Three experienced Italian sociologists explore the structural and cultural dimensions of poverty in their country. Comparing Italy's regime with other European countries, they consider the interplay of conditions in the labour market, the family and welfare arrangements as causes of poverty. This in-depth analysis explores how forced familialism, unbalanced gender arrangements, territorial cleavages and sluggish growth have rendered Italy vulnerable to financial crisis. As old risks of poverty have worsened, new risks have emerged and children, the working poor and migrants have become the `new poor'. Combining theoretical and empirical tools, this is a topical fresh take on the understanding of poverty in Italy that is even more crucial considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.