Mission

At My Italian Family, we help all people of Italian descent reconnect to their Italian Roots, by assisting them in their journey to Italian citizenship and by researching their family (past and present) in their Ancestral town. 

Experience

For 20 years, our in-house Italian & US lawyers and paralegals have worked effortlessly & tirelesslyto assist Italian Dual Citizenship applicants obtaining an Italian passport.  Their know-how and experience combined with first hand knowledge of the process have been essential to the success of thousands of clients. The support provided by our 30+ professional researchers both in Italy and in the US has proven invaluable to resolve complex situations. We strive to provide excellent service with the goal of putting together complete document portfolios to be presented to the Italian Consulate, or to the Town Hall in Italy in case applicants choose Italy as their permanent residence, or to the Civil Courts in Rome for a 1948 Law Suit. 

Trusted & Verified

With a 20+ years business tenure, My Italian Family is an "Accredited" Business with Better Business Bureau.  

BBB Accredited Business

2,000+
Successful Citizenship Applications
500+
Italian Family Trips
200 years
Combined Italian Research Experience
The My Italian Family Team
Bianca
Ottone
Founder
Italian Roots: 
My name is Bianca Ottone and I grew up in Genova, home of navigators Cristoforo Colombo and Andrea Doria, composer Niccolo’ Paganini and architect Renzo Piano. It is there that I earned a University Degree in Foreign Languages, which eventually took me to Rome where I spent my early career working at Citibank. The day I decided to leave the financial industry was not received very well by my family members. After all, resigning from a good job sounds a little crazy, does it not? Perhaps, but big changes were on the horizon for me from earning a Master’s degree in Management at the London Business School to founding an online business (www.myitalianfamily.com). All of that happened just 20 years ago…
Accomplishments: 
Today, My Italian Family has helped many people with an Italian origin trace back their roots, reconnect to their living relatives, follow their Ancestors’ steps onsite in Italy and become Italian Dual Citizens. We continue to employ the knowledge and professionalism of our Italian researchers in creating wonderful family histories that will be cherished by our clients and their future generations. In addition, our in-house Italian and American lawyers provide expertise and know-how in assisting applicants successfully going through the process of becoming Italian Dual Citizens. Not a single day goes by where I regret my decision to make a change in my life and be what I am today. Do you want to talk to Bianca? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
James
Chinnici
VP Citizenship Services
Italian Roots: 
My name is James Chinnici; I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where my Grandfather and Father had settled after coming to the US in 1920 from Sicily. Although my Father was born in Sant'Agata di Militello, my Grandfather’s family lineage was from Cesarò and San Teodoro, Northwest of Mount Etna. I am a graduate of Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), and also earned an MBA from The Ohio State University.
Accomplishments: 
My business career first was in Human Resources and Training & Development, which led to consulting and sales roles in a number of major Management Consulting firms, including Cap Gemini, Accenture, and HCL-America. I have helped numerous businesses as a turn-around specialist in merger & acquisition implementations and in helping manage large scale systems implementations in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. About 20 years ago, after my parents had passed away, I began a serious genealogy hunt for my roots in Sicily. I even traveled to the towns where my family was originally from, an experience I will never forget. Since Genealogy and Dual Citizenship are so tied to each other, I have become an expert in both. Today, I head the Italian Dual Citizenship Service Department at My Italian Family assisting fellow Italian Americans in their journey to Italian citizenship. Do you want to talk to James? Call him at 1-844-745-1123!
Marco
Mazzeschi
Italian Law Firm
Italian Roots: 
I was born in 1961 and grew up in Scorgiano, a tiny “borgo” in the heart of Tuscany with only 44 inhabitants. Including all surrounding families of farmers who worked for the estate, population was about 600 people. The farmers in Scorgiano (in some cases a family was composed of more than 20 siblings) used to cultivate the land with the method of “Mezzadria”, a system of land tenure whereby a farmer was given a plot of land with a house by a land owner and paid a proportion (originally half, which in Italian is “mezzo”) of the farm’s produce as a rent. Despite the fact that many left, my family stayed in Scorgiano and in 1988, we were able to purchase and renovate one of the houses nearby located in Casanova, where I currently live. After Law University, I spent two years as lieutenant of the Italian Fiscal Police and I was posted in Predazzo, a small village in the Dolomites. In 1988 I moved in Milan where I worked for 20 years with some of the largest law firms.
Accomplishments: 
Marco has more than 30 years’ experience in corporate immigration and commercial law. He is “an absolute top name” who stands out as “the most prominent attorney in Italy” in the area, according to Who’s Who Legal’s Corporate Immigration and he has also been selected in the list of Thought Leaders - Global Elite 2020. He has been admitted with the Milan Bar Association since 1988 and as foreign practicing lawyer in Taipei since 2016. He founded Mazzeschi SRL in 2007 and since then, he offers immigration and legal services to multinational companies (more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies) and to foreigners in the entire Italian territory. Currently, Mazzeschi SRL has developed a consistent Citizenship department to help foreigners acquire their Italian citizenship and its experts are mostly specialized in 1948 cases and fast-track procedures. Marco is also a member of AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) since 2001. He speaks frequently at international conferences and seminars and has written several articles to international journals. He is a regular contributor to Lexisnexis and Thomson Reuters publications.
Eric
Buonamassa, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Italian Roots: 
My name is Eric Buonamassa. I am the grandchild of Italian-born grandparents who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s from Matera (Basilicata), Petrignano d’Assisi (Umbria) and Cuneo (Piemonte). Growing up, my grandparents and parents kept in touch with the family in Italy, and I continue to maintain a relationship with i miei cugini italiani. I travel to Italy with my wife and son frequently to spend time with them, and they often visit us here in New York. I’m constantly striving to improve my Italian language skills and broaden my knowledge of Italian culture. As part of that, my wife and I recently rented an apartment in Firenze for a month and lived la vita italiana (see photo!).
Accomplishments: 
I have lived my entire life in the New York City area, receiving my undergraduate degree from New York University and my law degree from Brooklyn Law School. After 25 years of practice in New York law firms and corporations, I joined the staff of My Italian Family. I went through the process of obtaining my Italian citizenship and after receiving it I took the steps necessary to obtain Italian citizenship for my wife and son as well. In doing so I learned the legal ins and outs of the documentation required for Italian citizenship. I also enjoy doing genealogy research and have expertise in reading old handwritten Italian birth, death and marriage records. I use all of that knowledge in my work for My Italian Family, and I am happy to share my skills and experience in helping clients obtain their Italian citizenship. Do you want to talk to Eric? Call him at 1-844-745-1123!
Michael F.
Petta, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Italian Roots: 
My name is Michael Francis Petta. I am 100% of Italian descent, the grandchild of my paternal Italian-born grandparents who emigrated from Campobasso Italy. My grandfather initially came to the US via Ellis Island in the early 1900s alone, until he was able to establish himself in Mechanicville (NY), gain employment, save money, and have my grandmother immigrate here. They never learned to speak English too well and prided themselves in their Italian heritage. On my maternal side, my great-grandparents emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s and settled in Mechanicville too. By the way, both my grandmothers (including my mom) were phenomenal cooks, a talent that, I hope, I inherited from them and a tradition that I would like to pass on to my children and grandchildren.
Accomplishments: 
I graduated from High School in Mechanicville, NY with high honors, received a BS degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Criminal Justice/Pre-law, with a minor in psychology. I attended and graduated from Pace University Law School in White Plains, NY with a Juris Doctorate degree. I passed both the NY and CT bar exams and am admitted to practice law in both of those states. I have work for many employers, primarily in the private sector - but also for New York State and a non-profit entity as well. For New York State, I worked for the Office of the State Comptroller, as well as for the litigation bureau of the Department of Health. I am currently a supervisor of tax experts for an online tax preparation software company, in addition to being the attorney for My Italian Family, LLC - helping United States citizens attain the coveted status of dual citizenship with Italy. Do you want to talk to Michael? Call him at 1-844-745-1123!
Lauren
Fiorucci
Associate Director
Italian Roots: 
My name is Lauren Fiorucci and I grew up in Bucks County, PA, known for its history, culture, and beautiful surroundings. I am 100% Italian and have great grandparents from Cantiano (Marche), Gualdo Tadino (Umbria), Pietradefusi (Campania), Spinetoli (Marche), Castelluccio Valmaggiore (Apulia), and Casteltermini (Sicilia). I applied for Italian Dual Citizenship jure sanguinis with the Philadelphia Consulate about a year ago and have recently been recognized an Italian citizen and successfully obtained my Italian Passport.
Accomplishments: 
I attended Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, PA and West Chester University in West Chester, PA where I majored in Psychology. I worked in Human Resources before joining the team at My Italian Family. I have currently been with the company for four years and I am a full time Associate Director specializing in genealogical research, US vital record retrieval, and amendments to US vital records. I am also a Notary Public. Do you want to talk to Lauren? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Robin
Clevenstine
Senior Project Manager
Italian Roots: 
My name is Robin Clevenstine. I was born and raised in Port Reading, New Jersey where my maternal great grandparents settled from Pietrastornina, Campania, Italy. I attended Moravian College where I met my husband Carl and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management. We reside in Bucks County with our three children.
Accomplishments: 
I acquired my paralegal certification after graduation and worked for a major personal injury law firm in the product liability department. My appreciation for genealogy came while teaching my 3 children about their ancestry. As a result, I joined the staff of My Italian Family as a full time Project Manager where I assist clients in their pursuit of dual Italian citizenship by handling all of the administrative needs of the process including performing genealogy research, obtaining US vital records and amendments. Do you want to talk to Robin? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Valeria
Sammartano
Senior Project Manager
Italian Roots: 
My name is Valeria Sammartano. I was born and raised in Castelvetrano, province of Trapani, in the south-western coast of the beautiful Sicily. My home-town is especially known for its “Nocellara del Belice DOP” olive oil and for the archeological site of Selinunte, one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily, with great remains of the temples centered on the “acropolis”, beside the Mediterranean Sea. This is the land where I have been living with my family for 27 years and where I have been studying to become an attorney, like my father, from whom I inherited my passion for the law.
Accomplishments: 
I received my Master’s Law Degree from the University of Palermo in 2015; I worked as a lawyer apprentice in my family law firm for about two years and I was also a judicial intern at the local Courthouse of Sciacca, province of Agrigento. In 2017 I received my license to practice law after successfully passing the Italian State Bar Exam. In 2017 I also got married to my German husband Kay, whom I met in New York City on a summer vacation and who was already working in the U.S. as a Sales Manager for a German company. This is the reason why we decided to establish our permanent residence in New Jersey, where we currently live together with our son Francesco. I joined the staff of My Italian Family to use my legal knowledge and expertise to assist our Dual Citizenship Applicants and to combine my work as a full time Project Manager with my great love for the law and for Italy. Do you want to talk to Valeria? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Melissa
Barnes
Senior Project Manager
Italian Roots: 
My name is Melissa Barnes; I was born and have resided in the greater Houston area my entire life. My Grandmother relocated here from West Virginia where my paternal Great Grandfather settled from San Giovanni in Fiore in the Calabria region of southern Italy in the early 1910’s. My entire extended family get together often, and I enjoy learning more and more about our Italian genealogy from my Grandmother,and teaching my son about his ancestry.
Accomplishments: 
I attended Sam Houston State University studying two majors and eventually started working at a local law firm during my senior year in 2012. I have worked as a legal assistant for the last eight years for a Criminal Defense attorney, Family Law attorney and most recently, a Construction Defect attorney. Over the years, I found the most joy in giving clients a personalized and positive experience in everything that I do. This has led me to join My Italian Family as a full time Project Manager; using my legal experience to provide our clients with an effortless dual Italian citizenship process from start to finish. Do you want to talk to Melissa? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Jillian
Palisano-Au
Senior Project Manager
Italian Roots: 
My name is Jillian Palisano-Au. I am 50% Italian. My father is 100%. I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY where the Italian side of my family settled after immigrating from Sicily. I currently reside in Buffalo, NY with my husband and 2 children.
Accomplishments: 
I attended the State University of New York at Fredonia where I earned a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English and a Minor in Criminal Justice. I also obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. I have been working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal for 8 years. I am very excited to be part of My Italian Family and assist clients with finding out more about their family heritage as well as obtain their Italian Dual Citizenship. Do you want to talk to Jillian? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
CarolAnn
Margotta Jarnagin
Project Manager
Italian Roots: 
I was born in New Rochelle, NY, and spent the next 12 years moving around the world with my military family. We settled in Fort Worth, TX, when my stepfather retired. I am half of Italian descent, with my father’s family having been part of the early immigrants to the United States in the 19th century. My grandfather’s family emigrated from Calitri, Italy, and eventually settled in New Rochelle, NY. My grandfather later became a practicing pharmacologist in New Rochelle, and his sister was the City Pharmacist for New Rochelle after WWII. My grandmother’s family arrived in New York at approximately the same time and she was born in what became Croton-on-Hudson. I currently live north of Dallas, TX, where I raised my children and now spend my free time with my grandchildren, in various volunteer endeavors, travel, and outdoor adventure.
Accomplishments: 
I hold a bachelor’s degree in History, Political Science, and Journalism from the University of North Texas. My professional background is as a data analyst for a Fortune 100 multinational corporation. History is a passion of mine, and I am so excited to be able to utilize my research skills to assist with the many and varying journeys to dual Italian citizenship as a full time Project Manager. Do you want to talk to CarolAnn? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Alexander
Famous-Cerullo
Project Administrator
Italian Roots: 
My name is Alexander Famous and I reside in Princeton, New Jersey. My grandparents settled in South Brunswick after arriving in the United States in 1963 from Vallata, Campania. I upheld the tradition of my heritage with frequent trips to Italy to visit and stay with my relatives…and even finding my passion for making (and eating) homemade pasta! I took it upon myself to apply and receive dual citizenship with Italy to strengthen the connection with my family. With my experience, I organized citizenship applications for my mother and siblings.
Accomplishments: 
I attended Princeton High School where I studied 4 years of honors Italian. As a student at St. Olaf College, I am currently working on two degrees in Computer Science and Latin. As a Latin student, I was elected to the Eta Sigma Phi honor society for exemplary skill in translation in Latin. I was also recently commissioned as a Notary Public in the State of New Jersey. I reached out to MY ITALIAN FAMILY with a desire to help others through the same exciting experience of exploring Italian heritage and gaining citizenship this summer in an intern position. I look forward to sharing my love of Italy and Italian culture with everyone! Do you want to talk to Alexander? Call him at 1-844-745-1123!
Francesca
Buanne
Translations Specialist
Italian Roots: 
My name is Francesca and I was born and raised on the kaleidoscopic island of Sicily. I was born from a Sicilian Father and a Sicilian American Mother ~ without knowing or planning, this defined the compass and course of my life. I divided my life with countless journeys between Sicily, Italy and the USA for both personal and professional reasons. Languages, intercultural communication and understanding were always present within our home and there I began learning Sicilian, Italian, English and French from my parents and later studied Spanish, Portuguese, Latin and ancient Greek. I’m currently deepening the study of the German language, the 9th in my portfolio, and just completed the first advanced course. I’m happily married – my husband was born in Vienna, Austria – and it is here that I moved to 3 years ago. We have a 2 year old bambina, Alina, who fills our lives with joy and love. I’m very happy to share my language and professional background and expertise to translate and interpret and give new life to the documents of all clients and families of My Italian Family so that they may find the exact destination in Italy where their families originated. I find this research very humbling and emotional as it enriches both our clients’ lives and ours as we become a liaison to their ancestors and therefore help complete the puzzle of their identity.
Accomplishments: 
Francesca completed her Higher Education at Ohio University where she obtained: a BA in French, a BA in International Studies, a joint Masters in Communication and International Development and a TEFL/TESOL Certificate to Teach English as a Foreign or Second Language. Through the years, she also earned multiple language certifications from different institutions in the USA and in Europe. Within the past 25 years, she has acquired professional experience within different realms: Translation and Interpretation, Genealogy research and journeys, International Education, International Tourism, International Affairs and Communication as well as Writing and Journalism. Since the age of 5, she cultivates her passion for writing. She was Editor in Chief of La Gazzetta Italiana in the USA for three years and immediately after published her first book, “My Sicily: Life in the Cusp of the Mediterranean Sea,” a memoir about her childhood and travels through Sicily. In 2007 and 2013, she was the winner – first classified in the world – of the Italian Literary Award “Sicilia Mondo” which she received in Catania and at the Sicilian Parliament in Palermo, Sicily – for her writing and role as Sicilian Ambassador and Emerging Sicilian Female Entrepreneur in the World. The book tour brought her on an unforgettable journey across the USA and Sicily with more than 50 stops.
Laura
De Santis
Italian Records Specialist
Italian Roots: 
My name is Laura De Santis. I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Milan where I received my high school degree in Accounting. I worked there in Human resources for 15 years. When I met my husband Stefano our passion for travel bloomed. Later on, our two children Chiara, now 25 and Daniele, 21 were born.
Accomplishments: 
In 2001 we moved to the United States. I became a massage therapist while also working part time as a teacher’s assistant at the Waldorf School of Princeton. Eventually, I became a pastry baker in Princeton and then I met My Italian Family over three years ago. It was love at first sight! I work mostly as a translator of US documents to Italian in conjunction with Italian Dual Citizenship applications. I also assist our Research Team in putting together these beautiful reports for customers who authorize the research of their Family History onsite in Italy. Do you want to talk to Laura? Call her at 1-844-745-1123!
Walter
Santantonio
Italian Genealogist
Italian Roots: 
My name is Walter Santantonio; I was born in Switzerland where my Italian parents had migrated for work. When I was six, we all returned to my paternal ancestral town located in the province of Treviso, part of the beautiful region of Veneto. It is there that the Santantonio Family settled for generations in the town of Colle Umberto.
Accomplishments: 
After high school, I immediately developed an interest in genealogy; I was in my 20s when I started a family research in the church archives of the town where my grandparents lived, and for me, it was like discovering the Holy Grail. From there, I perfected my interest and made it into a profession. In the early 2000s, I started offering my genealogy services to Newsgroups, and then I slowly graduated to offering services to all people whose roots hailed from the North of Italy, including clients from My Italian Family. Today, after more than 500 genealogy research projects successfully completed, I also specialize in finding heirs, locating ancestral homes, and procuring Italian Vital Records for the purpose of Italian Dual Citizenship. My collaboration with My Italian Family is almost two decades long and still ongoing.
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