A mother’s love does have limits, it seems. At least for a 75-year-old woman in the northern Italian city of Pavia who won a court order after suing to have her sons, aged 40 and 42, removed from her house, a court clerk in Pavia told CNN Friday.
The two sons, described in court papers by their mother as “parasites,” had been living in the family apartment without contributing financially or helping around the house, according to the complaint filed by the woman, who has not been named, in a the Tribunal of Pavia district court. Both men are employed, the court documents state.
Judge Simona Caterbi sided with the retired mother, who is separated from the men’s father and whose pension went entirely on food and maintenance of the home, ruling that the two “bamboccioni,” or big babies, have until December 18 to vacate the premises, according to Tuesday’s court ruling, seen by CNN.
Caterbi wrote: “There is no provision in the legislation which attributes to the adult child the unconditional right to remain in the home exclusively owned by the parents, against their will and by virtue of the family bond alone.”
The men, who hired lawyers to fight the maternal eviction, according to the local newspaper La Provincia Pavese, argued that Italian parents are required by law to take care of their children as long as necessary.
Caterbi cited the existing law in her ruling and agreed that “the stay in the property could initially be considered well founded because the law is based on the maintenance obligation incumbent on the parent.”
She then ruled that “it no longer appears justifiable considering the two defendants are subjects over 40 and once a certain age has been exceeded, the child can no longer expect the parents to continue the maintenance obligation beyond limits that are no longer reasonable.”
A lawyer for the men told local media that the men had not decided if they would appeal the court decision.
This is not the first time “mammoni,” an Italian term used to describe adult men who are too dependent on their mothers, has cropped up in the legal system.
In 2020, Italy’s Supreme Court ruled against a 35-year-old man who worked as a part-time music teacher who still expected financial support from his parents after he argued that he could not support himself on an annual salary of 20,000 euros ($21,100).
On average, Italians leave their parental home at the average age of 30, according to Eurostat 2022 data. Croatia is the highest in the European Union, with an average age of 33.4 years. By contrast, offspring in Finland, Sweden and Denmark start life on their own at the average age of 21, according to the same data.