Italy was among the first countries to recognize Norway as an independent state in the autumn of 1905. Relations between the two countries are traditionally excellent at all levels and still have considerable potential for intensification.
Political relations develop both bilaterally and through common membership of the main international organizations (UN, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe) and participation in multilateral exercises. Italy participates as an observer in the Arctic Council, Barents Council, Council of the Baltic Sea States.
Italy and Norway share fundamental values and have similar and often converging positions on the main international issues (multilateralism, international legality, human rights, fight against poverty, disarmament and non-proliferation). Both countries are present and active in international missions and both countries attach considerable importance to facilitation action for the resolution of even “minor” regional conflicts.
Norway became independent in 1905 following the dissolution of the Union with Sweden. The Kingdom of Italy was among the first to recognize Norway as an independent state and to entrust the Norwegian mission to the then Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister with letters of credence in Copenhagen Giorgio Calvi di Bergolo. The same situation occurred with his successor Emanuele Berti, also with main accreditation in Denmark. Only with the new appointment of Fedele de Novellis, on 30 August 1912, the Italian diplomatic representative would actually begin to reside in Christiania, the Norwegian capital which only in 1925 would resume the ancient name of Oslo which it currently retains. From 1955 onwards, with the new appointment of Paolo Vita Finzi, accreditation at the Norwegian Court will take place with the title of Ambassador with letters of credence, thus raising the previous rank of Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister.
For diplomatic relations from the birth of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 until 1905, consult the “History of the diplomatic relations between Italy and Norway” page of this Section.
In diplomatic relations, state visits have a very particular importance, as they constitute the highest point in the friendly relations between the two countries. After the war, the first Norwegian sovereign to visit Italy was King Olav V in April 1967, while the first Italian Head of State to go to Oslo was the President of the Republic Giuseppe Saragat in June 1965.
Other visits by State were carried out by King Harald V in Rome in 2001 and by the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in Oslo in 2004.
From 4 to 6 April 2016 King Harald V and Queen Sonja made the last Norwegian state visit to Italy (Rome and Milan).
The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella paid a visit to Norway in May 2023. The State visit took place in both Oslo and Trondheim. The President was accompanied by his daughter Laura and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Norwegian Royal Family.
An overview of the most recent high-level bilateral visits and meetings is available on the “Institutional visits and bilateral meetings” page of this section.
For more information on bilateral agreements please consult the page “Bilateral agreements between Italy and Norway“.