Methods of Travel

In the beginning, emigration was not particularly controlled by the Italian state. Similar to other European countries, there were emigration agents who took advantage of the poor und uninformed emigrants. In 1888 the first special migration law was passed in Italy. This way many emigration agencies were under state control. As of 1901, the Commissariat of Emigration controlled all aspects of emigration: from fixed ticket costs to granting licenses to carriers, health inspections, etc.

The most important Italian ports were Genoa and Naples on the west coast of Italy, Palermo in Sicily for southern Italy as well as Venice in the northeast of Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Venice was excluded as an official embarkation port by the Commissariat of Emigration in 1903.

The port of Naples gained particular importance in the early 20th century, when in 1907 more passengers left Europe for North America from Naples than from the Port of Liverpool in the same year. These emigrants were mainly Italians but also from Greece, Turkey and Syria.

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Reasons for Emigration
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Italian emigrants in America