Having survived their disastrous journey from Italy in search of a promised land near New Guinea (outlined in the History section of the website), about 40 families eventually reunited to make their homes near today’s Museum. The displays include extensive memorabilia of the original families who came to farm here from 1882. Poor land produced great hardship. However, in the Australian bush they produced internationally award winning silk and made their own wine and salami.

Take a walk through our museum

(1) A Place Full of Stories

  • More than 30 families from Northern Italy left a land of poverty and political turmoil seeking a new start. Instead they found death and despair before being brought to Australia and settling in New Italy in the late 1880’s.

(2) Leaving Home, Why did they go?

  • The opportunity to make a better life for their families in ‘La Nouvelle France’ in the South Pacific was the lure that led many to flee the Veneto region of Northern Italy.

(3) The Swindler: Marquis de Rays

  • A master of deception and the creator of schemes doomed to failure, was looking to restore the wealth his ancestors enjoyed.

(4) From Hope to Despair

  • Can you imagine taking responsibility to pack up call family and move to an unknown land? It took desperation, hope and faith.

(6) Shipwrecked Mariners

  • Henry Parkes allows the Italians to settle in Australia, subject to some conditions.

(7) This Place: The Landscape before New Italy

  • What was the landscape like before the Italians arrived?

(8) Pioneer Kitchen

  • Take a look inside the most important room in the early settlers’ homes.

(9) Establishing the New Italy Settlement

  • The northern Rivers was the last region in the colony still available for selection, and this was ‘left over’ land that other colonists had rejected.

(10) An Expanding Community: Multicultural New Italy

  • The isolated community was almost entirely Italian in its founding year. Later Irish and Scottish families joined the community.

(11) Making A Living

  • As soon as the kids got big enough, they had to work.

(12) Tools: Making a place and working the land

  • Many tools were multipurpose, and it was said the tool should do at least half the work.

(13) Making Home

  • Life at home in New Italy

(14) Educating the next generation of Australians

  • The New Italy Public School was opened in 1885 with 29 children enrolled.

(15) Silk Industry at New Italy

  • New Italy was chosen as an area suitable to the cultivation of sericulture and produced award winning silk on the world stage.

(17) Community Wall

  • A collage of 65 photographs of our early settlers.

(18) Church: Faith and Community

  • The story of the New Italy pioneers is one of hope and tragedy, heartache and joy, centred on their commitment to Family and Church.

(19) New Italy’s ANZACS Honour Roll

  • In memory of the sons of the Italian Families that settled New Italy in 1882, who served in the Australian Imperial Forces in World War 1.

(LD) Look Down, Look Up

  • The story of the ti tree logs used in the construction of our Museum.

(21) Salami, Pasta and Parrot Pie

  • The northern Italian families who made their homes here from 1882 came from a culture where food, family and community were deeply intertwined.

(22) Nardi’s Dance Hall

  • A typical gathering at a fiesta, circa 1889.

(23) Antonolli’s Wine Shop

  • An number of wine shops operated out of New Italy over time, some were licensed…

Family Cabinets – Labelled A through Z

  • A – RODER FAMILY : Lorenzo [Orsago] ~ Maria Regina born PIAI [Orsago]
  • B – SCARRABELOTTI FAMILY : Michael [Orsago] ~ Zelinda born MELLARE [Albina]
  • C – MUD HOUSE : Still selling refreshments on the highway
  • D – ANTONIOLLI FAMILY : Luigi [Orsago] ~ Giovanna born BATTISTUZZI [Orsago]
  • E – SPINAZE FAMILY : Lorenzo [Orsago] ~ Maria born GABRIEL-ZANETTE [Codogne]
  • F – SPINAZE FAMILY  : “With simple faith and trust in God..”
  • G – BERTOLI FAMILY  : Santo deceased en route ~ Friona/Fiorina born CIAROT? [Padua]
  • H – GAVA FAMILY  : Santo deceased before arrival ~ Santa
  • I – BATTISTUZZI FAMILY : Giovanni [Orsago] ~ Apollina born PIZZINATTO [Orsago]
  • K – CAPELIN / PERIN / TOME FAMILY : Lorenzzo [Ghirano] ~ Maria formerly Mrs TOME born LUCON [Cimetta]
  • L – PELLIZER / BERTOLLI FAMILY : Agostino ~ Florida formerly Mrs BERTOLI born CIAROT? [Padua]
  • M – BAZZO FAMILY : Antonio [Codogne] ~ Teresa born BUORO [Codogne]
  • N – MAZZER FAMILY : Pietro ~ Louisa born GAVA
  • O – NARDI FAMILY : Vincenzo [Albina] ~ Caterina born PAOLIN [Albina], Antonio [Albina] ~ Caterina
  • Q – FLETT FAMILY : Thomas [Orkney Isles] ~ Elizabeth born BEREN [Arbroath (Scotland)]
  • S – PEZZUTTI FAMILY : Antonio [Orsago] ~ Angelina born ZANIN [Orsago]
  • T – PICCOLI FAMILY : Andrea [Cordignano] ~ Pitt Giovanna born BORTOLOT [Cordignano] & RODER FAMILY : Louisa widow
  • U – MORGAN FAMILY : Thomas [Lancashire (England)] ~ Ada born PURSEY [Bungawalbyn (NSW)]
  • W – BUORO / RODER FAMILY : Lucietta born RODER widow, deceased en route [Albina]
  • X – ROSOLEN FAMILY : Giovanni [Albina] ~ Rosa [Albina]
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