The journey

The journey - that is, the time it takes to reach the country of destination - is the symbolic element of the whole migration process, of the detachment from a "before" - known and loved, though unsatisfactory - to reach an "after" - certainly attractive but almost entirely unknown. It is a time as difficult to experience as the turning points that matter in everyone's life.
We leave by foot, by train, by slow steamers or fast ocean liners, finally by plane.
It starts, predominantly, from a few Italian ports. It is Genoa that has handled, since pre-unification times, the greatest migratory traffic. Later, with the meridionalization of the flow and the preferential choice of North America, it was Naples that had the primacy of departures. At a great distance followed Palermo and, after the end of World War I, Trieste. Departures from foreign countries saw the French port of Le Havre in first place.