Contrary to other opinions on this matter, I think your question has some validity. Of course it’s true that “Italians” means essentially nothing unless specified to mean Italians of nationality, blood line, language/culture, or some other criterion. Still, I think I may have an idea where you’re coming from with this question. I will confine my remarks to addressing only people of Italian culture, language and ethnicity, living in Italy in the present day.
As John Hooper pointed out so eloquently in his recent book “Italians,” modern Italy generally views people — all people — as belonging to one of two groups: “furbo” or “fesso.” Furbo means “clever” but also carries connotations of being sly and underhanded in most contexts; fesso means “sucker.” This isn’t how we see things in most modern countries, outside the crime-ridden areas of town anyway. Not surprisingly, Italy is crime-ridden.
It should be pointed out that within modern Italian culture, a blame-the-victim mentality is pervasive. If you buy a household appliance online and it never arrives, that was your fault, not the furbo who used a website to shake people out of their money illegally. He is a sort of protected species, as are the law enforcement entities who should apprehend him but probably won’t. You are not a protected species — as a victim of white collar crime, you are a laughing stock.
With this pervasive mentality, one can easily imagine how it would trickle into society and influence how young people construct their own version of the world they live in, so that they can profitably participate in it. In a society which rewards clever dishonesty and laughs at honesty as if it were a sign of total stupidity, you have lawyers and judges, police and politicians, civil servants and even teachers who display a kind of apathy and indifference toward what we might call in other societies a “moral compass.” It’s easy enough to illustrate this right now: two-thirds of the United States finds Donald Trump totally appalling, wants him removed from office, and a special prosecutor is working full-time on making that a reality. In Italy under its own “Trump,” Silvio Berlusconi, a much smaller portion of the population felt that way. There was never a special prosecutor, “midnight laws” were passed dozens of times to render illegal the evidence which would have jailed him, and there were even sitting parliamentarians who moonlighted as Berlusconi’s own defense lawyers but did not recuse themselves from parliamentary votes to grant their client — the Prime Minister — immunity. Italians either rolled their eyes or, more often, did not see any problem. Berlusconi dominated Italy’s political landscape from 1994 to 2011, and even in his advanced years he’s recently staged a political comeback .
On paper, Italy is a democracy and its lax law enforcement plus endemic corruption represent the will of the people; however, there is evidence that if the government were to clean up, so would the people. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, and difficult to gauge the best course of action. The Catholic Church claims to be the supreme moral authority in Italy, yet corrupts itself with one scandal after another. As this happens, the moral compass of many everyday Italians spins interminably while that of many others does not, because they are guided by an internal and innate sense of morality, not one which weathervanes with Church and State norms.
So the best answer I can give to your question is “some yes, some no.” Just like everywhere.