Croats of Italy

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Croats of Italy
Total population
cca 23,000[1][2]
Italian, Croatian
Mostly Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Italians, Croats
Part of a series on
Croatia CoA 1990.svg

Croats form a part of the permanent population of Italy (Croatian: Hrvati u Italiji). Traditionally there is an autochthonous community in the Molise region known as the Molise Croats, but there are many other Croats living in or associated with Italy through other means. In 2010, persons with Croatian citizenship in Italy numbered 21,079,.[1]


Croats in Italy could mean any of the following:

  • Molise Croats - a long-established Croatian population in the Molise region.
  • Ethnic Croats to have relocated to Italy from any region to which Croats may be autochthonous (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and other countries).
  • Any person originally from the Republic of Croatia regardless of ethnicity to maintain Croatian documentation.

Molise Croats[edit]

Molise Croats, who were the first Croats to settle in Italy, at the time of the Ottoman expansion in the Balkans, are one of the linguistic minority officially recognised by the Italian Republic.[2] They achieved protection as a minority on 5 November 1996 by an agreement signed between Croatia and Italy.[2] According to 2001 census, there were 2,801 Molise Croats, of which 813 lived in San Felice del Molise (Croatian: Štifilić; Filić), 800 in Acquaviva Collecroce (Croatian: Kruč) and 468 in Montemitro (Croatian: Mundimitar).[2] The number of Molise Croats is in decline.[2]

Associations, publications and media[edit]

In the region of Molise there is the Federation of Croatian-Molise Cultural Associations which unifies the Association "Luigi Zara", the Foundation "Agostina Piccoli", the Association "Naš život" (English: Our Life) and the Association "Naš grad" (English: Our Town).[2] The main association of all Croats of Italy is the Alliance of Croatian Associations founded in 2001; this association consists of the Croatian-Italian Association of Rome, the Croatian Union of Milano, the Croatian Union of Trieste, the Croatian Union of Venetia, the Croatian-Italian Association of Udine and the Association "Luigi Zara".[2] Also, the Club of Friends of Croatia is active in Milano.[2] A Croatian organization that has a longer history in Italy is the Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome, a Catholic college. Known as the Collegium Hieronymianum Illyricorum (Illyrian Hieronymian College; San Girolamo degli Illirici in Italian) since 1902, the college served both Croatian and Serb Catholics, before being renamed Pontificium Collegium Chroaticum Sancti Hieronymi (Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome) in 1971. Another Croatian Catholic organizations in Italy is the Domus Croata "Dr. Ivan Merz", an organization of Croatian pilgrims.[2]

The Foundation "Agostina Piccoli" and the Association "Naš život" are issuing the bilingual magazine "Riča živa/Parola viva" (English: Living Word), while the Alliance of Croatian Associations prints also the bilingual magazine "Insieme" (Croatian: Zajedno, English: Together).[2]

Famous Croats of Italy and Italians with Croatian ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]