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Italian - Irish Relations

The Embassy plays an important role in fostering the strong and close relationship between Ireland and Italy.

Ireland and Italy have enjoyed a deep relationship over the centuries. Today we share a particularly warm and close friendship as enthusiastic and committed members of the European Union.

Over the last number of years we have seen our relationship deepen and intensify as we worked together to move Europe forward, particularly during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013 and the current Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2014.

A strong historical and cultural bond

Throughout history Irish people have chosen for various reasons to call Italy their home. Famously the Ulster Earls O’Neill and O’Donnell, who arrived in Rome in 1608 to seek help from Pope Paul V are buried in the Church of San Pietro in Montorio close to the current Irish Embassy in Rome. Last century James Joyce made Trieste, on the Adriatic coast, his home for over 16 years (1904-1920).

Today the Irish Community living and working in Italy continues to grow and includes business people, people working in the UN bodies located in Rome (FAO, IFAD, WFP), students on university exchanges and Irish people who have simply decided to call Italy home. They make not just a vibrant and unique contribution to Italian business and cultural life but also to the way our island is portrayed in Italy.

Irish music, both traditional and contemporary, is very popular in Italy. Irish film is celebrated each year in Rome at the Annual Irish Film Festival. Italian Interest in Irish writers and poets is particularly strong with annual events such as the Trieste James Joyce Summer School, the Magione Irish Poetry Festival and various other readings of Irish work held every year.

This affinity with Irish culture may be one of the many reasons that around 250,000 Italians visit Ireland each year.