Italy–United Kingdom relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from British-Italian relations)
Jump to: navigation, search
British–Italian relations
Map indicating locations of United Kingdom and Italy

United Kingdom

Diplomatic Mission
Embassy of the United Kingdom, Rome Embassy of Italy, London

The international relations between Italy and the United Kingdom may be known as Anglo-Italian relations or Italo-British relations.

The Italian ambassador to the United Kingdom is Pasquale Q. Terracciano who took up his post in May 2013 [1] and the British ambassador to Italy is Christopher Prentice who took up his post in January 2011.[2]


Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano, as they prepared to sign the Munich Agreement
From left to right, Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano as they prepare to sign the Munich Agreement.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Italy predate both Britain and Italy's unification, with diplomatic exchanges between the Papal States and the Kingdom of England growing particularly heated during the investiture disputes between kings William and John and their respective archbishops of Canterbury Anselm and Langton. The latter feud ended with John's excommunication being lifted in exchange for swearing his fealty to the papacy. Later, both the eighteenth-century Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland created in 1801, hosted ambassadors from various states of the Italian peninsula, including those of the Kingdom of Naples and Sardinia's Count Perron.

Italy and the United Kingdom concluded the London Pact and entered a formally alliance on 26 April 1915. Following this, Britain, Italy, and the rest of the Allied Nations won the First World War. During that war, British intelligence subsidized Benito Mussolini's activism.[3] After he rose to power on a fascist agenda, Mussolini was initially accommodated by Britain, with the Hoare-Laval Pact accepting the expansion of Italian Eritrea's sphere of influence over all of Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia). However, the treaty's unpopularity forced Hoare's resignation,[3] and future British governments showed more opposition. Owing to Mussolini's Axis Pact between his Italy and Hitler's Germany, in 1940 Italy joined the Second World War on the side of Germany. Britain and Italy were thus at war through the early 1940s, until the Allied invasion of Sicily ended with Italy's defeat in 1943 and 1944 and, ultimately, the restoration of a democratic government.

The United Kingdom and Italy now generally enjoy a warm and friendly relationship. Queen Elizabeth II has made four state visits to the Italian Republic during her reign, in 1961, 1980, 2000, and April 2014, when she was received by President Giorgio Napolitano.

Cultural relations[edit]

Between 4 and 5 million British tourists visit Italy every year, while 1 million Italian tourists visit the UK.[4] There are about 19,000 British nationals living in Italy, and 200,000 Italians living in the UK.[5]

In 2011, 7,100 Italian students were studying in UK universities, this is the seventh-highest figure amongst EU countries and fifteenth globally.[6]

Association football, in its modern form, was said to have been introduced to Italy by British expatriates during the 1880s. Genoa Cricket and Football Club, founded by Englishmen in 1893, was allegedly formed as a cricket club to represent England abroad. Three years later in 1896 a man named James Richardson Spensley arrived in Genoa introducing the football section of the club and becoming its first manager.[7] Other evidence suggests that Edoardo Bosio, a merchant worker in the British textile industry had visited England and decided to introduce the sport in his homeland. He returned to Turin in 1887 and founded Torino Football and Cricket Club.[8]


Both states are members of the European Union, NATO, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the G8[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMBASSADOR Pasquale Terracciano". Italian Embassy, London (in Italian). Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Christopher Prentice CMG". FCO. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kington, Tom (2009-10-13). "Recruited by MI5: the name's Mussolini. Benito MussoliniDocuments reveal Italian dictator got start in politics in 1917 with help of £100 weekly wage from MI5". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  4. ^ Italy Country Profile, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  5. ^ Bilateral Relations British Embassy, Italy
  6. ^ "International students in UK higher education: key statistics". UK Council for International Student Affairs. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  7. ^ "English Players in Italy". Retrieved August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Edoardo Bosio and Football in Turin". Life in Italy. Retrieved August 2007. 
  9. ^ Embassy of Italy in London: Political Cooperation