Bowling Green Park, at the foot of Broadway where it meets Battery Place, is home to NYC’s oldest fence (it’s the same one built in the 1700s; gilded crowns were cut off of the fenceposts by patriots during the Revolution, and you can still see the uneven fence tops where the crowns were) as well as several other little-known artifacts, such as this memorial to… Peter Alberti. Who?
Wikipedia: Pietro Cesare Alberti (1608-1655) was a Venetian immigrant to Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, commonly regarded as the first Italian American.
During the Thirty Years’ War troops from the Netherlands were stationed in Malamocco, a narrow inlet in the Venetian Lagoon. These troops carried with them a particularly virulent strain of Bubonic Plague. The plague spread rapidly, killing 46,000 of the city’s 140,000 residents. The immense decline in Venice’s population led to a similar decline in its commercial power. Because the Alberti’s power was derived from the success of Venetian traders, Pietro, at the age of 27 decided to seek a new life in the New World. He arrived in New Amsterdam aboard the Dutch ship the “King David” on June 2, 1635. Pietro acclimated well in New Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan environment. In 1642 he married a Dutch Huguenot woman named Judith Manje (also Magnee). The couple had 6 children from 1642 to 1655. The Albertis lived in a home on Broad Street until 1646 when Pietro applied for a land grant from the Dutch. The Albertis farmed 100 acres in Brooklyn until Pietro and Judith were killed in an Indian raid in 1655.
June 2nd commemorates “Pietro Alberti Day” in New York City.