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From Italy to America to get married

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Trivia about the history of Italian Americans

The phenomenon of proxy marriages (matrimonio per procura)  starts around 900.

There were many young Italian men who emigrated to America. These young people were of marriageable age,but they could not find a wife in the new country, because they did not know the language and had a different culture
so they commissioned in Italy, the mother or a woman wall to find a wife in their own village of origin.
Families with many daughters began looking for a husband overseas for their daughters.

The young men in america could not return to Italy because they were poor and the journey was very expensive. They could not personally meet the future wives.The only way to see each other were the photos.
The man sent a photo in Italy that was shown to the girls and the girls sent their photos to America.These photos were often retouched to look more attractive.



In some cases, if the boy or girl were ugly, they sent photos of more attractive friends.
Often because of this, after the overseas girl's journey, the boy or girl met a person they had never seen before
Behind the photos there was a brief description. If the girl and the boy agreed, they would start sending letters.
Letters and photos took more than 30 days to arrive in America.Thus began a distance engagement.



This engagement lasted about two years, they exchanged about 20 letters.

The characteristics for a good wife were as follows:
He had to look good, he had to be a girl devoted to work but above all he had to have a good reputation in the village.
Even a good husband had to be fascinated, have a good job be diligent and dedicated to his work and family.
The marriage took place in Italy strictly in white dress, and it was a familiar man of the groom to take his place during the marriage celebration.
Later the bride left for America or Australia, and here she met her husband for the first time.





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