By focusing on the history of Gypsy groups in the early modern period, this paper aims to reflect on the opportunity to use the notion of "hostility" as an interpretative category about the relationship between majority societies and minorities. It analyzes the form of the bans that hit Gipsy people and considers as case studies the sixteenth-century Venetian legislation and the project of "reducing" Gipsy people in the Papal State in 1631. The persistence of the minority (despite the resolute tones of the repressive speech and criminal rhetoric) can be studied throgh the notion of hostility, which also reflects a relational dimension, the level of integration that the early modern Italian society was able to reach. This relationship was based on an unstable balance, an hostile one, which cannot be understood thorugh the most rigid pair "toleration/intolerance".
Keywords: Gypsies, Republic of Venice, Papal State, early modern period, reduction.