Episode 10

The real Italian family

This content, it is translated in English because it is of worldwide relevance. Thank you.
In Italy the family is important, but not the way your not Italian friend thinks (in fact it is the tenth episode of the guide and not the first).
The Italian family from advertising with blond children who eat together with the elderly does not exist and the blond Italian do not even exist (only those that oxygenate their hair that is still a lot). The real Italian family is much more modern.

Fake Italian family situation

Real Italian family situation

To shed light on this aspect still very important of the Italianity (but not the way your not Italian friend thinks) I’ll explain how the real Italian family is made and what are the pillars.

The household composition

The real Italian household of 2017 is composed of three elements:
  • A man
  • A woman
  • A medium/small size dog
I’m not saying that the family composed by a man + a man + a child is not ok but the most common family in Italy is this one so it is the real Italian family.
Of course in addition to the household there is the extended family that includes:
  • All the relatives of the household members
  • A medium/large size dog
  • The fake relatives
  • The children (only in some parts of Italy)

Example of a real Italian family with children (only in some parts of Italy).

The pillars of the real Italian family

The real Italian family is based on some fundamental pillars that are essential.

The money

Money is the first pillar of the real Italian family because they keep the family together in difficult times but especially in moments of great happiness. Without the money, and the things that you can get with the money (gifts, loans and holidays) there would be no real Italian family.

The dog

The dog is one of the basic components of the household and even of the extended family so it is obvious that it is also one of the fundamental pillars of the real Italian family.

The very close friends

The very close friends allow the couple of the family to continue loving each other during the years because if they also love the close friends they do not get bored loving each other. The number of close friends should not be too high because then one run out of energy loving the friends and fails the loving each other part.

The gifts in replacement of the very close friends

It may happen that only one of the two components of the couple has very close friends because is more sympathetic and outgoing, in that case he or she can remedy the lack of very close friends of the other component of the couple with gifts (the gifts’ cost should be proportional to the number of close friends to be replaced).


Instagram is a pillar of the real Italian family because the real Italians love to give eternity to the emotional ties of the family by collecting the most important moments (like the real Italian holiday). The dog (a founding member of the household) in the real Italian family has a dedicated Instagram account.

The Italian restaurant

One of the main reasons why the real Italian family remains united and the members are always happy to see each other is because they go together to the Italian restaurant. The families who organize lunches and dinners at home are not real Italian families.

The fake relatives

In any real Italian family there are fake relatives who are called uncles or cousins but in truth they are not connected in any way to the family. The fake relatives are very attached to two of the pillars of the real Italian family: the money and the Italian restaurant. A fake relative may have more than one family.

The Christmas dinner at the Italian restaurant

The Christmas dinner at the Italian restaurant is a fundamental pillar of the real Italian family not only because it celebrates the birthday of Jesus but also because it celebrates the importance of three other pillars of the real Italian family: the money, the Italian restaurant and Instagram.

The family members themed tattoos

The habit of getting tattoos with the names and/or the portraits of the family members is a typical tradition of the real Italian family born in some parts of Italy but now widespread throughout the territory.

The inheritance

The inheritance (which is not just about the money) is the complicated way in which the real Italian family transfers property and money from one member to another. It is prohibited to transfer money and property in any other way so there are often cases when a person decides to die to transfer money and property. It is a typical practice to argue and sue each other and then make peace when one decides to die for re-transfering the money.

The rent

The real Italians live very well and they usually have different houses under their name, nevertheless the real Italian family decides to pay the rent for the main house because this way it is easier to follow the housing trends of the moment and then to have a more powerful Instagram.

The coordinated dresscode

The real Italian family is easily recognizable in some contexts, for example when the members come out in the evening to take a walk (struscio) especially in holiday resorts with coordinated outfits.

Channel 5

If this were a little bit sloppy guide there would be the TV as a pillar but the more weight website™ does not do anything sloppy so I can tell you that the real pillar of the real Italian family is Channel 5, because it is the channel of Italian TV that perfectly reflects values and interests of the real Italian family.

The engraved watch

Giving the watch with initial and/or dates engraved to someone is a typical habit and a pillar of the real Italian family. It is given to younger members of the family or one of the couple’s members (the dog don’t gets anything) on special occasions like the high school diploma, the anniversary, the increase of the number of very close friends.

The supplies for the off-site children

Especially in some areas of Italy (where there are no supermarkets) supplies for the youngest members of the family is taken very seriously and when these young members go to live/study/work in other parts of Italy (where there are supermarkets, but they don’t know) the family sends supplies.

The whole family in the same building like A Place in the Sun

The real Italian family is very united and instead of scattering as they do in other countries in Italy it is widespread the habit of occupying an entire building as the family of the popular Italian TV series ‘A Place in the Sun’ (Un Posto al Sole).
Now you know the characteristics of the real Italian family and you are able to understand much more about this country of the Madonna (the religious one not the singer).
The UNOTRE’s guide to Italy will continue in the next episode! You’ll soon discover the truth about so many other things we do in this wonderful country.