Rome city authorities have begun moving several Roma families out of a public housing project in a Rome suburb after violent protests by neo-fascist groups threatened their safety.

Far-right protesters from the neo-fascist party Forza Nuova screamed insults and threw objects at a van that removed several people late Wednesday. Some did a raised-arm fascist gesture known as the "Roman salute" and sang the Italian national anthem. Some neighbors turned out and applauded the Roma families' departure.

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

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