Mammoni and Mammismo – An Italian Lifestyle

File Photo Pexels

File Photo Pexels

Six years ago I wrote a post titled Mammoni – Mamma’s Boys in Italy and today it ranks as my most popular post.  Mammoni, a term applied to single Italian men who live at home with their mothers sometimes into their forties and fifties.  This  Italian lifestyle is alive and well today, maybe moreso  in light of the worsening economic situation in Bella Italia. And so is its counterpart, mammismo. The two lifestyles appear to go  hand in hand.

Goodfellas IMDB Photo credit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099685/mediaviewer/rm3046118656

Photo credit Goodfellas IMDB

According to to The Telegraph, mammismo is an “Italian bond of love between a man and his mother that chokes romance, inhibits sex drive, and even has the power to slow the economy.” They report that Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the archbishop of Genoa, warned that the phenomenon is “one of the biggest risks to marriage in the country today.”

File photo:Pexels

File photo:Pexels

The Times Live corroborates this information, stating “the classic attachment between Italian men and their mothers – is one of the biggest risks to marriage today.” Going even further, “Leading matrimonial lawyer Gian Ettore Gassani said interfering mothers-in-law were responsible for 30% of all separations.”

Last year ITV News aired an ON Assignment episode titled “Italy’s mamma’s boys: The curse of the mammoni,” where they interviewed three Italian women who left their partners because of their mothers. One even described the situation as an addiction.

File Photo Pexels

File Photo Pexels

From my conversations with Italian men and women I’ve met on my travels to Italy, I understand that not all Italian men are so attached to their mamas. Many are in committed relationships, some married and some cohabitating.

File Photo: Pexels

File Photo: Pexels

From what I have discerned, moving away from the mother seems to be helpful so this mammismo does not become a problem for the couple.  Traditionally the Italian mother however does always hold a place of honor and importance in the culture.

Photo by Il Tirreno

Photo credit: Il Tirreno

The latest figures from Eurostat show “sixty-seven percent of 18-34-year-old Italians” living with their parents. This figure is  almost “20 points higher than the European average.” Due to the lack of jobs, there is not much of an alternative.

So the trend is controversial and I’d love to hear your opinions, so please leave a comment.

Grazie and Ciao.

 If you haven’t checked out my books on Italy yet, please visit my author page on Amazon. Also available on Amazon UK.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

This entry was posted in Italian lifestyle and culture, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mammoni and Mammismo – An Italian Lifestyle

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I married an Italian man when I was very young. His parents were dead when I met him. His sister and sisters-in-law took over the role of mother. Fortunately his lovely sisters-in-law were wonderful to me. His sister, now that is another story.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s