By ship

At least until the end of the nineteenth century, Italian shipowners carried out the transport of emigrants with an obsolete fleet of sailing ships that were rightly called "Lazarus' ships." The voyage, which, even in the early years of the last century, could last up to a month, was made under living conditions unimaginable today. The worst situation was that of housing.

The bunks, all in the lower part of the ship, faced corridors that mostly received air only from hatches. There was a literal lack of living space in them. As a result, in the morning, whatever the weather, everyone was forced to move to the decks: illnesses - pulmonary and intestinal especially - were the order of the day, and mortality was also high.

With the construction in the 1920s of the large cruise steamers, which still carried large numbers of emigrants, travel time and living conditions on board improved significantly.