Piero Armenti is literally living the American Dream and has become famous for telling the world all about it.
The 43-year-old Italian journalist arrived in New York in 2011, and in just over a decade, has built a media empire that has come to stand as a proud symbol of all the Italians who dream of life in America. Armenti’s signature “Il Mio Viaggio a New York” (“My Trip to New York”) brand has evolved into a valuable media franchise, complete with video and editorial blogs and partnerships with some of the most prominent Italian brands as sponsors.
Armenti’s estimated 4 million followers rank him as the number one Italian journalist abroad when it comes to reaching and social media following. His fans are rabid and global. They live in the United States, Canada, Australia, and of course, Italy, where Armenti has reached rockstar status.
Our staff at Il Progresso by America Domani caught up for an exclusive interview with the influential journalist and media entrepreneur about his roots, his rise to prominence, and his future.
America Domani: What is your background and what are your Italian roots?
Pietro Armenti: I was born in Avellino, but I have spent my whole life in Salerno. I consider Salerno a fantastic city, overlooking the Mediterranean, rich in history and charm. Being born in the heart of Campania has been a great privilege for me. I could not have hoped for better. Culinary culture, art, history. We really can't complain.
AD: In just a few short years, you have become one of the most influential figures in Italian American. Was this a coincidence or was this all part of your strategic plan when you first arrived in the United States?
PA: I started telling stories about New York through social media in 2014, mainly in Italian. Over time, my popularity has grown, also because for many I embodied the American Dream, the dream of coming to America and achieving something important. In all this, I have never denied my origins, on the contrary, I am proud of them.
AD: Your work often intersects with both Italian and Italian American culture. What are some of the main differences between Italians and Italian Americans and what are the nuances between the two audiences?
PA: Italian Americans are very attached to a traditional idea of Italy, tied to memories of rural Italy and small villages, while today's Italians are children of the cities and globalization. But there is one thing that binds us: the passion for cooking.
AD: What is something about life in America for Italians that only you would be able to tell us?
PA: It is true that in the United States, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of work and economic success. The idea of the "self-made man," or the individual who achieves success through hard work and determination, is deeply rooted in American culture. On the other hand, Italians tend to place greater importance on the quality of life and personal satisfaction, rather than economic success. However, there is also a problem of lack of good job opportunities in Italy. This can be a barrier for people trying to find a balance between work and personal life and can make it difficult for Italians to achieve their professional goals. However, there are also many Italians who are successful and find a satisfactory balance between work and personal life, despite the challenges.
AD: What is in store for Piero Armenti in 2023? What can your fans expect?
PA: I will be opening an authentic American Bakery in Milan soon. Stay tuned for more shortly on this. I can’t wait to share more!