NIAF Museum on Italian Immigration

NIAF Museum

On Friday, October 12, 2018, NIAF inaugurated a special landmark for the Italian American community. Thanks to the generous donation of artifacts by NIAF Board Emeritus in Rome, Italy, Francesco Nicotra and his daughter, Stefania Nicotra, NIAF re-created the first floor of its headquarters into a museum that’s open to the public. The museum is completely dedicated to telling our story, recounting the hardships that Italian immigrants faced, from enduring the journey across the Atlantic Ocean by ship, to living in the United States, from their monumental successes in the fields of music, entertainment, government and business, to the extraordinary achievements of Italian American women.

Museum Location

National Italian American Foundation
Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Building
1860 19th St NW
Washington D.C. 20009


The NIAF Museum on Italian Immigration is closed until further notice. The safety and enjoyment of our guests is our foremost concern.

Italian Immigration

The late 1800s saw the beginning of a period of mass migration from the southern regions of Italy to the United States. These early settlers were marginalized, with few of the rights afforded to American citizens, and worked hard to build the foundations of industrial America. These men built subways and aqueducts, carved iconic American monuments, and populated the budding network of factories in every division of labor.

Torn from all that was familiar, these families looked to family and tradition to keep Italy alive in their new homes.

But as we all know, Italians overcame the hardships and rose up and had tremendous success in various fields. Italian Americans have been iconic contributors to sports and the arts, facilitating and catalyzing the merging of Italian and American culture. Italian Americans have been heroes to the American people, inspiring across age, ethnicity, and occupation; artists have created works that have become part of the American fabric of existence, allowing Italians to infiltrate the mainstream culture and allowing Americans to better understand and enjoy Italian culture.

Today, Italian Americans continue to contribute to American culture and Italian American politicians stand apart for their willingness to break barriers in their communities and around the nation and globe.