• Italy's news in English
 
'British men cheat more than the Italians'
Giacomo Casanova, Italy's legendary womanizer. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

'British men cheat more than the Italians'

Published: 20 Sep 2013 13:34 GMT+02:00

No longer able to woo more than one woman, Italian men are supposedly so hard up these days “they’re having to ask their lovers to share the bill” for dinners and hotel trysts, according the story published by the BBC.

The article points to a survey by an Italian dating site suggesting that today’s ‘Casanova’ has abandoned the pleasantries of wining and dining and is “cutting to the chase” far more quickly.

What’s worse is that their long-suffering mistresses now have to make do with a “coffee and walk in the park”.

Perhaps the story was intended to poke fun at a national stereotype, but simply comparing them to Giacomo Casanova, Italy’s legendary ‘womanizer’, has struck a nerve with Italian men. It has also given rise to news pieces in the Italian press, including Il Gazzettino.

For Carmello Brunetta, a businessman in Rome, foreigners often have a misplaced view of Italians being Casanovas, a notion “probably engendered by a few films dating back to the 1960s”.

In fact, after living in the UK for a number of years, he tells The Local that British men probably cheat more than Italian ones.

“I doubt whether Giacomo Casanova could have even remotely envisioned all the shagging and cheating that goes on and is taken for granted in the UK, which makes Italy look like a convent in comparison,” he says.

What’s more, with Italians being “generally as socially inept as they were 30 years ago”, they might “talk too much about sex, but they rarely do it”, according to Brunetta.

Others were outraged by the use of a stereotype as a way of highlighting Italy’s debilitating financial crisis.

Gianluca Mezzofiore, a foreign correspondent for the International Business Times UK, slammed the article as “lazy and insulting journalism”.

In a column on Wednesday, he said: “Regurgitating a series of tired clichés about Italian Casanovas may seem an innocuous exercise to many British readers. But the flawed connection between it and the real impact of the economic crisis makes it not only silly, but enraging.”

He went on to say that the despair felt by a whole generation “robbed of its future, with no capacity to grow professionally or learn new skills” requires and deserves “serious insight, investigation, data, reports, interviews and a journalistic style that doesn't fall on clichés like the ‘Latin lover has had to rein in his appetite’.”

Emiliano Mellino, a journalist, told The Local that the piece was not only “lazy" journalism but also “possibly harmful”.

“At a time when Europe is falling apart at the seams, when national stereotypes are used to convince electorates to support the imposition of harsh measures on their neighbours, we do not need more journalists pushing out unfounded negative views about certain nationalities,” he says.

“Greeks and Spaniards are lazy, Italians are philanderers, the French are arrogant, the Germans are hardasses...these sorts of views have no place in serious journalism. It wouldn’t shock me to see them in the Daily Mail but it’s disappointing to see it on the BBC.” 

Angela Giuffrida (angela.giuffrida@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
 Italy's Northern League launches southern conquest
Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Italy's Northern League launches southern conquest

The Northern League, led by the rising star of the Italian right Matteo Salvini, launched its political conquest Friday of the country's south, with a view one day to capturing national power. READ  

Historic buildings closed by Tuscany tremors
Tourist crowd Florence's Piazza della Signoria. Photo: AFP

Historic buildings closed by Tuscany tremors

Some of Tuscany's landmark historic buildings were closed to visitors Friday as part of the region was shaken by 80 mini-earthquakes centred on the Chianti wine region. READ  

'I will not be here in ten years': Pope Francis
Pope Francis said he would not be around to watch the 2024 Olympics games. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

'I will not be here in ten years': Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Friday said he will not still be in the Vatican in ten years time, during a meeting with athletes and officials from the Italian National Olympic Committee. READ  

Italy's Chianti region hit by earthquakes
The epicentre of the strongest quake was nine kilometres below ground close to Greve in Chianti. Photo: Konrad Lawson

Italy's Chianti region hit by earthquakes

Several mini-earthquakes with a maximum magnitude of 4.1 shook Italy's famous Chianti wine region on Friday. READ  

Cocaine channeled to heart of Venice by mob
The criminal gang channel huge quantities of cocaine into Venice and the north of Italy. Photo: Rosie Scammell

Cocaine channeled to heart of Venice by mob

Police on Friday arrested ten people accused of running a cocaine trafficking operation with its criminal headquarters in the heart of Venice. READ  

Baby born in Milan to clinically dead mother
The clinically dead woman was kept on life support in intensive care. Intensive care photo: Shutterstock

Baby born in Milan to clinically dead mother

In what has been hailed a miracle, a baby boy has been born to an Italian woman pronounced clinically dead in October. READ  

Chinese firm trumps Italian bid for Club Med
Club Med first became a top name in the European tourism industry for its all-inclusive budget family villages, but has since moved up-market. Photo: Club Med

Chinese firm trumps Italian bid for Club Med

Chinese conglomerate Fosun raised its offer to buy French holiday group Club Med on Friday, as it strives to win the longest bidding war in Paris market history against an Italian tycoon. READ  

Italian president confirms resignation 'imminent'
Giorgio Napolitano reluctantly agreed to a second term as president in April 2013. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian president confirms resignation 'imminent'

President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday confirmed his resignation is “imminent”, paving the way for a new head of state to be voted in early next year. READ  

Artisans cry foul as Pope shuts down scrollmakers
Paolo Pensa works on a papal parchment in the workshop Pensa Rino in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Artisans cry foul as Pope shuts down scrollmakers

Rino Pensa and son have been making papal parchments for decades, crafting hand-painted blessing scrolls in Italy which are purchased by the faithful around the world to celebrate marriages, baptisms and anniversaries. READ  

Grillo's anti-euro campaign gathers pace
Beppe Grillo holds a “Out of the euro” campaign sign in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Grillo's anti-euro campaign gathers pace

The campaign by Italy’s Five Star Movement to exit the euro currency gathered pace on Thursday, with leader Beppe Grillo announcing the party has so far gathered 50,000 signatures calling for a referendum. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Top 10: 'Untranslatable' Italian words
Politics
Two Italian parties call for exit from euro
Gallery
How to party with Italians this Christmas
Culture
10 'Italian' dishes that don't exist in Italy
National
Disastrous olive oil harvests drive up prices
Culture
Top 10: One-hit wonders from Italy
National
Anti-mafia probe shakes Italian capital
Travel
Top 10 Christmas markets in Italy
National
'Mona Lisa was a slave from China': historian
Business & Money
Will Renzi really kick-start sclerotic Italy?
International
Italian man leaves million euro artwork on TGV
National
Italians post breast selfies 'for science'
Society
10 tips for men's winter fashion in Italy
Culture
Rome wins cameo role in new Bond film
Health
Cancer survival rates climb in Italy
National
Russian craft takes Italian astronaut to space
National
Russian fined €20,000 for defacing Colosseum
National
Mafia use tigers and parrots to wield power
National
Top ten: Italy's weirdest place names
National
Mafia 'cashes in' on Sicily's migrant influx
National
Dozens of foreigners vie for €1 homes in Sicily
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
International
Italy: Crimean Russians won't get visas from us
National
Wild bears spark fear in Italy's north
National
Italy's immigration crisis moves to the streets
Society
Italy under pressure over Roma camps squalor
International
VIDEO: Greenpeace activist injured in Canary Islands oil clash
Vatican
Topless feminists target 'political' Pope
Education
Italy's 'rigid' education system stifles job market
Education
Italians speak better English than the French
Education
How Turin is defying Italian austerity
Travel
Top ten: great late autumn escapes in Italy
National
Quake experts cleared in 'science on trial' case
Culture
10 things you should never say to an Italian
Travel
Italy tops world favourite destination list
Gallery
Top 10: The best Italian proverbs
Opinion
Why foreigners in Italy are happier than Italians
Opinion
'Forget the baby bonus, we need investment'
National
UN fears for migrants as Italy ends rescue mission
Politics
Quiz: How well do you know Italian politics?
Culture
Ten Rome baristas who brighten your day
Business & Money
Italy bows to EU pressure over budget
Travel
Ten of the best students bars in Rome
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

504
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply