The article examines the presence of Southern Italians in France between the two World Wars and the construction of their professional and geographical networks. The Neapolitans in Marseilles, the Sicilians in Isère and in the South-East and the Sardinians in Lorraine, Corsica and Marseilles represented some of the regional groups – within which it was easily recognizable the village or town of departure – which were welcomed in the transalpine country. In some French cities, such as Grenoble, the currents from Puglia and Sicily represented during 1920s and 1930s one of the main flows of arrival of immigrants, even if the majority of Italians in France continued to come from Northern regions. The Southern Italians also participated in the creation of groups and associations that, at times, were used by the fascist and anti-fascist forces to gather Italians on a regional basis. The article aims to stress as, even before WWII, Southern Italians made an important contribution to migrations to France. Their presence in this country between the two World Wars anticipated the post-war migratory flows, which often found their origin in the networks constituted in this period.
Keywords: Southern Italian immigration in France; Twenties; Thirties; Immigrant associations.