Italian presence in Dalmatia [change]
They are direct descendants of the autochthonous population of the romanised Illyrians in present Dalmatia, since the Middle Ages.
After the 1840s their ethnic group suffered from a constant trend of decreasing presence and now numbers only around 1,000 people. This group, though small in numbers, exerted an unproportionally significant and noteworthy influence on the region in the last centuries.
Indeed the Dalmatian Italians were a fundamental presence in Dalmatia, when the process of political unification of the Italians, Croats and Serbs started at the beginning of the 19th century. The 1816 Austro-Hungarian census registered 66,000 Italian speaking people between the 301,000 inhabitants of Dalmatia, or 22% of the total dalmatian population. But in 2010 they were reduced to only a few hundreds.
They are currently represented in Croatia and Montenegro by the Italian National Community (Italian: Comunita Nazionale Italiana) (CNI). The Italo-Croatian minorities treaty recognizes the Italian Union (Unione Italiana) as the political party officially representing the CNI in Croatia. The number of Dalmatian Italians in that country has fallen to 300, and the Italian Union concentrates on the Istrian region, including the city of Fiume (actual Rijeka), which is home to the vast majority of the Croatian Italian national minority numbering around 30,000 citizens.
Dalmatian Italians participated actively in the Union of Italy, called "Risorgimento".
The year 1848 shook Austria. Milan, Venice and Vienna were rising up. The Venetian Republic was established. Nicolò Tommaseo from Sebenico, and Leone Graziani from Spalato became the triumvirs that supported it with Daniele Manin and Giovanni Battista Cavedalis. The Dalmatians rushed to Venice. Mattero Ballovich from Perasto became Superintendent of the new Venetian Navy; don Vincenzo Marinelli from Bol (island of Brazza) chaplain Superior of the land troops; Enrico Germani from Sebenico, transport commander; Demetrio Mircovich from the Bocche di Cattaro (Cattaro’s Mouths), "First Doctor" (Head Physician); Antonio Paulucci delle Roncole, from Zara, became Navy Minister, then Minister of War; Vincenzo Solistro, from Spalato, a member of the Assembly.Luca Antunivich, don Luca Lazzaneo, Pietro Naratovich on Nov. 14th 1848 issued a "Proclamation" for Dalmatians and Istrians."Come together under the beloved flags of the saint war of Italy . You will equally contribute to the redemption of Istria and Dalmatia".The "Dalmatian-Istrian Legion" was constituted. Seven died.Among the fourty exiles from Austria sent to the Republic, the Dalmatians were: Nicolò Tommaseo, don Luca Lazzaneo, Demetrio Mircovich, Federico Seismit-Doda. There were Dalmatians even in Rome, after the establishment of the Roman Republic. Giorgio Erzegovaz, was Garibaldi’s aide-de-camp, don Giuseppe Fama, General Antonini’s aide-de-camp. Federico-Seismit Doda, from Ragusa, fought at Porta San Paolo, but he was better known as the author of "La Romana" (The Roman), the hymn of the defenders of Rome.In 1859 the Italians in the towns on the coast could feel the Italian enthusiasms for Garibaldi. Even though it was not possible to constitute a legion like the one in Venice, they were voluntarily present in the countryside in 1859-60.Garibaldi’s name was firing with enthusiasm. In Sicily with him there were Giorgio Caravà from Tenin, Marco Cossovich from Cattaro, who fought at Calatafimi. Francesco Galateo from Cattaro who commanded a company of the "Medici Division", Enrico Matcovich from Spalato who fought during the whole campaign up to Naples.Then Costanzo Cattalini from Spalato, Luigi Milanovich from Cattaro. From Zara Antonio Paulucci delle Roncole and Luigi Seismit-Doda (Federico’s brother) who was head of the General Staff of the "Toscana Division". Carlo Tivaroni from Zara who reached Garibaldi in Naples and fought at Civitella del Tronto. Zanghi Giacomo, from Zara, who was given the sergeant’s stripes during the battle of Milazzo. But one in particular is to be remembered: Corrado Dobraz, from Ragusa, student in Padua, who tried to swim the river Mincio to join the garibaldini (those enlisted in Garibaldi’s army) and drowned. 
Some Dalmatian Italians, mostly living in Zara (actual Zadar), entered in the Italian government after WWI and promoted the conquest of coastal Dalmatia by Italian troops in 1941. After WWII nearly all the 25.000 remaining Dalmatian Italians of Zara and the Italian "Governatorato di Dalmazia" were forced to leave Dalmatia during the Istrian-Dalmatian exodus.
Nowadays one of the principal problems for the exiled is the prohibition to buy houses in Croatia for Italian people not resident in Croatia (and, of course, their request of payment for their properties lost in Dalmatia when forced to exile).
Organizations and periodicals [change]
Many Dalmatian Italians are organized in associations such as:
- Associazione nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia
- Comunità di Lussinpiccolo 
- Comunità chersina nel mondo 
- Libero Comune di Zara in esilio (Free Commune of Zadar in exile)
- Società Dalmata di Storia Patria
Related pages [change]
- Istrian-Dalmatian exodus
- Italian language in Croatia
- Italian cultural and historic presence in Dalmatia
- List of Italian place names in Dalmatia
- Venice and Dalmatia
- Italian irredentism in Istria
- Italian irredentism in Dalmatia
- Incidents in Spalato
- Spalato (Italian province)
- Cattaro (Italian province)
- Zara (Italian province)
- Mosaic gone mad: p.8
- Italians in Dalmatia, Istria and Fiume (in Italian)
- Italy and the Dalmatian Italians. Magazine "Risorgimento".Editori Riuniti. Milano, 1993
- Article pertinent prohibition to buy houses versus Italian people not resident in Croatia
- Historical association