Italian settlement in Uruguay: Wikis


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Italy Italian Uruguayan Uruguay
Italo Uruguagio
Schiaffino Milan.jpgWalterPandiani cropped.jpg
Notable Italian-Uruguayans
Juan Alberto Schiaffino · Enzo Francescoli · Walter Pandiani
Julio Sanguinetti
Total population
est.50% of the population
Regions with significant populations
Throughout Uruguay

Rioplatense Spanish. Minority speaks Italian and Italian dialects.


Predominantly Roman Catholicism

Related ethnic groups

Italians, Italian Argentine, Italian Brazilian, Italian American, Italo-Venezuelans

An Italian Uruguayan (Spanish: italo-uruguayo, Italian: italo-uruguagio) is an Uruguayan citizen of full or partial Italian ancestry. Almost half of the population is of Italian origin or has some degree of Italian descent. Italians began arriving to Uruguay in great numbers in the 1870s, and this migratory flow continued to the 1960s.

The Italian settlement, along with the Spanish, formed the backbone of today's Uruguayan society. Like its neighbour country Argentina, the culture of Uruguay exhibits significant connections to Italian culture; in terms of language, customs and traditions.



The first Italians arrived in the colony of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Liguri were primarily in the Republic of Genoa, who worked in business and commerce related to the transoceanic shipping. The stream grew in the nineteenth century and - after 'independence' Uruguay - were some of thousands of Italian-Uruguay concentrated in the capital Montevideo.

The primacy of Liguria and Piedmont was altered after the first Lombardi, exiles, craftsmen and farmers and by the followers of Garibaldi, largely southern, not totally inexperienced, and even those active in various ways, except for a minority of adventurers.

In the early seventies this wave reached its maximum and was followed by a sharp fall, to coincide with economic and political upheavals that unites the two countries Platense. From 1875 to 1890 there was the climax of the parable of immigration to Uruguay in this period almost only Spanish and Italian, but mainly Italian. Then the recall of the Italian immigrants went on gradually diminishing because the greater attraction exerted by Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

In the early twentieth century migration began to run out and now (in 2003) there are only 33,000 Italians in the South American.

In 1976 the Uruguayan with Italian descent were over one million and three hundred thousand (ie almost 40% of the total population, including the Italo-Argentine residents in Uruguay). The highest concentration is found not only in Montevideo, the city of Paysandú (where almost 65% of the population is of Italian origin).

Italian community

The first Italian immigrants who arrived in the land were almost all of the origin of the Genoese, Piedmontese, Neapolitan, Sicilian and Venetian.

In the first half of 'nineteenth century there was the participation of Giuseppe Garibaldi to the wars for independence of Uruguay, and many Italian patriots Uruguay felt attracted to the ideas of the leader.

The political movement which joined many residents of the Rio de la Plata with Italian was called Current Garibaldina. In recognition of Garibaldi there were many tributes to his memory as a "Avenida" (Course) of Montevideo with its name, a monument to his memory in the city of Salto, el 'Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, among others.

The Castle Piria. Francesco Piria created the seaside resort called Piriápolis (near Punta del Este) in the early twentieth century, and built his mansion in the shape of castelloTra the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, came the third phase of immigration coming from ' Italy. This immigration wave that was transforming, as during this period Uruguay experienced significant changes in style and quality of life of its population.

The Italians who arrived in this period, as well as in the fourth stage after the Second World War, gave a great contribution to architecture and gastronomy Uruguayan. In this period there was the foundation of 'Italian Hospital of Montevideo, which last decade of the nineteenth century, and which bears the name of an Italian monarch, King Umberto I of Savoy.

Italians who emigrated to Uruguay in 'Ottocento worked mainly in construction, trade and agriculture. Some were able to open the road as politicians and businessmen in the twentieth century. Indeed Piria Francis, son of Genoa, became one of the leading manufacturers of the South American state, creating even a seaside town that still bears his name: Piriápolis. Various Italo-Presidents of Uruguay Uruguay became (as Addiego, Demicheli, Gabriel Terra, and Baldomir Ferrari Sanguinetti) and writers of international renown (as Delmira Agustini and Mario Benedetti).

The Italian community during the Presidency of Gabriel Terra and Baldomir Ferrari

The period of the thirties was a time when the Italian community reached a primary importance in Uruguayan society. Coincided with the rise to power dell'italia-Uruguayan Gabriel Terra from 1931 to 1938 and his successor (and relatives) Baldomir Ferrari (1938-1943). The Italian-Uruguayan President Gabriel Terra got the dam of the hydroelectric dam "Rincón del Bonete, on the Rio Negro, was built and partially financed mainly by the Italian government in the years of the two Presidents. He openly appreciated Italian Fascism and tried to imitate some characteristics and corporate policies.

In Montevideo, for example, there was a political Fascio with 1,200 members, 150 volunteers who gave Italian-Uruguayans the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1936. The President was able to obtain land and funding support from Mussolini (and Hitler) to build the dam on the Rio Negro, creating the largest artificial lake in South America. [4] In addition, Terra promoted the beginning of the process of 'industrialization by means of the Italian companies.

The Italian diplomat Mazzolini said that Mussolini considered 'Uruguay as the more "Italian" state of the Americas, with which to make a possible future alliance also political and ethnic-racial. Italian language gained considerable importance in Montevideo in those years and became compulsory in secondary schools in Uruguay in 1942, under President Baldomir Ferrari.

Characteristics of the Italian community

An overall evaluation of Italian immigrants to Uruguay from its independence until the sixties of the twentieth century has set at least 350,000 but, given the balance of migration, we must reduce it by half. This is a great value, however, that through generations of families has led to a considerable contribution to the Uruguayan population, estimated by the fact that over one third of the entire population has an Italian surname.

Breaking the flow, to examine the numerical quantity, we can divide periods with different characteristics: 1) the first two decades in 1830-50, in which at least 20,000 immigrants arrived, almost all of Piedmont and Liguria. 2) the second in the following decade, during which landed in Montevideo an equally high number of Italians (about 25,000 emigrants Lombardi and Sardinians). 3) the third in the sixties and seventies the nineteenth century, where the normal current of the North-West up to Livorno, approached the southern and Garibaldina for a total of about 90,000 Italians. 4) the fourth in the last decades of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, characterized by mass migration, stimulated by the propaganda and prepaid journey, but generally poorly trained and illiterate (110,000 Italians) will swell the urban proletariat Montevideo. 5) The fifth in the twentieth century after the First World War, marked by emigration and often enough qualified policy (about 15,000 Italians).

49% of Italians currently residing in Uruguay come from the northern parts of the Peninsula, 17% from central regions and 34% from the south. The Italian regions of origin: Campania, with 5231 residents (16% of total), Lombardy (5029), Piedmont (4250), Lazio (3353) and Liguria (3018) [6].

In 2007 Italian citizens (including Uruguayan dual citizenship) resident in Uruguay are 71,115 [7]. The entire Italian community is held in high esteem by the Uruguayan population, also by a marked process italianisation in society especially in the local cuisine (like caruso sauce) and the local dialect (such as Lunfardo, which probably derives from the dialect word "Lumbarda" of immigrants from Lombardy).

In Uruguay, although the Italian influence was more isolated (only 27% of the Italo-Uruguay reside outside the metropolitan area of the capital), there were different Italian communities and founded several cultural entities (as in Rivera, the border with Brazil [8]).

Alfredo Baldomir Ferrari, President of Uruguay from 1938 to 1943. In 1942 decreed the obligation to study the 'Italian in secondary schools in Uruguay. Paysandú A - the third of the city, near the border with Argentina - saw the greatest Italian influence, it is currently estimated that over 60% of its population of about 80,000 inhabitants is of Italian origin. Furthermore, there is still widespread, the Italian language, thanks to the fact that Italian language is taught in many schools. Among the companies-Italian Uruguay most famous of the city must mention the EU and benevolence, the Scuola Italiana and the Italian Federation of Paysandú.

The Group of Paysandú Lombardi keeps cultural ties with the Italian emigration, especially with Lombardy [9].

Main groups of the Italian

Italian Associations in Uruguay are relatively numerous. The main ones are:

Scuola Italiana di Montevideo ([2]) Circle Lucano ([3]) Association of Sons of Tuscany ([4]) Association Veneti in Uruguay ([5]) Group of Paysandú Lombardi ([6]) Group Trentini Rivera ([7])


Press and Italian

The Italian-Uruguayan President Alfredo Baldomir Ferrari in 1942 made mandatory the study of Italian in secondary schools of the state.

This legislation has made Uruguay the only state in the Americas where the Italian for sixty years had an official status in the local teaching equal to that of the national language [10].

In Montevideo there is a private school (Scuola Italiana di Montevideo) around which is better educated class of the Italian community in the capital. There are also plans to open an Italian university [11].

See also


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