About 60% of today’s Griffith residents claim Italian heritage and the influence remains strong in in the region’s local cuisine, wineries and family names.
Many of the region’s earliest Italian settlers came in the early 1900s to work on the area’s irrigation network, mostly hailing from the Veneto region.
They achieved what many others couldn’t on the land and are considered to have been central to the irrigation scheme’s success.
In the 1930s, many more Italians made the journey to settle in the region, coming from Sicily, Calabria and other regions, bringing with them their farming expertise and a desire to turn their plot of land into a thriving business.
Their success stories brought another wave of Italian migration to the area post war.
By the end of the 1960s, Griffith had more people of Italian birth per head of population than any other town or city in NSW.
Today, the Italian influence remains strong in its renowned fresh produce, grapes wines, and restaurants, not to forget the annual Festa del Salsicce (salami festival).
Recognising the contribution of the Italian farming, culture and food to the region, the area has a Griffith Italian Heritage trail for people interested in hearing about the history and influences.