Welsh Italians

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Welsh Italians
File:Andrew Vicari at the Celtic Manor.jpg
Artist Andrew Vicari
Regions with significant populations
South Wales
English, Welsh, Italian
Christian: Mostly Roman Catholic
Related ethnic groups
Italians, Italian Scots, Welsh

Welsh Italians are an ethnic minority of Italian descent living in Wales. Welsh Italians refer to people who are born in Wales and of Italian descent. It can also refer to people of mixed Welsh and Italian descents. Most Italian immigration to Wales took place in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with the largest number of migrants settling in Glamorgan and Newport.[1]

Migration history

Italian immigrants to Wales, mainly originating in the Apennine Mountains and in particular the town of Bardi, established a network of cafés, ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops in Wales from the 1890s onwards.[2] One of the few ice cream parlours that still manufacture their own ice cream is The Square Cafe in Bargoed, owned and run by the Ricci brothers.

File:The Square Cafe Bargoed- Circa 1935.jpg
The Square Cafe, Bargoed. Circa 1935

In the Rhondda Valley the cafes became known as 'Bracchis' after an early café owner.[2] The brothers Frank and Aldo Berni, who started in business in Merthyr Tydfil, went on to found the Berni Inn chain.[2]

During the Second World War, Welsh-Italians without British citizenship were declared enemy aliens and a number were interned on the Isle of Man or in Canada. 53 Welsh Italians lost their lives in the sinking of the Arandora Star in 1940.[3] A roadside memorial and memorial chapel can be found in Bardi.

Notable people

See also


  1. Bardi - The Italian Connection
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2008
  3. "Service marks 70th anniversary of ship tragedy". BBC News. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links