Buenos Aires’ Not So Little Italy

Plaza Cortazar, en el bonaerense barrio de Palermo. Imagen en Flickr del usuario Omar Uran (CC BY 2.0).

Plaza Cortazar, in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Photo: Flickr / Omar Uran / CC 2.0

Italian migration in Argentina is the largest and most important migratory movement in South American country. According to some estimates, about 3 million Italian immigrants arrived in Argentina between 1814 and 1970.

Italian immigrants soon become part of Argentinian society, but recent generations have developed a certain nostalgia for the Old Country, looking today to older generations to reclaim various traditions and customs.

There's a tangible “Italianness” about a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, where a Piccola Itaila (a little Italy) is emerging today:

[…] cinco cuadras que son un espacio gastronómico y cultural para compartir y expresar la italianidad. Sus impulsores ya imaginan el arco en la esquina de Arévalo y Gorriti, en el barrio porteño de Palermo.

La italianidad en la Argentina resulta difícil de definir porque logró distribuirse en toda la sociedad, porque es inasible y omnipresente. Está en las palabras entremezcladas con el lunfardo, está en el valor de la familia y los amigos, está en las recetas heredadas y argentinizadas, está en cada barrio porteño con los negocios de nombres italianos, está en los aperitivos, está en las Volturno para el café corto y fuerte. Está.

[…] five blocks that are a gastronomic and cultural space to share and express Italianness. Their promoters already imagine the arch in the corner of Arévalo and Gorriti, in the Buenos Aires’ neighborhood of Palermo.

Italianness in Argentina is hard to define as it managed to spread out all aroud society, because it's ethereal and omnipresent. We find it in the words mingled with lunfardo, we find it in the value of family and friends, in the inherited and Argentinized recipes, in each Buenos Aires’ neighborhood on the shops with Italian names, it's in the aperitifs, in the Volturno for the strong coffee. It's there.

Lunfardo” is the jargon used originally by the working classes in Buenos Aires, and some of its terms and phrases were later introduced in popular Spanish in Argentina and Uruguay.

September 20 is a special date for Italians, both at home and abroad. It was on this day in 1870 that Italian troops completed the nation's unification by defeating the Papal States under Pope Pius IX. For the past three years, in honor of this event, Italian Argentines in Buenos Aires have staged and celebrated the “Al Dente!” festival.

On Twitter, some users shared pictures of the celebration held in 2015.

This is how we lived the Al Dente Festival and ArgNoticias tells you everything. We wait for you next year again!

This is how we spent Al Dente Festival.

An important crowd. It's amazing the success gained in just three editions.

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