Identification. The Slovenian Roma are a small Gypsy group, the main nucleus of which came to Italy during the 1940s from northern Yugoslavia. Together with the Croatian Roma (Roma Hervati) and the Istrian Roma (Roma Istriani) they form a fairly homogeneous group, both culturally and linguistically, which is clearly distinguished from other Gypsy groups in Italy. From a socioeconomic point of view, the Roma can be said to be a peripatetic group (an endogamous group that bases its subsistence on the sale of goods and services to the surrounding non-Gypsy population and that adopts strategies of spatial mobility).
Location and Demography. The Roma in Italy are concentrated in the northeast of the country; small groups are also found in central Italy. There are no general census Reports directly concerning them. On the basis of fragmentary and approximate reports carried out on a local level, one may hazard a guess that the number of Roma in Italy at present is about 1,000.
Linguistic Affiliation. The Slovenian Roma speak a dialect of the Romani (Gypsy) language, classified by some Linguists as a West Balkan Gypsy dialect. Compared to most of the Gypsy dialects of Indian origin spoken in Europe, it possesses certain unique features (the absence of the article, the presence of the infinitive, special adjectival inflections, etc.). The Roma also speak standard Italian as well as the Italian dialects spoken by the surrounding non-Gypsy populations. Only the elderly are still able to speak Slovenian.