Italian Heritage Photo and Pompeii Church Exhibit

Always one of the most viewed and most commented upon attractions at Festa Italiana is the Italian Heritage Photo Exhibit that will appear in the new Miller Stage area.


When witnessing the thousands of people who annually view the vintage photo exhibit, expect to see a wide range of emotional reactions. You will see tears from some upon viewing a photograph of a deceased family member or relative they so loved and cherished. You will see smiles from others when they see a photograph from years gone by of their mother, father or grandparents at work or in a military uniform or enjoying themselves at a picnic. You will certainly see many people conversing with each other as they view the vintage photos and recall the good-old-days.


For younger generations, the exhibit gives them an opportunity to see what life was like for their ancestors – from the living conditions years ago, to the type of work they performed, and the experiences they had.


This year, our collection of more than twenty-five hundred photographs of families, street scenes and the places of business of Milwaukee’s early Italians will be showcased in the vintage photo exhibition at Festa Italiana, Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22.


Vintage Photos-Ceci            


Looking for Festa Italiana Pictures – Past and Present

The Heritage Photo Committee is seeking photographs that capture the memories, the highlights, the pride and the passion of 40 years of Festa Italiana in Milwaukee.  We welcome photographs that date back to our first Festa in 1978, or our 40th Festa just last year, or some time in between.  We will display some of the photographs at Festa Italiana 2018 as part of the Italian Heritage Exhibit, and we intend to create a gallery of poster-size enlargements to grace the walls in the Bocce Room.


We are asking members to submit photos sharing special Festa memories, particular those photos that capture spontaneous, heartfelt moments – moments spent with family and friends, moments celebrating the music, the people, the food, the culture, and the spiritual experiences that symbolize Festa Italiana.  Countless memories have been made at Festa Italiana – allow us to display those cherished memories at the Italian Community Center.


Send either a high quality photograph or digital photo.  We are going to enlarge your photograph to a size ranging from 11 x 17 to 24 x 36 inches.  The possibility of using your photo will depend on the quality of the photo or scan that you submit.


If you have digital pictures, please send scans in a high-resolution JPEG format to Christine Conley at


Mail photos to:

Italian Community Center

Heritage Photos

631 E Chicago St.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Attn: C. Conley


Please include:


  1. Name, phone number and email address of the person submitting the photograph.
  2. The people shown in the photograph.
  3. The year (or approximate year) the picture was taken.
  4. What event, show, procession, booth is shown in the picture, if it may be unclear.


By submitting your photo, you give the Italian Community Center  permission to use your photo in displays or publications of the ICC or Festa Italiana.


We look forward to sharing your memories.



Return of Holy Crucifix and St. Rocco

The Holy Crucifix and the St. Rocco Society have not been to Festa in a number of years.


Milwaukee’s Italians The Early Years by Mario A. Carini


Both secular and religious mutual aid societies were established by Italian immigrants in Milwaukee. The societies provided sickness and death benefits to their members.


Members of the Holy Crucifix were from Santo Stefano di Camastra. They established a society in 1905. They disbanded several years ago, but before doing so, restored their vada and statues. The San Rocco Society was established in 1925.


The exhibit will include the Holy Crucifix Statues on their vada and the St. Rocco Statue.





















Last year we prepared a slideshow of weddings and U.S. Military. We are in the process of creating additional slideshows for our studio portraits of adults and children. These photo shows allow us to include everyone who donated a photo to the exhibit.  Our collection continues to grow, and space prevents us from exhibiting every photo.

Weddings –la storia d’amore

We have taken all of the beautiful wedding photographs and transformed them into a heart-warming slide show of vintage wedding photographs, some taken 60 or more years ago. The warmth and nostalgia of these photos will no doubt touch the hearts of those who stop to enjoy the slide show – the photos portray love, promise, joy, family and friends. They are timeless. The love they felt and the anticipation of a long, happy, healthy marriage are no different than the hopes and dreams of those who marry today.

Our Servicemen

A second poignant slide show will be devoted to Italians and Italian Americans who served in the military. As guests see their faces, we hope they will feel a sense of gratitude and respect for their service, and appreciate that those soldiers considered themselves to be both Italian and American as soon as they arrived in the United States, and they fought proudly for our country, and for our freedom and our future.



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