An ever-increasing number of Italians are living with their parents until well into their 30s, a study says.
Home sweet home - but many are loathe to leave
The proportion of Italians aged between 30 and 34 still living at home has doubled to well over a quarter, a recent government report concludes.
Sons linger even longer than daughters, the government says, with 36.5% of men aged 30 to 34 remaining at home, compared to just 18.1% of women.
The new figures are part of an annual report by research centre Eurispes.
The numbers seem to feed the idea of Italian sons so dependent on their mothers that they just cannot bear to leave the maternal home, men who have become known as "mammoni" in Italy.
Between 1990 and 2000 the rate of those aged between 30 and 34 still sharing the parental home rose from 14% to 27%, Eurispes says in its annual report.
"That's the trend, there's no doubt that it would be the same for the last few years as well," Adele Menniti told the Associated Press news agency.
A high level of unemployment for graduates and soaring costs of living since the introduction of the euro are partly behind the trend, the report suggests.
"In Italy, one only leaves home when one gets married," Ms Menniti added.
But even the number of marriages has fallen - with 257,880 couple tying the knot in 2003, less than half of the number in 1971.
Younger siblings are also staying at home - with 90% of those aged between 20 and 24 years of age living at home by 2000, 10% more than in 1990.