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Adult Children Living at Home in Italy

Italians Will Stay Home as Long as It's Socially Acceptable

Maurizio Schiavi is 36 and lives at home. He has lived away before when he was abroad. He's been married and divorced. And now he has a girlfriend — she lives with them! — but he's content at home with his 70-something parents.

When asked why he stays when he's closer to 40 than 14, Maurizio gives reasons like the economy and a weak welfare system (which, not to sound totally American, but those sound like excuses!), but he also leaks the real reason he — and over 50 percent of Italians 18-34 — nests with the 'rents. Nobody questions it.

"Here, because living with your parents is so widespread, it's entirely socially acceptable," he said. "It certainly doesn't cause me any problem with my friends. As for my parents, they lived with my father's parents so it's normal for them."

Now an Italian minister is considering making it illegal for people over 18 to live at home, which seems extreme for a country where most students attend college while living at home. But maybe the only way to get them to move out is to get them on their own before they grow too comfortable.

Source: Flickr User Emma JG

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Kaori Kaori 6 years
@ #14: That's basically my viewpoint right there.I didn't know that Italians also did the living with the parents thing. I knew that it's prevalent in Chinese culture though. We have this thing about respecting our elders. I always feel so sad when I see people treating older people poorly.
Kaori Kaori 6 years
@ #14: That's basically my viewpoint right there. I didn't know that Italians also did the living with the parents thing. I knew that it's prevalent in Chinese culture though. We have this thing about respecting our elders. I always feel so sad when I see people treating older people poorly.
Cris1192 Cris1192 6 years
It's like that in Peru too. Almost my cousins who are pushing 30 still live with their parents (except for 1 who's married and has a daughter and if he still lived with his parents that would be too much)
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
I agree starbucks, the family bonds are stronger in these countries where this is socially acceptable. I think it's ludacris to make this illegal, especially at 18, when most people are still in college with little money.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
In Italy there is just a stronger sense of families as a union. You don't live on your own, you just don't! When my grandpa came to Germany, unmarried, just for the heck of it, his family thought he was simply crazy. You move out when you're getting married, period. It would drive me crazy, but his family lives under one (huge) roof with about 15 people, 4 generations. They're never alone, you always have a babysitter. That comment is obviously not to be taken seriously. A minister might have said that, but it's not like it's really being considered.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
In Italy there is just a stronger sense of families as a union. You don't live on your own, you just don't! When my grandpa came to Germany, unmarried, just for the heck of it, his family thought he was simply crazy. You move out when you're getting married, period. It would drive me crazy, but his family lives under one (huge) roof with about 15 people, 4 generations. They're never alone, you always have a babysitter.That comment is obviously not to be taken seriously. A minister might have said that, but it's not like it's really being considered.
boredgourdless boredgourdless 6 years
First off, the tax rate in Italy is sky high. If the social system does not give back as much as you give, effectively, than it's pretty damn expensive to live on your own. For example, tax breaks for being single, for being a single home owner, etc. It makes more sense to split the bills. Secondly, I lived in Italy for two years. I knew an Italian man in his late thirties who decided to leave the nest, unmarried, in his early thirties. His mother nearly had a meltdown because he wasn't "settled" before he left home. It's a cultural thing, and not a big deal in the big scheme of things.
schnuppi schnuppi 6 years
I don't get why the government would want to get involved into something like that! Don't they have bigger fish to fry? I personally would rather poke myself in the eye than living with my parents again but if it works for them, why not?
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
Illegal? I live at home when not at my dorm. Glad I'm American!
secondstar secondstar 6 years
I've been living with my parents since I graduated college in May, but plan on leaving as soon as I find full time employment. While I can't imagine being happy living at home for years, I don't see anything wrong with it if it's working for them.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I think making it illegal is too much. I do have a problem with a guy that lives with his parents, but if his parents are OK with that and his girlfriend is too, then let them be.
jocupcake jocupcake 6 years
I don't really understand why this needs to be made illegal. We Americans might think it's a little strange but as long as it's not hurting anyone, I don't see what the big deal is. I have some Italian friends (who now live on their own in the US) but they grew up living with their grandparents. Now their parents take care of their grandparents which I think is WAY better than the common American tradition of sticking Grandma and Grandpa in a nursing home. Living together also makes it easier to pool incomes or help sick family members if necessary.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
I don't get it. This is socially acceptable something which to my knowledge is as socially prevalent in Italian culture as it is in Latin culture and all of a sudden boom the P.M. says no more. Seems a bit extreme. IMO it should just be allowed to phase out naturally. My mothers family is from Mexico and in my travels there whole multi generations share huge homes it's natural to them and part of their culture. Not something to criticize but just something different. Might I ad also that regardless if one has a job or not the whole family works together to get by.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
I don't get it. This is socially acceptable something which to my knowledge is as socially prevalent in Italian culture as it is in Latin culture and all of a sudden boom the P.M. says no more. Seems a bit extreme. IMO it should just be allowed to phase out naturally. My mothers family is from Mexico and in my travels there whole multi generations share huge homes it's natural to them and part of their culture. Not something to criticize but just something different. Might I ad also that regardless if one has a job or not the whole family works together to get by.
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