In 1991, the organizer of Miss Italy, Enzo Mirigliani, came up with an idea of a pageant where women with Italian roots from all over the world would participate. The first Miss Italia nel Mondo attracted 17 of them and the winner eventually came from South Africa. The pageant has been held annually ever since then, with about 50 women competing for this year´s crown (which was won by Moldova´s Diana Curmei).
Over the years, Miss Italia nel Mondo became one of the most popular and followed minor beauty events of the year. Each edition is filled with stunning delegates and usually concludes with the crowning of a trully deserving winner. It´s therefore no suprise that few future pageant super-stars went throught this pageant, some of them even managed to win...
Very special thanks to Greg of Belgium, who kindly provided some od the information and photos for this article !
Other sources: Pageantopolis, Beauland, web.infinito.it, Miss Italia nel Mondo website, Raiuno.rai.it
The very first Miss Italia nel Mondo pageant was held in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy on September 6th 1991 with 17 contestants representing 12 countries competing for the main prize. The winner back then was Barbara Bernardi of South Africa.
The second edition of Miss Italia nel Mondo pageant was held on September 5th 1992, this time with 26 contestants from 25 countries competing. Erika Verolin representing Australia was the winner.
Miss Italia nel Mondo 1993 was crowned again in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy and the winner was Bianca Gagliardi from Germany.
Among the contestants was also Silvia Lakatošová, Miss Czech and Slovak Republic 1993 and Miss Universe 1994 finalist. Silvia eventually placed as second-runner up.
Claudia Cremonese Moratto of Uruguay was crowned Miss Italia nel Mondo in August 1994, when the pageant welcomed 24 girls representing 24 countries.
Another win for south America came in 1995, when a Brazilian representative Ana Letícia Castellan Rizzon won the crown on August 26 in Salsomaggiore Terme.
On September 22nd the Miss Italia nel Mondo 1996 pageant took place again in Salsomaggiore Terme in Italy and the winner was Luana Spagnolo of Switzerland who managed to beat 27 other delegates from all over the world.
The first back-to-back win happened in 1997, when another Swiss took the coveted crown. She was beautiful Loredana La Rosa who left behind 29 other competitors.
Rudialva Vigolo was already the second Miss Italia nel Mondo who came from Brazil. She won in August 1998 against 29 other contestants. I still can remember the article in a newspaper mentioning her win...
Ethiopia´s Ambra Gulla, Miss Italia nel Mondo 1999, made history as she was the first African winner of this pageant. During the final, she managed to beat 29 contestants, one of them was future Miss Chile Christiane Balmelli, who represented her country at Miss World 2001 in South Africa. If you remember, Christiane was a huge favourite to win the blue crown but to the surprise of many did not even make the Top 10.
Barbara Clara representing Venezuela was Miss Italia nel Mondo in 2000. The pageant was held on September 22nd, again in Salsomaggiore Terme in Italy. Four years later, Barbara won the Miss Amazonas title and went on to become 2nd runner up to that year´s Miss Venezuela.
Also, among the 40 contestants of Miss Italia nel Mondo was Giovanna Piazza Díaz from Uruguay, whom we know from Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus.
2001´s Miss Italia nel Mondo was beautiful Valentina Patruno of the United States. Two year´s later she competed for the Miss Venezuela crown, placed second and brought her country to Miss World semifinals.
40 contestants took part in the event held in Salsomaggiore Terme on September 2nd. Among that night´s semifinalists was also Andrea Maria Noceti Gómez from Colombia whom we know from Miss Universe 2001 pageant. Another semifinalist representing the Netherlands Antilles, Tamara Scaroni, we know from Miss Universe 2000 (competed as Miss Aruba).
On August 31st 2002 Salsomaggiore Terme witnessed the crowning of another legendary beauty queen. The winner among 40 contestants from 34 countries was none other than Colombia´s Catalina Acosta, Miss Universe 2000 semifinalist.
Miss Italia nel Mondo 2003 was again held in Salsomaggiore Terme and again with 40 delegates competing. First, Top 24 was called, than the number was narrowed to 10 and at the end 4 best were chosen. The winner that night was Holland´s Stefanie Francesca Vatta.
Remember this girl ? She is Silvana Santaella Arellano, Miss Italia nel Mondo 2004 who few years later almost won the second Miss Earth crown for Venezuela.
The pageant was held on June 29th in Salsomaggiore Terme with 40 delegates competing.
The first Asian Miss Italia nel Mondo was crowned in Salsomaggiore Terme on June 29th 2005. She is Philippines´ very own Mara Morelli.
That year, Mara left behind 39 other delegates, one of them was famous Laura Romero who represented Argentina at Miss Universe 2003 and other minor pageants. Among the Top 5 was also Sahoni Yoy Camarena Victorio, Miss Dominican Republic contestant (as Miss San Cristobal).
In 2006, the pageant was last held in Salsomaggiore Terme in Italy. The winner back then was Amazonia´s (Brazil´s) Karina Miquelin who left behind Misses Lichtenstein, Austria, Belgium, USA and other 35 beautiful delegates.
2007´s Miss Italia nel Mondo final took place in Jesolo, Venice with the participation of 50 delegates. The winner was Antonella Carfi who brought already the third crown to Switzerland.
Just under the throne, on the second place, finished Cristiana Frixione representing Nicaragua. You may remember that Cristiana was one of the favourites at the 2006 Miss Universe pageant.
On June 24th 2008 Paraguay´s Fiorella Migliore Llanes was chosen as the new Miss Italia nel Mondo.
50 delegates competed for the crown, one of them was famous Susan Carrizo, Miss World Venezuela 2005.
Again in Jesolo, Venice, Italy this year´s Miss Italia nel Mondo final took place on June 27th. At the end, Moldova´s Diana Curmei brought the first victory in an international pageant to her country.
Second was Miss Romania, third placed Miss Argentina. Our country was represented for the second time (by Francesca Astorino).