The last time I visited Europe I made friends with a great Italian guy, who still invites me to visit him. He said the very same thing. I told him that I grew up in an area of the U.S. with a heavy Italian population and that Italian-Americans were good people. His response: "Yes, those were the hard workers who fled from Italy to escape the chaos and to make a better life for themselves. The [@%$#]'s stayed behind." lol.You turn around and there's someone ready to fu*k you in the back... you learn to be awake there!
If you are a financially independent foreigner, you can live quite well and very cheaply in the small Italian villages, where people are more friendly. There are government programs that sell homes in Italy for as little as one Euro. The key, however, is not to buy those one Euro homes (which may require 100,000 Euros for repair), but to buy those in much better condition that sell for 5,000 to 20,000 Euros and that require only modest repairs. So, for 20,000 to 30,000 Euros you can refurbish apartments in quaint, picturesque villages in Italy, if you enjoy living in more rural areas. Many of these homes are located only a block or two from the town's main square, so AirBNB rentals are also an option. There is a great podcast that explains how to do that: