Benvenuti! My name is Christopher Forte and I am The Italian Californian. My immediate family were very assimilated and far from their roots so when I had become interested in our Italian heritage at a young age when I was immersed in a culturally diverse setting in Southern California I went on a quest to learn more about it Once I discovered the richness, beauty and storied history that Italians have even right here in California, going as far back as when it was a Spanish colony, I dived into it headfirst, with a zeal to preserve that history and culture and share it with the world.
And that is where this web site comes in. With my esteemed colleagues, my sister Michelle L. Forte and her daughter, my niece, Marissa Forte, our quest, the goal of this publication is to preserve, celebrate, promote, and share the Italian American heritage of California with the world. I do not see this site in competition with any other Italian and Italian American publication, indeed the entire mission of this site to promote those publications and media and help them thrive. The more exposure the Italian American community gets, the better. We have the same goals, and I want to be an additional voice and advocate achieving those goals. "A rising tide lifts all boats," so the saying goes, and I just want to be a part of that tide.
To accomplish this, TheItalianCalifornian.com will be a gateway to everything Italian and Italian American in California. Here you will find directories with useful links to Italian and Italian American social, cultural, charitable and professional organizations, to Italian neighborhoods and enclaves in California, museums and cultural centers, as well as to sources that can educate you on the history of Italians in the Golden State. Looking for an Italian restaurant? There will also be a link to sources that can help find one near you.
There will be a few original articles here as well, and while I'll be covering as much of California as I can, I will be focused mainly on my home of San Diego. This is not only because it is easier for me due to my limited staff and budget, but because despite the city's thriving Italian American community with so many organizations and events, the community lacks its own distinct publication and media outlet. So I hope to fill that void.
A bit about me: I am the Facilities Coordinator for the Amici House, which is San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood event and heritage center which is run as part of the Heritage program of the Convivio Society, I also sit on the Convivio Society's Little Italy Heritage Commission, am a member of the House of Italy, the former 2nd Vice President of the Italian Catholic Federation ICF Branch #230-Our Lady of the Rosary, and am a volunteer for the Little Italy Association and am very active with my church, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, an Italian National Parish. I am a board member of the Sons of Italy (now the Sons and Daughters of Italy) (OSIA) San Diego Lodge #1627 and am a member of San Diego's Italian American Civic Association (IACA). I have over twenty years' experience in personnel and financial management and have a Certificate in Writing for Publication.
In The Italian Californian you will soon find original articles about my life in the Italian American community of California, like when I attended the festa and sign unveiling in LA's new "Little Italy," when I was at a Columbus Day celebration as presented by the Italian American Civic Association (IACA) in San Diego, and the many beautiful traditions at my church like the Madonna del Lume Mass, and so on.