Argentina was originally colonised by the Spanish, but it is true to say, that Italians have had a great influence over Argentine life. Small numbers of Italians were immigrating to Argentina as far back as in the 18th century. However, between1880-1920, Italy was faced with economic and social disturbances and the emmigration volume increased dramatically. It is estimated that nearly 25 million Argentines have some kind of Italian descent. Most immigrants spoke Italian dialects and found it easier to talk in Spanish, spoken widely across Argentina. Italian settlement formed the backbone of today’s society and culture, influencing everything from politics to food.
A Protocol of friendship
Diplomatic relations between Argentina and the Italian states began in 1837. Later, in 1948, a “protocol of friendship and collaboration.” was signed by both countries. It made history as the first protocol of this kind to be signed by Italy since World War II. They now boast over 40 twin cities, unique trading agreements, exchange and study programmes and business partnerships. The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Rosario has recently announced a unique project promoting trade between the two countries. It will include cultural exchange to further create links between business organisations, universities and institutions of both countries. You can find out more at ccir.com.ar
An exchange of culture and cuisine
Aside from the language, you will be happy to hear that the next biggest social impact has been on Argentine cuisine. It is deeply inspired by Italian roots and everyday eating is dominated by a defined Italian flavour. Pizza eating is a national pastime, with Argentina pizza coming a close second to the original version. Italian recipes for pasta are usually the inspiration for the local dishes, from the basic Tuco to cream sauces. There isa large variety of wonderful Argentine dishes to be found, most of which have their culinary roots in Italy. Even the famous breaded veal cutlet Milanesa heralds from Lombardy. Cultural exchange at it’s best.