The Guardian

How migrants won the friendship of wary Florentines

After protests against asylum seekers, a mayor has successfully led a campaign to treat arrivals with respect
Migrants help to clear away cigarette butts in a Sesto Fiorentino square. Photograph: Il Cenacolo

When people in Sesto Fiorentino, a suburb of Florence, heard 50 asylum seekers were moving into a former hotel in the historic centre, they responded in much the same way as those in other parts of Italy.

Influenced by scenes on TV of migrants disembarking from boats in the south and a fearmongering campaign launched by local politicians from ’s Forza Italia party, they united in

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