I can't quite figure out how this is disturbing, a trend or, for that matter, news. But I suppose the Telegraph does have to demonise teenagers as much as possible.
One thing that struck me, and here it is oddly in agreement with a Guardian article among their many on drinking culture, was the digression into how great the Italians are at drinking:
On a recent visit to Rome we saw our friend's 11- and 13-year-old boys drinking wine from a very small glass as they tackled their pasta.
Although they had only a few drops to drink, the act had tremendous symbolic significance. The gradual socialising of children into the grown-up world of alcohol consumption can really work.
Italian teenagers hanging out in bars on a Saturday like their drink. But the idea that it is cool to get drunk for its own sake is alien to their way of life.
What rose-tinted bollocks. The Italians are quite capable of getting drunk and rowdy to match any Englishman. Just look at any of the recent reports of unpleasantness at Italian football matches and you'll notice quite a wide difference between them and fanciful ideas of preteen wine sippers in select Roman dining establishments.
As far back as 1990 Italy was out supping England. That they've slipped down in the rankings since is odd, but they still drink more than double the amount of wine per head as the average Englishman (who drink 5 times as much beer, but there you go).
I'm sure the writer is well-travelled and believes himself to be a traveller rather than a tourist but I very much doubt he's been in any bars where the majority of Italian youths go. He'd probably find them deplorably tacky and blank all memory of them, in any case, lest his Fellini dreams of Rome be shattered by the grimness of reality.