Western Massachusetts Italians celebrate Columbus Day

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts Italian Americans greatly admire the man for whom they celebrate Columbus Day.

The Italian flag flies over Springfield City Hall, and at the Columbus statue located at the gateway to the South End. That’s where thousands of Italian immigrants first settled in Springfield more than 100-years-ago.

“I think Columbus kind of personified what it means to be a entrepreneurial Italian. He was someone who had a great vision of life and what he wanted to do. He was a devout Catholic, respected the Catholic Faith. He didn’t care what they doubters said, that’s what many Italian Americans did.”

Dario Gagliano, West Springfield

Columbus Day falls during Italian Heritage Month in western Massachusetts. The month-long observance has already experienced the re-opening of the Italian Cultural Center in Springfield.

Columbus Day falls one week after the long-standing tradition, The Taste of Italy, which attracted more than 1,000 sons and daughters of Italian immigrates who’ve settled in Springfield.

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