Taking the case of migratory flows between Romania and Italy as a case study, this article investigates the ways in which spaces of economic transnationalism emerge and are reproduced over time. While the article finds that the role of the state in regulating the flow of money, people and goods across borders remains significant, it nevertheless provides evidence that state authority is systematically challenged by private actors even in the case of migration phenomena with a remarkably short history such as that of Romanians in Italy. Particularly interesting in this respect are labor recruiting networks in which informal headhunter operations, public officials and mobile manufacturing firms interact in surprising ways. While economic forms of transnationalism are the main focus of this investigation, the ways in which transnational capital and labor flows facilitated the symbolic reaffirmation of social institutions in the sending locality are also investigated.