They are known as the eternal adolescents, young men and women who live in the family home while having their underwear washed and pasta cooked by their devoted and — until now — unquestioning mammas and papas. But now Italy is attempting to force its vast generation of bamboccioni (mother’s boys and girls) to find their own way in the world.
A government minister who admits that his mother made his bed for him until he was 30 years old, is demanding a law obliging young Italians to leave the parental nest at 18 to stop them from becoming hopelessly dependent on their parents.
Renato Brunetta, the Minister for Public Administration, made the proposal after a court judgment in Bergamo forced Giancarlo Casagranda, a divorced father, to pay €350 (£310) a month for the continued upkeep of his daughter Martina, 32, who has been a student of philosophy since 2002.
Compared with their other European compatriots, Italians are massively reliant on their mothers and fathers, with 59 per cent of men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 still living at home, according to La Stampa. This is in contrast to 34-5 per cent in Britain, 10 per cent in Spain, 16.5 per cent in Germany, 23 per cent in France.
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