Adultery OK in Italy, really?

When did I fall aboard the pazzo train?  Working with Italian attorneys is a unique experience for an American lawyer.  The Italian judicial system is full of antiquated law, especially divorce law, and the government taxes and taxes and taxes some more.  Last week, however, took the icing on the cake when a court in Bolzano declared that it’s OK for a husband to commit adultery.  Wait, what?

Image courtesy: Smanard/

Yes, Italy is one of the most Catholic countries in the world and since the Catholic church frowns on adultery, heck it’s Commandment #10, you must be shaking your head as I did.

Italian men are not the most faithful men in the world.  Sadly, it’s a cultural thing.  They have a wife and an amante (I have a whole chapter in “Amalfi Blue” dedicated to their view of amore).  The amante is the woman they have mad passionate sex with when the wife isn’t looking.

Well, this cad had been cheating on his wife for quite some time according to Italian news reports.  The wife had decided she had enough and told her sister, in a private conversation, that she was not going to have children with this man.  Well, that’s all it took for the court to say if she won’t give the husband a child then he has every right to have sex with someone else.  The high court overturned the separation previously granted to her by a lower court.  Why would they do that?  The court went so far as to say that the husband’s infidelity cannot justify the separation if the adulterous affair was merely a consequence of an intolerable marital situation.

What’s intolerable is keeping two people together who clearly are better off apart.  Only in Italy could men justify cheating and then make a woman remain in the marriage just for spite.

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About ladylitigator

Lisa Fantino is an award-winning New York journalist turned attorney. She has reported news for WCBS-AM, WINS-AM and the NBC Radio network and has appeared for clients in both New York State and federal courts. Her first book, a memoir, "Amalfi Blue, lost & found in the south of Italy," has been in the Top 10 on Kindle in three countries , while her first novel, "Shrouded in Pompei," launches the Mickey Malone Mystery series.

3 thoughts on “Adultery OK in Italy, really?

  1. That is truly Wow. Nothing quite like someone throwing around their power to really just help themselves. This is very akin to the whole Henry VIII story, the laws probably would have changed with him if he wouldn’t have been in the middle of the church/protestant war.

    • I was outraged by this. Can you just see this happening in the US? I am positive this would’ve had a different outcome if it was an Italian woman cheating on her spouse who wouldn’t/couldn’t giver her children.

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