As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
>In Rome, 2005 my friend was attacked by a group of them, all women. They rubbed his back and put their hands inside his jacketand even untucked his shirt. They didn't bother me for some reason (maybe because I am tall and very ethnic looking, not so turisty) and I had to pull them off him, yelling at them in Italian as best as I could to leave him alone.<
how did you know that they were gypsies? i wonder, how you can SEE the different between an italian and a gypsie. i can most time, but can you do?
in fact as living in neighbourhood to Italy some parts of Italy are wellknown for such things and of sure - not always and only gypsies doing such things - ALSO italians! so as example specially in Naples and Sicily you must hold on your purse and bag walking at street. everybody in Europe knows this.
The Gypsy origin and history is very interesting...They were orignally from northern India and once upon a time the Mogul ruler sent his army far fromthe NW borders of his kingdom to protect the approaches from the North and West to his kingdom and PROHIBITED THEM FROM RETURNING TO THE KINGDOM and they were to remain as an army but with the passage of time rulers came and rulers went until the army disintegrated into roving bands fighting with each other. They drifted west and finally wound up inthe Byzantine empire and were obliged by the Emperors to become tinsmiths making pots and pans in settled communities. The Gypsies remained there for 100's of years until the empire was destroyed in 1480 by the Arabs and fled to Romania where they continued to ply their trade becoming transients once again with wagons. During the dark ages they became feudal serfs and once again were kept in feudal bondage untilk they were freed and permitted to leave their fiefdoms and became wanderers once again and drifted west to eastern europe. =Just thought you might like to know. =Peter=