Thirty-One Days of Italians
Promote Italian American Heritage
Thirty-One Days of Italians
2016-17 List of Names
2015-16 List of Names
2014-15 List of Names
2013-14 List of Names
Italian American History
Ideas for Lesson Plans
Index of Names
Contributing to America
Contributing to the World
Honorary Members
Italian Book Reviews
The History of Italian Immigrants
Celebrate Italian American Heritage Month
Promote Italian American Heritage
Italian American Doll
Con Amore
2012 List of Names
2011 List of Names
2010 List of Names
2009 List of Names
2008 List of Names
2007 List of Names
Sponsorship Levels
Sponsors and Supporters
Fiscal Sponsor
Prior Updates

The only way to promote Italian American heritage is to know the history of our culture. To start, learn about the men and women on Thirty-One Days of Italians. This website focuses on those who have significantly contributed to America and provides many additional resources; but the list is not inclusive.


Numerous books and websites provide an abundance of additional information about thousands of Italians and Italian Americans, and this information is well worth seeking out. Leon J. Radomile has made this task easier by compiling a vast amount of historic and cultural information into an easy to access form. His book, Heritage Italian-American Style uses a question and answer format to teach readers about the “significant contributions Italians and Italian Americans have made to the world.”


Ideas to promote our heritage with games
for children and adults.

The games are primarily developed to increase educational and cultural awareness of Italian and Italian American contributors to America and American history. The card and word games provide knowledge about individuals and/or their accomplishments. The board games provide knowledge about the geographical areas of Italy.

To make a game competitive, or as an incentive to participate, offer a single prize or several prizes. Anything Italian-related, but specific to the game itself would be appropriate – such as a book about one of the Italian artists or a CD of one of the musicians. However, a gift certificate for a box of Italian pastries is also a great incentive! Get local Italian merchants involved in promoting our heritage. The games can be expanded as fundraisers for scholarships or other charitable activities.

Desktop publishing makes it easy to print cards and graphics on paper to make board games. Print the cards on cardstock or photograph paper for better quality and longer-lasting cards. Print the map on cardstock and paste to foam board or heavy cardboard that is scored to fold. Use your Italian creativity to make the cards colorful and attractive, which will make the game more interesting to play.

The games are easy enough for anyone to print and play, and you can use any game rules. The level of involvement in preparing the game pieces and the game itself are adaptable to the person preparing the game and the player’s available time and skills. Initially, preparing and printing the game pieces will take a little time, but anything worthwhile does!

All the ideas below require your involvement in learning more about Italian culture and heritage and passing it along to teach others, while continuing to learn. If anyone has any ideas or would like to share their experiences, please let me know.



All names and facts can be obtained from Contributing to America. More information can be found by visiting the links provided with each name.

Card Games

Children: Print two cards (about 3- by 4-inches) of as many names as desired. (Ten names would be 20 cards.) Pictures can be added (be aware of the specific copyright laws of Web sites), either an actual photograph or a symbol to represent the person’s skills. Shuffle the cards and lay them face down, forming a large square. (Twenty cards will form a square 5 cards wide by 4 cards deep.) Each player selects two cards to try and match. Play ends when all the cards have been paired. The player with the most pairs, wins.

Children: Print cards (about 3- by 4-inches) with name and photograph of person, if possible. (Be aware of the specific copyright laws of Web sites.) Print a matching set of two or three more cards with facts about the person – date of birth/death, education, influences, contributions. You can print a card for each fact, or one card with several facts on it. This game can be played with any number of cards, depending on the skill level of those playing. For starters you can print just one category of names, such as all Explorers, or you can print several categories.

One way to play: (The fact cards also have the person’s name on them.) The name cards are dealt, the fact cards are placed face down in a stack. The first player draws a fact card, if it matches any name card in his or her hand, places the name card and the matching fact card face up on the table. If not, the fact card is discarded, face up, and can be chosen by the next player or that player can select the next fact card at the top of the deck. Game continues until all fact cards are drawn and matched with a name card. The player with the most cards, wins.


Board Games

Print a map of Italy, sized at least 2 feet by 1 feet. A colorful geographic map showing the major cities and, if possible, the regional borders with the regions identified (like a map of the United States shows and identifies the states) is best. You can also make a map of Italy, using an outline and adding the regions and major cities.

Children can create a map on a large piece of white foam board. (This can also be hung on the wall after completed, as a point of reference.) Color in the lakes, mountains, valleys, and coastal regions. Draw regional boundaries and identify, and add major cities.

Print cards with geographical facts about the person to match with towns or regions on the map. Place deck of cards face down. First player chooses a card and rolls dice. The number shows how many seconds the player has to find the geographic area. If not found before time has expired, the card is placed at the bottom of the deck. If found, player keeps card and places face up on the table. Play continues until all cards are displayed. The player with the most cards, wins.


Word Games

Older children or adult group: (Can play as two teams or individuals.) Choose as many names as preferred from the list and place them in order, based on the number of letters in each name. Divide the names into "rounds" based on how many people are playing. (Six people/teams, six rounds.)

Starting with the longest names, each player takes a name and makes as many words as possible from it. (Can place a time limit.) Each round eliminates one or two players (who listed the least amount of words) and proceeds to the next round of names. The player who finishes the final round with the most words from a name, wins.


For More Information

Copyright 2007-2016 Janice Therese Mancuso
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission except when published with this credit: Excerpt from Thirty-One Days of Italians, 2015 Janice Therese Mancuso.