Mammoni – Mamma’s Boys in Italy

Mammoni, Mamma’s boy, is a term applied to single Italian men who are still living at home with their mothers. This is actually a common way of life in Italy, and more than half of the young men still live at home in Italy. In the 18-34 age group almost 60 percent of all single people, men and women are living at home in Italy. And many of these men are in their 40′s and 50′s!

My friends from Sicily, Angela Teresa , and Angelica tell me this is true and this is why the marriage rate is down in Italy. I actually had several conversations while I was in Italy with young men who were married, and they validated the fact that unless a young man is married or working in another city, he lives at home with his family.

This video recently shown on 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl is a perfect depiction of this part of the Italian culture. The mothers like it too despite the fact that they are doing all the work. They like having their sons at home. As the video explains, even after a young man does get married, he still lives within a very close proximity to his mother, and she very  well may still be doing his laundry. The video is 13 minutes long but really an eye-opener, and the interviews with the Italians are priceless. You have to love them!
Lesley Stahl Video on 60 Minutes about Mammoni

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About margieinitaly

The first time I traveled to Italy I fell in love with it. I started this blog when I was preparing to go to Italy for the third time. It seemed like I could never get enough of this beautiful place.I thought after that I wouldn't feel the need to return, but in less than a year I made my 4th trip to this beautiful country of my grandparents. I have just returned from a wonderful trip there and I know that I will be back sometime in the future. I feel at home there! I am a second-generation Italian-American with a passion for travel, and a particular love of Italy. I am a freelance writer and photographer, and write for La Gazzetta Italiana as well as several websites. I recently published a photo book from the first of three months in Italy, and have just completed writing my first book, "Memoirs of a Solo Traveler - My Love Affair with Italy," which is based on this blog and my solo travel adventure to Italy.
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7 Responses to Mammoni – Mamma’s Boys in Italy

  1. Bonnie D. says:

    I saw the 60 Minutes piece on this and it cracked me up. These guys are all looking for a woman just like Mom. Fresh squeezed OJ with waffles and bacon for breakfast. A closet full of pressed suits and not a bit of dust on their dresser. Oh yes, the prospective wife must do all the things the mother did for him as well as earn her own living and provide for any children they might have. After all, he would not want to lower his standard of living to marry. . . Not to worry, when mother passes on they may have to shop themselves around to get married. And good luck to them!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree to all of the above; however, this not only goes on in Italy, it’s been happening right here in the good ole United States. I don’t know that maybe if I had an Italian son, I might do the same thing. However, I am an American mother with five daughters!

  2. I have found the answer to life says:

    Besides them living at home and being mammoni”s, is it possible that in being at home the parents also find rest in knowing that someone is there to help them, rather than in our society finding the children packing parents off to a nursing home and then ignoring them?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Canada’s mangia cakes are JUST AS BAD!

  4. Paul says:

    Its a sickness. Pure absolute demented behaviour. It is a disservice to the children to learn how to be self sufficient. Grow up Mothers. Get some psych help.

  5. cnels2 says:

    Margie, this video is very enlightening….however, one of the guys did say that their society is not and individualistic one, where here in the U.S. we are very independent. As much as I love him, I cannot imagine my 29 year old son expecting me to cook, clean, make his bed and do his laundry/ironing! On the other hand, the mediterranean culture is so much warmer, people-oriented and gregarious. You have family no matter what….and family means everything.

  6. Yes it seems to be a common part of life there and actually benefits both the son and the mamma. When I was there I asked a young married taxi driver about this, and he validated that unless you have a job in another city or get married the expectation is to live at home, and it is worse for daughters.

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