April 24 th 2016, Piazza della Rotonda del Pantheon
The tour is organized by the Council of Armenian Communities of Rome as part of the commemorative events of the Armenian Genocide. (On the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Tatul Altunyan Ensemble will also participate in the event organized on April 24th in Piazza Della Rotonda - Pantheon).
A report by Vadim Arutyunov
During the Middle Ages an Armenian presence in Italy is documented: above all ecclesiastics, usually monks belonging to the Basilian order, who settle in a series of places considered strategic for pilgrims bound for Rome. This is the case of some churches and monasteries, such as those located in Florence, of which there are archival and literary sources dating back to the 14th-16th centuries, or those of Pisa, in which, during the 14th century, at least three Armenian manuscripts were copied. . But similar institutions are also known in other cities of Tuscany, such as Lucca and Siena. However, if the Armenian presence in the region during the 14th-16th centuries seems to concern essentially ecclesiastics, merchants also appear a little later, whether they are travelers, whether they are people who decide to establish themselves, for commercial purposes, in the region, especially in Livorno, after the latter was declared a free port at the end of the 16th century. In the following two centuries this city became the site of an active Armenian colony, in which Armenian manuscripts were printed, Armenian books printed and trade was intensively practiced. The Armenian presence remains significant to this day.