Ethiopians in Italy

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Santo Stefano degli Abissini in the Vatican, the national church of the Ethiopian community of Rome.

Ethiopians in Italy are a migrant community historically present in Italy since the Italian occupation. Many people of Ethiopian origin have become Italian citizens (Italian Ethiopians) and are therefore no longer included in the demographic statistics.

The city with the highest concentration of Ethiopians in Italy is Rome (2,368), then Milan (598) and Parma (343).[1]


Ethiopian pilgrims have been recorded in Rome since the early 15th century. By the early 16th century, the Ethiopian community was well-established in Rome, centered on the church of Santo Stefano degli Abissini.[2][3]

Ethiopians in Italy were 7,772 in 2016, up from 6,656 in 2007. While the historical presence is linked to the training of priests at the ,[4] contemporary is rather feminized and linked to the domestic work market. It is a contained and constant migratory flow.[5]

Asylum requests in Italy by Ethiopian citizens remain limited compared to the total (2,155 in 2015). Of these, 85% obtained a residence permit for international or humanitarian protection. Italy is also a crossing point for Ethiopian refugees headed to Northern Europe (United Kingdom and Sweden). Often, due to the Dublin Regulations, such asylum seekers are then sent back to Italy.[6]

In Rome the Ethiopian community (as well as the Eritrean one) is concentrated in the Termini station area: via Milazzo and via dei Mille, via Volturno and via Montebello.[7]

Notable people[]


  • Association of the Ethiopian community in Rome


  1. ^ "Statistiche: eritrei in Italia". (in Italian). Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  2. ^ Kelly, Samantha (2020). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Boston: Brill. p. 438. ISBN 9789004419582.
  3. ^ "Chiesa di S. Stefano dei Mori. Vicende edilizie e personaggi – Edizioni Capitolo Vaticano" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  4. ^ Ambrogetti, Angela. "I cento anni del Pontificio collegio Etiopico in Vaticano raccontano una storia antica". Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  5. ^ Ethiopian immigrants, on Action Aid, 2017
  6. ^ "Dublin regulation leaves asylum seekers with their fingers burnt". the Guardian. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  7. ^ Paola Soriga, A Roma etiopi ed eritrei si riscoprono fratelli, Internazionale, 3 April 2016 (in Italian)
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