The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia
Leisure activities
In the cities with extensive immigrant communities, cultural and leisure associations soon sprang up to cater for their entertainment and provide a focus for social interaction.
In the life of immigrant communities, leisure activities played an important role in preserving cultural identity and group solidarity. When they met in family gatherings or for a drink in smart hotels, or when they watched a theatre performance together, immigrants were not only having a good time: they were also preserving and reasserting ties with their kin and compatriots. Such networks helped immigrants to cope with the challenges they met in their adopted countries.

At the same time, places for socialising were also sites for cultural interchange. During the 19th century – thanks to the initiative of European immigrants in Tunisia, and under the impulse of the Khedive in Egypt – several theatres and concert halls opened where international troupes, ballets and orchestra companies performed for the European immigrants and the local elite.
More about
The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia

The political and juridical framework
Social and political life
Religious life in Tunisia
Leisure activities
The Italian Politeama Rossini theatre in Tunis, inaugurated in 1903


Italian Geographical Society (SGI), Rome, Italy

The Italian community in Tunisia established its first theatre in Tunis as early as 1826 and several others in the following decades. The Politeama Rossini, inaugurated in 1903, was famous for its grand performances of the great classic operas.

See Database entry for this item

In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
Privateering and captivity in the Mediterranean
Migrations within the Ottoman Empire
North–South movements
The life of European immigrant communities: Egypt and Tunisia