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Italians make bad parents

By Amanda Craig   May 2003

Anyone who has seen Titian’s sumptuous painting The Worship of Venus might think that it is the ultimate expression of the Italian love for children. We are so used to tender Italian Renaissance images of infants-their tiny, chubby hands grasping a maternal breast, their dimpled pearly limbs-that we tend to think that it has remained a constant. Visitors to Italy, bewitched by the ease with which small children are accommodated and tolerated in restaurants, tend to believe the same thing. Surely this is the best country in the world to have a child, or to be one?

Until recently, I…

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