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Utah Italians

Utah Italians are the descendants of immigrants from Italy, along with recent immigrants from Italy, who live in the state of Utah.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Notable Italians in Utah 3
  • Organizations 4
    • Past 4.1
    • Present 4.2
  • Education 5
  • Publications and Media 6
  • Utah-Italy relations 7
    • Overview 7.1
    • Trade and Tourism 7.2
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Compared to the nations of northern farmers' market, similar to the Italian ones, helps to create a Mediterranean atmosphere.


According to the 2000 census, 57,500 people in Utah claimed some Italian ancestry, with about 3,000 being recent immigrants. The percentage of Italian Americans in Utah is about 2.3 percent. Nationally, their percentage is calculated around 5.6 percent, with the majority living in the Northeast, in the Midwest, in California, and in Florida.

Notable Italians in Utah

  • Fortunato Anselmo. He was the Vice Consul of Italy of Salt Lake City from the 1920s to the beginning of the World War II. He was very respected for his volunteer work in favor of the new Italian immigrants.
  • Mario Capecchi, is the 2007 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine.
  • Joseph Toronto was the first Italian who came to Utah with the first pioneers in 1848. He was the "President's (Brigham Young) herdsman." In 1850 he accompanied Lorenzo Snow in the first Italian Mormon mission in the Turin area, where they converted a few Waldensians. He has many notable descendants in Utah.[1]



The main goal of the early Ogden and Castle Gate for several years, starting in 1897.[2]


The Italian American Civic League was founded in 1934 and it is still active today. It is the oldest remaining Italian club in Utah and is also a non-profit organization. The Friendly Club was founded in Ogden by a group of northern Italians from the region of Trentino (north of Venice) in 1937. Today it is called the Trentini Club. Italian American Lawyers Association was founded a few years ago. They have monthly meetings.


As of today, Brigham Young University is the only educational institution in Utah that has a B.A. program in Italian Language and Culture. They also offer a program in Florence and Rome. The University of Utah offers a minor in Italian language, along with a program in Siena. Through OSHER, a beginning language course is also offered. East High School in Salt Lake City offers a short beginning course. Nationally, Italian is the fourth most taught language in schools and colleges, after Spanish, French, and German.[3]

Publications and Media

In the early years of Italian immigration, several newspapers appeared, such as Il Minatore, edited by Mose Paggi, La Gazzetta Italiana, by G. Milano, La Scintilla, by Alfonso Russo and G. Milano, and Il Corriere d'America, by Frank Niccoli and Alfonso Russo. Copies of these newspapers, as well as old pictures, and taped and transcribed interviews of prominent Italians are kept at the Special Collection of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Recently, the In Piazza magazine was published from 1998 to 2004. As of today, there are no Italian paper periodicals published in Utah. Instead, there are a few websites listed below.[4] Concerning scholarly publications, Phil Notarianni has written several articles about the Italian immigrants in Utah. [5] Recently, Mike Homer has published a book on foreign visitors to Utah, and one of his chapters is dedicated to Italian travelers.[6]

Utah-Italy relations


Over the years Italy has provided Utah with thousands of people. Some came for religious motivations and most for better economic opportunities. Four thousand came as prisoners of war and a few remained in Utah after the World War II ended. Eight of them rest in a Salt Lake City cemetery after being killed by a camp sentinel. A few hundred Utah soldiers fought in Italy against the Germans and the Fascists and several died. Regarding the number of people, for many years the balance has been in favor of Italy. But starting from the late 1960s, many Mormon missionaries from Utah are active in the major Italian cities. During the past forty years, several thousand of them have spent up to two years in Italy. As a result of their efforts, about 20,000 Italians have converted to Mormonism. Some of them have married former Mormon missionaries. LDS chapels and congregations are present in most Italian cities.[7] The Genealogical Society of Utah has microfilmed a large percentage of Italy’s Catholic Church and Civil Records. This project is ongoing.

Trade and Tourism

Italy is one of the top 25 of Utah's trading partners. Gold is the major product exported to Italy, followed by computer electronics and software.[8] According to official data, Utah is visited every year by about 12,000 Italians.[9]

See also


  1. ^ History to go, Will Bagley
  2. ^ Philip F. Notarianni, "Italian Fraternal Organizations in Utah, 1897-1934," Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Philip F. Notarianni, "Italianità in Utah: The Immigrant Experience," in Helen Z. Papanikolas, ed., The Peoples of Utah (1976)
  5. ^ Utah Historical Society
  6. ^ On the Way to Somewhere Else - European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930, edited by Michael W. Homer
  7. ^ Italy LDS Mission
  8. ^ Utah Trade Statistics
  9. ^ Utah Travel Agency

Further reading

  • Notarianni, Philip F. (1994), "ITALIANS IN UTAH", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah:  

External links

  • A website dedicated to the history of the LDS Church in Italy - Created by a Utah Italian
  • BYU Program (French-Italian Department)
  • Official website of the Italian American Civic League
  • Italian Center of the West YOUTUBE domain
  • FestivalFerragostoItalian in Utah, a website sponsored by the
  • Italy Utah Cooperation Center, official website of a nonprofit organization that supports bilateral relations between Italy and Utah
  • University of Utah Italian Program (Language Department)
  • Utah Italy, a new growing website
  • Utah Organization of Honorary Consulates
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