On Wednesday three young men assaulted an overweight teenager boy in Naples, allegedly raping him with a hose and causing him serious injuries. After one of them was arrested by the police, his mother-in-law told the press that what he did was “just a joke”.
In Italy this is called “familismo”: protecting the members of your family no matter what. Your family is your only true affiliation, and you will advance its interests even at the detriment of the collective ones. You will bribe an officer to get your son a position in the Civil Service, you will perjury to save your husband.
This is understandable, of course, but can reach unparalleled proportions in Italy.
Italian over-protective families are also sometimes blamed for the inability of young Italians to find a jobs. This is largely a myth, however. Data show that thousands of young Italians are emigrating – just like their grandfathers – to find a job.