Notwithstanding an increasing interest in nomad camps by both scholars and journalists, to date no study comprehensively investigates the genesis of those camps. By focusing on the cases of Turin and Florence, this article fills this gap. The analysis of the most influential local actors’ purposes and representations shows that the first camps were imagined and constructed on the basis of both a material and a discursive apparatus. The first apparatus is sedentarisation, i.e. a popular idea among post-WWII Italian pro-Roma civil society organisations; the second apparatus is "the right to nomadism", i.e. an enigmatic expression which was capable of lumping a wide range of groups and individuals of both Italian and foreign backgrounds together. In the conclusion more socio-historical research on segregation logics in Europe and beyond is encouraged, in view of an ever more necessary demistification of social phenomena at the margins of society.
Keywords: Roma; Sinti; nomad camps; Turin; Florence; Opera Nomadi.