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Italians in the Americas
Experiences in South and North Americas

Fare l’America or Learn to Live in it? Italian Immigration in Peru

Fare l’America ou apprendre à y vivre ? L’immigration italienne au Pérou
Mario Pera
p. 62-71


Cet article analyse l’influence de la colonie italienne qui a immigré au Pérou depuis l’époque coloniale jusqu’au milieu du XXe siècle. Cette influence réciproque est observée dans les domaines social, économique et politique, à travers diverses institutions et entreprises que les migrants italiens ou leurs descendants ont fondées et qui ont permis une transmission de nombreux aspects culturels entre les deux nations.

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1Italian immigration to Peru is by far the most researched migratory movement among the different colonies of foreigners settled in this country, which is due, presumably, not only to the fact that the Italian colony was the largest during the Republican period, but also to the significant influence and contribution that it had (and still has through its descendants) in the forging of Peru as a Republic.

Italians in Colonial Peru (1535‑1821)

2The first Italians to arrive in Peru came with the Spanish army of conquest in the 16th century as a result of an alliance between the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Genoa. This is the reason why the first Italian immigrants to Peru came from Liguria, and predominantly from Genoa, birthplace of the expert sailors recruited by the Catholic Monarchs who captained the Spanish ships bound for America. For these Genoese merchants, who had been merchants overseas for centuries, this was a new opportunity to expand their trade routes, which allowed them to keep a significant presence in South American Spanish colonies. But the Genoese were not the only ones: a number of Italians from other regions such as the Duchy of Milan, the Duchy of Florence, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal States also came to Peru.

  • 1 Several of the names mentioned here changed because of the Spanish influence in the migration proce (...)
  • 2 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, Los viajeros italianos en el Perú. Lima: Ed. Ecos, 1957, p. 21‑22.
  • 3 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, ibid., p. 21‑25.
  • 4 The Master and the carpenter of Francisco Pizarro’s ship, the «Santiago», were Juan Bautista Genove (...)

3Maybe the first Italians to arrive in Peru1 were Simon Genoves and Pedro Milanes who were soldiers of Francisco Pizarro. We also know of the presence of the Milanese Francisco Bosso (founder of Arequipa)2, the Florentines Neri Francisqui and Nicolao del Benino and the Milanese Girolamo Benzoni (who witnessed the disputes between the conquerors)3. Another early traveler was the Genoese Juan Bautista Pastene, a member of the army of conquest that captured the Inca Atahualpa in Cajamarca in November 1535, under the command of Francisco Pizarro, whose troops included a number of other Italians such as Martín de Florencia, Marco de Niza, Pietro Catagno and Pietro Martin de Sicilia (who was Mayor of Lima in 1545), who took part in the conquest of the Inca Empire by Spain4.

4Between 1535 and 1560 there were less than fifty Italians, almost all of Ligurian origin, living in Lima and Callao. They included maritime traders like Vincenzo Pascuale and Ambroggio Giustiniani, who owned shipping companies that transported goods between Callao and Valparaiso. Other merchants were Giovanni di Malta, Nicolo da Bonfilio, Alvaro Pestrello, Enrique Porri, Lucas de Astra, Nicoroso and Marcos Corso, Juan de Niza and Alessandro Malaspina. There were also some clerics such as Anello Oliva, Marco de Niza, Nicola Duran Mastrilli and Ludovico Bertonio.

  • 5 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, op. cit., p. 40.

5In 1549 the immigration policy with regard to non-Spanish Europeans to colonial territories changed. It still remained open to Genoese sailors until Charles I of Spain put an end to the free entry of foreigners to the Spanish colonies. After this date, it was only possible to come with a license from the king5. This limitation was extended by Philip II who decreed that even the Spaniards should obtain permission to travel to the New World. Despite these severe restrictions, Italian immigration to Peru did not entirely stop and a few Italians arrived by illegal (unlicensed) and legal ways, as part of the colonial entourage. Indeed, these policies almost put an end to the arrival of new Italians in Peru. In consequence, the Italian colony settled permanently in the country and developed close links with Peruvian society.

  • 6 Whose real name was Antonio Ricciardi. The third part of his name, Pedemontanus, made direct refere (...)
  • 7 José Medina, and José Zamudio, Historia de la imprenta en los antiguos dominios españoles de Améric (...)

6Italian influence in this period was also expressed in art with the painting techniques and style of the Italian school of the 17th century, which was brought by Bernardo Bitti, who arrived in Peru in 1575 to evangelize through art. Aesthetically, it was Bitti who introduced Mannerism to the Cuzco school of painting. Mateo Pérez D’Alessio, native of Alezio, arrived in Lima in 1588. He was famous for having been a pupil of Michelangelo and Angelo Medoro (a famous Roman who is thought to have painted the first portrait of Santa Rosa de Lima). Italian writers such as Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto and Luigi Tansillo had a strong influence in literature and, in music, Rocco Cerutti and Domenico Zipoli’s work had a great importance. In 1584, Antonio Ricardo Pedemontanus6, an Italian immigrant, brought the first printing press to Peru7.

  • 8 Of these 343 we only have accurate information about the birthplace of 231 of them, a figure distri (...)

7By 1650, the Italian community living in Lima grew and was made up of three hundred and fifty people from various regions8. However, the number of Italians living in other parts of the Peruvian Viceroyalty is unknown. The influence of this early Italian community in the colonial era was felt directly in art, religion, commerce, etc., and indirectly by the influence of certain Italian customs that several Spanish settlers in Peru had acquired during their participation in the Italian Wars of the sixteenth century.

8In the 16th and 17th centuries, Italian immigration to Peru remained within these parameters. With the government of King Philip V (the first Spanish Bourbon king) in 1700, Italian immigration to Peru took a political turn with the arrival of noble Italians, relatives of the Bourbons, who were commissioned to serve Spain in important positions. This development changed the «face» of the Italian colony, because in the first phase of immigration, most of the immigrants had belonged to the middle or lower classes, mostly from Liguria, who were educated, city dwellers, and devoted to trade: a far different profile if compared to the average Italian rural population who lacked instruction.

  • 9 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, op. cit., p. 54.

9The noble Italians who came to Peru to serve Philip V had functions in the highest offices of Peru’s colonial administration and were the only ones allowed to travel in the colony. Likewise, Spanish colonial officials had held senior positions in the Italian kingdoms allied with the Spanish crown. This is the case of the viceroys of Peru Luis Jerónimo Fernández de Cabrera y Bobadilla (son of the Spanish ambassador in Rome and member of the Council of Italy), Garcia Sarmiento de Sotomayor (combatant in Lombardy) and Baltasar de la Cueva Enríquez (Spain’s ambassador in Venice), Melchor de Navarra and Rocafull (Counselor in Naples)9 and Manuel de Amat y Juniet (fighter in Naples). This intimate relationship between the Bourbons of Spain and the Italian nobility encouraged immigration (albeit temporary) of Italian courtiers to the Viceroyalty of Peru, and they led the Italian influence in politics, religion, art and literature.

10The peak of the Italian presence and their influence in colonial Peru was reached with the twenty-sixth viceroy of Peru, the Neapolitan Carmine Nicolao Caracciolo, who held the highest office in the Peruvian colonial administration for four years (1716‑1720). In religion, the influence was greater, as the 18th century was a period of extreme Roman Catholic fervor because of the action of the Papal States. Italian influence in medicine was exemplified by the publication of Evidence of Circulation of the Blood by the Sicilian Federico Bottoni in Lima in 1723. In 1790, José Rossi Rubí (from Milan) founded the Philharmonic Academy in Lima which later became the Academic Society of Country Lovers, in which Peruvian thinkers gathered to discuss many topics. This Society set up El Mercurio Peruano in 1791, only the second newspaper published in Lima and the first Peruvian daily to receive subscriptions from Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago, La Paz and Guayaquil. Between the 18th and early 19th centuries, the integration and gradual assimilation of the Italian colony into Peruvian society started, a fact that occurred as a result of marriages to members of families belonging to Peru’s middle and upper classes. This happened because Peruvian society thought that kinship with Europeans brought prestige to the community, along with fortune and fame (conditions that many Italian immigrants had achieved), although some Italians failed to make economic progress and were considered members of the lower classes.

11The results of the Italian presence in colonial Peru were: first, political influence, because Italians helped the troops of Francisco Pizarro to conquer the Inca Empire; second, economic influence, because they created new forms of trade (for example, grocery stores or overseas trade); third, cultural influence, as they played a role in religion, architecture, painting and literature; and finally, governmental influence, when Bourbon Philip V appointed Italian nobles to run the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

Italians in the 19th Century Republican Peru (1821‑1899)

12After the independence of Peru in 1821, the Republic gained the recognition of the most important European countries, among them the Italian kingdoms or states such as the Papal States, whose recognition was essential for politics and religion. The Kingdom of Sardinia established its Consulate in Lima in 1841; the Consul was Luis Baratta, who also performed duties as consul in Lima for other Italian states, which formalized the relationship between the Italian states and Peru. The explanation as to why the Kingdom of Sardinia established the consulate was the growing colony of Ligurians settled in Lima.

13In the mid-19th century a large group of Italian intellectuals of liberal and nationalist thought arrived in Peru. They influenced Peruvian politics, promoting liberalism among the thinkers and politicians. The most important were Alessandro Arrigoni, who arrived in 1850 after participating in the Rebellion of Milan in 1848; Antonio Raimondi, in 1850; Giuseppe Garibaldi, hero of Italian unification who lived in Peru between 1851 and 1852 and Emanuele Solari, cousin of Giuseppe Mazzini, in 1854. Garibaldi arrived on October 4, 1851 when the Italian colony was well integrated, with links to events in its homeland and well placed in the Peruvian economy and society. His arrival strengthened the links between Italians and Peruvians, and he was granted Peruvian citizenship. Garibaldi maintained contact with Peruvian politics and liberal thinkers, and when in 1866 a Spanish fleet laid siege to Peru, he defended its independence in Europe.

14One factor that encouraged the assimilation of Italian immigrants into Peruvian society was their ability to work together and to improve themselves as a community. In the 19th century they created support networks among members of the colony through the establishment of institutions such as the Italian Charity Society (1862), the Roma Fire Company (1866), the Bellavista Club (1868) which in 1875 was renamed Italy and Garibaldi Social Club (founded in 1873 with the permission of Giuseppe Garibaldi and which then became a fire company), the Masonic Lodge Justice and Union (1862) replaced by the Lodge Stella d’Italia (1881), the Italian School of Callao (later called School Regina Margherita), the Italian Club (1881), the Italian Hospital (1884), the newspaper La Voce d’Italia (1887), the Societá Italiana di Mutuo Socorso (1889), etc. that allowed the Italian immigrants to talk about issues that were then the object of discussion with Peruvian liberal thinkers thereby influencing Peruvian politics.

  • 10 Italian musician Claudio Rebagliati is recognized for having restored harmonized and orchestrated t (...)

15Culturally the influence of Italian immigrants in music was significant during the Republic with the arrival of musicians such as Claudio10 and Reinaldo Rebagliati, Carlo Enrico Pasta or Renzo Bracesco. At the Municipal School (of Arts), the painter Leonardo Barbieri was a teacher and in the «Priest Matiás Maestro» General Cemetery of Lima many Italian sculptors such as Ulderico Tenderini or Giovanni Battista Cevasco presented their art.

16In economic terms, the most important institution was the Italian Charity Society. As Giovanni Bonfilio relates, this institution reveals the socio-economic boom the Italian immigrants enjoyed as a result of decades of hard work and it gave them the recognition and social inclusion they desired. Members of the Italian colony established companies such as the Italy Insurance Company, the Italian Bank, the San Jacinto textile mill, the Vista Alegre winery, the Excelsior and Union millers, etc. Another main company was the Commercial and Industrial Company (founded 1879), owned by the Italian Faustino Piaggio, which was later expropriated by the government of Óscar R. Benavides in 1934, to make it the national oil company, now Petroperu. Most of Peruvian society rejected manual and commercial activities (a colonial heritage), while the Italians saw this area of the Peruvian economy as the opportunity to make their trade. As a consequence, their economic influence rapidly expanded, as they used modern technology, were not involved in political uprisings and had no ethnic prejudices about working with other immigrant groups such as Asians.

  • 11 Giovanni Bonfilio, Los italianos en la sociedad peruana: una visión histórica. Lima: Saywa, 1984, p (...)

17On the political side, the historical-ideological process influenced the thinking of Peruvian liberal politicians. Masonic lodges and the arrival of famous Italian politicians such as Garibaldi, Arrigoni, Solari, established the ideals of Liberalism as a way of opening the country to modernity, and an anti-clerical policy was progressively embedded in the Peruvian politics of 18th century by Peruvian thinkers such as Manuel González Prada. The liberal Italian immigrants indirectly influenced the modernization of Peruvian society which gradually broke the link between the State and the Catholic Church and allowed the introduction of religious tolerance. Their influence was also direct. In 1868 the Public Charity Society of Lima completed the construction of the Dos de Mayo Hospital, designed by a partnership of architects in which the Italian Matteo Graziani was the leading figure. In politics, José Francisco Canevaro, son of a Sardinian immigrant, Giuseppe Canevaro (former Consul of the Kingdom of Sardinia and then Italy in Peru), was Second Vice President in the government of President Mariano Ignacio Prado (1878) and his brother, César Canevaro, held several political positions as First Vice-President on two occasions in addition to being deputy and senator11 .

  • 12 Janet Worral, La inmigración italiana en el Perú: 1860‑1914. Lima: Italian Cultural Institute, 1990

18The Italian colony performed vital actions to defend the country that welcomed them. In the bombardment of Callao by a Spanish Imperial fleet, the Italian Fire Company «Roma» showed their patriotism by helping the Peruvian troops, putting out fires and taking care of the wounded during the Battle of Dos de mayo in 1866. For these actions, the President, Mariano Ignacio Prado and the Congress of Peru, named them «Heroic Benefactors of the Fatherland». In the 1870s, the government of Manuel Pardo (1872‑1876) encouraged European immigration to Peru, offering benefits to Europeans who would come to settle in the wild lands of the country. The Peruvian middle and upper classes supported the idea, but due to political mismanagement, the Peruvian State violated contracts with immigrants despite the creation of the European Society of Immigration in March 1873. At that time Peru received only about three thousand Europeans, almost all Italians, who settled in the rugged area of Chanchamayo12. Abandoned by the government, many immigrants moved to urban areas, like Lima and Callao. They were installed and inserted into the national economy and achieved a stable socio-economic situation with the support of their countrymen and Embassy.

19During the war with Chile (1879‑1884), the Italian colony of Lima and Callao put money into a national fund to help to cover the costs of the war, and paid for the mines which would be used in the Battle of Miraflores. Other Italian immigrants acted as city guards or firefighters. After the Battle of San Juan and Chorrillos (1881) thirteen Italian firefighters were executed by the Chilean army as a sentence for trying to put out the fires13. At the decisive point of the war, many Italian immigrants and their descendants acted with great honor defending Peru such as the Genoese sailor Pietro Luigi Storace, the Sardinian Raffaele Larco (as Colonel in the Reserves), César Canevaro heroic commander in Tacna, Chorrillos and Miraflores and who was appointed as Mayor of Lima for a short period during the Chilean occupation, or Colonel Francisco Bolognesi, son of the Genoese immigrant Andrea Bolognesi, whose gallantry in the battle of Arica led to his being posthumously given the rank of Great Marshal, national hero and patron of the Peruvian Army. His sons, Enrique and Augusto Bolognesi, died in the Battle of San Juan and Chorrillos, only a few months after their father.

20As for the period between 1880 and 1914, in contrast to what happened to other countries in the region (Argentina and Brazil) which received many immigrants from all regions of Italy, the immigration to Peru was minimal.

Italians in the 20th Century Republican Peru (1900‑1989)

  • 14 According to the Peruvian National Population Census of 1876, officially the Italian colony had 6,9 (...)
  • 15 Giovanni Bonfilio, ibid., p. 109.

21In the early 20th century, the Italian colony in Peru was at its top economic, social and demographic14 development. During this period the members of the Italian colony owned or managed 1,200 of the 3,300 companies in Lima and were responsible for 55% of port traffic in Callao15. Furthermore it continued to found institutions that served the emigrants, their descendants and the Peruvians such as the Dante Alighieri Society (1901), the Italian School of Lima Umberto I (1902), the Circolo Sportivo Italiano (1917), the Circolo Canottieri, the Museum of Italian Art (1923) which was set up using donations as part of the centenary of Peruvian independence, the Scuola Italo Peruviana Antonio Raimondi (1930).

22The business sector was also involved. The Associated Electric Company was managed by the Italian Giovanni Carosio and other family businesses were created such as Queirolo’s wine company, D’Onofrio ice cream, the Cogorno, Nicolini Bros. and Molitalia noodle factories and the Banco de Crédito which took over the Italian Bank.

23After the First World War (1914‑18), the last significant group of Italian immigrants arrived in Peru. Unlike those who had migrated to other countries in South America in that period, they came to Peru as a product of the chain migration process or by chance (for example, because of the U.S. restrictions on immigration). The most significant group came from Sicily and settled in the neighborhood of Chucuito-Callao, the port where they could work as fishermen. Other small contingents arrived from Naples, Piedmont, Florence and Lombardy. This migration changed the «face» of the Italian colony for the second time, but essentially affected the change of community leadership, formerly dominated by a Ligurian elite.

24In the 20th century the Italian colony in Peru maintained the level of socio-economic development achieved in the previous century. Several members were in the highest socio-economic strata of Peruvian society and the image of the Italian immigrant was transformed as a result of this new situation. From small scale businessmen (called bachiches) they rose to become men of enterprise and businessmen respected for their fortunes, hard work and family relationships with the most aristocratic Peruvian families. They participated actively in the development of the Peruvian economy in industry, finance, fisheries, mining, urban development, and agriculture, fields that historically allowed personal and social improvement in Peru.

25However, from 1930 on, the cultural identity of the Italian colony began to dilute and merge with Peruvian culture due to its intense integration into Peruvian society, bringing about in parallel an important economic boost to the colony. By comparison, the Italian colonies settled in other South American countries failed to reach similar levels of prosperity and socio-economic inclusion in their host countries. Family migration continued until the early decades of the 20th century and there was dynamic communication between migrants and their relatives or friends living in Italy. Only a few people returned to Italy after emigrating. Those who returned kept in touch with Peru, with the traditions and cultural elements they had adopted as a result of their interaction with Peruvian society. Another aspect to highlight in order to explain the low levels of return migration is that the vast majority of Italian immigrants who settled in Peru were economically and socially successful, and a return to Italy meant losing or reducing both the economic and social prestige gained.

26From the second half of the 20th century, as a result of the relative socio-political stability in Peru and the birth of new generations of Italian descendants (and the death of older generations), community ties began to disintegrate. The old institutions founded by Italian immigrants began to lose their importance and marriages between Peruvians and Italians increased. This facilitated the further inclusion of Italians in Peruvian society, but it diluted the impact of their culture. Another major event was the growth of the indigenous population in Peru in the mid-20th century, which weakened the Italian colony.

27The great cultural influence of Italian immigration in Peru is reflected in its contribution to the Peruvian Creole culture, to which Italians contributed with cultural references in both music and cuisine. Even though the Italian presence in Peru became less visible after 1930, the influence of Italian culture in Creole culture was clear. In folk music the contribution of Isabel «Chabuca» Granda Larco, Juan Mosto or Mario Cavagnaro were very important. In Creole cuisine there are several dishes that are Italian like green tagliatelle, originating from the Ligurian dish Trenette al pesto (with the typical Ligurian green sauce). There are also red tagliatelle, originating from Spaghetti alla bolognesa, accompanied in Peru with a piece of fried chicken, and various mixed dishes such as tagliatelle with different sauces like huancaina or ocopa (clearly Peruvian). Other dishes were assimilated into Peruvian cuisine such as the Menestrón (originating from Minestrone), chard pie (originating from the Torta Pascualina), Italian mondonguito (originating from Tripa alla fiorentina), Panetón (originating from Panettone) or ice cream. In turn, the Italian immigrants adopted Peruvian products such as country ham (perhaps as a substitute for prosciutto) or silverside which shows that the mutual culinary influence continues today.

28In the 20th century the intervention of the Italian colony in Peruvian politics continued (as in the Colonial period and in the 19th century). Several descendants of Italians have managed to hold senior positions in the government such as Presidents of the Republic Manuel Odría Amoretti and Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerruti, the Vice President Rafael Canevaro, the Presidents of the Senate César Canevaro, Enrique Martinelli and Javier Alva Orlandini, the President of the Supreme Court Luciano Cúneo, the Presidents of the Council of Ministers Sandro Mariátegui Chiappe, Guillermo Larco or Luis Solari, as well as several government ministers, congressmen and mayors. Among them, we can include the first female Mayor of Lima, Ana María Fernandini.

29The influence of immigration has been such that now there are many buildings, streets and even Peruvian districts (such as the Antonio Raimondi or Bolognesi) named after Italian surnames or Ligurian villages and some names of Peruvian territories are now names in Liguria such as the Lima Ave. in Chiavari-Genoa, where they celebrate 28th July (the day of Peruvian Independence) in a ceremony in which the Peruvian flag is raised.

30The gradual migration to Lima (which groups the majority of Italians and their descendants) of inhabitants of the Peruvian Andes initiated an «Andeanization» process of the capital city. Simultaneously with the nationalist policy of the government of Juan Velasco (1968‑75) which limited foreign cultural events in the country, this process diminished the fragile community ties that still existed in 1990, although the descendants of the Italian community were heavily involved in Peruvian society, politics and economics.

The Italians in Contemporary Peru (1990‑2011)

31The progressive disintegration of the community of Italian descent in Peru has been reversed because of the Peruvian socio-economic crisis which started in 1990 and which lasted nearly twenty years. This has prompted many people of Italian descent to rediscover their family origins. They even asked for the recognition of their Italian citizenship which was possible thanks to the jure sanguinis law, in order to be able to migrate to the United States or Western European countries to escape the crisis in Peru. Hence return migration began as if the Peruvian grandchildren, great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren of Italians emulated their ancestors who had headed into the unknown, leaving their family for a better future.

  • 16 Ministero dell’Interno. Numero iscritti per Ripartizione geográfica, 2011. http://infoaire.interno. (...)
  • 17 This approximate figure also accounts those Peruvians who for some reasons (mainly fusion) lost the (...)

32Currently the largest community of descendants of foreign people (non-Spanish Europeans) in terms of numbers and influence in Peruvian society is the Italians. It comprises almost twenty five thousand seven hundred people who are officially Italians16, twelve thousand who are in the process of obtaining Italian nationality and an undetermined number of descendants of Italians who have not attempted this procedure which is estimated at half a million people17. Most people of Italian descent are solid members of the middle class. Some have joined the upper classes and currently occupy important positions such as the ex-First Vice President (retired Vice admiral Luis Giampietri), the Archbishop of Lima (Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani) or the current President of the Republic, Ollanta Humala Tasso. In addition, there are many people of Italian descent who excel in many sectors of the economy; the biggest corporation today, the Brescia group, is run by the sons of an Italian immigrant Fortunato Brescia.

33In less than five centuries in Peru, the Italian colony has been able through hard work, ability to save money and mutual assistance to have an important place in Peruvian society and to gradually assimilate the culture and economy of the host country. Since the beginning, some members have held important positions in politics (viceroys, presidents, ministers, legislators, etc.), commerce, art and philosophy, decisively influencing the forging of Peruvian contemporary identity and culture.

34It is important to state that the Italy-Peru influence has been mutual, because Peruvian cultural elements have also been passed to Italy via immigration from Peru mainly because of the recent migration of Peruvians «of all bloods» to the European continent. The influence is reciprocal and social-cultural enrichment even greater. This is what binds Peru and Italy together so strongly.

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1 Several of the names mentioned here changed because of the Spanish influence in the migration process. For this reason I have decided to keep the new spellings.

2 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, Los viajeros italianos en el Perú. Lima: Ed. Ecos, 1957, p. 21‑22.

3 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, ibid., p. 21‑25.

4 The Master and the carpenter of Francisco Pizarro’s ship, the «Santiago», were Juan Bautista Genoves and Rostán Genoves, and were other examples of Italian participating to the conquest.

5 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, op. cit., p. 40.

6 Whose real name was Antonio Ricciardi. The third part of his name, Pedemontanus, made direct reference to his Italian origins, meaning «born in Piedmont».

7 José Medina, and José Zamudio, Historia de la imprenta en los antiguos dominios españoles de América y Oceanía. Vol. I. Santiago: Historical and bibliographical Fund José Toribio Medina, 1958. (accessed on May 30, 2011).

8 Of these 343 we only have accurate information about the birthplace of 231 of them, a figure distributed as follows: 124 from Genoa, 28 from Venice, 28 from Corsica, 15 from Naples, 11 from Milan, 10 Romans, 5 Sicilians and lower numbers from other Italian states.

9 Raúl Porras Barrenechea, op. cit., p. 54.

10 Italian musician Claudio Rebagliati is recognized for having restored harmonized and orchestrated the National Anthem of Peru with the approval of its composer José Bernardo Alcedo.

11 Giovanni Bonfilio, Los italianos en la sociedad peruana: una visión histórica. Lima: Saywa, 1984, p. 75‑76; Gabriella Chiaramonti, «La migración italiana en América Latina. El Caso peruano» Apuntes, journal of Research Center of the University of the Pacific, 1983, nº 13, p. 26‑30.

12 Janet Worral, La inmigración italiana en el Perú: 1860‑1914. Lima: Italian Cultural Institute, 1990.

13 Peruan-Itá, La Compagnia dei Pompieri Volontari di Chorrillos, 1999. (accessed on May 30, 2011).

14 According to the Peruvian National Population Census of 1876, officially the Italian colony had 6,990 members. By 1906, Bonfilio estimated about 13,000 Italians residing in Peru, of whom almost 75% came from northern Italy, especially from Liguria. Giovanni Bonfilio, Los Italianos en Lim., Aldo Panfichi and Felipe Portocarrero (eds.), Mundos Interiores 1850‑1950, Lima: Research Center of the University of the Pacific, 1995, p. 109.

15 Giovanni Bonfilio, ibid., p. 109.

16 Ministero dell’Interno. Numero iscritti per Ripartizione geográfica, 2011. (accessed on May 30, 2011).

17 This approximate figure also accounts those Peruvians who for some reasons (mainly fusion) lost their Italian surname.
Benvenuti al sito della Associazione dei lucani in Perú, 2011. La presencia italiana en el Perú. (accessed on May 30, 2011).

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Mario Pera

Peruvian and Italian writer, graphic designer and lawyer. He has published poetry books Preparaciones Anatómicas (2009) and Ruido Blanco (2011), and he has an unpublished essay entitled Los apellidos: origen, evolución y significado. He has been editor of the publishing house Magreb. Currently, he is a member of the Interdisciplinary Seminar of Andean Studies under the title of Corresponding Member.

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