The Communists on the left have decried the vote saying it is cultural imperialism. They see it as a repeat of the efforts by Benito Mussolini to Italianize the country. This opinion is shared by some rightist regionalists and separatists.
While many people think of Italy as having one nation and culture, that opinion is wrong. In the north there is South Tyrol was long part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and has German as an official language. If one visits the Verona-area they will notice many of the local newspapers are in German. The Aosta Valley has a large French speaking minority. The Po River Valley including Venice has its own dialect of Italian. The South has Sicily where many inhabitants speak Sicilian, which is its own unique language not derived from Italian. The same holds true for Sardinia where many people still speak Sardinian.
These languages serve to support unique cultures in different regions. Many members of these cultures still resent of what they see as Roman culture and political control rammed down their throats.
The measure passed by parliament does not forbid local languages and is only symbolic. Yet, language is a sensitive subject as it is the blood of culture.