Italy is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, in Southern Europe, and is also considered part of Western Europe. Shia centers in Italy are not numerous since Islam is a minority religion in Italy. Muslim presence in Italy dates back to the 9th century when Sicily came under the control of the Aghlabid Dynasty. There was a large Muslim presence in Italy from 827 until the 12th century. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center projection and Brookings, there are 1,400,000 Muslims in Italy (2.3% of the Italian population), almost one-third of Italy’s foreign population. The majority of Muslims in the country are Sunni, with a Shi’ite minority who have only built a few Shia centers in Italy. Most Italian Shiites are of Iranian or Lebanese descent. But what is important is the growing number of people who convert to Shiism in this country. Some of them are those who become Shiites by marrying a Shia person, but there are many young Italians who convert to Shiism after knowing about the teachings of this school of thought.
This peninsula’s first encounter with Shi’ism occurred as early as the tenth century. In contemporary times, the appearance of the first Shia centers in Italy can be traced back to the early 1990s in Trieste, Rome, and Naples. At the moment, Italy’s Shi’as are mainly of Pakistani, Iranian, Afghan, and Lebanese origin, Iraqis and converts from Italy, Latin America, and Africa.
The majority of Shias are concentrated in Rome, Milan, Brescia, Mestre, Como, Legnano, Novara, and Carpi, where significant immigrant communities live. Meanwhile, Shia groups in Carpi as well as in Legnano, Novara, and Palermo consist of immigrants from Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent. These groups are very active in social events and religious rituals, such as the large Ashura ceremony in front of the Milan central station.
The following is the name of one of the most active Shia centers in Italy: