Kevin Jordan


Italian immigration to Argentina started in colonial times, but the main flow came during the 19th century. This was just after Argentina won its independence from Spain. Italy was dealing with major economic problems caused mostly by the unification of Italy. Italy was unemployed, impoverished, overpopulated and in political turmoil. Some Italians needed to leave the country in order to survive.
Immigration to Argentina was made easier when the Argentinean government (who was biased against mestizos and indigenous people) promoted European immigration to Argentina. Most of the immigrants came from northern Italy. In fact, Italians made up most of La Resistencia against Spain.


-Failed adjustment to the industrial revolution in Italy
-The crisis of subsistence in 1816-1817
-The break outs of cholera 1835-37, 1854-55, 1865-67, 1884-85
-A downswing of welfare organs
-Monetary policy problems with high tax and usury
-Running from consequences of world war I and II
-Many Italians were not able to adjust their crafts into the industrial revolution



Lunfardo is a mix between Italian, Spanish and French. Lunfardo is believed to originated from criminals. The word Lunfardo itself is derived from the Italian word Lombardo, which means outlaw. Lunfardo was developed in the early 20th century to keep criminal activities under wraps even in the presence of the police force, but is now used commonly throughout the river plate. The criminals pulled the languages around them to create the slang. They also used a feature called vesre, which involves reversing the order of syllables in a word. Other terms came from the pampa, by means of the gauchos.


Cocoliche is a pidgin language between Italian-Spanish. Cocoliche was mainly spoken by Italian immigrants, in Argentina, between 1880 and 1950.The language faded because the second generation were talk Spanish in schools and the Italian spoken was the immigrants local dialects, so Italian never fully took hold in Argentina.

Italian Neighborhoods

La Boca

la-boca.jpg La Boca is a particular neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The city maintains strong European flavor as most of original settlers came from the Italian city of Genoa. The name Boca even resembles the Genovese neighborhood of Boccadesse, which some people believe that La Boca was named after. After a huge strike in 1882, La Boca seceded from Argentina, and the rebels raised a Genovese flag. The flag was immediately torn down by the president of Argentina, Julio Argentino Roca.
La Boca is home to own of the most known football clubs Boca Juniors. La Boca is also home to many tango clubs, including the Caminito, Italian taverns and La Ribera theatre.

Famous Argentinean-Italians

Lionel Messi -football player (club Barcelona)
Carlos Pellegrini -president of Argentina 1890-1892
Arturo Frondizi -president of Argentina 1958-1962
Astor Piazzolla -Argentine tango composer and bandoneĆ³n player
Javier Mascherano -football player (club Liverpool)
Luciana Pedraza -Argentine actress
Gabriela Sabatini -former professional tennis player