Scouting and Guiding in Italy

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Template:Expand Italian The Scout Movement in Italy consists of about 40 different associations and federations with about 220,000 Scouts and Guides. Next to Germany, France and Russia, Italy is the country with the most fragmented Scout movement.


The first attempts at Scouting in Italy go back to 1910. They are due in part to the meeting of English gentlemen who were directly influenced by the work and ideas of Robert Baden-Powell, with Italian educators already engaged in pedagogic activity within the new education of the beginning of the century.

The meeting between teacher Remo Molinari and Francis Vane, an old aide of Baden-Powell's and a former Scout Commissioner of London before Baden-Powell ousted him from the Scout Association, led to the founding of the Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani on July 12, 1910, in Bagni di Lucca, in Tuscany. The press coverage and the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III at San Rossore on November 6, 1910 gave much publicity to their initiative. This saw the creation of new troops under the name of Ragazzi Patrioti in Tuscany's cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence. The interest of authorities and educators peaked in Genoa and Lombardy. The organization was also known with other names, including Boy Scouts della Pace (Peace Boy Scouts).

Another important meeting took place in 1910, between English doctor and educator James Richardson Spensley, who had met Baden-Powell, and a Catholic educator from Genoa, Mario Mazza, would bear more durable fruits for Italian Scouting.

Mazza had founded, in Genoa in 1905, a movement of active education "Juventus Juvat" splintered in groups of boys known as "Gioiose". Mazza understood that the principles and methods of his organization would better work out within the Scouting Movement, as he knew it from meeting Spensley and attending a conference given by Sir Vane. This would later expand into all of Liguria and also in Florence and Naples and by the way of absorbing some of the troops left over from Vane's experience. On New Year's Day 1911, the REI sent their wishes to Baden-Powell and all their Boy Scout brothers of Great Britain.

Vane was busy with all these initiatives which he qualified as an Italian Section of the British Boy Scouts, which he had founded in England when he was expelled from the Scout Association, until 1914 when he was called to war. By that time, however, REI had disbanded, and in 1912 another organization was born, called CNGEI. For this reason, the official birthdate of Scouting in Italy is often listed as 1912. Italy was a founding member of the World Organization (WOSM) in 1922. Italy was readmitted to WOSM in 1946.

In 1913 a German-speaking Sea Scouts unit was founded in Trieste. It was named Tegetthoff.[1]:15 In 1915 Egon von Lund founded the See-Skaut-Schule/Scouti marini di Trieste (Sea Scouts School).[1]:22 [2][3][4] There were more than 300 Sea Scouts, mostly Italians, Slovenes, Croats but also Germans, Hungarians, Czechs and other nationalities from the Habsburg Empire. Together with the Austrian Sea Scouts in Mali Lošinj and Opatija the Scouti marini di Trieste formed the geographical division Austrian Coastland (Landesverband Küstenland) of the Austrian National Scout organization Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund.[1]:22 In 1917 Emperor Charles I visited the Sea Scouts in Trieste.[1]:27[5] In 1918 the Sea Skaut-Skaut Schule/Scouti marini di Trieste was disbanded.[1]:30[5] In 2009 a memorial commemorating the See-Skaut-Schule/Scouti marini di Trieste (Sea Scouts School) was erected by Austrian and Italian Scouts in Trieste.[6]

The Austro-Hungarian soldier and Austrian Scoutleader Julius Markaritzer founded in 1916 a Scout troop in Trento.[1]:26 This Scout unit, which included German- and Italian-speakings boys, was also visited by the Emperor Charles I.[7]:39

Italian Scouting associations

Italian Scouting associations include the following nationwide organizations (with their respective members):

There is also a large number of regional and local associations. Those affiliated to national organizations are listed above. Among the independent associations are:

International Scouting units in Italy

Vatican City

Template:Unreferenced section Vatican City is one of 35 countries where there is no National Scout Organization that is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement or WAGGGS at the present time.

Since Vatican citizenship is only conferred upon members of the clergy (who are celibate) or those who have been appointed to work at the Vatican and their families, and it is usually revoked upon the termination of their employment, there are few children in Vatican City, thus it is unlikely any Scout unit will ever be started.

In 1986 Pope John Paul II was given the Wood Badge insignia as an honorary Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI) leader.

The Pope, as Bishop of Rome, is required to approve the appointment of chaplains for all AGESCI Scout groups in Rome, and for all Scout districts of Rome (even though this is usually delegated to the Cardinal Vicar). He regularly meets most Catholic Scout groups in Rome as he visits Roman parishes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Pribich, Kurt (2004) (in German). Logbuch der Pfadfinderverbände in Österreich. Vienna: Pfadfinder-Gilde-Österreichs. 
  2. Ziegler, Horst (1999) (in German). Die Geschichte der österreichischen Pfadfinderbewegung aus steirischer Sicht. Fürstenfeld: Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs-Landesverband Steiermark. p. 56. 
  3. Schückbauer, Franz (1956) (in German). Die Pfadfinderbewegung in Österreich-Werden, Wachsen, Wirken. Vienna: Pfadfinder Österreichs. p. 11. 
  4. Albert J.Dräger (2007). "Die Seepfadfinder des ÖPB" (in German). Unser Weg-Die Pfadfinderzeitung des ÖPB (Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund) 4: 9–11. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Albert J.Dräger; Getraude Gasparini,Rossana Fano,Fabio Ferluga, Christine Dräger,Willi Semlic, Gerhard Raab, Günter Paar,Gerhard Winter (September 2009). "Die Seepfadfinder des ÖPB 1913-1918 an der Adria-UW Sonderdruck" (in German, Italian). Unser Weg-Die Pfadfinderzeitung des ÖPB (Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund). 
  6. Bertl Dräger (December 2009). "Unternehmen Gedenktafel S.S.S. TRIEST" (in German). Der Gildenweg 4/2009: 13. 
  7. Schredt, Franz Xaver (1982) (in German). Logbuch der Tiroler Pfadfinder. Innsbruck: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Erhard. 
  8. "Cos'è l'Agesci" (in Italian). Associazione Guide e Scout Cattolici Italiani. 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 
  9. "Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo" (in Italian). Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo. 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 

See also