Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi says there will be an investigation on charges of inciting racial hatred against the perpetrators of a violent protest against the arrival of Roma families at government-run housing.

Raggi on Wednesday described a "very heavy climate, of hatred," during the protest organized by two far-right groups, Casa Pound and Forza Nuova, against the arrival of the families on the outskirts of Rome Tuesday evening.

She said that the families, including 33 children, were being placed elsewhere in the meantime.

The Roma community, also known as gypsies, often faces a hostile, discriminatory climate. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has called for a census of the Roma population, while police closed a Roma camp in the capital last June in defiance of an EU ruling.