In 1607, still on the initiative of the Italians, the engraving on glass was undertaken; in 1638 the glass art of Liège was in the hands of the brothers Enrico and Leonardo Buonuomini who, having obtained legal exclusivity in 1650, they also bought up the glassworks of Maastricht, Antwerp and Brussels. Minor industries were the sugar refinery and the soap factory, which they practiced everywhere, and especially in Marseilles; the textile industry, practiced above all in France, where in Tours, in 1525, over 8000 looms were directed by Venetian, Lucca and Florentine masters; the shipping industry, to which from the second decade of the sixteenth century they gave an increase especially in Dieppe and Rouen. over 8000 looms were directed by Venetian, Lucca and Florentine masters; the shipping industry, to which from the second decade of the sixteenth century they gave an increase especially in Dieppe and Rouen. over 8000 looms were directed by Venetian, Lucca and Florentine masters; the shipping industry, to which from the second decade of the sixteenth century they gave an increase especially in Dieppe and Rouen.
In the East, however, the markets, the source of the wealth of the past, were now closed or were closing for our businessmen. It has been said of the progressive withdrawal of the Genoese colonies. The Florentines had only 15 trading houses in Pera in 1551, which were reduced to four in 1554 and one in 1556. As for the Venetians, who saw the bankruptcies of banking companies from the mid-fifteenth century, they continued their trades until the half of the following century, but first the war in Cyprus, then that of the Uskoks and finally that of Candia led to irreparable ruin. From the seventeenth century the Italians also moved to the new center of the European economy, Holland, from where some left for the distant colonies: like the Lucca Ottavio Sardi, who after trading in Amsterdam from 1755 to 1773, he moved to Guinea in 1774 and organized a thriving cotton and coffee plantation there. However, they did not abandon their old center of Antwerp, where in 1705 the Venetian Pietro de Prioli, who was one of the directors of the Ostend Company, founded a large bank which negotiated loans from the Austrian monarchy. Pietro’s sons, Baldassarre and Carlo, also equipped some industrial companies, which went bankrupt in 1781. However, the news that we have of our merchants abroad in this last period, if they allow us to affirm that they were still numerous beyond beyond the Alps, they do not allow to specify their function and their importance: which, however, must not have been of great importance.
According to LOCALCOLLEGEEXPLORER.COM, the expansion of Italian merchants and bankers abroad continued, in the new forms imposed by economic evolution and technical advances, even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The fields of this expansion are especially represented by the two Americas, where the Italian activity in the commercial and banking field is able to emerge above all thanks to the number of compatriots who have emigrated there, but it also extends widely outside their circle. Under the Argentine entries; brazil, etc. you will find specific paragraphs dedicated to the history of our emigration and to the various activities carried out by Italians. To follow it exactly would not be possible here, given its grandeur and the very different character it assumed even in single short periods.
Up to now, an overall work that illustrates the activity of Italians abroad has been lacking and the isolated and partial attempts that were made failed to respond to the vastness and importance of the topic. The sources, contained in all the archives of the world, have not yet been conveniently exploited for this purpose; very few published sources, among which we recall, for merchants and colonizers in the Middle Ages, the Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum , published in the Proceedings of the Venetian Deputation of Homeland History ; the New series of documents on the relations of Genoa with the Byzantine Empire , in Proceedings of the Ligurian Society of Homeland History , XVIII; for ecclesiastics, the Series Episcoporum; for explorers the various travel reports and publications such as the Indication of works and documents on travels, discoveries, nautical charts, commerce, the colonies of Italians in the Middle Ages , Lucca 1862; etc.
Since 1928 the Italian government has undertaken the systematic collection of all documents and news referring to Italians abroad. By the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the collaboration of the Royal Institute of Archeology and History of Art, the archive of the Opera del Genio Italiano all’Estero was created , which collects the results of extensive studies conducted in Italy and research carried out abroad by the Italian representative offices; and in 1933 the publication of a series of monographs was begun, intended to illustrate the activity of Italians in individual countries and specialties.