The Good, The Bad and The Badante

You should be wondering what a badante is…..

Would you let your daughter sit on a badante’s knee ?

Would you leave one alone with your elderly parents ? ?

The answer is yes, yes and yes

In La Dolce Vita the Italians aren’t embarrassed by the old folk

They don’t believe in abandoning them in soulless ‘old people’s


…..essentially death’s waiting rooms

And where these homes exist they are typically situated in the

centre of towns

And not in some out-of-town, out-of-the way corner where we

can’t see them

Old folk (and we all get old eventually) are always a part of

the family in Italy…..

…..and families prefer to remain together

This is where the badante comes in…..

The badante is the person (male or female) that you see all over

Italy walking arm in arm with an old person or pushing them along

in a wheelchair

The badante is a live-in carer

The badante is also a foreigner working to get his / her residence

papers so that they have health and social security benefits

The badante has everything to play for and everything to lose…..

…, Yes

Your old folk and your daughters are going to be safe

For a little spending money, a roof over their heads, great food,

a bit of time off and the opportunity to go ‘legit’ in the land

of ‘milk and honeys’ these foreigners have become the silent

army that helps keep Italy a kind of paradise on Earth

Meanwhile, gramps (nonno in Italian) and granny (nonna in

Italian) can continue to live at home…..

… they have someone to look after their needs…..




…..etc etc

The Italian State even recognises the importance of this job and

pays £700 – £800 a month towards the cost

In this simple way everyone’s a winner

1.The nonni (plural for grandparents) are happy, at home and still

a part of Italian life

2.The Italian State doesn’t have to fund millions of expensive care


3.The foreigners are providing a valuable service and eventually

become tax payers and full members of society

Now I know that God was an Englishman (E.M Delafield) …..

I know that Einstein was a German…..

I know that the Americans put a man on the moon (apparently !)…..

I know that Errol Flynn was ‘part human, part donkey’…..

But the Italians have managed to work out how to look after their

elders, to control illegal immigration and to avoid busting the

Italian exchequer

Way to go, boys !

I know where I want to grow old and irascible ! ! ! ! !



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