian investors in Italian real estate has opened.

We submitted the issue to the competent unit at the Italian foreign ministry. They have verified and confirmed the exclusion from the investment restrictions of residential properties located outside Census Agglomeration or a Census Metropolitan area in Italy.

The amendment allows Canadians to buy Italian properties located in areas with under 10,000 inhabitants. It therefore signals a crucial legal change and offers exciting investment prospects in Italian real estate.

The Importance of Due Diligence for Canadian Investors in Italian Real Estate

While this exemption presents an attractive prospect, it’s vital to underscore the significance of due diligence. Verifying the eligibility of a property through a lawyer and a Notary Public is fundamental to ensuring compliance with the FPPRA. Italian legal professionals can provide the necessary assurance that the property falls within the exempted category.


To successfully navigate the intricacies of international property investment, it’s imperative to have a profound understanding of relevant laws and regulations. With over five decades of experience, De Tullio Law Firm has been consistently delivering expert legal advice to international clients. Moreover, while we offer comprehensive legal services across all domains of Italian law, our particular emphasis is on real estate, residency, family law, and inheritance matters.

We take immense pride in providing top-tier legal services to our clients. Additionally, we have a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and efficient solutions. If you are  exploring investment opportunities in Italian real estate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are right beside you, guiding you every step of the way.


You may also be seeking information about how to obtain an Elective Residence Visa for Italyor you might like to peruse our series of informational videos.

Ferragosto in Italy: A Time of Celebration

Ferragosto in Italy is a time of joyous festivities and a well-deserved break from the daily grind. This cherished holiday, deeply rooted in history, has become an integral part of Italian culture. As the country gears up to celebrate Ferragosto, let’s explore the traditions, closures of public offices, and how this holiday impacts services, including cross-border property transactions and inheritance matters in Italy.

A Brief History of Ferragosto

Ferragosto traces its roots back to ancient Rome when the Emperor Augustus established a festival called “Feriae Augusti” in 18 BC. The event was celebrated to honor the gods and allowed the hardworking citizens to take a much-needed break from their daily toils during the hot summer months. Over the centuries, the festival evolved and became linked to the Catholic holiday of the Assumption of Mary, which falls on August 15th.

Celebrations and Traditions

In modern times, Ferragosto is a time of merriment, relaxation, and togetherness for Italians. Families and friends gather to enjoy sumptuous feasts filled with traditional dishes which often vary across different regions. Many towns and cities organize lively parades, music festivals, and firework displays to mark the occasion. Beaches, parks, and public spaces are filled with laughter and cheer as people take advantage of the warm weather and spend time outdoors.

Public Offices and Services

During the Ferragosto period, which typically extends from the 15th of August (the day of Ferragosto) to the end of the month, Italy adopts a more laid-back approach to work. Many public offices, including government agencies and local municipalities, close their doors for a week or even two. The Italian culture deeply ingrains this custom, passing it down through generations, reflecting the importance of taking time off to recharge and enjoy life’s pleasures.

August: Italy’s Main Holiday Season

It’s important to note that Ferragosto is not an isolated event but part of a broader tradition in Italy. Italians generally consider August as the main holiday season. As the weather reaches its peak, most of the country takes advantage of the opportunity to go on vacation. Whether it’s a trip to the picturesque Italian countryside, a coastal retreat along the Amalfi coast, or exploring the historical treasures of Rome, many Italians use this time to escape the bustling cities and embrace a slower pace of life.

Impact on Property Transactions and Inheritance Matters

For those dealing with cross-border property transactions or inheritance matters in Italy, it’s crucial to be mindful of the Ferragosto holiday and the overall August slowdown. Public services, including government offices and legal institutions, might experience reduced operating hours or complete closures during this period. As a result, there may be delays in processing paperwork, obtaining necessary documents, or receiving responses to inquiries.


Happy Ferragosto from De Tullio Law Firm.