As I was perusing WVS responses to questions about who constitutes an undesirable neighbor, the aversion to Gypsies among those in the five countries where the specific question was asked jumped out at me. Nearly 7 in 8 Italians said they wouldn't want to live near them. Nearly half of those in Spain and Slovenia feel the same way. Majorities of Moldovans and Romanians want nothing to do with the 'Romani', either.
Indeed, disdain for Gypsy neighbors is higher than it is for gays, immigrants, people of a different race, of a different religion, or who speak a different language, criminals, unmarried cohabitating couples, militant minorities, and political extremists. Only heavy drinkers and drug addicts are more shunned than Gypsies are (and in Italy, even these dregs are preferred over the Roma).
Being the parochial American that I am, the closest I ever come to the little filchers are the periodic stories from across the pond I read in curious amusement about governments, with popular consent, taking action against them. Gypsies are almost surreal to me. They're make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos. But apparently to know them is to hate them, or at least not want to have anything to do with them.
WVS variables used: V43MD