From the 18th century to World War I, migrants from Switzerland played animportant role in Southern Italy's trade, industry, army and social life. As a whole, these migrants were characterized by heterogeneous regional origins, professional profiles and confessional identities. In Naples they pursued very different social strategies. The essay analyses how legal frames shaped group buildingprocesses in the old regime and how - from the 19* century onwards - specific social, economic and cultural resources led lower-class migrants to develop a multiplicity of ties to local protagonists through marriage, neighbourhood and work, whereas elite migrants chose to build an economically, religiously and
socially self-segregated community.