Luigi Lanza in Venice, 1929
Black and white photograph of Luigi Lanza standing outside St. Mark's Basilica in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. He is standing in front of a monument and is surrounded by pigeons.
Lanza was born on June 7, 1883 in Roseto Valfortare, Fogia, Italy and immigrated to Canada in 1901. On his arrival, Lanza settled in Sydney, Nova Scotia along with his father, Giuseppe and his brothers Francesco and Antonio. The Lanza men worked as labourers at the Sydney Steel Mill. According to his family, Luigi Lanza spent some time in the United States residing in Hoboken, New Jersey. He married Maria Giovanna (Jennie) Sabatino. In 1912, the couple had settled in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, where Lanza worked as a labourer at the Algoma Steel Plant. The family moved to Hamilton, ON, in 1917, where Lanza opened his own grocery business – Luigi Lanza Grocery & Butcher Store. Lanza did travel to Italy, with two known trips in 1916 and 1929. On the latter trip, he sailed on a ship named the Vulcania. When he bought a hotel in 1934, he named it after the ship. At the time of his arrest, he owned and managed the Vulcania Hotel in Hamilton and was in the midst of buying the building. As a result of his internment, the deal faltered and the sale was not completed.