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Alice Cearreta

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ANGLO-ITALIAN RELATIONS THROUGHOUT HISTORY From the Middle Ages to the Present

With the forward of

Dr Maurizio Bragagni


INDEX FOREWORD

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INTRODUCTION

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MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE Italian Merchants and Bankers Italian Explorers and Travel Literature in England Shakespeare and Italy

10 10 13 15

FROM THE 17th CENTURY TO ITALIAN RISORGIMENTO The Grand Tour English Poets in Italy Italian Expatriates in Great Britain

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FROM ITALIAN RISORGIMENTO TO THE PRESENT The Italian Community in London Ice cream Carlo Gatti Negretti & Zambra Mazzini and the First Italian School in London St Peter’s Italian Church

24 24 25 25 26 28 29

THE PRESENT DAYS

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REFERENCES

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TRATOS

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THE AUTHOR

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FOREWORD My entire life has been like sitting on a fence, a mix of two sides. An example of this is the naming of the stretch of water between Great Britain and mainland Europe. For the British, it is the English Channel, naturally. However, it is only named this by the British. As for the rest of the World it is known as La Manche, or ‘the sleeve’. Obviously it is translated into various tongues, but it means the same. So, this reflects my attitude. Sometimes I was attracted by the British shore, even though I was born on the European mainland. Going back to when I was very young, all my school friends were playing football. I, however, partook in fencing. The reason for this was my love for Pirates: the British fighting the Pirates for world fairness and liberty!! The films The Light Brigade and The Four White Feathers. They speak of the honour of the British Military and how a gentleman must conduct himself. I admired this world so much that I decided to fence, drink tea, and attempt to understand this culture, this world. However, at school, when I started learning English, the relationship with the English teacher darkened my view of Britain, and for more than a decade, the language symbolised something negative to me. It was evidence of an attitude of a lover’s delusion with his unrequited love. The same attitude that the fox has for the grapes in Aesop’s Fables. The Fox was hungry: it wanted to taste the delicious grapes, but they were too high up, and so the fox was unable to collect them. So, to avoid showing its disillusionment, and with the lack of courage to admit defeat, the fox just proclaimed that the grapes were not ripe. This was probably the same attitude that stayed with me for more than ten years. As a result, I even decided to study Law at the University of Pisa, as the School of Law was the only school which didn’t conduct lessons in English.


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However, after my degree, and in my first job in the United Kingdom as Export Director of my company, I was placed in a situation where I was transported back to the time of my earliest desire. At the age of 40, I decided to make up for lost time and commenced study at the City University London Cass Business School. This, however, placed me in a situation where I asked myself questions: how can one be an Italian gentleman with a British education, or vice-versa? More and more, the attractiveness of the British culture and attitude, with its pragmatic approach, glorious period of honour, devotion and love of nation, and sense of fairness toward the enemy pulled me in and gave rise to more questions within me. At one time, and probably the only time in the last two thousand years, Italy was at war with Great Britain during the Second World War. We must remember the great honour the British Army bestowed upon the Duke of Aosta after the Italian defeat, and indeed to the troops of the Italian forces. How could I forget that my hometown, Pieve, was destroyed by the Nazi Armies, which were allied with the Italian troops. At the same time, Sansepolcro, a picturesque renaissance- era city, remained whole, in all its glory, because a Colonel of Her Majesty’s troops spent his University study in Florence, studying Piero della Francesca. He refused to bomb the area, so as to preserve the memory of Piero which existed within the city. How can we forget that the British Royal Family refused to abandon London and the United Kingdom, under any circumstances, during the War? In contrast, however, the Italian King and Royal family left Rome and the Italian people on September 8, 1943, after the Armistice with the Allied armies, leaving the Italian people without a Government, without a Commander, and in the hands of the Nazi hoard - with only the Church and the Priesthood to protect millions of Italians from revenge for the old alliance with the Nazi Government. All these facts have always attracted me to Britain. However, this also places me in a difficult position: during the Church reform in Great Britain, many Catholic people were killed. How is it possible to be attracted to such polar opposites within my life?


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That was when I had the idea that I was probably not the only person to be in that position. The position of loving two nations, two cultures. I had the intuition - the answer has been given by God himself, by Christ himself. The question is false - when the Pharisees asked Jesus whether it is right to pay tribute to Caesar, he answered with the following: ‘Show me a coin. Who is the face on this coin? The answer is Caesar. So, give to Caesar what belongs to him, and in turn, give to God what belongs to God’. This was when I realised I am not between two nations, but rather, that I am a traveller who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of what lies in front of him, and take the value from any experience and any person, without neglecting anything. That is the reason why that, at 40 years old, I was delighted to go back to school, and was honoured to be given the idea to investigate the relationship between Italians and British in Great Britain, throughout history. In 306 BC, Constantino the First was made Emperor of the Roman Empire, the first Christian Emperor. His mother was Saint Helen, a lady of Anglo descent. His father was Constanzo, a gentleman of the Empire of Rome. This was the first example in modern times of the conjunction between Anglo and Italian cultures. The reason I provide you with this scenario is, that since we have been working within the United Kingdom, curiosity regarding local culture has arisen, thus producing an eager interest in learning about British culture and society. In particular, following a discussion in a pub with friends, there was an eagerness to understand British society, the connection between the two cultures and the foreign person’s desires to be accepted and integrated within this country and within the local society. This has made me develop a desire to learn more of the history of this country. In particular, the connection between the Italians based within the United Kingdom over the centuries, and the British people themselves. The purpose of this booklet is to give a brief description of what is a truly long journey through history, and but a tentative insight and contribution to the great historical synergy between these two great peoples. We have found is that this synergy between the Italian immigrants and the British people has always produced great results. In Great Britain and in Italy, the people have always admired one another; the United Kingdom has looked to Italy for culture and history, and Italy has looked to Great Britain for its


FOREWORD

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fairness and its pragmatic approach to problems. Throughout history there have been numerous examples of this combination, this mutual esteem and respect. In other words, when these two countries, these two nations, these two cultures, worked together in synergy they have produced astounding, important results - not only for the two countries themselves, but for humanity. Thus, this book is dedicated to all the Italian people who have found themselves in the United Kingdom: a great nation which has supported their ambitions and desires, and provided them with the opportunity to thrive and succeed. It is also dedicated to all the British people: to their great talent for understanding diversity, to being able to form relationships with others, and to their honour; to be recognised as a nation which provides strength and support to everyone for a common good. It is also evidence that British society is built upon the remuneration of talent, and that it is a very fair place for anyone to live - from any social standing, so as to be accepted and supported, and to be provided with the chance to develop their own talents. With this book I wish to say thanks to the British people, for their admiration of Italians, for their understanding of Italy, for accepting its diversity and for supporting its people. Maurizio Bragagni


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INTRODUCTION It can be said that the first contact between what we call today Great Britain and Italy can be traced back to Julius Caesar’s expedition in 55 BC. Today, many modern roads still follow the road network built by Romans in Great Britain, and most towns founded by the Romans are now important British cities, such as London (Londinium), Leicester (Ratae Corieltauvorum) or York (Eboracum). Roman presence brought new trades, crafts and laws and it had a great impact on customs and society. Of course, religion was also an important factor. Like other provinces of the large Roman Empire, Britain had an interesting mixture of natives and immigrants, not always from the Italian Peninsula. Both Roman and local gods were worshipped in Britain, and sometimes different deities were even merged together. Other cults from the eastern Mediterranean were introduced along with Roman too, including cults to deities such as Mithras, Isis and Cybele. With regards to Christianity, it is not certain when this religion was introduced into Britain, but it became increasingly popular thanks to Constantine’s official recognition of it. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, an officer in the army and future emperor Constantius I, and his consort Helena, who, according to legend, discovered the True Cross. Helena was later canonized, and there are numerous religious sites devoted to her in Great Britain, especially in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Although she was probably born in Asia Minor, according to a medieval tradition, she was said to have British origins1. It was in York that Constantius died in 306 AD and Constantine was proclaimed emperor. Constantine the Great was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Thanks to him, Christianity became the predominant religion in the Western world, as well as one of the most durable legacies of this period in Great Britain.

Costambeys, Marios, “Helena (c.248–328/9)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/54436, accessed 24 May 2015].

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During the Middle Ages, a number of Italian missionaries arrived in the regions of Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincoln and Worchester. There, they established themselves and occupied positions in the respective dioceses. Centuries later, British culture proved to be very receptive to the influence of Italian Renaissance. At the time, both nations shared financial and economic interests, and England offered a profitable market for Italian bankers and merchants. From the 17th century on, the new generations of Great Britain’s aristocracy began to travel to continental Europe in order to complete their education and cultivate their tastes through the Grand Tour, with the final destination usually being Italy. During the 19th century, Great Britain played a fundamental role as a valuable ally for the Italian Unification. Among many others, it sheltered the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini for several years. During the period that Mazzini spent in London, he was able to observe and participate in the Italian community, which at the time, was growing considerably due to the arrival of thousands of Italians immigrants looking to improve their living conditions. If we look back, it would be difficult to imagine what English literature and art would be like if Lord Byron or Inigo Jones had not visited Italy. At the same time, Italy would not be the country we know if Great Britain had not protected Cavour, Mazzini and Garibaldi, or offered its political support to the cause of Italian unification. With the sole exception of the dark years of fascism, Great Britain and Italy have always been bound together by close ties. In this context of mutually beneficial relationships, Tratos Ltd has successfully developed its work thanks to the partnership network it has built up over the past years and the desire to bring together the best aspects of both countries. Alice Cearreta


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MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE Italian Merchants and Bankers In order to understand some important elements of the history and the ties between Italy and Great Britain, we must first focus our attention on the Italian merchants engaged in international trade, who began to come to England in the late 13th century and early 14th century. At that time, an Italian trading colony was established in London. It was composed mainly of seafaring traders who were settled near the Tower of London2. During this period, Venetian and Genoese merchants played a central role in London’s commercial life as traders of silks, velvets and spices. Italian traders also developed their commercial activities in Southampton and Bristol. After a few years, Italians started to engage in other activities, such as banking and financial affairs. They developed a range of business techniques “to dominate the English wool trade, the collection of England’s papal taxation and the finance of the English crown”3. The most influential merchant companies came from Lombardy, Venice, Florence, Siena, Pisa and Umbria, and included some important banking firms like the Bardi, Peruzzi, Frescobaldi, Pallavicini, Salimbeni, Cavalcanti, Alberti and Medici. These banks granted loans to kings and princes of England, such as Henry II, Edwards I, II, III and IV and Henry VII and VIII, amongst others. Thomas Cromwell even befriended the banker Francesco Frescobaldi in Florence, and Geoffrey Chaucer travelled, on three occasions, to Italy to negotiate some trade agreements between both countries4. Italian merchants and bankers enjoyed great success in England, and they reached high positions thanks to their diplomatic skills. For instance, royal letters recommended them to the Pope and the King of France, Amerigo de

Colpi, Terri, The Italian factor: the Italian community in Great Britain, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1991, p. 25. 3 Allen, Martin, “Italians in English mints and exchanges”, in Given-Wilson, Chris, Fourteenth Century England, Volume II, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2002, p. 53. 4 Grillo, Ernesto, Shakespeare and Italy, New York: Haskell House, 1973, p. 62. 2


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Frescobaldi was appointed constable of Bordeaux, and Alberto de’ Medici was justice of the Jews of Agenois under the reign of Edward II5. However, a set of circumstances led some of these banking companies to financial ruin. This was the case with the Riccardi bankers of Lucca, one of the most important financial entities of the 13th century. At the end of the century, in fact, Philip IV expelled and confiscated the properties of the Jewish and Italian bankers, which struck a hard blow to the company. They were also requested to help fund Edward I’s expedition to the Holy Land by contributing 35,570 marks at a point when they were facing several financial commitments in other territories. Moreover, due to the upcoming conflict between France and England, Philip and Edward were not willing to have money lent to their enemies. This prevented the circulation of money that was vital for the company. In addition to all this, both monarchs proceeded to confiscate the company’s assets. In 1295 and 1296, Pope Boniface VIII demanded large amounts of money from them and, since they could not afford to provide the sum requested, he gave the order to confiscate their properties. Eventually, these problems, together with some emerging tensions and disagreements between some members of the family, result1: After Hans Holbein the Younger, Thomas Cromwell, ed in their bankruptcy6. 1532-1533 Towards the middle of the 14th century, Venetian galleys made their appearance in the Port of Southampton. The commercial ties they established with the English crown proved to be mutually beneficial. In fact, Italians assisted the English in their wars against France. During the conflict, Venetians provided 40 ships to Edward III. To express his gratitude, the King granted the citizens of Venice the

Einstein, Lewis, The Italian Renaissance in England, New York: Columbia University Press, 1927, p. 236. Sapori, Armando, “Riccardi”, Treccani, l’Enciclopedia Italiana, online edn, 1936 [http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/riccardi_%28Enciclopedia-Italiana%29/ , accessed 6 April 2015].

5 6

Earl of Essex,


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same privileges as his own subjects had. He also invited the Doge to send his sons to the English Court, where they would receive the same education and treatment as his own sons, and they would be knighted7. Today, the traces that Italian merchants and bankers left are still visible in the language. The very name of Lombard Street in London bears witness to the days when Italian trade experienced periods of intense activity in England. In fact, the term Lombard itself was generally employed as a metonym to describe the first Italians who came to England as campsores papae, i.e. trading agents of the Pope. It soon became a synonym of banker in old French, and quickly lost its geographical association, being used indistinctly for bankers with any Italian origins8. Likewise, the terms ‘bank’ and ‘bankrupt’ come from the Italian terms banca or banco and bancarotta respectively, and were adopted in English through the intermediary of French language9. Other words, such as ‘debtor’, ‘creditor’, ‘cash’, ‘company’ or the old abbreviation ‘£.s.d’ (from lire, soldi e denari) also have an Italian origin and were coined in this period. The symbol £, in fact, comes from a capital “L”, which means libra, the basic unit of 2: 15th Century Woodcut of an Italian Banking House weight in the Roman Empire. Thus the words libra, solidus, and denarius were used to denote the pound, shilling, and penny in medieval Latin documents10.

Grillo 1973, p. 63. Praz, Mario, Ricerche anglo-italiane, Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1944, p. 22. 9 Praz 1944, p. 23. 10 “Pound sterling”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, online edn, [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/473092/pound-sterling, accessed 28 May 2015]. 7 8


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Italian Explorers and Travel Literature in England Not surprisingly, other fields in which Italians made a significant contribution to England are navigation and exploration. Giovanni Caboto (also known as John Cabot in English) was born in Genoa, and, after living in Venice for fifteen years, he obtained Venetian citizenship in 1476. This was a time when Venetian merchants were very interested in the exploration of new routes to make the spice trade flourish. Caboto allegedly travelled to Alexandria and Mecca, where he asked the local traders for the origin of the spices. These merchants explained to him that the spices came from Far Eastern countries11. He was sure that the world was round and endeavoured to try to find a way to sail towards the West. At the end of the 15th century, Caboto moved from Venice to England with his family. In fact, a dispatch dating from 1496, written by the Spanish ambassador González de Puebla in London, mentioned the presence of “one like Columbus” in London12. During his stay in London he likely had an audience with King Henry VII. The same year he received the Letters Patent that authorised his first transatlantic journey. By June a ship was ready at Bristol. Unfortunately, after some time at sea, a disobedient crew, a shortage of provisions and contrary winds caused the vessel to turn back13. Nevertheless, he did not lose faith and, in 1497, set sail on a ship named Matthew with his son Sebastian, a Netherlander, a Genoese barber-surgeon, and about sixteen Bristol men. Caboto believed he had landed on the eastern side of Asia, but had most likely landed in Labrador and then moved to the south-eastern extremity of Newfoundland. He crossed the Strait of Belle Isle and arrived at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He then reached what now is called Cabot Strait, in his honour. He also moved around Cape Breton and landed in Nova Scotia. He returned to Bristol on 6th August 1497. Caboto had an audience with King Henry, who was pleased with his discovery and gave him a reward of £10 for his great feat, followed by a pension of £ 20 per year. In February 1498, Caboto received new Letters Patent that authorised another journey. At the beginning of May 1498, he departed from the port of Bristol with a fleet of five ships. This expedition was not large enough to establish

Little, Bryan, John Cabot: the reality, Bristol: Redcliffe, 1983, p. 10. Wilson, Ian, John Cabot and the Matthew, Tiverton: Redcliffe, 1996, p. 17 13 Q uinn, David B., “Cabot, John (c . 1451–1498)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edn, May 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66135, accessed 30 March 2015]. 11 12


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a colony, but it would have been enough to set up a trading post14. After some time, one of the ships came back to an Irish port in poor condition, probably due to bad weather. Nothing was ever heard again about the remaining ships, and their fate remains unknown. Some Italian geographers and travel writers also played an important role in England. As a matter of fact, during the Renaissance some of the first books on travel were translations of Italian publications15. Amongst others, there was a translated version of Giosafat Barbaro’s Account of his Voyages to the East, which William Thomas gave as a gift to Edward VI, that was first published in Venice in 1543, and the important work, The Decades of the New World by Pietro Martire, which was published in English some years after it came out in Italy in 1511. It was a series of letters and reports about the history of travel from the time of Columbus. An interesting aspect of this work is that it reported the early contact between Europeans and Native Americans. Other books translated into English that are worth mentioning, are the 3: Giustino Menescardi, John Cabot in traditional Venetian garb, 1762 travels of the Venetian merchant Cesare Federici, who spent eighteen years in the Far East and reported an accurate description of what he saw. All this travel and adventure literature had a key role in developing the spirit of curiosity and adventure that characterised the Elizabethan Age.

14 15

Little 1983, p. 33. Einstein 1927, p. 279.


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Shakespeare and Italy During this period, Italy and its customs deeply influenced the work of the person who is considered the most emblematic writer in English language, and the most eminent playwright of the western culture: William Shakespeare. Between 1550 and 1650, cultural ties between Italy and England became very strong. A true passion and enthusiasm for the Italian culture was demonstrated by Shakespeare and his contemporaries16. A significant number of Shakespeare’s plays include very accurate elements that prove that the author had a thorough knowledge of Italian culture. In fact, somehow, Shakespeare had also learnt enough Italian to read and understand literature written in this language. In his works, Italian settings characterised such important plays as The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tito Andronico, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, All’s Well that Ends Well and Othello. In The Taming of the 4: Martin Droeshout, Title page of the First Folio, Shrew, Shakespeare uses elements by William Shakespeare of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte17, and the famous Romeo and Juliet includes vivid descriptions of Verona and Mantua. Moreover, All’s Well that Ends Well is drawn from the ninth story of the third day of Boccaccio’s Decameron18. In addition, The History of Italy, by scholar William Thomas, might have been a source for the political intrigue and the names of some of the characters in The Tempest19.

Höttemann, Benedikt, Shakespeare and Italy, Berlin: Lit, 2011, p. 30. Höttemann 2011, p. 18. 18 Höttemann 2011, p. 19. 19 Höttemann 2011, p. 166. 16 17


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The playwright’s accuracy in certain local allusions, his knowledge of the topography of some of the cities where the stories are set, and the details of Italian customs and traditions (all of them related to the northern part of Italy) may have different explanations. On one hand, he might have been in contact with Italian tradesmen, students or diplomats, most of whom came from the north of Italy. However, it is well established today that Shakespeare did come across the royal lector John Florio20, and that he also had access to sources about Italian history, politics and geography. On the other hand, some scholars affirm that the information that the playwright gives about Italy is so accurate that he certainly visited the Italian peninsula on at least one occasion. He probably travelled to Italy at some point between autumn of 1592 and summer of 1593, as at that moment England suffered from a terrible plague and all dramatic performances were forbidden21. It is apparent that Italy exercised a great fascination over William Shakespeare. However, Italian features are not the only, as we might 5: Ford Madox Brown, Romeo and Juliet, 1869-1870 think, foreign or exotic elements in his plays. Without a doubt, they are an extremely interesting facet of his work, and they are part of a complex world that is still a subject of debate among scholars. What we can say is that after 400 years, Shakespeare’s plays continue to fill theatres thanks to his timeless characters and stories that reveal universal truths about human nature.

20 21

Praz, Mario, Shakespeare and Italy, Sidney Studies in English Volume III, 1977, p. 11. Grillo 1973, pp. 132-3.


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FROM THE 17th CENTURY TO ITALIAN RISORGIMENTO The Grand Tour From the late 16th century to the beginning of the 17th century, England, like other European countries, developed a true passion for everything related to Italy. Italian history, monuments, literature, music and arts attracted the attention of a significant number of young English aristocrats who had begun to travel across Europe to discover its arts and culture. The publication of William Thomas’ The History of Italy in early 1549 illustrates the interest that this country raised among travellers. In these journeys, Italy was a fundamental stage for travellers. The country had always been a privileged destination for pilgrims coming to visit the seat of the Papacy. By the mid-17th century, the Grand Tour had become a consolidated tradition for upper-class European young gentlemen, who included it as part of their education. There were several possible routes. Most of them passed through Milan, Turin, Genoa, Livorno, Florence, Pisa, Verona, Venice, Ferrara, Bologna, Ravenna, Rome or Naples. However, the itineraries changed depending on the popularity of these cities over the years. The duration of the Grand Tour varied from several months to several years. As the Grand Tour became more and more popular, guides started to be published for English travellers visiting Italy. For instance, the first one, called An Itinerary Containing a Voyage Made through Italy in the Years 1646 and 1647 was published in 1648 by John Raymon. Shortly after, in 1660, Edmund Warcupp published Italy in its Original Glory, Ruine and Revival, an English version of the Itinerarium Italiae by François Schott, which became very popular among travellers. Voyage of Italy, by Richard Lassels, was released posthumously in 1670, and it was the first publication which showed the new term


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Grand Tour22. These publications, together with others which appeared over the following years, and in the 18th century, established the most noteworthy itineraries and must-see destinations. Many Grand Tourists were enthusiastic about buying mementos of their travels, and a great number of artists benefited from their patronage. Architect and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints of ancient and modern Roman views achieved fame and prestige among travellers. It was typical for English tourists to be painted against a city backdrop, or with some of the city’s most notable antiquities by a number of artists. Among them, the most sought after painter was Pompeo Batoni. Not many could afford the prices Lord 6: Giovanni Battista Piranesi, View of the Mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian Burlington paid during his stay in (now called Castel S. Angelo), from Vedute di Roma (Roman Views), 1756 Italy. He commissioned the bronzes of the four seasons by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi and he bought four Madonnas by Pascoline, Carlo Maratta, Domenichino and Pietro da Cortona, as well as two paintings by Viviano Codazzi, Maratta and a follower of Annibale Carracci23. Many illustrious Englishmen undertook the Grand Tour. Among them was Inigo Jones, who is now considered to be the first English classical architect. He went to Florence and Venice in his twenties, but it was his second visit to Italy which confirmed him as an architect24. He studied Vitruvius, the works of Alberti, Serlio and Philibert de L’Orme. He read Palladio’s Quattro libri dell’architettura and visited the buildings illustrated in it. He also met Scamozzi in Venice, which deeply influenced him. When Jones returned to England, the influence and impact of his travels were evident in his work.

Villani, Stefano, “Il Grand Tour degli inglesi a Pisa (secoli XVII-XIX)” in Emilia, Daniele, Le dimore di Pisa: l’arte di abitare i palazzi di una antica Repubblica Marinara dal Medioevo all’Unità d’Italia, Firenze: Alinea, 2010, p. 174. 23 Hibbert, Christopher, The Grand Tour, London: Thames Methuen, 1987, p. 180. 24 Summerson, John, Inigo Jones, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983, p. 37. 22


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The Banqueting House in Whitehall, the piazza and church at Covent Garden and the Queen’s House at Greenwich are some examples that demonstrate his interest in the theory and philosophy of the classical style. His classical taste had taken root in England, and architects such as Christopher Wren, William Kent, William Chambers and James Gibbs adopted the same architectural style.

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7: Inigo Jones, The Tulip Stairs at the Queen’s House in Greenwich

The Italian artist Canaletto, one of the greatest 18th-century landscape painters, represented most of these architectural works in his paintings. In 1720, thanks to the help from his friend and patron, Joseph Smith, British consul in Venice, Canaletto became one of the most important providers of Venetian views both to foreign travellers visiting the city and English patrons who had never seen Venice25. Canaletto arrived in London in 1746, and remained in this city for most of the next nine years. His views of the Thames are an essential part of his work in London. In most of them, St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by the aforementioned Sir Christopher Wren, plays a central role. He depicted many other emblematic places in London, among which are Inigo Jones’ Banqueting House, and Badminton House, designed amongst others by James Gibbs and William Kent.

8: Canaletto, The Thames and the City on Lord Mayor’s Day, 1746-47

25 Beddington, Charles, Canaletto in England: a Venetian artist abroad, 1746-1755, London: Yale Center for British Art; Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2006, p. 9.


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English Poets in Italy The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars made it very difficult for English people to get to Italy. Nonetheless, after 1814, the flow of visitors resumed and, allegedly, in 1818 there were ca. 2,000 English in Rome26. It is precisely during these years that poets like Shelley, Keats and Byron resided in Italy. Admittedly, Italy played a major role in the work of these artists. Particularly for Shelley and Byron, Italy meant freedom, as the former fled England for political reasons, and the latter due to moral motives. For them, moving to Italy also signified a withdrawal from a rigid national belonging, as they considered themselves heirs of Chaucer, Shakespeare or Milton, as much as of Dante, Petrarca, Tasso or Ariosto27. For instance, it has been said about Byron that “Italy gave Byron a new poetic identity” and that during his residence in this country, his “process of translation, transculturalization and transplantation, which had started with the Grand Tour, reached its th 9: Richard Westall, George Gordon Byron, 6 Baron Byron, 1813 completion. This process led to a condition of hybridity in terms of cultural and literary identity”28. Byron visited cities like Venice, Milan, Genoa, Rome, Ravenna and Pisa. His work demonstrates a deep understanding of the Italian political and historical background. This can clearly be seen in several literary works, for example Beppo: a Venetian Story, Childe Harold IV, The Prophecy of Dante and The Two Foscari. In them, Byron not only shows his knowledge of Italian history and heritage but, as in the case of The Prophecy of Dante, also shows his support for the Italian revolutionary movements, aligning himself with the Risorgimento.

Villani 2010, p. 175. Crisafulli Jones, Lilla Maria, “L’Italia di P.B. Shelley fra utopia e realtà”, in M.S. Tatti, Italia e Italie. Immagini tra rivoluzione e restaurazione, Roma: Bulzoni, 1999, p. 183. 28 Bordoni, Silvia, George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824) , The Byron Study Centre for Regional Literature and Culture University of Nottingham, 2005, p. 3. [https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/crlc/documents/byronessays/georgegordonlordbyron%281788-1824%29.pdf, accessed 20 April 2015]. 26 27


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His friends Percy and Mary Shelley visited Livorno, Bagni di Lucca, Venice, Este, Rome, Naples, Florence and Pisa, where they created the “Pisan circle”. The Italian influence is manifested in the work of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. She developed a profound interest in the Italian history, particularly Roman antiquity, as it can be seen in novels like Valerius: The Reanimated Roman, A Tale of the Passions and Valperga: or, the Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca. However, she also wrote stories about the future, such as The Last Man, in which the plot develops from a discovery made in the Sibyl’s cave, near Naples. Percy Shelley’s stay in Italy was also very fruitful. While living there, in fact, he wrote Julian and Maddalo, Ode to the West Wind and 10: Joseph Severn, Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound, 1845 Peter Bell the Third. In the preface of Prometheus Unbound, he declares: “The bright blue sky of Rome, and the effect of the vigorous awakening spring in that divinest climate, and the new life with which it drenches the spirits even to intoxication, were the inspiration of this drama”.

Italian Expatriates in Great Britain After the failures of the Revolutions of 1820, and during the 1830s and 1840s, numerous Italian expatriates arrived in England. This country was highly regarded by Italian patriots, for they admired its political system, its technical, industrial and economic progress, and its sense of justice. Among these expatriates, it is important to remember the poet and Italian patriot Ugo Foscolo, who came to London in 1816, and was one of the precursors of this migratory movement. He lived in London for eleven years, until his death in 1827. During this time, he focused on editorial activity and on the critical study of Italian literature, particularly of Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio.


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While in London he befriended the lawyer Antonio Panizzi. Panizzi arrived in London in May 1823, and became Professor of Italian at the newly created University of London in 1828. In April 1831, he joined the staff of the Department of Printed Books in the British Museum. He remained professor of Italian at the University until 1837, and he worked also on his editions of Boiardo’s Orlando innamorato and Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. In March 1856, Panizzi became Principal Librarian, and was appointed Director of the British Museum. Under his direction the library’s book collection increased remarkably, and the famous circular Reading Room was built.

11: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix, c.1864–70

Poet and literary critic Gabriele Rossetti was also among those forced to leave Italy. His support during the 1820-21 Italian revolutionary uprisings condemned him to exile. After living in Malta, he moved to London in 1824, and from 1831 to 1847, held the post of Professor of Italian at King’s College London. He published several poetry collections, such as L’Arpa evangelica, and numerous writings about Dante Alighieri. He married Frances Polidori, daughter of the Italian exile Gaetano Polidori, and sister of John William Polidori, personal physician to Lord Byron. Gabriele and Frances had four children: Maria Francesca Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, and Christina Georgina Rossetti. All of them achieved great success in the arts.

For instance, Dante Gabriel Rossetti became a great painter and poet. In September 1848, he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood together with John Everett Millais and Holman Hunt. They were later joined by Dante Gabriel’s brother, William, Thomas Woolner, James Collinson and Frederick Stephens.


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This group defended a return to nature and opted for social subjects, such as poverty, emigration and prostitution. They also represented biblical, medieval and Shakespearean themes, frequently sprinkled with signs and symbols. Rossetti adopted many medieval subjects, and Dante Alighieri played an important role both in his paintings and in his literary works. Among other works, he translated Dante’s Vita Nuova, from which he took many subjects for his paintings. Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was not an expatriate in England, but did live as an expatriate in South America, was triumphantly received in London in 1864. On this occasion he was the guest of the third Duke of Sutherland at Stafford House (now Lancaster House). During his visit he met several prominent political leaders, such as Mazzini, Gladstone, Palmerston and Russell. He also gave an acclaimed speech in front of a great multitude of workers at the Crystal Palace. The most famous exiled Italian in London might have been Giuseppe Mazzini, who arrived in the city in January 1837. He lived modestly, surrounded by books, and collaborated in some English papers. In London he met the Carlyles and John Stuart 12: Autographed photograph of Giuseppe Mazzini Mill. He came into contact with the taken by Domenico Lama Italian working community around 1840, and that same year he founded the mutual aid society Unione degli operai italiani di Londra as well as the periodical Apostolato Popolare. He witnessed the terrible situation that most Italian immigrants were suffering in London’s Italian quarter, and he opened a free school in Hatton Garden for the children of that community.


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FROM ITALIAN RISORGIMENTO TO THE PRESENT

The Italian Community in London The Italian quarter in London, also known as ‘Little Italy’, was roughly situated in an area bound by the present-day Gray’s Inn Road and Mount Pleasant to the West, by Farringdon road to the East, and by the neighbourhoods of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden and Holborn to the South. In the 19th century, a great Italian community began to settle in this area. It was mainly formed by craftsmen who looked for favourable locations for Italian crafts and trades, as well as cheap accommodation with easy access to the city centre and to the grounds of London fairs29. At this time, the Saffron Hill area was known as the “Rookery” due to the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of the streets. It is no coincidence that Field Lane was chosen by Charles Dickens as the thieves’ den in Oliver Twist. Most of the Italians living in this area were impoverished and unskilled people of rural origins who soon became costermongers and street entertainers, such as organ grinders or street vendors. There were also artisans who set up businesses in commercial streets, such as Hatton Garden or Charles Street (now known as Greville Street), and many of them were barometer and thermometer makers. During the 1880s, the number of Italian immigrants in London increased considerably, and many of them found jobs in the catering sector.

Sponza, Lucio, Italian immigrants in nineteenth-century Britain: realities and images, Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1988, p. 20. 29


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Ice cream By 1900, a very common occupation had supplanted organ-grinder: ice cream vendor30. In 1850, ice cream was a novelty in London streets, but it soon became extremely popular. Initially, the ice cream was served in little glasses called “licking glasses” that were re-used for the next customer. However, since this procedure was unhygienic, the licking glasses were soon replaced by edible cones. The ice cream was called “hockey-pockey”, which is thought to be 13: An Italian ice cream seller on the streets of London, c. 1921 the English transliteration for “ecco un poco” (i.e. the sellers’ invitation to taste a free sample) or “oh, che poco” (referring to the little price paid by customers). Also, ice cream sellers used to build and vividly decorate their own barrows, which were even considered an artistic sight31.

Carlo Gatti In this trade, the case of Carlo Gatti stands out. He was a Swiss-Italian who, in 1849, together with Battista Bolla, set up a café-restaurant called Gatti and Bolla on the corner of High Holborn and Leather Lane. In order to attract new customers they inventively installed a drinking-chocolate machine in the window of their shop – at that time a complete novelty for Londoners – that Gatti had imported from Paris. It was also displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Gatti proved to be a great entrepreneur with a keen eye for business. His penny ices became very popular in the Victorian Age. He probably cut his ice from the Regents Canal under a special license until 1857, when he began to import it from Norway. During the course of the 1850s, Carlo established himself as the first mass manufacturer of ice cream in the city, and he opened other cafés in Hungerford Market and in central London.

30 Allen, Tudor, Little Italy: the story of London’s Italian quarter, London: Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, 2008, p. 19. 31 Allen 2008 p. 20.


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In 1862, Hungerford Market was demolished in order to build Charing Cross Station, and Carlo and his brothers were amply compensated. They used the compensation to open a restaurant in 1862, and a Palace of Varieties in 1864 in Westminster Bridge Road. In 1866 Carlo also opened a billiards room at Villiers Street, the Charing Cross Music-Hall, and the Café Restaurant de la Confédération Suisse. When he died in 1878, Gatti had become a millionaire.

Negretti & Zambra At that time, other quality businesses started up in Little Italy. Such was the case of Enrico Angelo Ludovico Negretti and Joseph Warren Zambra, who, in 1850, founded the firm Negretti & Zambra. Negretti was a native from Como, in Northern Italy, while Zambra was born in Saffron Walden to an Italian mother and an English father. Together they set up a partnership as optical and meteorological instrument makers and photographers. They opened their first shop in Hatton Garden, but then kept moving to several more addresses in London when the rising demand required larger workshop facilities. They became masters in the manufacture of scientific and optical instruments. In 1851, the firm displayed its gadgets at the Great Exhibition, where they received the prize medal award for Meteorological Instruments. Negretti & Zambra quickly gained a reputation for excellence. They registered several patents for design improvements in the manufacture of barometers and thermometers, and, thanks to their technical expertise and skills, they were appointed instrument makers to the Queen, the Greenwich Observatory and the British Meteorological Society. They produced models able to operate under severe conditions of pressure and movement. For instance, in 1857 they constructed a pressure-resistant thermometer for Admiral Fitzroy, and in 1863 they improved mercurial barometers in order to withstand the recoil of potent naval guns. The barometers were tested by putting them beside cannons. While all the other barometers broke into pieces, Negretti & Zambra’s instruments resisted the violent impact32. In 1862, the famous astronomer and meteorologist James Glaisher used Aneroid barometers (originally invented in France), which had been improved by Negretti & Zambra, in his balloon ascents.

32

Negretti & Zambra, Negretti & Zambra: centenary 1850-1950, London: Negretti & Zambra, 1950, p. 7.


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Their skills went beyond the boundaries of making meteorological instruments, and they also became forerunners in the making of photographic equipment. Their stereoscopic views were very famous at the time, and they even became the official photographers of the Crystal Palace Company when the Crystal Palace, originally built in 1851 for the Great Exhibition held in London’s Hyde Park, was rebuilt in Sydenham in 1854. Moreover, Negretti & Zambra developed several other improvements within the field of photography. Among others, they promoted an oxy-hydrogen ‘magic’ lantern able to amplify the projected image by 40 feet in diameter. They contributed to the innovation of artwork reproductions and photographically illustrated books33. Besides their pioneering achievements, their human qualities were also recognised. As a matter of fact, Negretti saved an innocent man from being wrongfully convicted of a crime. In 1865, Serafino Pelizzoni 14: A brass aneroid pocket weather foreteller or Weather Watch was accused of murdering an English by Negretti & Zambra man after a fight in Saffron Hill, and thus condemned to death. Negretti, like many other Italians, was certain of the innocence of Pelizzoni, so he conducted an independent investigation, and discovered that the actual murderer was Pelizzoni’s cousin, Gregorio Mogni. Negretti obtained a confession from Mogni, but the police refused to reopen the inquiry. Therefore, Negretti initiated a private prosecution against Mogni, and discovered new evidence. The case finally concluded with a five-year prison sentence for Mogni for self-defence. Her Majesty granted Pelizzoni a full pardon, and Negretti was praised for saving the life of an innocent man34. Without a doubt, Negretti was a leading figure in the Italian community. He played a supporting role in the Italian Risorgimento. When the Italian patriot Garibaldi arrived in London in 1864, Negretti arranged the Italian reception committee. He was then appointed Cavaliere of the order of St. Maurice and Lazarus by the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. As for his colleague Joseph Warren Zambra, there is a monument to commemorate him and his wife Sarah Sophia in London’s Highgate Cemetery.

33 Salvesen, Britt, “Negretti and Zambra” in Hannavy, John, Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, Volume I, New York; London: Routledge, 2008, p. 986. 34 Negretti & Zambra [http://www.negrettiandzambra.co.uk/trail.htm , accessed 24 March 2015].


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Mazzini and the First Italian School in London As mentioned before, Mazzini was devastated when he saw the terrible living conditions of the Italian immigrants settled in the densely populated quarter of Little Italy. Many of them were children, working as organ grinders. They were controlled by a padrone, an agent who sought out impoverished families in small villages in Italy and convinced them to sign an agreement which stated that their young children were contracted by a master for a certain period of time. Many of these unfortunate children ended up in London. They were mistreated, and most of the times malnourished. All of their income was kept by the padroni. In view of this situation, Mazzini began to consider the best way to help these children and Italian workers in their new country. In September 1841, he decided to establish a school in Hatton Garden, which opened its doors in November of the same year. Such a quick development of the Free Italian School was possible thanks to the organisational support offered by the Unione degli Operai Italiani, and to the financial assistance of many people who believed in the project. Among them, some of the personalities who contributed to the birth of 15: Mazzini teaching at the Free Italian School the school: ex-minister Lord Shaftesbury, the Carlyles, writer Harriet Martineau, painter Edwin Landseer, poet Thomas Campbell, Anne Isabella Byron (widow of Lord Byron), political scientist John Stuart Mill, physician Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles Darwin), several members of the Wedgood family, doctor Joseph Toynbee and English scholar and historian John Kemble. Some Italians also contributed their money or their time. Among them there were Vai, Bucalossi, the Pistruccis, Villani, Gandolfini, Rolandi and Calderara, as well as the members of the aforementioned Unione degli Operai Italiani35.

Finelli, Michele, “Il prezioso elemento”: Giuseppe Mazzini e gli emigrati italiani nell’esperienza della Scuola italiana di Londra, Verucchio: Pier Giorgio Pazzini, 1999, p. 41. 35


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Daily classes were held in the evening in order to encourage attendance, and the school was frequented mainly by children and wives of Italian workers36. The school’s main aim was to eradicate illiteracy through some elementary education, and to offer some basic training in craftsmanship in order to help the students to find better jobs and improve their positions. The subjects taught were Italian Grammar, Geography, History of Italy, Arithmetic, Geometry, Design, Mechanics and English Language. Learning English, in fact, was vital, as it helped many children to defend themselves from the padroni, and it was fundamental for social integration37. Students were also provided with all necessary materials, like paper and ink. The school was very successful and became widely popular. The school continued its service for some years. However, the project had to face a lot of difficulties, due to attacks received from some detractors and some serious financial problems during its last years. The exact closing date of the school is unclear, and there is some debate around it since the sources disagree. However, it seems that the school continued its activities until 186038.

St Peter’s Italian Church St Peter’s Italian Church, situated on Clerkenwell Road – the heart of the Italian quarter – was consecrated on the 16th April 1863. It was built thanks to the initiative of San Vincenzo Pallotti, Father Raffaele Melia and Father Giuseppe Faà di Bruno. This church was built in order to satisfy the religious needs of the growing Italian population in London. Before the church was built, Catholics in London used to go to pray at the Sardinian Embassy Chapel, which was attached to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in the Lincoln’s Inn area. However, this chapel soon became inadequate to house the developing Italian community in the City. In 1844, Father Raffaele Melia arrived in London and became the Chaplain of the chapel, succeeding Father Angelo Maria Baldacconi. To deal with this issue, Father Melia decided to talk with Father Pallotti, and, in 1847, they started considering the idea of building a new church. Pope Pius IX was informed of the project and gave his consent. He also expressed

Finelli 1999, p. 53. Finelli 1999, pp. 107-8. 38 Finelli 1999, p. 118. 36 37


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his will to dedicate the Church to St Peter, and to make it spacious enough to house believers of all nationalities39. Father Giuseppe Faà, who arrived in London in 1847, and Father Pio Melia (brother of Father Raffaele Melia) undertook the project. They eventually found a suitable plot on which to build the Church, in the northern part of Hatton Garden. Due to several financial difficulties, the project had to be delayed a few years and it was finally assigned to the Irish architect Sir John Miller-Bryson, who modelled it on the Basilica of San Crisogono in Trastevere, in Rome. The church was inaugurated on 16th April 1863 with the name The Church of St Peter of all Nations. It inspired admiration for its spaciousness and its style, since it was the largest Catholic church in Great Britain, and the only one to be built in the Roman basilica style40. Today, however, the appearance of the church has changed due to several modifications and restorations. 16: St Peter’s Italian Church, Clerkenwell Road

Perhaps the best known tradition linked to this church is the Processione della Madonna del Carmine, which is celebrated the first Sunday after the 16th July. The procession has taken place every year since 1896, with the single exception of wartime. During this colourful celebration, the statue of the Virgin and representations of several Italian Patron Saints are carried through the streets surrounding the church.

Stanca, Luca Matteo, La Chiesa Italiana di San Pietro a Londra/ St Peter’s Italian Church in London, Roma: Salemi, 2001, p. 17. 40 Stanca 2001, p. 27. 39


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The Casa Italiana San Vincenzo Pallotti is located next door to St Peter’s Church. It is a sort of club which offers support to new Italian immigrants in London, and it has become a reference point for the entire Italian community in the city. Moreover, we can still find many stores and Italian delicatessen in the quarter that has born witness to the evolution of Little Italy. Italian delicatessen Terroni of Clerkenwell, founded in 1878, still remains next to Casa Italiana San Vincenzo Palloti. Veneticus and Gazzano’s in Farringdon road are other examples of the Italian past within the quarter.


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THE PRESENT DAYS England has been a land of possibilities for many Italian immigrants. Among them, Marconi might be one of the most emblematic. When he wrote in 1895 to the Italian Ministry of Postal and Telegraph Communications, in order to explain the invention of the wireless telegraph, his brilliance was neither understood nor appreciated. He decided, therefore, to move to London with his mother, in search of recognition and financial resources. In 1896, Marconi was granted a patent for his invention by the British Government. In addition, the Royal Marines also expressed interest in Marconi’s idea of a wireless telegraph, since it would allow the army to constantly and immediately communicate with ships spread across the ocean without the need of a telegraph line. The years of fascism and war were the most terrible for the Italian community in England. Once the war started, Italians living on English soil were considered enemy aliens, and many of them were deported to other countries, even though in many cases their own sons were fighting in the British army. The war drastically reduced the Italian presence in England. However, over the following years, the Italian population in the country increased progressively. Even if London was not the most common destination for Italian emigrants towards the middle of the 20th century, from the 1980s to the 1990s, there was a real boom of Italian citizens coming to the city to look for job opportunities and to obtain better education. As a business, financial and cultural centre, London attracted many economic figureheads, entrepreneurs and cultural and scientific researchers interested in developing their abilities in this major global city41. Without a doubt, there has been a multiplicity of cultural and commercial ties between the UK and Italy throughout history. These links have brought many benefits to both cultures, not only from an economical point of view but also – and perhaps above all – from a human perspective: it is truly this exchange

Scotto, Giuseppe, “Italiani a Londra tra tradizione e meritocrazia” in VV.AA., Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo, Roma: Idos, 2010, p. 401. 41


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between two worlds that gave birth to many of the ideas that led to some of the greatest developments for society. It is in this very spirit of constant exchange that our company, Tratos Ltd, was born. Unsurprisingly, our office is situated in a very special area of the city of London, the same quarter in which thousands of Italians throughout history have striven to improve their living conditions. We are located very close to Farringdon Station, in the southern part of Clerkenwell, which was once known as ‘Little Italy’.


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REFERENCES “Pound sterling”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, online edn, [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/473092/ pound-sterling, accessed 28 May 2015] Allen, Martin, “Italians in English mints and exchanges”, in Given-Wilson, Chris, Fourteenth Century England, Volume II, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2002, pp. 53-63 Allen, Tudor, Little Italy: the story of London’s Italian quarter, London: Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, 2008 Beddington, Charles, Canaletto in England: a Venetian artist abroad, 1746-1755, London: Yale Center for British Art; Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2006 Bordoni, Silvia, George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824), The Byron Study Centre for Regional Literature and Culture University of Nottingham, 2005 [https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/crlc/documents/byronessays/ georgegordonlordbyron%281788-1824%29.pdf, accessed 20 April 2015] Colpi, Terri, The Italian factor: the Italian community in Great Britain, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1991 Costambeys, Marios, “Helena (c.248–328/9)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/54436, accessed 24 May 2015] Crisafulli Jones, Lilla Maria, “L’Italia di P.B. Shelley fra utopia e realtà”, in Mariasilvia Tatti, Italia e Italie. Immagini tra rivoluzione e restaurazione, Roma: Bulzoni, 1999, pp. 181-191 Einstein, Lewis, The Italian Renaissance in England, New York: Columbia University Press, 1927 Finelli, Michele, “Il prezioso elemento”: Giuseppe Mazzini e gli emigrati italiani nell’esperienza della Scuola italiana di Londra, Verucchio: Pier Giorgio Pazzini, 1999 Grillo, Ernesto, Shakespeare and Italy, New York: Haskell House, 1973 Hibbert, Christopher, The Grand Tour, London: Thames Methuen, 1987 Höttemann, Benedikt, Shakespeare and Italy, Berlin: Lit, 2011 Little, Bryan, John Cabot: the reality, Bristol: Redcliffe, 1983 Negretti & Zambra [http://www.negrettiandzambra.co.uk/trail.htm, accessed 24 March 2015] Negretti & Zambra, Negretti & Zambra: centenary 1850-1950, London: Negretti & Zambra, 1950 Praz, Mario, Ricerche anglo-italiane, Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1944 Praz, Mario, Shakespeare and Italy, Sidney Studies in English Volume III, 1977


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Quinn, David B., “Cabot, John (c.1451–1498)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, online edn, May 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66135, accessed 30 March 2015] Salvesen, Britt, “Negretti and Zambra” in Hannavy, John, Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, Volume I, New York; London: Routledge, 2008 Sapori, Armando, “Riccardi”, Treccani, l’Enciclopedia Italiana, online edn, 1936 [http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/riccardi_%28Enciclopedia-Italiana%29/, accessed 6 April 2015]. Scotto, Giuseppe, “Italiani a Londra tra tradizione e meritocrazia” in VV.AA., Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo, Roma: Idos, 2010, pp. 399-408. Sponza, Lucio, Italian immigrants in nineteenth-century Britain: realities and images, Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1988 Stanca, Luca Matteo, La Chiesa Italiana di San Pietro a Londra/ St Peter’s Italian Church in London, Roma: Salemi, 2001 Summerson, John, Inigo Jones, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983 Villani, Stefano, “Il Grand Tour degli inglesi a Pisa (secoli XVII-XIX)” in Emilia, Daniele, Le dimore di Pisa: l’arte di abitare i palazzi di una antica Repubblica Marinara dal Medioevo all’Unità d’Italia, Firenze: Alinea, 2010, pp. 173-180 Wilson, Ian, John Cabot and the Matthew, Tiverton: Redcliffe, 1996


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TRATOS Tratos Cavi was born in 1966 from the ambitions of Italian engineer Egidio Capaccini. The company was called Tratos Cavi Spa, which is the acronym for TRAfilerie TOScane (Tuscan drawing mills). The business expanded successfully over the years, and Tratos gained a strong reputation, thanks to the outstanding quality of their products and its position at the forefront of technological innovation. Egidio’s daughter, Marta Capaccini, and her husband, Albano Bragagni, took over the running of the business in 1974. They led the company through a challenging process of investments, production diversification and implementation of technological advances. This way, the company kept growing while remaining a family-owned business. Today, we are a renowned international company, and one of the leading European manufacturers of electrical, electronic and optical fibre cables. We sell a wide range of products in more than 50 countries around the world, and we own manufacturing facilities in Italy and the United Kingdom. Our international background has taught us the importance of international relations, and, as Italian entrepreneurs with a presence in the UK since 1981, we firmly believe in the mutual benefits of trade relationships between both countries. Tratos established its presence in the UK more than 30 years ago, with the founding of the distribution and sales company Tratos Ltd. In 2008, Tratos Ltd acquired North West Cables Ltd, a UK cable manufacturing company in Knowsley (Merseyside), and their subsidiary Modular Wiring Systems Ltd. We have also set up new offices in Aberdeen, and, in 2012, London. This allowed us to further consolidate our customer support services, and to cultivate commercial relationships with key contractors settled in the capital. In recent years, we have been able to demonstrate our commitment to hard work, and we are pleased that our efforts are bearing fruit. With this in mind, Tratos Ltd has been granted the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The RGF supports projects and programmes of investment in the private sector to encourage economic growth and sustainable employment.


37

Tratos Ltd has been awarded this substantial grant to develop its manufacturing site in Knowsley (Merseyside), with the aims of investing and strengthening its business, protecting existing jobs and creating new employment opportunities in the area. On 10th April 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the plant in Knowsley to see how the fund is aiding to rebalance the economy. Mr Maurizio Bragagni explained the company’s commitment to investing in European manufacturing. Likewise, on 23rd January 2014, the British government, together with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Consulate-General in Milan (Italy), announced that Tratos Ltd had received the Industrial Investment Award for 2013. We truly believe that current investments to upgrade the national grid will create an important market growth in the UK. Therefore, the company has decided to invest in a new manufacturing facility in Knowsley (Liverpool City Region), where it already runs a manufacturing site.

17: Vic Annells (HM Consul General and Director General of UKTI Italy), Ing. Albano Bragagni, Christopher Prentice (CMG, HM Ambassador to Italy)

Over the centuries, Italy and Great Britain have established very productive relationships across a wide range of sectors, such as literature, philosophy, music, arts, science and business. These tight bonds have brought new ideas, products and concepts to both countries and have contributed to establish a privileged commercial relationship between them. Our company is proud to be part of this exchange, and to encourage economic growth and generate job opportunities both in the UK and Italy.


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THE AUTHOR Alice Cearreta studied History of Art at the University of Florence (Italy). After her BA, she moved to Madrid to take a MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture in the Museo Reina SofĂ­a (Spain). Now, she lives and works in London.

MAURIZIO BRAGAGNI Maurizio Bragagni was born on the 20th April 1975 in Arezzo, Italy. On the 22nd October 2000, Maurizio obtained a degree in Law at the University of Pisa. Maurizio recently acquired a MBA (Masters and Business Administration) degree at the Cass Business School of London on the 22nd June 2016. Maurizio has been the CEO of Tratos Ltd since 2010 and is married to his wife Alessandra since 2003. Together they have four daughters, Giulia Maria, Lucia Maria, Elena Maria and Anna.


with the patronage of


www.tratosgroup.com

Profile for Maurizio Bragagni

Anglo Italian relations v15  

Anglo italian relationship during the History. We have found is that this synergy between the Italian immigrants and the British people has...

Anglo Italian relations v15  

Anglo italian relationship during the History. We have found is that this synergy between the Italian immigrants and the British people has...