• Italy edition
 
'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
Updated: 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
The Local List
Ten 'rude' Italian phrases you can get away with
Annoyed person: Shutterstock

Ten 'rude' Italian phrases you can get away with

In this week's Local List, we offer you a round-up of some of the most common 'rude' Italian expressions you can just about get away with in any social situation — even with your in-laws. READ  

Teacher arrested in 'sex for grades' scandal
The teacher is accused of raping a minor in a classroom at the school while her classmate guarded the door. Classroom photo: Shutterstock

Teacher arrested in 'sex for grades' scandal

A maths teacher at a high school in Sardinia has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing his students into having sex with him in exchange for high grades. READ  

Italy's migrant crisis
'Mafia of smugglers' bring migrants to Italy
Egypt's Interior Minister Hany Abdel Atif said a "Mafia of smugglers" is responsible for bringing migrants to Italy. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

'Mafia of smugglers' bring migrants to Italy

Egypt on Wednesday blamed organised criminal gangs of people traffickers operating on its territory after a boat carrying 500 illegal migrants was intentionally capsized off Malta. READ  

Mother laments number of 'foreigners' at school
The mother has complained that her son is the only Italian among 65 foreigners. Photo: Shutterstock

Mother laments number of 'foreigners' at school

An Italian mother has insisted her outrage over the fact that her son is the only Italian in a school full of children with foreign backgrounds does not stem from racism but from concerns over "culture and education". READ  

Woman to be reimbursed after mouse eats pension
The bank of Italy has said it will replace the gnawed notes free of charge. Photo: AAMPS

Woman to be reimbursed after mouse eats pension

The Bank of Italy has said it will reimburse a pensioner in Tuscany after mice gnawed a sizeable chunk out of her pension, making the banknotes worthless. READ  

Italy government reforms
Economy ministry to cut 139 managerial jobs
The Ministry of Economy headquarters in Rome. Photo: Nicholas Gemini

Economy ministry to cut 139 managerial jobs

Italy's Economy Ministry will cut 139 managerial positions as part of plans to shore-up cash for the country's much-needed reforms. READ  

72 'refugees' caught at Italy-Austria border
The 72 people, presumed to be refugees, were stopped after crossing the Italian border into Austria. MPD01605

72 'refugees' caught at Italy-Austria border

A group of 72 people, presumed to be refugees, were stopped by Austrian police on Tuesday as they arrived in Tyrol on a train from Italy READ  

Outrage over 'peeing gondolier' in Venice
This is not the gondolier in the story. Gondolier photo: Shutterstock

Outrage over 'peeing gondolier' in Venice

Normally it’s unruly tourists who hit headlines for desecrating Italy’s prized heritage, but this week a photo of a gondolier who appears to be peeing by a doorway in Venice’s historic centre has sparked outrage across the web. READ  

Milan Fashion Week
Global fashion circus swings into Milan
Milan Fashion Week gets underway on Wednesday. Photo: Mats Eye

Global fashion circus swings into Milan

Is the devil still wearing Prada? Has King Giorgio (Armani) still got the regal touch? And how are the pretenders to his throne shaping up? READ  

Italy admits paying to free some hostages
Aid workers Greta Ramelli (left) and Vanessa Marzullo, who went missing near Aleppo in July are among six Italians being held hostage. Photo: Facebook

Italy admits paying to free some hostages

Italy on Tuesday admitted paying ransoms to obtain the freedom of some hostages, saying it approached negotiations on a case-by-case basis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
One quarter of Italian teens has tried cannabis
Travel
American tourists caught with Pompeii relic
National
Seven whales stranded on Italian beach
Education
Top tips: how to learn Italian
Culture
Italy's expat tribes: What kind are you?
Education
Ranked: Italy's best MBAs in English
Business & Money
Ferrari: champ on road, flop on racetrack
National
Italy set to lose crown of biggest wine producer
National
Pizzeria robbery 'miracle' as gun jams
Society
Clooney to marry in Venice in September
Society
Bilingualism: 'I see English as a present I'm giving them'
Education
Top Ten: The world's best unis to study Italian
Business & Money
'The crisis is extremely healthy for Italy'
Culture
Venice buzzes with new film financing initiative
Travel
American tourist pays parking fine from 1964
Culture
Top ten: Weird Italian expressions
National
'Growing up bilingual can be a challenge'
National
Italian diner finds five pearls in oyster
Politics
Far right slammed over gay adoption photo
Travel
Spielberg leaves €300 tip in Italian restaurant
Sport
Football greats to kick-off Rome's match for peace
Politics
Italy scores EU win as Mogherini gets top job
National
Rome man begs for jail to escape wife
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

442
jobs available