Up to a certain time the wife’s citizenship followed her husband’s one: by marrying a foreigner, an Italian woman automatically lost her Italian citizenship.
This automatic effect was declared incostitutional in the seventies for those marriages which have been celebrated after 1948, when the Italian Constitution was enacted; with a following decision, the Court made clear that also descendants of ladies married before 1948 had never lost their Italian citizenship unless expressly had waived it. Consequently, their sons, daughters, grandsons and descendants have acquired Italian citizenship by birth, provided they can proof they descend from an Italian woman married with a non Italian.
In theory, the Italian citizenship should be recognised by the Italian Consulate in the country where the requiring person resides; but most consulates do not take this responsibility. So a Court case in the Court of Rome is necessary. We have defended and won several of these cases (upon acquisition of the appropriate documentation).
So if you are descendant of a female Italian citizen, you might consider the idea to get an Italian passport this way. Many residents in the Americas or in Eastern Mediterranean countries might take advantage of this opportunity.
Our firm has the experience to help you if you think doing so.