Tramonti’s Children and the «santa pizza». Social Networks
and the Cultural of Migration in the Internal Migration
This article presents the first results of a historical and anthropological research conducted among the migrants from Tramonti, a little town of the Amalphitan Coast. Since the 1950s, thousands of people have left this village for the North of Italy, where they have found work mostly in the restaurant business as pizzaioli. The case of the pizzaioli from Tramonti contrasts the received wisdom about Italian internal migration, revealing a migratory flow whose features depart from the mainstream of migrants seeking factory jobs, since it consisted of independent workers in the tertiary sector. The essay focuses on the working and on the cultural dimensions of migratory networks, using interviews and biographical reconstructions as its main sources. These life-stories highlight the importance of both translocal connections with the village of origin and of the culture of migration in fuelling the decision to leave for the North, through a mechanism of call and emulation. This kind of socio-cultural factors has often been neglected in the macro-analytical description of internal migration in Italy, although they are crucial to fully understand specific migratory patterns. The aim is thus to contribute, on the one hand, to a deeper awareness of the social and cultural dimensions of internal migration, and on the other, to the dialogue between social anthropology and the history of migration.
Keywords: Italian internal migration, migratory networks, culture of migration