Are we really “Italian”? How DNA testing helps verify our ethnicity.

The newest and certainly the most intriguing approach to discovering our family history is DNA testing and analysis. A DNA test result shows us the “mix” by percentages of the various “nationalities” or geographic history of our family.  But often, the results may not show any or only a small percentage of “Italian” background…

Because my paternal and maternal grandparents’ families were born and raised in the northern regions of Liguria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardia and Veneto, I am a great example of a “mix” of seemingly non-Italian blood. These areas were at one time or another part of Spain, France, Austria, Hungary, as well as Turkey and the results of my DNA proved this out (*):

(*) Source: Family Tree DNA

In fact, further details show my “Southern Europe” DNA footprint is extremely strong from Spain, Italy, and Greece, while the “Western and Central Europe” is strong from France which perfectly matches my actual family tree dating back 400 years of family history in the northern regions of Italy. 

Proof of this is tied to both the modern history of the formation of Italy (a long drawn out process that began in 1815 all the way to 1871) as well as the history of conquering peoples (the Greeks, Etruscans, Celts, Byzantines, Arabs, French and Spanish) owning and occupying for centuries what today is the footprint of Italy.

If the results show my roots as being from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, which represents the migration pattern of people and cultures over the past 1,000 years and more, I AM ITALIAN.

NOTE: If you are interested in discovering your DNA “mix”, one place to start is to understand the type of DNA tests and what each can tell you about your personal history, and then match it with the history of your family tree’s vital information (birth dates and locations). You may only be interested in the “history” of your family as shown above in my DNA results, or you may be interested in connecting with direct matches to your genealogy based family tree. There are three major DNA research organizations to explore:, and

© 2016 Bianca Ottone MY ITALIAN FAMILY. All rights reserved.