One of the traditional aspects most jealously guarded by the Albanians in Italy is the religious one. Even today, in most of the Italo-Albanian communities the Greek-Byzantine rite is still alive. Quite interesting is the examination of the parable that led the Universal Church to divide into a Church of the West and a Church of the East and how many difficulties have had the Albanians to preserve their being Church of the East in Italy, homeland of the Western Church.
The presence of the tradition of the Eastern Church in Italy has ancient origins: they date back to the first half of the sixth century, when Justinian, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, took possession of Italy. This domination lasted over the years, although later only affected the southern regions of Italy, ranging from Apulia to Calabria and Sicily. In this context an event of great interest for the Church of Eastern tradition in Italy were the migrations of multitudes of monks who, persecuted by emperors opposed to the cult of the sacred images, the so-called iconoclasts, left their land and settled in Italy, especially in Sicily, where, although always subject to the rule of Constantinople, they found rest.
The conquest of Sicily by the Arabs led these monks to emigrate to Calabria.