Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Romanian Presence

This rack of magazines, found in the town/suburb of Acilia, 15 km to the west of Rome, illustrates the growing numbers of Romanians in Rome, its surrounding communities, and throughout Italy. The words in yellow translate as "Romanian Newspapers and Magazines Available Here." Interestingly, Acilia was the first community to be described by the term "borgate"--the translation might be "working-class suburb"--in 1924.

The first wave of Romanian immigrants arrived in 1999, and another, larger one, followed in 2002, when emigration from Romania to Italy became possible without a visa. As early as 2001 Romanians ranked second to Albanians for sheer numbers of immigrants to Italy. By the end of 2006 there were about 550,000 Romanians in Italy--15% of all foreign citizens--and they now number an estimated 1,000,000. Although Romanians consider themselves heirs of ancient Rome and bound to Italians by a common "Romance" language system, they are often viewed with suspicion by the natives. (As Dianne points out in her 8/23/09 post on the guys who dress up as "gladiators," even Romanian success stories can bring hostility. When Romanians moved into the Centurion-impersonation business at Castel Sant'Angelo, the natives resented the encroachment on their territory). In 2007, Italy began to deport Romanians with criminal records, a controversial project at best.


Dianne adds  More posts on immigrants and ethnic presence in Rome include the Chinese (and other) shops near Piazza Vittoriocampaigns against immigrants, the Pigneto neighborhood, and even the lowly (or is it?) kebab.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Interesting post. Good reading while recovering from shoulder surgery.