Latest Issue

Previous convictions

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect