Ligurians in the world: from Genoa to Buenos Aires

20 February 2024

3 minutes

The Ligurian presence in Buenos Aires was decisive for the commercial, architectural and cultural growth of the city, so much so that it transformed it into the great South American metropolis called the “Silver Queen”.


There are many testimonies of the arrival of the Ligurians, especially the Genoese, in Buenos Aires, which have left their mark on the history of Argentina.


Many of the Ligurian immigrants were registered as having been born in Genoa, but mainly because it was their place of departure, often coming from small, unknown villages.


In this article we want to give you a “taste” of the main works created by Ligurians.  They have been fundamental in the life of the city and the entire country. With their work many families have carved out a place for themselves in Argentine history.

Ligurian entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires


Let’s start with the Italian Hospital: of the 25 surnames founded in 1853, 20 were of Genoese origin.

In 1872 the Bank of Italy was founded in Río de la Plata: 5 of the founders were Ligurians.

After 115 years, the Bank went bankrupt but remained in Italian hands, with a new name “Banca Nazionale del Lavoro”.


Eight were the founders of the “Nuova Banca Italiana” in 1887, 5 of whom were from Genoa. 100 years later, this same bank was renamed “Argentine Credit Bank”, currently acquired by French capital.


In 1894 in Buenos Aires, the Genoese Lorenzo Pellarano was the sole owner of the flourishing “Banco de Comercio”. The crisis of 1890 had dragged the “Banco de la provincia de Buenos Aires” to bankruptcy.

A few years later, thanks to his great skills as a negotiator, Pellarano signed an agreement with the province to restore the bank and implement a merger with his own, maintaining the original name of “Bank of the Province” and giving it new life.


The Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires continues to be one of the most important in Argentina, up to the present day.


The founders of the “Mercado del Abasto”, where the sale of vegetables, meat, fish and cereals was centralized, were also all Genoese.

It operated until 1985 and today has been converted into the “Shopping Abasto”.

David Spinetto, in 1894, was another of the promoters of commerce by creating the Spinetto Market, currently the imposing “Spinetto Shopping”.

Tomas Liberti, together with his brother Orestes Liberti, settled in the neighborhood of La Boca with the production of liqueurs and soft drinks. In 1884 they founded the La Boca Volunteer Fire Brigade, the first of its kind in the country.

From Genoa to the world

In this fascinating exploration of Ligurian roots in Buenos Aires, a deep bond emerges that has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of the South American metropolis.

All the stories of those who crossed the ocean with hope and ambition, coming from the distant land of Liguria, have indelibly shaped the history of Argentina.

In this fresco of stories, an enduring affection for Liguria and its legacy emerges, palpable in the successful businesses and institutions that are still vital today.

The lives of these families were full of sacrifices, but also of successes.

The city of Buenos Aires has been shaped by all these people and celebrates their resilience.

In every detail of this narrative, we discover the importance of preserving and honoring the history that brought Liguria to the heart of Buenos Aires.

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