The Italians

They arrived in Romania over a century ago, and they were skilled craftsmen and scholars. Now, even if they only represent a small community, a couple of thousand people, the Italians in Romania try to perpetuate and promote their traditional values. Short historyItalians came to the current territory of Romania, firstly with business in ports such as Galati, Braila, Constanta; or they came as doctors, arms' teachers, music teachers at the invitation of Romanian rulers. Beginning with the 18th century, great numbers of Italians came to Romania, mostly specialists in construction, painters, sculptors, decorators, masons. One of them in particular succeeded in being close to Romanian rulers in the 18th century, bringing at the same time his remarkable contribution to Romanian culture. Nicolae Iorga wrote that "one of the most precious gifts Italy has given us, in the domain of acquiring knowledge about our past was the book of Brancoveanu's secretary, Del Chiaro". He was the Italian language secretary of Constantin Brancoveanu, and he had studied law, medicine, and philosophy. Del Chiaro also knew very well Greek, Latin and French. In 1718, he succeeded in printing "Istoria delle moderne rivoluzoni della Valachia", which is "a passionate incursion into the history of morals, the way of living, the socially differentiated mentalities, a description of social status and of the relations with the Ottoman Empire, of the moral physiognomy of the inhabitants of the country, of their values and spiritual preoccupations, of the creators of folklore, and of members of the social elite." (George Macarie, Italian-Romanian Spiritual Interferences). His book is a really important documentary source for the years 1710-1716 in Walachia. In the years to come, the Italian influence on Romanian culture has been an important one, if only we consider the fact that Italian architectural and decorative elements are found in the "Brancovenesc" style, for example. Other Italians, who arrived from poorer regions such as Friuli and Veneto, came to Romania in search of work. Many of them never returned to their homes, and started families in Romania. Italians have been, and still are, very much present in Romanian public life; among the best known are pediatrician Pesamosca, literary critic Adrian Marino, actors Ileana Stana Ionescu and Misu Fotino, stage director Sorana Coroama-Stanca, painter Angela Tomaselli, composer Horia Moculescu, and sports commentator Cristian Topescu.  The contemporary period If the Italian minority was registered in the 1992 census in the category "other minorities", in the last census (2002), 3331 people declared themselves Italian, which is under 0.10% of the total population. After 1990, most of the Italians in Romania became members of the Italian Community in Romania, an organization that was established in Iasi, in 1990. The main purpose of this association is maintaining national identity. The main events organized by the Italian Community are the celebration of the national day of Italy (2nd of June), the festival of the Italian minority, the publishing of the monthly bilingual magazine "The Column", and other occasional volumes.

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