Italian Memories in Wales
Through their photographs and stories, the exhibition in Oriel 1 shares their memories of living in Italy, their experiences of settling in Wales, and their achievements and links with their Italian roots.
High unemployment and a weak Italian government resulted in the first major wave of Italian immigration to Britain after the Second World War.
People from all over Italy left their homeland in search of a better future.
Many ended up in Wales and set up ice cream businesses, fish and chip shops and cafes. Their businesses blossomed, particularly the Italian cafes, and became a common sight.
Some came to work in the coal mines, iron works and the tinplate industry and some prisoners of war stayed in Wales as farm workers.
Most Italians were embraced by the Welsh and were soon followed by their family and friends.
Through perseverance and hard work, Italians found a niche within the Welsh community. They integrated well, ran successful businesses and became respected local and national figures.
Their Italian culture and traditions existed side by side with the culture and traditions of Wales.
Today, second generation Italians keep their cultural identity alive by celebrating their food, language and beliefs and by visiting Italy as often as possible.
Above all, they are proud of the huge step their parents made.
Italian Memories in Wales is curated by Acli-Enaip (a society for expatriate Italians). Sponsored by the Principality buidling society.
The society received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to collect over 50 interviews; their stories and personal photographs can be seen in the exhibition.