What is the connection between Romans and Italians? Were Romans Italian or are Italians Romans?
The Roman Empire and Republic ruled over Italy for a period of well over 1000 years and their influence over Italy is considerable in every aspect, from Italian government to their language and religion. Italian is a Latin based language in that it comes from Latin but has a number of differences.
Italians themselves would not identify as Romans and Romans would not see themselves as Italians, just as English people would not see themselves as Normans or Saxons, Irish people as Celts, or French people as Gauls.