History of Diplomatic Relations

Italy recognised the Republic of Estonia on 26 January 1921. The first Italian Ambassador to Estonia was Agostino Depretis, who presented his credentials in February 1921. Before World War II, Italy’s Institute of Culture was active in Estonia. Historian Indro Montanelli, a grand figure in the Italian press, headed it.

In June 1921, Estonia’s first diplomatic representative in Italy, Karl Robert Pusta, residing in Paris, presented his credentials. The first Estonian Ambassador to reside in Rome was Karl Tofer (1927-1931). In addition to the legation in Rome, Estonia had Honorary Consulates in Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo and Trieste.

Italy re-recognised Estonia on 27 August 1991. Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Italy were restored on 31 August 1991. Italy’s first Ambassador to the restored Republic of Estonia was Carlo Siano (1991-1996). The other representatives of Italy in Estonia have been ambassadors Roberto Martini (1996-1999), Luchino Cortese (1999-2002), Ruggero Vozzi (2002-2005), Fabrizio Piaggesi (2005-2009), Rosa Maria Chicco Ferraro (2009-2012) and Marco Clemente (2012-2016). The current Italian Ambassador Filippo Formica presented his credentials to President Kersti Kaljulaid on 20 December 2016.

Estonia’s Embassy in Rome resumed work in September 1996, led by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Ruth Lausma. In September 1998, Estonia’s first ambassador since the restoration of the Republic Jaak Jõerüüt presented his credentials. After that Estonia was represented from 2002-2006 by Jüri Seilenthal, from 2006-2010 by Andres Tomasberg and from 2010-2014 by Merike Kokajev. The current ambassador Celia Kuningas-Saagpakk presented her credentials to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on 27 September 2014.

Estonia is also represented in Italy by six honorary consuls: Luigi Cecchini in Florence, Eugenio Kielland in Genoa, Giuseppe Barranco di Valdivieso in Milan, Gaspare Panfalone in Trapani (Sicily), Piero Bettini in Venice, and Giuseppe Iazeolla in Bari.

In 1993, the first Italian-Estonian parliamentary group was established in Riigikogu, the Parliament of Estonia.