Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo July 22, 2016

Refugees Give the Eternal City New Life


Basilica of Santa Maria

After the European Union’s plan to send new refugees from Greece back to Turkey, Italy is more...

Media file: dsc_0386.jpg
A wooden statue in Cardinal Peter Turkson's office reminds visitors of the work that still needs to be done to culturally unify Rome. Image by Amanda Ulrich. Italy, 2016.

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee their war-torn home countries and come to Italy, the cultural face of Rome is changing. According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2015 immigrants made up almost 10 percent of Italy's resident population. In addition to bringing different languages and traditions to the ancient city, refugees are also bringing something a little harder for some to swallow to the heart of Catholicism: Islam.

The Romans nicknamed their namesake town "the Eternal City" because they believed that it would live on forever, even after the rise and fall of different empires. Now Rome is learning that in order to survive, it has to embrace change.


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues