The aim of the present study was to contribute to the validation of the Italian version (Albiero, Matricardi & Toso, 2009) of the Basic Empathy Scale (BES; Jolliffe & Farrington, 2006) and to test its factorial invariance across gender. A sample of 1191 Italian adolescents completed the scale. The results of the multisample confirmatory factor analyses showed a reasonable data fit with the two hypothesized BES domains of cognitive empathy and affective empathy and suggested that the two dimensions are stable across gender. Scale reliability was also satisfactory, showing good internal consistency. BES scores were also significantly associated with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and with a scale measuring prosocial behavior scores. Research and practice implications are discussed.