Paola Sensi-Isolani, a professor of social anthropology at Saint Mary's College, is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle travel section story about the history of immigration from the Italian province of Lucca to San Francisco.
The article read in part:
Sensi-Isolani said the Lucchesi have a long history of emigration that dates to the 1600s -- owing to land that was mostly mountainous and didn't produce much, deforestation and small landholdings that couldn't support the large families of the Lucchesi.
"They had a certain level of education that was higher than most Italian immigrants," she said, "and also a little capital, which allowed them to become entrepreneurs fairly quickly."
California, she added, suited them best with its Italian climate and fertile land.