Tracing Emigration from Ticino to London

Unione Ticinese

Swiss Italians in London through the centuries, a historical bridge

UT Archives & Contemporary Talent presentations

This collaboration between the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and the Unione Ticinese (UT), is designed to celebrate both the history and heritage of the UT and the emerging innovative talent of Swiss Italians in London. It is scheduled for February 9th 2024, at the London Metropolitan Archives, where the UT's surviving archives have been preserved since 2000. The event aims to establish a significant historical arch: the Society's archivist, Peter Barber, will elucidate our organisation's storied past, while young artists from the Swiss Italian community in London will present their innovative work. This will provide the unique opportunity to bridge the historical and the contemporary through a fusion of culture and art. The unique location of the LMA offers the perfect setting to understand the larger historical context of movement of people to London.



For a century and a half, the Unione Ticinese (UT) has served as a beacon and support network for those who have migrated from the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland to London. Over the years, these immigrants have enriched British society in significant ways. One notable example is Carlo Gatti, a luminary who founded multiple enterprises in London, spanning the arts, hospitality, electrical services, and the ice trade. To commemorate its 150th jubilee, the UT will roll out a year-long celebration in 2024. This series of events will not only highlight the UT's significant milestone but also pay tribute to the invaluable contributions of the Swiss Italian community in the UK.

The programme of the event on the 9th of February 2024 is inserted into the UT Jubilee calendar and will feature:

  • Display and presentation of historical UT artifacts, tracing the journey of Ticino emigration to London, curated by the Society's archivist, Peter Barber.
  • Showcases & panel discussion featuring emerging Swiss Italian artists in the UK. 

Simone Giampaolo, Director of Animated Film - A collection of his most compelling animated work

Nabila Dolfini and Martina Greenwood, Actors - A staged performance on the theme of emigration, premièring extracts of a especially commissioned piece for the UT150

Leti, Singer & Songwriter - Musical interludes to punctuate the event

The UT has developed to become a vibrant conduit for fostering relations between Ticino and the UKacross artistic, cultural, and historical domains. The upcoming UT150 series of events is designed to further solidify these connections while spotlighting emerging talent.

Additionally, the UT enjoys robust affiliations with other Swiss organisations within the UK, operating under the umbrella of FOSSUK (Federation of the Swiss Societies in the UK). Internationally, we are linked with the Organization of the Swiss Abroad (OSA, Swisscommunity) and Pro Ticino. The UT150 celebrations are honoured to receive endorsement from both the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK and the Ticino Canton.