We always knew there would be a day named after us…
We love New York and visit quite regularly to see friends and find new interesting, unique places to eat and drink. Each time we visit we always go to Battery park, Lower Manhattan where situated is our very own Alberti Day monument. We are very proud to be an Alberti and here is how Alberti Day came about.
Alberti Day June 2nd New York City
His name was Pietro Cesare Alberti from Venice and he was the first Italian settler in America.
The year was 1635 and the setting was Dutch New Amsterdam (the future NYC) – a fledgling town suffering from government mismanagement, lack of support from its primary financial backer the Dutch West India Company, and the constant threat of takeover from the other European powers vying for colonial supremacy. Into this uncertainty stepped Pietro, the son of Andrea Alberti Secretary of the Treasury of Venice, and Lady Veronica, a descendant of the great Medici family.
Pietro was a sailor by trade and his career began in the employ of the Dutch, as a result of the close relationship between the Dutch Republic of the United Provinces, who were fighting the 30 Years’ War against Spain and the Holy Roman Empire at the time, and the Venetian Republic, who were trading partners with the Dutch. Alberti began his adventures by serving as an officer and advisor to David Pietersen, the Captain of the Dutch Ship ‘King David,’ which was scheduled to explore lands in the New World. One such trip required the ‘King David’ to sail into New York Harbor to make ship repairs in New Amsterdam. After a dispute with Captain Pietersen, Alberti (who was in his mid-20s) decided to stay ashore on Manhattan Island and make a new life for himself. While he was the only Italian in the city of New Amsterdam, he adapted very well and became a successful tobacco farmer in what is today land stretching from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Fort Greene, in addition to owning a house and land on Broad Street in modern Manhattan. Alberti intermarried into the Dutch aristocracy, but was later killed, along with his wife Judith Manje, in a raid by Native Americans in 1655 on his farm in Brooklyn. He had seven children who intermarried with such early influential New York families as the Wyckoff, Remsen, Mott, and Nostrand families- names that to this day dot the streetscape of New York.
The monument which is in Lower Manhattan use to be on Bowing Green park before it was moved to the Perimeter of Battery park between Greenwich and Washington Streets.
Make sure to visit the spot in which the first Italian-American left his mark and opened the door for future immigrant generations to come.
One small step for Pietro Cesare Alberti became a giant leap for Italian-Americans.