The literature suggests that in Italy husbands contribute less to unpaid household work than in any other European country, while women have the lowest market employment rates. Here we examine the time allocation of Italian couples on which there are surprisingly few studies to date. We analyze simultaneously the time allocated by husband and wife to market work, childcare and housework, allowing for various interactions. We use data drawn from the Italian national Time Use Survey 2002-2003 for the analysis. We find that spousal time allocation is sensitive to personal and household characteristics, such as, in particular, education and children's age. Evidence shows that men married to more highly educated women spend more time with their children. The husband's own characteristics have less of an effect on women's time allocation. We also find that patterns differ substantially between weekends and weekdays. The estimated correlations between the unobservable factors affecting the couple's time allocation suggest that the time devoted by parents to childcare is complementary and that the time they devote to housework is substitutable across weekends and other weekdays. © 2009 The Author(s).