This chapter focuses on the emergence of Italy as a country of immigration since the 1970s, drawing attention to the fact that the economic and social isolation of the study's participants are a by-product of naïve and ineffective reception policies. The rapidity of Italy's transformation from a country of emigration to one of immigration has been achieved through a combination of return migration, and the influx of new migrants. The existence of immigration in a traditional country of emigration like Italy may seem paradoxical, but it can be explained when several corresponding factors are considered in combination. The fundamental role of the 'underground economy' in Italy is another factor. Italy is attractive to non-EU migrants for a number of economic reasons: it is also relatively easy to enter and moreover is geographically proximate to North Africa. The migration of women to Italy is also being fuelled by a new occupational demand.