Watching Immigrants, The Rare, Not Racist Italians, And Getting Locked Out Again

This isn’t a real post, just an observation. I’ve been sick this week so I haven’t written something really. It’s coming, I promise.

I am a lot like Einstein. I’m not a genius and I suck at math but I once read that he regularly forgot how to get home, always locked himself out, and was generally absent-minded. That’s me. I lock myself out of the house all the time. I could make a lot of excuses for myself but seriously, I’m just an airhead. The last time I locked myself out I was with my dog and we had to wait for about five hours for F to come home from work. I didn’t have my purse. I had nothing. The only thing I could do was go to the cafe across the street and pathetically ask to use her phone. She didn’t have one so she shoved money into my hand, shook her head at me and sent me across the street to the pay-phone. I returned a few seconds later asking how to use it. So she shook her head again, probably thinking, “how are you still alive you dumb, dumb woman,” then she explained it to me and sent me back. I called F and told him that I was sorry and that I locked myself out. He paused for a second and said, “Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised, but you’ll just have to wait until I get off of work.” I went back to the coffee shop and just sat around outside for a while watching people.

The first thing I noticed was a blind man walking down the street swiftly. He smacked someone in the leg with his stick thingy. Then I noticed a group of Senegalese street vendors congregating around a table near mine. The cafe owner gave one of them some money to wash the windows so he washed them while his friends made fun of him. I found this to be adorable. Why? Because Florentines are racist. I’ve never experienced so much blatant racism in my life until I lived in Italy. If you think American republicans hate immigrants you really haven’t witnessed the ridiculous bullshit pulled by the mass amount of neo-fascists living in Florence. There are many, many, many fascists here. A while ago one of them shot and killed some immigrants, and on the when black players play soccer here the crowds scream horrible racist shit the entire time. I hate it. It’s the WORST thing about Italy, hands down.

In my opinion human nature is one of survival. Since globalization is destroying the world and small countries are exploited by us big countries, it’s only normal that people want to leave their crappy poor countries for something better. The problem is that immigrating legally is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. No? Well, I just spent six months as an American woman trying to get my M.S. of Engineering, Italian husband a visa for the US. It took my father and his over six-figure income to make it happen because as a writer I can’t “sponsor” him. It IS almost impossible, especially if you’re a normal person, middle-class, or without a father that owns a business. Good luck. So, if it’s almost impossible does that mean people should stop wanting to improve their lives? No. It just means that they’ll find a way to do it anyhow. I would. If I was born in the CongoI would sneak my ass into Europe (and so would you). Like, as soon as I could walk. In my opinion, we should do more to help the economy of these countries where we have immigration problems, our shitty US companies with offices in Mexico should pay the Mexican workers more, for example, and we should make immigration easier, limited, but easier. Obviously we can’t flood our countries with immigrants because we just can’t. But it’s better to have a country full of people who pay taxes instead of a country full of people who are off the radar. Same reason I believe that prostitution should be legal. There will ALWAYS be prostitutes because men will always pay for sex. So, regulate it, make it legal, and make them pay taxes. Government has no place in morality, do what makes sense, not what you think is right (although, what makes logical sense is often right so we all win). Anyways, my point of all of this is that people are mean to the street vendors here. The ones who walk around selling tissues, lighters and other things. It makes me sad. I overcompensate by giving them like all of my money which gets me repeatedly yelled at by my husband. I hang out with them and spend hours chatting with them about their home lives. Most send everything they make home to their parents or wives. They buy everything they sale for really cheap, and then they resale it for a little more. Their jobs suck and they work all day outside in crap conditions. So, it was nice to see someone giving them a job and to see them all joking around outside and having fun for once. I wrote a little on a notepad that the shop owner lent me while I watched the immigrants call each other funny names like, “old man” and giggle. One of them said something and they turned to look at me. One of them that I talk with regularly said, “sorry Misty, he uses bad language.” I smiled and waved it away. “Why are you outside today?” He asked. I told him that I locked myself out. “Do you need anything?” He asked. I told him no.

In a place where people are unwanted and surviving on ten euros per day I find it interesting that they still find room for joking, for making the best of their situation, and for offering help to someone who is clearly much more fortunate than they are. Where you were born was a gamble. Any of us could have been born in bad circumstances. There is a gap in empathy and it’s the reason the world is falling apart.

In other news, after F came home from work I promised to never lock myself out again. Instead, I accidentally wore my slippers to get my hair cut. I don’t even deserve shoes. Seriously.


39 thoughts on “Watching Immigrants, The Rare, Not Racist Italians, And Getting Locked Out Again

  1. See, I am going to send a friend of mine a link to this blog post. She negates me every time I try to say how openly racist Italians are (the why, I will get into later). “No, Americans are worse, blah blah.” Oh? She hasn’t lived here, taught here, etc.
    Hopefully, though, with the coming generations a change will occur. I’ve already seen some decent strides in the form of immigrant school kids fairly integrated, having lots of friends (while the nonni, instead, try to make politically correct but embarrassingly ignorant comments). I’ve seen a few African workers actually working at the Coop at check out or cleaning….not selling things outside. Progress, as little as it may be.
    I realize Italy has a lot of problems, and immigration is still a fairly new concept here. Add in the fact that there are NO jobs, especially for Italians, and the acceptance level hits rock bottom while suspicion and anxiety rise. It’s a tough situation.

    • From my experience I would say that Italians are far more racist than Americans for the reason you pointed out above: Integration is brand new here. Italians don’t know how to handle other cultures, let alone other races. Even “non racist” Italians still do weird things like call all asian people “Chinese” and make bizarre sweeping generalizations about other cultures. My husbands parents, for example, nearly shit themselves when he told them that he wanted to marry an American. THEY HAD NEVER MET ONE BEFORE. That is how NEW diversity is to some parts of Italy. Unfortunately, the younger generation is full of neo nazis who grew up listening to their nonno’s racist bullshit and they believe that during fascism the world was perfect. Nevermind that over 6 million people died. There are racism Americans, a lot of them, but there are also laws in place to protect minority groups. In Italy, people can treat others however they want and it’s completely fine. The poor immigrants just have to hang their head low and deal with it. It’s depressing because it’s so acceptable here.

      • i agree some parts of Italy have a lot of racist people. i read your blogs and in a lot of them you mention neo-nazis/ fascist. i live in Rome and have to say yes there are nazi/ fascists but the majority of the younger generation is more open to foreigners and aren’t racist. at least in Rome where i grew up. but you’re right about people mistreating the street vendors and what not

      • Thank you for the reply love. Actually, in Florence, I’ve never seen anyone be mean to the street vendors. The Florentines in my area are very nice to them actually. I wrote that part mostly to tell Americans not to be assholes. They can be very, very rude to these people because Americans have issues with their space and are not usually very kind to “begger” types (although I don’t see street vendors as beggers personally).

  2. I relate to your point about “non racist” Italians doing weird/ignorant things. Good point, about the laws in the States, too.
    I have to laugh, though, because I have a different experience as far as younger people. I don’t know any neo-facists (although good shot of the anti-Casa Pound), on the flip side, I have met too many psudo-Commies who wear Che Guevara t-shirts and bitch about America and multi-national corporations whilst drinking coca cola and updating Facebook on their iphones or latest Galaxy.
    Maybe someday things will change.

    • haha. Yeah, I’ve met those too. No facists though? Strange. The city is full of them. At one time TWO of my room-mates were dating skinheads who sang fascist songs in the street (and then they immigrated outside of Italy, how fucking ironic). They hung out in huge groups of other skinheads. Also, a group of skinheads once tried to spit on me (they missed, thank god) and told me to “go back to my own fucking country,” near the Arno one night. Unfortunately I’ve met many of them.

  3. I’ve married an Italian, who I am now divorcing because he suffered from the figlio di Papa syndrome… long story. In other words America didn’t seem as easy as he thought it should be. All the glitz and glamour of our huge pop culture was fizzled out when he realized how hard things could be in the land of the free. I Lived in Italy off and on for a total of 3+ years. The provincial town I lived in called Ravenna is quiet, dull and boring during the fall and winter. As a black American student, I’m treated with respected when I have to whip out my American passport and/or my Bank of America debit card. When I am not posting up neither of those identifying pieces, I am treated as the prostitute they think I am and not as the studying my ass off Master of Science in Cultural Heritage international student at Univ. of Bologna I continue to be. Beginning with the day I graduate I will be walking around in Ravenna with my ‘laurea’ and the laurel wreath wrapped around my head handing out flowers to those shop owners who treated me well. I am contemplating walking around with that wreath for a whole week actually. I lived in Florence for a year and didn’t encounter anything like attempts of being spat at or being ill treated. In comparison to Ravenna, Florence was a haven. Now I’m in the states preparing for my thesis. Before returning to Italy, I’m getting a tshirt made: “Sono studentessa, no una putana” on one side, and the other side will say: “Non voglio tuo uomo, tuo uomo vuole me, parla con lui”

    • It’s sad that people are so incredibly closed minded here or anywhere. I’m embarrassed for them. You met your husband in the US? Or In Italy? Curious. I’m sorry to hear about the divorce. I hope you’re doing okay. Oh, and, I would also like to order one of those shirts if you ever had them made.🙂

    • ahahahaha, nice idea on the t-shirt. Just a tip on the italian (if the mistakes were not intentional, in which case they’re hilarious): the correct grammar of the sentences requires an indefinite article (“Sono UNA stadentessa”), the negation NON (Non una puttana), and verbs and articles in the second one (“non voglio IL tuo uomo, E’ il tuo uomo CHE vuole me, parla con lui”). Anyway, sorry to hear you’ve been maltreated. I come from one of the most racist regions of northern italy in which it is common to use all that misleading terms like “chinese” in normal conversations or in our dialect…

      • LOL thank you. Italian is hard, after four years I still write like I’m 4 years old. In fact, my six year old niece (who is Italian) always corrects me, it’s pretty adorable. Honestly, most of the people are really nice in Italy, but obviously there are always a few crazy people in every country.

  4. I know it’s O.T., though it’s about your last reply. Dear M.E.: I would really like to know what are your difficulties about the Italian language (Hey, it’s a freakingly important part of the italian culture!). Can you blog about it, with your usual irony?

  5. I think migrants communities lack to effectively communicate their cultural richness. I am Italian living in veneto region, a bastion of “I hate shitty South” ideology that unfortunately I partly share. What I noticed is that many cultures might be accepted more easily, if only they were able to appear less poor.

  6. I love your blog.. I find some air to breath!! I am not the only one living shit in this country… and then Italians ask ..Do you like living in Italy?I bet you are so much better here than in your country. By the end of the year I will leave this place.. and my husbad since he told me that If I dont like it here I can leave. He is in “casa integrazione” and with this economic crisis … and me being a foreigner only get insults from even the Priest who married us! Its unbelievable!!!

  7. It’s so interesting reading this post. Sums up my worry. My boyfriend is Italian and we currently live in Los Angeles. We will be going to Bologna for 3 months or so in August (He’s going to the University of Bologna for a semester) and THIS is what worries me (Although being there by myself while he’s in school, not knowing the language, not having a job, etc makes the “worried list”). As a black Jamaican I can’t help but feel like this won’t be an easy transition for me and it’s not something I think he will understand even if I explain it to him. I went to Rome/Florence/Venice 2 years ago for 10 days and although I didn’t experience too many problems (However I did find Florence to be the least friendliest) 10 days vs 3 months plus are two very different things. I don’t know what to feel. Maybe I’m just anxious.. Anyways I’m so happy to have discovered your blog!🙂

    • Hello love! I’m glad you found my blog too and I hope it can help you on your expat journey. I’ve found that expat blogs and a lot of wine does the trick.🙂

      So, racism in Italy is really strange. It’s less about skin color than nationality. Americans seem pretty “anti immigration” but from what I’ve seen in Italy, Italians can be very “anti immigrant” too. There is a lot of discrimination and exploitation of African immigrants, however, usually once people figure out you’re not from Africa they don’t really care as much. For example, one of my best friends in Italy was from South Africa and as soon as they heard her thick British accent they would assume she was British and their attitude would immediately change. In fact, I think that Italian men appreciate the beauty of black women but they just don’t like immigrants (if that makes any sense). I’ve had my fair share of discrimination and I’m from the US. Fascism is growing in Florence (and throughout Italy) which surely doesn’t help. If you get a chance, watch the Film Italy, Love It Or Leave It (can buy on Amazon). They discuss immigration issues briefly. I interviewed them also on my YouTube channel and we talked about racism, fascism, and the other “isms.” That will help you understand things and prepare you for the big move.😉

      • Completely agree. I’m an American of Afro-Caribbean descent that has lived in Italy off and on since 2002. I go out of way to emphasize the American part at times because I know it means better treatment.

  8. Thank you for your post, ME. Thanks all who participated, too. I really needed to read this info, as I intend to spend more time in Italy. I have spent the last three years vacationing and have had no problems as an African American woman. My Italian friends have made me aware of the racism and fascism that exists in Italy… Fortunately, I have been treated very well… and I realize a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m American… There was a *huge* difference with how I was treated between the north and the south. I’m not sure if that’s just the way it is, though. With a few exceptions, I went from feeling mildly noticed to “Ciaoooo Bella!” Haha!

    • That’s exactly what I’ve witnessed. It’s more of a nationality issue than a color issue for the most part. I still think that blind nationalism and being “against” an entire population is scary though. People can be really terrible to African immigrants. It’s heartbreaking.

      • My Italian husband says that Italians discriminate against their own people (Northerners with Southerners). So while it’s unfortunate, he says it’s obvious that they’ll do it with people of other cultures too (from Eastern Europeans to Africans)

  9. Your football comment (not soccer football) comment is ill informed. Having been to 90% of serie a matches this year that is a fabrication. I find Italians tolerant considering the lack of jobs and the constant pressure from these sellers who are often over the top when trying to sell utter shite products.

    • That’s odd Duncan, this really isn’t only a personal observation (though I’ve unfortunately seen it first hand myself) but it’s also frequently in the newspaper and on television. The racism at games is extremely well known to the point of players walking out and teams refusing to play. So, possibly, you’re ill-informed. And frankly, selling “shite products” doesn’t make it okay for people to be racist. Not even Italians find Italians to be “tolerant” so I find it strange that you seem to think so. Especially with the hardcore return of neo-fascism and the nazi party in Italy (also, common information, well known by all).

  10. i’m an italian girl, I live in Turin, which is in the north. At least around here, i don’t find all the racism you are talking about. I know in the south it’s probably different, but i think it’s a bit of a generalization.
    The main problem i think is that in the last couple of years we’ve seen a lot of immigration, and even though other countries in Europe try to stop it or at least regulate it a little, we are taking in everyone that comes to us.
    I understand that they come from poorer countries, and they want a shot at a better life, but we are experiencing a heat crisis, many many people are out of jobs, homeless and such, with the government doing little to help change the situation, but every immigrant that comes here gets a monthly salary of around 800-900 euros, a house, food and clothes, no taxes, school for their children and free healthcare for nothing in return. I think that this is outrageous, if i don’t work and don’t pay taxes they take away everything from me, so why is it different for them? If someone comes here, works, is legal, pays taxes and lives like everybody else, i’m more than ok with that, i don’t see a difference between italian, african, albanian or whatever, but seeing that my cousin (8 years old) didn’t get lunch at school for a couple of days because his parents weren’t able to pay the ticket that is requested, while other kids that come from Albania or Congo have everything for free honestly makes me mad. If we can’t take care of our kids, how can we care for hundreds of thousands that came to our country just this year?

    We have our culture, and I don’t think that it should be seen as a fault… A problem we’ve had in the past yeas is been with the crucifix in the schools. We are a christian country, it’s part of who we are and it’s very important for us. It doesn’t mean that everyone has to be christian, but if i go to a muslim country, even to live there, i don’t try to change who they are or their beliefs, it happened to me that in Iran i’ve been asked to wear a hijab, and i didn’t scream racism, it’s their culture and if you go to a certain country you have to follow their rules.
    There are very few italians i know that think that outsiders are different, worse or whatever just because of their skin, but when i have to be scared to come home at night on a bus because nigerian, albanian, romenian drug dealers or gypsies may rob me or worse, i admit that i don’t like them. It’s not only them, of course, italians are not saints either, but there are parts of my city where you just don’t go, as a girl, especially at night, and even the cops are scared, because they can’t do anything. When a gipsy man robbed me last year, and broke two of my ribs, when the cops heard he was a gipsy told me that they couldn’t do anything, they can’t keep them in jail because it will just bring a lot more problems, with political parties protecting them and victimizing them, the problem of retaliation, the fact that they actually don’t exist in Italy since they have no documents, we can’t throw them out because it would be wrong….and that I had to be more careful and try not to go around alone… And the problem is, if i would have used the knife i had with me to protect me, the police officer actually told me that i would have been arrested and prosecuted, because that’s how it works right now in Italy!
    I have friends who are not italians, whose parents came here in search for a better life, and they are busting their asses off to do that, and that is something i appreciate, that should be the norm though…

    Regarding the color of the skin, if my grandma sees like a black guy or hispanic or something like it, she will probably be a little scared, but that’s just the older generation, it’s normal and that’s how she was raised and educated. About that i think it’s the same as it is with gay people, if you talk to an 80 years old he will probably tell you that they are gonna burn in hell, it’s a sin, against nature blah blah blah….but if you talk to a 20 years old, or at least those i know, then it’s no big deal ,is just who you are…
    And i have to say that i actually have experienced a lot more racism, against women, foreigners, and gays in America… I lived for almost two years in the US, in Texas, Montana, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and the way i’ve seen some mexicans been treated was just awful, especially in Texas… Gays were bashed against, and at times somehow being a woman was like an insult.
    On the other hand, i’ve met a lot of wonderful people, very open to everything and everyone, so i don’t think it’s fair to generalize the matter so much.

    In my opinion, it’s not that we are racist, it’s that we don’t want our country to collapse, the way Greece did because of all the debit we have, and for some reason the government keeps spending money on immigrants and taking them from italian… We are proud of our country, our people and our heritage, and we don’t want that to be taken away from us, that’s it…

    Sorry for the long post and the more than probable mistakes in the words, i’m not big on writing!🙂

    • Do you know anyone who benefits from an immigrant salary in italy? I don’t actually know anyone, i also live in turin and i have a lot of foreign friends. I think you misread this article from some other country and the extreme cases, where people came just to take advantage of it were isolated. I just think that italy is a frustrated country that had a high level about 20 years ago, but that level went down and you keep trying to blame whatever your grandparents can be creative about to explain yourself why this happenned. There are some purely economical decisions taken by the gouvernment that lead to this. Also of the people who took advantage of that eastern european workers to make some tax evasion. And also, no one steals your traditions in italy, immigrants are almost unnoticed, and as for muslim groups, they really are less than in other european cities. I think there’s no need for nationalism and over exposure of religion if italy wants to become a more modern country. Immigrants will leave anyway if the economy goes like this. Just that by thinking like this, you are sending away also the educated ones who could have helped.

      • And i can see why because of arrogance and nationalism, some italians would never think that a foreign engineer could ever be better than an italian one and they only accepted immigrants to work as cleaning ladies or construction workers. This is why italy is being left behind, because it is not open to new and foreign things, and the way you think is guided by the politicians who want to go on taking advantage by the corrupt system without anyone interfering. But this has happened from ancient rome i guess so you are doing a good job keeping those traditions alive.

    • “We are a christian country” No, we are not. I am atheist, and I don’t want the christian symbol in public offices, because the Italian States is secular. It shouldn’t be there.

  11. Pingback: Is This The Answer To Racism? | BALOBESHAYI

  12. I’ve lived in Rome for a year now and I’ve seen immigrants spit on, berated, and generally abused on a daily basis. Even myself as a doctoral student am not immune to the abuse. Recently an Italian girl, a fellow doctoral student who I thought was a friend, commented to me that I should stop blogging about the problems that I encounter in Italy and that I should be grateful that she doesn’t insult my nationality by calling me ‘Filippina’ (apparently not only a nationality but also a derogatory term that wealthy Italians use for poor housekeepers).

    Racism truly hurts, specially when it comes from people you think should be educated enough (or know you well enough!) to act otherwise. Keep spreading kindness! Perhaps with enough, we can counteract the negativity of living with the daily racial abuse foreigners experience in Italy, even if only for a little bit.

  13. Pingback: Racism in Italy | The PhD Project

  14. interesting article.. I was in Sicily off and on in 2014 for a little over 6 months (military deployment at first and then went back as a civilian to visit my girlfriend, a Sicilian). I’ve experienced straight up racism in 3 separate incidents, one in a Gucci outlet being followed (I left the store because EVERYONE was staring at me, drove off in a new rental Benz pissed off), another in Augusta walking with my girlfriend (I guess they were hating because I had an Italian girlfriend and they didn’t) and in the final incident I was waiting for some friends while I was with my girlfriend (the 3 guys I actually confronted actually backed down even though I was by myself, I guess they realized I was American by the way I was cursing them out, even tried to shake my hand).

    I didn’t experience any fascists/fascism, although my girlfriend one day while driving pointed out a billboard made by the League of the North, which I guess isn’t common that far south. All the Italian people I met were friendly as hell and good people, even though I only know basic Italian. The women (before I met my girlfriend) were mostly shy to talk to me but some of them were so eager to meet me, sometimes I felt like a celebrity lol. I still have selfies on my phone from random girls asking for a pic with me.

    I digress, the African immigrants I met all had a sad story to tell and I always went out of my way to talk to them. I’d always get stopped in the center of Catania asking if I was from Senegal or Gambia. The immigrants were all friendly as hell to me, sad that they get treated sometimes like shit.

  15. Italians are not generally racist but Italians/Europeans are very proud of their heritage, their nation and history.
    Who says one has to be tolerant? Tolerant = accepting a reality one hates. If someone doesn´t like foreigners in his/her country then these people have the right to say so and feel so. I find it is fascist how Americans try to indoctrinate people about fascism and how to tolerate everything foreign.
    Americans have no American heritage they can be proud of. Americans stole the country from the original inhabitants the Indians and killed most of them. The Indians that are left today in the US of A are a sorry bunch of people, robbed of their land, their culture, their pride, their future – that I call fascism!
    The heritage of people in the US of A is European, African, Asian etc. – it´s a mixed bag of everything. And since American people don´t have a lot in common apart from their flag and a trashy lazy ” I tolerate everything” culture they will never understand people who are proud of their country and culture. Italian people have been living on the same soil for hundreds of years and their history is so old and their ancestors do go so far back that they indeed can be proud of what they´ve achieved. This is a very very strong bond that is felt in one´s soul and one´s heart and it makes people strong.
    Such a strong bond will never be experienced by Americans since America has no culture. The so called “culture of
    the US of A” that has shaped American minds and souls is Hollywood movies, the music industry, the fast food industry, the porn industry, the fashion industry, TV Reality, Ghetto gangs ruling entire neighbourhoods, drugs and the entertainment parks industry etc etc. This all is just cheap meaningless stuff that won´t last long and changes all the time according to Zeitgeist. It will never touch people´s hearts and souls, it will just be fast food for their minds destracting them from the miserale reality they live in and try to forget while being entertained to the nines.

  16. we’ve been in Roma in 2009 / 2010 / 2011 and 10 days ago we thought we’ll have again a majestic vacation, but so much has change.. loads of migrants asking sometime aggressively for money, totally unsaved at darkness, it seems that Italy became the garbage of Africa, we went to Firenze, it felt the same, but less, and at Verona we just left 2 days earlier than plane because of it, but there it seems the issue is more with migrants from the Balkans, but still, issue with migrants and unsaved feeling, we’ll have to re think for future holidays, that was not a pleasant one, loads of pick-pocket standing on cues to museum and monuments..
    From what we have seen, in the opposit of being gratefull, the migrants thinks that nothing has been done for them, and that everyone should give them something.
    They come and disturb you aggresively begging for money, if you say no, then some will insult you “you’re a racist”
    You know what, Yes thanks to you… I became a racist… I was not before, but the way they act, react, inforce you to take your distance.
    Opening europe was the first mistakes but now, it is even worse.
    Poor Italy what have you become

    • You do realize that many of the immigrants in Italy are without a stable country because of France and Italy? If you disrupt or exploit other countries, eventually, you’ll have to pay the price. Of course people are asking for money, they don’t have anything. If you were in the same position of desperation, you’d probably be doing the same thing. Don’t assume that your homeland will always be safe and secure. I hope that if anything happened people would treat you, and think of you, better than you think of them.

      • Well, I’ve been in several bad situation, but I always came and ask for WORK not for money, I did clean toilet in restaurant at Spokane WA, help a electrician in LA, clean carpets in Atlanta, cut flowers in Israel, drove a truck in France, been a taxi driver in Germany and a bar tender in Belgium, but I can still be proud that I never ask for money, and most of all, never insult someone refusing to give me job ( not money) as they did sometimes insult us in Rome last month.
        They call it solidarity, mustn’t solidarity been spontaneous and not force.
        Saving illegal migrants in the Mediterranean see cost million every day, and that is only the beginning of the bill, since after that, they will add to the social bill of the country they will illegally reach.
        As Mr Sarkozy former French president said this week-end, illegal immigration is like a water leaking pipe, if you don’t deal with it fast, you’ll be over floaded.
        They had problem there, so they come and bring problem to us.. why should I accept it?
        If you were treated by migrant to whom you refused to give money, as we did, you’ll probably think differently.
        They do ask for money… cigarettes, but they’re most of them use cellphone…

      • I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience. I’ve lived in Florence for years and have never had a bad experience with immigrants. They’re always very nice to me. They usually sell things on the street and I buy them when I need something. Eventually I gave them so much money they stopped taking it from me and would refuse. They’d giggle and say “no! Just have what you want! Come on!” I’ve never seen what you’re explaining so perhaps there are just some immigrants who are not nice and others who are very kind? In Europe, Italians have been mean to me many, many times, should I assume that ALL Italians are assholes based on some of my bad experiences?

  17. Casapound is a thing in Italy, but in my opinion, you generalize when you say “florentines are racist”. Neonazi groups also exist in Sweden, Norway, Germany (these are the three countries I’ve been to and I’ve noticed many of these neonazi groups) and I think in many other countries and intolerance has been growing everywhere in this period. This is not an excuse of course, but I feel you’re generalizing as if every people in Florence joined Casapound. While Casapound does exist, also many anti-fascists groups, people rescuing migrants in Sicily and Lampedusa and volunteers all over the country which help the poor exist. In my opinion, the italians never failed to show their generosity, despite a lot of dickheads living there. Thank you for sharing your experience

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