Egyptians in Italy

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Egyptians in Italy
Magdi Allam 02.JPG
20150616 - Portugal - Italie - Genève - Stephan El Shaarawy.jpg
Amir Issaa 2011 cropped.jpg
Total population
(110,000 (ISTAT: 2016))
Regions with significant populations
Flag of Lombardy.svg Lombardy · Flag of Lazio.svg Lazio · Flag of Piedmont.svg Piedmont[1]
Arabic (Egyptian Arabic), and Italian[2]
Majority of Sunni Islam and some Coptic Christianity

There is a significant community of Egyptians in Italy. As of 2006, Egypt's Ministry of Manpower and Emigration estimated that there were 210,000 Egyptians in Italy, making up roughly 41% of the 510,000 Egyptians in Europe and nearly triple the size of the next-largest community, namely Egyptians in the United Kingdom.

Migration history[edit]

As early as the 2nd century BC, there is strong evidence for an Egyptian presence in Italy, in various professions including bankers, surgeons, actors, musicians, fortune tellers, soldiers, slaves, and the like.[3] In early modern times, after Napoleon's 1798-1801 Egypt Campaign, the degree of contact between Egypt and Europe began to increase again. In 1813, Egyptian leader Muhammad Ali sent an Egyptian mission to Italy to study printing arts.[4]

However, the United Kingdom and France, rather than Italy, have been the preferred destinations for Egyptian expatriate academics and professionals; Italy, and especially Milan, tended to attract Egyptian businessmen and unskilled workers instead in the latter half of the 20th century.[5] Even the exile to Italy of King Farouk of Egypt following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 did not have much effect on Egyptian migration to Italy.[6]


Many Egyptians are employed in food-related industries, and in Milan have come to dominate traditionally Italian trades such as pizza and other baked products.[6] Other Egyptian businesses in Milan include coffee shops, restaurants, and halal butchers.[7]


The journalist Magdi Cristiano Allam

Egyptians in Italy are generally Muslim. Egyptian migrants increasingly prefer their children to maintain religious endogamy, especially in the case of their daughters.[1] More than 27% of Egyptian citizens in Italy however are Coptic Christians, numbering 25,000 and are heavily concentrated in the Milan metropolitan area.[1]

Notable Egyptians in Italy[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Stocchiero 2004, p. 8
  2. ^ Zohry 2009, p. 17
  3. ^ Meyboom 1995, p. 345
  4. ^ Zohry 2009, p. 7
  5. ^ Zohry 2009, p. 8
  6. ^ a b Zohry 2009, p. 15
  7. ^ Zohry 2009, p. 16