Italian emigration lasted from the last decades of the 1800s up to the 1970s, spreading all over the world.
The main factors pushing Italians to emigrate were related to agriculture - cheap imports of American wheat and other cereals, competition from various European countries in the oil and wine trade and, especially in southern regions, the extension of the latifondo, together with primitive farming techniques.
In other regions, mechanized industry was leaving many skilled craftsmen and workers jobless. They moved abroad, where they could find better opportunities to achieve social and financial goals which would have been unthinkable in Italy. For these men, emigration was just one of the possible courses they could commit themselves to.