Leave home—or we’ll sue

Parents in Italy can't get their kids out of the house

Shooing adult kids out of the family nest can be stressful for parents. One Venetian couple is so frustrated by their freeloading 41-year-old son that they’ve taken the unusual step of siccing a lawyer on him. “We can no longer go on like this,” the unnamed father complained to Andrea Campi, their lawyer from a local consumers’ right association, who then told Italian media. “He has a good job but still lives at home. He demands that his clothes be washed and ironed and his meals prepared. He really has no intention of leaving.” Life has gotten so desperate, the father said, “my wife is suffering from stress and had to be hospitalized.”

The son has been served with a legal letter telling him to move pronto—otherwise the parents will go to court. He isn’t alone in being reluctant to leave home. Italy’s National Institute of Statistics reports that nearly half of all adult offspring under the age of 40 still live with their parents. It’s partly because many work on short-term contracts and can’t find permanent positions, but also fussing mothers have raised a generation of mammone (mummy’s boys), dependent on such dedicated, and free, 24/7 housekeeping service. Even a cabinet minister, Renato Brunetta, admits his mother made his bed until he was 30.

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