The United States has warm and friendly relations with Italy. The United States has had diplomatic representation in the nation of Italy and its predecessor nation, the Kingdom of Italy, since 1840. However, in 1891 the Italian government severed diplomatic relations and briefly contemplated war against the US as a response to the unresolved case of the lynching of eleven Italians in New Orleans, Louisiana, and there was a break in relations from 1941 to 1943, while Italy and the United States were at war.
After World War II, Italy became a strong and active transatlantic partner which, along with the United States, has sought to foster democratic ideals and international cooperation in areas of strife and civil conflict. Toward this end, the Italian government has cooperated with the United States in the formulation of defense, security, and peacekeeping policies. Under longstanding bilateral agreements flowing from NATO membership, Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vicenza and Livorno (army); Aviano (air force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and Naples—home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet. The United States has about 11,500 military personnel stationed in Italy. Italy hosts the NATO Defense College in Rome.
Italy is a leading partner in counterterrorism efforts, being a founding member of both the EU and NATO, and the United States and Italy cooperate in the United Nations, in various regional organizations, and bilaterally for peace, prosperity, and security.
In addition to close governmental, economic and cultural ties, according to Pew Research global opinion polls, Italy is one of the most pro-American nations in the world, with 70% of Italians viewing the United States favorably in 2002, increasing to 78% in 2014. According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 51% of Italians approved of U.S. leadership under the Obama Administration, with 16% disapproving and 33% uncertain. On the other side, many Americans also hold a favorable view of Italy, with over 70–80% Americans viewing Italy as a favorite country.
|Italy–United States relations|
|Italian Embassy, Washington, D.C.||United States Embassy, Rome|
|Ambassador Armando Varricchio||Chargé d'affaires Kelly Degnan|
|Italian Republic||United States of America|
|Coat of Arms|
|Area||301,338 km² (116,346 sq mi)||9,826,630 km² (3,794,066 sq mi )|
|Population density||200/km² (519 /sq mi)||31/km² (80/sq mi)|
|Largest city||Rome – 2,743,796 (4,300,000 metro)||New York City – 8,363,710 (19,006,798 metro)|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary republic||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|First leader||King Victor Emmanuel II
Prime Minister Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
|President George Washington |
Vice President John Adams
|Current leader|| President Sergio Mattarella
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
| President Donald Trump|
Vice President Mike Pence
|Official languages||Italian||None (English is the de facto national language)|
|Established||March 17, 1861 - Unification
June 2, 1946 - Republic established
|July 4, 1776 - Independence declared|
September 3, 1783 - Independence recognized
June 21, 1788 - Constitution ratified
|Main religions||92% Christianity
|Ethnic groups||93.5% Italian
1% North African
0.2% Pacific Islander
|Immigration||50,000 Americans living in Italy||17,222,412 Italian Americans|
|GDP (nominal)||$1.850 trillion ($30,507 per capita)||$18.558 trillion ($57,220 per capita)|
|Military expenditures||$35.8 billion (FY 2008–09) ||$663.7 billion (FY 2010) |
Leaders of Italy and United States from 1994
After the deaths of 11 Italians during a mass lynching in 1891, relations between the nations were strained. The Italian government demanded that the lynch mob be brought to justice and reparations be paid to the dead men's families. When the U.S. declined to prosecute the mob leaders, Italy recalled its ambassador from Washington in protest. The U.S. followed suit, recalling its legation from Rome. Diplomatic relations remained at an impasse for over a year. When President Benjamin Harrison agreed to pay a $25,000 indemnity to the victims' families, Congress tried unsuccessfully to intervene, accusing him of "unconstitutional executive usurpation of Congressional powers".
Since Mussolini's rise to power the United States applauded him on his early achievements, including helping with relations between the two countries. Relations deteriorated after Italy invaded Ethiopia. This was about the time the United States started practicing isolationism.
From 1941 to 1943 Italy was at war with the United States. From 1943 till the end of the war the only part of Italy at war with the United States was the German puppet state the Italian Social Republic. Italian Partisans and Victor Emmanuel III and his loyalists from 1943 and onward helped the United States and other Allies during the Italian Campaign of World War II. When the War ended the United States occupied Italy until its plebiscite on the institutional form of the State. The United States helped with the transition from a monarchy to a republic in 1946. Since then, Italy has become an ally of the United States and a buffer against the spread of communism in Europe.
From 1946 to 1953, Italy became a Republic (1946), signed a Peace Treaty with the Allies (1947), a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949 and an ally of the United States, which helped to revive the Italian economy through the Marshall Plan. In the same years, Italy also became a member of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which eventually transformed into the European Union (EU).
Christian Democrat Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi (1945–1953) enjoyed considerable support in the US, where he was seen as the man who could oppose the rising tide of Communism – in particular the PCI, which was the biggest communist party in a Western European democracy. In January 1947 he visited the US. The chief goals of the trip were to soften the terms of the pending peace treaty with Italy, and to obtain immediate economic assistance. His ten-day tour, engineered by media mogul Henry Luce – the owner of Time Magazine – and his wife Clare Boothe Luce the future ambassador to Rome, was viewed as a media "triumph," prompting positive comments of a wide section of the American press.
During his meetings in the U.S., he managed to secure a financially modest but politically significant US$100 million Eximbank loan to Italy. According to De Gasperi, public opinion would view the loan as a vote of confidence in the Italian Government and strengthen his position versus the Communist Party in the context of the emerging Cold War. The positive results strengthened De Gasperi’s reputation in Italy. He also came back with useful information on the incipient change in American foreign policy that would lead to the Cold War and in Italy the break with the Communists and left-wing Socialists and their removal from the government in the May 1947 crisis.
Italy faced political instability in the 1970s, which ended in the 1980s. Known as the Years of Lead, this period was characterized by widespread social conflicts and terrorist acts carried out by extra-parliamentary movements. The assassination of the leader of the Christian Democracy (DC), Aldo Moro, led to the end of a "historic compromise" between the DC and the Communist Party (PCI). In the 1980s, for the first time, two governments were managed by a republican (Giovanni Spadolini) and a socialist (Bettino Craxi) rather than by a member of DC.
Many aspects of the Years of Lead are still shrouded in mystery and debate about them continues. There were many, especially on the left, who spoke of the existence in those years of a strategy of tension (strategia della tensione). According to this theory, occult and foreign forces were involved in creating a "strategy of tension". Identified organizations included: Gladio, a NATO secret anti-communist structure; the P2 masonic lodge, discovered in 1981 following the arrest of its leader Licio Gelli; fascist "black terrorism" organizations such as Ordine Nuovo or Avanguardia Nazionale; Italian secret service; and the United States. This theory re-emerged in the 1990s, following Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti's recognition of the existence of Gladio before the Parliamentary assembly on 24 October 1990. Juridical investigations into the Piazza Fontana bombing and the Bologna massacre and several parliamentary reports pointed towards such a deliberate strategy of tension. Milan prosecutor Guido Salvini indicted a U.S. Navy officer, David Carrett, for his role in the Piazza Fontana bombing. He also surprised Carlo Rocchi, a CIA operative in Italy, in 1995 while searching for information concerning the case in the mid-1990s. In 2000, a Parliamentary Commission report from the then center-left government, concluded that the strategy of tension had been supported by the United States to "stop the PCI, and to a certain degree also the PSI, from reaching executive power in the country".
With the end of the Years of lead (Italy) (1969-1989), the Italian Communist Party gradually increased its votes under the leadership of Enrico Berlinguer. The Socialist party (PSI), partner of Christian Democrats and led by Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, became more and more critical of the communists and of the Soviet Union; Craxi himself pushed in favour of US president Ronald Reagan's positioning of Pershing II missiles in Italy, a move the communists hotly contested. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Italy faced significant challenges, as voters, disenchanted with past political paralysis, massive government debt and an extensive corruption system (collectively called Tangentopoli after being uncovered by the 'Clean Hands' investigation ), demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms. The scandals involved all major parties, but especially those in the government coalition: between 1992 and 1994 the Christian Democrats underwent a severe crisis and was dissolved, splitting up into several pieces, while also the Socialists and the other governing minor parties also dissolved. The Communists reorganized as a social-democratic force.
During the 1990s and 2000s, the United States and Italy have always cooperated as NATO partners on issues like the Gulf War, Lebanon, the Middle East peace process, multilateral talks, Somalia and Mozambique peacekeeping, drug trafficking, trafficking in women and children, and terrorism. Under longstanding bilateral agreements flowing from NATO membership, Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vicenza and Livorno (army); Aviano (air force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and Naples–home port for the United States Sixth Fleet. The United States has about 13,000 military personnel stationed in Italy. Italy hosts the NATO Defence College in Rome. Italy remains a strong and active transatlantic partner which, along with the United States, has sought to foster democratic ideals and international cooperation in areas of strife and civil conflict.
During the 2000s, Berlusconi and his cabinets have had a strong tendency to support American foreign policies, despite the policy divide between the U.S. and many founding members of the European Union (Germany, France, Belgium) during the Bush administration. Under his lead the Italian Government also shifted its traditional position on foreign policy from being the most pro-Arab western government towards a greater friendship with Israel and Turkey. Italy, with Berlusconi in office, became a solid ally of the United States due to his support in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War following the 2003 invasion of Iraq in the War on Terror. Silvio Berlusconi, in his meetings with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.S. President George W. Bush, said that he pushed for "a clear turnaround in the Iraqi situation" and for a quick handover of sovereignty to the government chosen by the Iraqi people. Italy had some 3,200 troops deployed in Southern Iraq, the third largest contingent there after the American and British forces. Italian troops were gradually withdrawn from Iraq in the second half of 2006 with the last soldiers leaving the country in December of the same year.
During his second center-left government from 2006 to 2008, Prime Minister Romano Prodi laid out some sense of his new foreign policy when he pledged to withdraw Italian troops from Iraq and called the Iraq War a "grave mistake that has not solved but increased the problem of security".
…Berlusconi, l' uomo che disse in passato di essere dalla parte degli Stati Uniti prima ancora di sapere da quale parte questi si schierano….
The Armistice of Cassibile was an armistice signed on 3 September 1943 by Walter Bedell Smith and Giuseppe Castellano, and made public on 8 September, between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allies during World War II. It was signed at a conference of generals from both sides in an Allied military camp at Cassibile in Sicily, which had recently been occupied by the Allies. The armistice was approved by both King Victor Emmanuel III and Italian Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio. The armistice stipulated the surrender of Italy to the Allies.
After its publication, Germany retaliated against Italy, freeing Mussolini and attacking Italian forces in Italy, the South of France and the Balkans. Italian forces were quickly defeated and most of Italy was occupied by German troops, establishing a puppet state, the Italian Social Republic. In the meanwhile the King, the government and most of the navy reached territories occupied by the Allies.Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
In the United States Government, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) is part of the U.S. Department of State, charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy and promoting U.S. interests in Europe and Eurasia (which it defines as being Europe, Turkey, Cyprus, the Caucasus Region, and Russia), as well as advising the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. It is headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. The spokesperson is A. Wess Mitchell.
From 1949 to 1983, European affairs were within the purview of the Bureau of European Affairs.CIA activities in Italy
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been involved in Italian politics since the end of World War II. The CIA intervened in the 1948 general election and would go on to provide covert aid until the early 1960s.Capitoline Wolf Statue, Cincinnati
The Capitoline Wolf Statue is a sculpture of a she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The bronze sculpture on a granite and marble base is located in Eden Park at the Twin Lakes area overlooking the Ohio River. It is an exact replica of the original Capitoline Wolf in the Musei Capitolini of Rome, Italy.In 1929 Italian dictator Benito Mussolini sent the replica for a Sons of Italy national convention in Cincinnati. It was switched for a larger one in 1931, which still stands in Eden Park, Cincinnati.The sculpture was meant to honor Cincinnatus, the namesake of Cincinnati. It is inscribed with the Latin Anno X (year ten), indicating 1931, the tenth year of Mussolini's regime.Consulate General of the United States, Florence
The Consulate General of the United States in Florence belongs to the U.S. Mission to Italy and represents the interests of the government of the United States in Florence and the surrounding regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. The U.S. Consul General in Florence also acts as special representative of the United States to the Republic of San Marino. The consulate is situated on Lugarno A. Vespucci. As of 2017, the U.S. Consul General is Benjamin V. Wohlauer; his predecessor was Abigail M. Rupp.Consulate General of the United States, Milan
The United States Consulate General in Milan presides over the interests of the United States in northern Italy, including the regions of Lombardy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, Val d'Aosta, Veneto, and parts of Emilia Romagna (Piacenza and Parma). This includes the eastern border with France, the northern borders with Switzerland and Austria, and the western border with Slovenia. Within the Consulate General's district there are two U.S. consular agencies, in Venice and Genoa.Embassy of Italy, Washington, D.C.
The Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. is the diplomatic mission of the Italian Republic to the United States.
The original Italian diplomatic mission to the United States following Italian unification was founded by Baron Saverio Fava. The current chancery is located just off Embassy Row at 3000 Whitehaven Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. In 1972, the Italian government purchased property from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that was part of the campus of the neighboring Center for Hellenic Studies.
The new building was designed by Piero Sartogo Architetti and was constructed in 1996.Embassy of the United States, Rome
The Embassy of the United States of America in Rome is the diplomatic mission of United States of America to the Italian Republic. The embassy's chancery is situated in the Palazzo Margherita, Via Vittorio Veneto, Rome. The current United States Ambassador to Italy is Lewis Eisenberg. The United States also maintains consulates general in Milan, Florence and Naples, and consular agencies in Genoa, Palermo, and Venice. The diplomatic mission comprises several sections and offices, such as the public affairs section and its cultural office.Two other American diplomatic missions are located in Rome. The Embassy of the United States to the Holy See, previously located on Aventine Hill, moved to new headquarters in September 2015 in a separate building on the same compound as the United States Embassy Rome, while the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome is located in a third building on the same compound since December 2011, when they moved from their former location at Piazza del Popolo.Friendship Train
The 1947 U.S.-to-Europe or American Friendship Train collected foodstuffs from American donors for transport to the people of France and Italy. Contemporaneous with the Marshall Plan, it provided desperately needed assistance in the aftermath of World War II, but was primarily a token gesture of goodwill, with stops across the U.S. ending at New York City, where it was received with a ticker tape parade prior to shipment to Europe.Italy–USA Foundation
Italy–USA Foundation (Italian: Fondazione Italia USA) was established to promote the friendship between Italians and Americans plus American culture in Italy. The foundation is a non-profit non-partisan organization based in Rome, Italy.La Scuola d'Italia Guglielmo Marconi
La Scuola d'Italia Guglielmo Marconi is an Italian international school in Manhattan, New York City, serving Pre-Kindergarten through high school/liceo. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the school in 1977. The Italian government accredits the school, and the New York State Association of Independent Schools accredited the school in 2006. It is the sole bilingual English-Italian day school in North America; The Italian government finances some of the school's expenses. As of 2015 the school has about 300 students.The school holds an annual benefit dinner.Lauro Lines v. Chasser
Lauro Lines s.r.l. v. Chasser, 490 U.S. 495 (1989), is the touchstone case in which the United States Supreme Court laid out the law of interlocutory appeals for United States federal courts.List of ambassadors of the United States to Italy
Since 1840, the United States has had diplomatic representation in the Italian Republic and its predecessor nation, the Kingdom of Italy, with a break in relations from 1941 to 1944 while Italy and the U.S. were at war during World War II. The U.S. Mission to Italy is headed by the Embassy of the United States in Rome, and also includes six consular offices
Beginning in 2006, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy is concurrently accredited as the U.S. Ambassador to San Marino.Monetary Gold Removed from Rome in 1943 case
Italy v France, United Kingdom and United States  ICJ 2 (also called the Monetary Gold Removed from Rome in 1943 Case) was part of a long-running dispute over the fate of Nazi gold that was originally seized from Rome. The ICJ held it had no jurisdiction.Palazzo Margherita
Palazzo Margherita, formerly Palazzo Piombino, is a palazzo on Via Veneto in Rome. The usual name references Queen Margherita of Savoy, who lived there from 1900 to 1926. It now contains a U.S. Embassy.
In 1885, the Boncompagni-Ludovisi family chose to sell their ancestral family home in response to a severe financial crisis. The Villa Ludovisi and most of its extensive grounds were sold in 1883 to a property developer, the Società Generale Immobiliare, which in 1885 divided the property into luxury building lots. The family retained a small portion of the original estate around the Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi (Villa Aurora), the only building from the original holdings that was not demolished. However, the Casino was not designed to be the primary family home of a noble family.
The Palazzo Piombino was built from 1886 to 1890 by Gaetano Koch for Rodolfo Boncompagni Ludovisi, titular Prince of Piombino, as a new palace for the Boncompagni-Ludovisi family. It occupied one of the new developer lots at a prominent location along the Via Veneto, the new main road that developers had build through the former Villa property. The Boncompagni-Ludovisi family occupied the house for barely a decade before being forced to sell it in 1900 due to further economic difficulties, including some due the high cost of the new palazzo itself.
After the assassination of King Umberto I in Monza in 1900, his son and successor King Victor Emmanuel III purchased the palazzo from the family as a suitable residence for the newly widowed Queen Margherita, who took up residence in the palazzo on Christmas Day, 1900 for the remaining 26 years of her life. She remained active in public life in her roles as queen dowager and queen mother, and the building in which she lived become known as Palazzo Margherita.
After her death, the building was divided into offices for the Mussolini government. In 1946, the US government purchased the palazzo from the Italian government, and it now houses the United States Embassy in Italy. The palazzo was extensively renovated between 1949 and 1952 to restore rooms to their earlier appearance, while also modernizing plumbing and heating systems and increasing office space. The palazzo is now protected both by Italian law for cultural heritage and by listing on the U.S. Department of State Register of Culturally Significant Property.Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Treaties (French: Traités de Paris) were signed on 10 February 1947, as the outcome of the Paris Peace Conference, held from 29 July to 15 October 1946. The victorious wartime Allied powers (principally the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, United States, and France) negotiated the details of peace treaties with Italy, the minor Axis powers (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria), and Finland, following the end of World War II in 1945.
The treaties allowed Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland to resume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.
The settlement elaborated in the peace treaties included payment of war reparations, commitment to minority rights, and territorial adjustments including the end of the Italian Colonial Empire in Africa, Greece, and Albania, as well as changes to the Italian–Yugoslav, Hungarian–Czechoslovak, Soviet–Romanian, Hungarian-Romanian, French–Italian, and Soviet–Finnish borders. The treaties also obliged the various states to hand over accused war criminals to the Allied powers for trial.Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947
The Treaty of Peace with Italy (one of the Paris Peace Treaties) was signed on 10 February 1947 between Italy and the victorious powers of World War II, formally ending hostilities. It came into general effect on 15 September 1947.U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission
The U.S.- Italy Fulbright Commission is a bi-national, non-profit organization promoting the opportunities for study, research, and teaching in Italy and the United States. The commission acts as executor of the Fulbright Program to and from Italy. Since 1948, the commission has fostered mutual cultural understanding through educational exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. The commission offers competitive, merit-based grants for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists.Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was a treaty signed during 1922 among the major nations that had won World War I, which agreed to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction. It was negotiated at the Washington Naval Conference, held in Washington, D.C., from November 1921 to February 1922, and it was signed by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, and Japan. It limited the construction of battleships, battlecruisers and aircraft carriers by the signatories. The numbers of other categories of warships, including cruisers, destroyers and submarines, were not limited by the treaty, but those ships were limited to 10,000 tons displacement each.
The treaty was concluded on February 6, 1922. Ratifications of that treaty were exchanged in Washington on August 17, 1923, and it was registered in the League of Nations Treaty Series on April 16, 1924.Later naval arms limitation conferences sought additional limitations of warship building. The terms of the Washington treaty were modified by the London Naval Treaty of 1930 and the Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. By the mid-1930s, Japan and Italy renounced the treaties, while Germany renounced the Treaty of Versailles which had limited its navy. Naval arms limitation became increasingly difficult for the other signatories.