BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL & GOVERNMENT:

Consolato Generale d’Italia Los Angeles

The first Italian consular presence in Los Angeles dates back to 1901 when Giacomo Scipione Castruccio was nominated Consular Agent. Coming from Chiavari, where he was born in 1851, Castruccio held office until his untimely death, on December 14th, 1903. In those days the City had approximately 200,000 residents, but it was already expanding toward the west side and the ocean (the construction of Sunset Boulevard had almost reached Hollywood). A vibrant Italian community (“The Colony”) of about 2,000 had settled mostly in Downtown L.A. Little Italy, founding Italian language newspapers, cultural associations and mutual benefit organizations.

Benedetto Castruccio succeeded Giacomo Scipione in the office which he held until 1908. A newspaper of that time (Los Angeles Herald) reports the text of the telegram he sent to King Vittorio Emanuele III to inform him that the money raised by the Italian community of Los Angeles – $1500, almost $36,000 in today’s terms, would soon be sent in aid of the survivors of the major earthquake that struck central Calabria a month earlier. With a recorded Local Magnitude of 7.9 and a Surface Magnitude of 7.47 that quake was the strongest until then recorded in Italy.

In 1923 the Italian delegation in Los Angeles was elevated to the rank of Vice-Consulate and was entrusted to Enrico Piana, who served as Provisional Regent. In 1925 he was replaced by Cesare Pier Alberto Buzzi Gradenigo, the first career representative to be posted in Los Angeles. At that time the Vice-Consulate’s offices were in Downtown, at 130 South Broadway, near the Civic Center and the historical neighborhood of the Italian community. He was succeeded by Alberto Mellini Ponce de Leon.

Rolando Dalla Rosa Prati marquis of Collecchio became Vice Consul in 1932, the year Los Angeles hosted the X Olympic Games. Italy placed second in overall medal count, right after the United States. For the first time in Olympic history athletes were housed in a village specially built for the occasion (in Baldwin Hills). Yet another innovation was the introduction of a podium with a central higher step for the winner. The Italian gymnast Romeo Neri and the American swimmer Helene Madison won each three gold medals.

In 1935 Ernesto Arrighi was appointed Vice Consul, followed by Alfredo Trinchieri who led the Vice Consulate from the offices on the third floor of the Pacific Mutual Building, at 523 West 6th Street. Two years later, in 1941, the office became a full-fledged Consulate and placed under the direction of Dino Semplicini. At the end of World War II, Italy sent to Los Angeles Mario Profili, who served as Vice Consul. His office was located at 234 North Main Street, in the heart of Little Italy.

In 1951, during the tenure of Mario Ungaro, the Vice Consulate offices moved again, to 649 South Olive Street, still near the Civic Center, where they stayed until 1972. The building chosen for the new offices was originally known as ‘Transamerica Building” and later renamed “P. Giannini Building’, in honor of the founder of both Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) and Transamerica Corp. which in 1930 bought Occidental Life Insurance while retaining control of Bank of America. In 1953 the office was returned to the rank of Consulate.

In 1954 Massimo Casilli d’Aragona was nominated Consul, followed by Mario Tedeschi in 1958 and Tito Da Prato in 1962. In 1966 the rank of the Los Angeles Office was eventually elevated to its current status of Consulate General of Italy.

The first Consul General was Alvaro Vito Beltrami, followed by Giorgio Carega, Vittorio A. Farinelli, Amedeo Cerchione, Giovanni Vincenti Mareri, Alberto Boniver, Gabriella Meneghello Battistello, Folco De Luca, Massimo Roscigno, Diego Brasioli, Nicola Faganello, Giuseppe Perrone and the current Consul General, Antonio Verde.

After twenty-one years at the South Olive Street address, in 1972 the Consulate General, also in response to the changed security conditions in the city center, moved to the ‘Westside’, on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood (at 10960 Wilshire Blvd.). In 1982 the offices were moved again to 11661 San Vicente Blvd., in Brentwood.

In the meantime, the offices of the Consulate General were moved (1992) to 12400 Wilshire Blvd, always in Brentwood, where the Consulate General has been headquartered until 2012, before the move to the current location at 1900 Avenue of the Stars in the business district of Century City.

The Italian Cultural Institute opened its doors in Los Angeles in 1985, initially within the premises of the Consulate General. In 1995 the new beautiful headquarters were inaugurated at 1023 Hilgard Avenue in Westwood, with a 100-seat movie theater, an art gallery and space for concerts, classes and other Italian-themed events. The building housing the Italian Cultural Institute represents a formidable example of L.A. modernist architecture, having been designed by Robert Alexander, partner of Richard Neutra in the firm Neutra and Alexander.

COM.IT.ES

IALA_Italian American Lawyers Association

Italian American Police Officers of Southern California

IACCW_Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West

ENIT_Italian Tourism Board

ITA_Italian Trade Agency

Villa Scalabrini