Italian sons clinging to home in hard times

By Josephine McKenna

Portofino, Italy. The country is a great place for tourists but many locals find staying at the family home necessary in hard economic times.
Portofino, Italy. The country is a great place for tourists but many locals find staying at the family home necessary in hard economic times.

Italy is notoriously a nation of mammoni or "Mummy's boys".

And Italian men seem to be reinforcing that stereotype by failing to leave the nest, according to the latest European Union statistics.

Figures from Eurostat show more than 67 per cent of Italians aged between 18 and 34 were still living with their parents in 2015, up from 65.4 per cent in 2014.

The number of young adult Italians clinging to home, dubbed bamboccioni or "big babies", is well above the EU average of 47.9 per cent and rises further among sons, with nearly three-quarters unwilling to leave despite 40 per cent having full-time jobs.

"It is true that the family is being identified more as the place of security," Vittorino Andreoli, an Italian psychiatrist, told Corriere Della Sera.

"Remember, the family is the only place where there is affection, it may be conflicted, but it's there," he said.

The Italians' reputation for being tied to mother's apron strings until they marry seems borne out by Eurostat, which said the number of young Italians living at home is topped only by Slovakia and Malta.

In the UK, Eurostat found 34.3 per cent of 18-34s had not left home.

But while some Italians stay for home comforts, Alessandro Rosina, a professor of demography at Milan's Catholic University, said most were victims of "shortcomings in welfare and difficulties in the job market".

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 20 Jan 2017 17:39:05 Processing Time: 295ms