In a desolate field just beyond the Rome ring road, a single line of caravans is a stark sign of the times in the new and increasingly anti-immigrant Italy. The vehicles are the modest homes of 25 Gypsy families, who have become the first victims of a campaign waged by the city's new right-wing mayor to crack down on foreign criminals and illegal Gypsy camps.
Oblivious to their parents' distress, children laugh and duck behind cars, squirting water pistols at each other as the adults contemplate an uncertain future. But the white sheets waving on clothes lines seem to symbolise a mood of surrender and gloom. Police, accompanied by dogs, have just chased this community from the city centre site it had occupied for 20 years.
'We work for a living, but in a couple of hours, everything we had created, the relationship we had built with locals over decades, was wiped out,' said Alessandro, 36.
Difficult to say more, I'm in the midst of reading Jessica Duchen's Hungarian Dances which also treads on this ground exposing the hypocrisy.