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Italians are extremely cautious and wary of investing in risk capital. Quoting the relevant data, the editor of XXIV Rapporto Bnl/Centro Einaudi sul risparmio e sui risparmiatori in Italia (24th BNL/Centro Einaudi Report on savings and savers in Italy) shows the relevance of an element often overlooked in analyses: confidence in the financial system, whose fall may ultimately frighten people away from investment in risk capital. This study presents data on the risk aversion of Italians and the determination of objectives, then goes on to comment upon the importance of confidence in the financial system. It ends with an analysis of some of the factors determining risk aversion. The conclusions reprocess the results in the light of considerations on the future development of the Italian financial market and reassert the need for private operators and institutions to reacquire the confidence of investors.