| South Italy|
|Name||Italian Republic (Repubblica Italiana), Southern Italy|
|Human Name||Lovino Vargas (ロヴィーノ・ヴァルガス, Rovīno Varugasu)|
|Eye Color||Light Green/Hazel/Light Brown (manga, blog/events, Beautiful World)
Amber (anime, Axis Powers and World Series)
|Volume||Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 1|
|Strip||Chapter 4: Pact of Steel|
|Drama CD||Axis Powers Hetalia: The CD|
|Anime||Episode 01 (Chibitalia)|
Episode 07 (as an adult)
Aki Kanada (as a child, World Series Episode 08 and on)
Shounosuke Hitachi (Flower Of Iris)
Colleen Clinkenbeard (as a child, World Series Episode 08 and on)
South Italy (南イタリア, Minami Itaria), often referred to as Romano (ロマーノ, Romāno), is a supporting character in the series Hetalia: Axis Powers and the older brother of North Italy. Between 2007 and 2008, Himaruya gave human names to some of the characters and he received the name Lovino Vargas (ロヴィーノ・ヴァルガス, Rovīno Varugasu).
South Italy has dark brown hair and an olive complexion, unlike his paler-complected brother. His eyes are green; however they are often colored hazel or brown by Himaruya himself, who said that fans were free to use whichever eye color they preferred for him, but noted that he often used a light green or light brown-like color, officially.
Like his brother, he has a wild long curl that acts as his erogenous zone. It usually rests towards the right side of his head, but sometimes will show towards the left when he's facing left. In his very first appearance in the webcomic, South Italy's shirt and belt were colored white, but were later shaded in dark. The actual color of the uniform is unknown due to it only appearing in black-and-white art. In most artwork and merchandise, he is shown wearing a khaki uniform in a different style than Italy's (and more similar to Spain's), with 3/4-length sleeves. But in the published manga and anime, he instead wears a virtually identical uniform to his brother, although it has different colors.
As a child, he did not always wear a maid dress like his brother but simply an apron, as seen in early strips of 'Boss Spain's Control of Southern Italy. However, in some strips like the ones in Comic Diary 9 and Volume 3, he is depicted wearing a maid dress and apron like his brother's, though its colors are unknown.
A chibi image by Himaruya, as well as a figurine, also show that South Italy has a casual sailor outfit like Italy, but with the blue accents replaced by green.
Personality and Interests
South Italy is friendly and kind to women, but is strict and less social to men. Despite appearing to be tougher than his younger brother, he is just as cowardly and ineffectual, if not more so. He's stubborn and has actually been described as being quite timid. Though he is not very skilled with his hands, it is said that he is a good pickpocket. He is also somewhat vulgar, often calling others "bastard"s or ending his sentences with a word translatable as "damn it". He makes a "Chigi" (or "Chigigi") sound when he is agitated or when his haircurl is pulled.
As a child, he often slacked off and slept when it came to chores; he was rather clumsy when he actually tried to do them. In Comic Diary 10 and blog illustrations by Himaruya, as well as in the first part of Boss Spain's Control Of Southern Italy, it is revealed that the younger South Italy had a bed-wetting problem and had trouble finding the toilet due to the vast size of Spain's mansion. In Hetalia: Axis Powers volume 1, it is also revealed that he had the disease Choreia as a child, and that it played a part in his clumsiness. Spain attempted to heal him by making him dance the Tarantella; South Italy appeared to recover from the disease, whether due to those efforts or not. In the 2011 Christmas Event, it is revealed that Romano is actually a hard worker in modern times, much to Prussia's and Germany's surprise. According to Germany, Romano is "a guy who can do what he puts his mind into".
When using grenades, he seemingly has no clue of the correct way to throw them (throwing the pin rather than the actual grenade, a habit shared by his brother). In the strip In Two Minutes, You Can Grasp The Exterior Of The European Economy, it is shown that he is often controlled and led around by his own mafia. It is partially due to the influence of the mafia that his view of the world is more biased and bleak than Italy's. Nonetheless, he hates them, though he doesn't usually fight back, presumably out of his cowardice.
While Italy eats a variety of foods other than their own, with influence from Germany and Switzerland, South Italy refuses to eat foreign food, especially if it happens to be cheese or potatoes.
Main article: Ancient Rome
Like Italy, Rome has also tried to visit Romano. However, this doesn't happen often as Romano is too embarrassed to meet with him. This is mostly due to that fact that he will start crying tears of joy.
Main article: Belgium
As a child, South Italy had a crush on the older Belgium, though he found himself unable to kiss her or tell her how he actually felt (though Belgium revealed she was only teasing him and felt bad for it). He also gets incredibly flustered and tongue-tied when Belgium praises him for his hard work, even getting flustered to the point of meekness and admitting he hadn't worked much at all. They seem to get along as adults.
Main Article: Germany
Unlike his brother, South Italy hates Germany and can't stand to see him and Italy together. He refers to Germany as a "potato bastard" and "macho potato".
South Italy had attempted to get revenge on a few occasions, but failed each time:
- Tried to charge at Germany, but slipped on a banana peel and skinned his arm (Italy's Big Brother, Webcomic)
- Pulled the pin off a "Red Devil" grenade, but threw the pin instead of the actual grenade, which he held in his mouth, much like Italy in a previous episode. (Italy's Big Brother).
- Threatened to throw tomatoes at Germany and "rip every muscle" off of his body, but wound up frightened by France (Meet My Big Brother!, Hetalia: Axis Powers volume 1).
- Attempted to embarrass Germany by holding up a fake mustache (to make him look like he was sporting one), but wound up making himself look like he wore mustache instead (Good Luck! Big Brother!, Hetalia: Axis Powers volume 1)
It is suggested that he might hate Germans in general, seeing that he thought one as a danger when he was a kid and got scolded by Spain because he believed the German would attack Spain. A line in Italy's Big Brother also reveals that his stereotype of Germans is that they're all "uncivilized country bumpkins with bad physiology." When Germany noted that Italy happened to have Germanic blood as well, it caused South Italy to go into a rage and attempt to charge at him (only for the above banana incident to occur).
Main Article: Italy
The two brothers grew up knowing of each other, but they never actually met face to face. Italy eventually went off to live with their grandfather for some time, while South Italy stayed behind. After Grandpa Rome had died and Italy came back, South Italy and the other boys became bullies to him. The two were separated again at the end of the Italian War, when Italy was claimed by the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, while South Italy was conquered by Spain after the Battle of Garigliano.
In the present day, the two brothers don't get along very well; South Italy occasionally refuses to acknowledge his brother's existence, though Italy is more than eager to be around his older brother. As a child, South Italy often felt jealous and inferior to Italy, due to the younger brother inheriting their grandfather's talent for art, while he could barely draw. He also felt that his brother took after their grandfather in appearance more. Despite this though, he's shown to have at least a subconscious care for him, becoming upset when his brother implies he doesn't admire him, and sharing a bed with him. Usually when it's hinted that he cares about Italy though, something happens that angers him and he instantly reverts back.
Main Article: Japan
Though they have to met only briefly in an earlier "strip," in which they didn't actually interact beyond introductions and Japan's pondering of the brothers' curls, Himaruya has stated that they would both get along rather well and that Japan would refer to the other as "Romano-kun" after initially referring to him as "Romano-san."
Main Article: Prussia
Prussia seems to have feelings for both of the Italy brothers due to their climate and topography. Despite his hatred of Germany, Romano does not appear to treat Prussia with the same level of contempt. However, Romano has been said to dislike Prussia and had wanted to fight him when he was a child, but he found him too scary. Instead, he merely cursed at him from afar. In modern times, as Prussia watched him work, Romano was not openly hostile towards him, neither yelling nor cursing excessively, while Prussia concerned himself as to why he worked barefoot, wondering if he had no money for shoes despite his hard work. Romano might trust Prussia a little bit (or it was simply siesta time and, like his brother, he will fall asleep no matter where he is, though Romano stayed dressed), as he fell asleep near him. Prussia watched him sleep, telling Germany that the flow of time was mysterious when he showed up, likely because Romano wasn't as hard a worker as a child as he was in the present.
Romano later said that he felt gloomy for having associated with Prussia.
Main Article: Spain
Because Spain raised him, South Italy has assimilated some of his culture, customs, religion, and his love for tomatoes. While Spain often acts affectionately towards him, South Italy tends to treat him rather coldly because he believes that Spain just wants his grandfather's inheritance. Though their relationship started off rocky due to young Romano's character flaws, Spain starts to dote on him and Romano is spoiled, though he continues to put on an act as if Spain only troubles him.
Deep down, he does care about Spain, though he rarely shows it openly. He is also protective of Spain, and will lash out in anger when he thinks Spain could be, or has been, in danger or taken advantage of. When Spain caught a cold, South Italy increases imports from Spain (despite having a cold himself) and overcomes his weakness to the Mafia (even though he usually bends to their will.) Romano apparently also helped out Spain during his own civil war, even at the cost of being shot in the butt.
Spain is also the person that Romano counts on first for help, despite his frustrations. He has requested his assistance on various occasions, although the outcome isn't exactly what he's hoping for. He will sometimes retaliate when the outcome is not what he is looking for.
In his youth, South Italy would often jump on Spain or headbutt him in the stomach to wake him up. This caused Spain to have a nightmare where an adult South Italy jumped on him and "crushed his vital regions."
Main Article: Turkey
Romano first encountered Turkey as a child. Turkey, then known as the Ottoman Empire, found Romano alone in a forest and captured him. Spain arrived soon after to reclaim him, and Turkey left with little protest. In modern times, Turkey acts amicably towards Romano, remarking on how much he has grown and asking how he has been. In contrast, Romano finds him frightening.
South Italy is first shown briefly in the Chibitalia segment of Episode 01 as a small child, and makes further non-speaking cameos in Episode 02 (where the brothers are bullied by the other nations) and Episode 04 (being stepped on by a victorious Austria). The adult South Italy finally appears in Episode 07, which adapts Meet My Big Brother! and Good Luck! Big Brother! from Axis Powers Hetalia volume 1.
His childhood is further detailed in Episodes 60-62, 67, 68 and Episode 75-77 which adapt Boss Spain's Control of Southern Italy. This shows the time from when Spain firsts aquires South Italy to where he begins fighting France and Turkey for him.
He is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa, who also voices Italy. Namikawa also initially voiced the child version of South Italy in the first episode, but the role was later recast for Hetalia: World Series, with Aki Kanada providing the voice (as she did for his brother).
In the anime adaptation (much like the later colored manga artwork), South Italy is given lighter skin, rather than being olive-skinned, while his eyes are amber-colored. Though he is depicted as wearing his pants over a short pair of boots in a character sketch for the manga, his anime turnaround instead shows him to have his pants tucked into a pair of tall boots (that look much like his brother's). His first military uniform is also colored khaki, with the shirt being maroon and the tie being navy.
In the fifth season The Beautiful World, his eyes are changed to green and his hair is slightly lightened.
- Like his brother, South Italy's birthday falls on March 17th, which is the date that the "Kingdom Of Italy" was formed. He was also represented with the flag for the Kingdom in the original webcomic art, though the modern Italian one is now used for him. South Italy is confirmed to be the elder of the two; despite this, some fans continue to mistake them for twins.
- His full nation name, Italy Romano, is derived from Rome, the capital of Italy. In the actual strips, he is simply Romano, though South Italy is also used to differentiate him from his younger brother. Historically however, he would represent either kingdom of Sicily and Naples (which later became "The Kingdom Of The Two Sicilies"), which were part of Southern Italy and wound up under the control of Spain. Romano is an existent Italian male first name, derived from the Latin title "romanus" (which originally meant "a citizen of the Roman Empire", but now simply "native of Rome"). In addition, Romano can be seen as a pun on the phrase "Roma no", meaning "of Rome".
- His given human name, ロヴィノ, whether transcribed as Lovino or Rovino is not an actual Italian name. "Rovino" means "I ruin" and would not be used as a name, especially for it's negativity. However, "Lovino" could pass off as a nickname deriving somehow from another name such as Luigi. In contrast, "Romano" is an actual, common Italian name.
- South Italy is one of the Axis Powers during the second world war which would bring the total of Axis Powers in the story to four. This can be seen when he and North Italy were captured by England in episode 63.
- According to Hidekaz Himaruya, South Italy's hair is colored darker than Italy's due to having Arabic blood. Himaruya described him as having both "darker hair" and a "darker personality". But in a 2006 profile of Italy on Kitayume, South Italy briefly appeared in an illustration with black hair, as opposed to the dark brown hair Himaruya would settle on.
- One can tell North Italy and South Italy apart hair wise when South Italy has dark hair and his curl is in the middle of his hair and North Italy's hair is light brown and his curl is on the side of his hair.
- In Hetalia: World☆Stars, it was revealed he is shorter than his brother North Italy.
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