Category Archives: Italian Holidays

International Women’s Day – Auguri alle donne!

festa donna 8 marzoMarch 8th, International Women’s Day, is celebrated widely in many countries around the world, though it is little known in the US. I first heard of it shortly after I’d moved to Italy.

Women’s Day is a celebration of all that is wonderful about women, and it’s a day to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and importance of the role of women in our world. It’s also a moment to consider improvements and changes needed to better the quality of women’s lives in general, and especially of women and girls whose rights and life conditions are compromised or perilous.

In Italia la Festa della Donna si festeggia l’8 di marzo. | In Italy, Women’s day is celebrated on March 8th.

festa donna mazze mimose

Mazze di mimose | Bouquets of mimosa flowers

Gli uomini regalano i fiori, solitamente le mimose, alle colleghe di lavoro e a tutte le altre donne importanti nelle loro vite… mamme, sorelle, fidanzate, ragazze, ecc. | Men give flowers, usually mimosas, to their co-workers and to all the other important women in their lives… moms, sisters, fiances, girlfriends, etc.

And contrary to popular belief, the mimosa is not just a popular cocktail made from succo d’arancia (orange juice) and champagne. Rather, it was the mimosa flower that inspired the drink!

mimosa.drink

The famous mimosa cocktail

The mimosa is the fragrant and fluffy yellow pom-pom-like flower of the acacia tree.  Like in Italy, California (where Italiano With Jodina is based) is full of acacia trees this time of year, which is why this flower is so common on this day.  I love the smell of these flowers — their fragrance zooms me straight back to wonderful memories of life in Italy!


Special Women’s Day auguri (well wishes) for the special ladies in your life:

  1. Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo ed in particolare alla mia che è la più bella che ci sia!” | Good wishes to all the women of the world and in particular to mine who is the most beautiful there is!
  2. Questa mimosa è bella come te che splendi e profumi nel giorno della tua festa.” | This mimosa is as beautiful as you that shine and are fragrant on your special day.
  3. La donna è la colonna portante del mondo, senza te tutto crollerebbe e la nostra famiglia andrebbe in rovina… Grazie donna, grazie mamma.” | The woman is the main support column of the world, without you everything would collapse and our family would go into ruin… Thank you woman/lady, thank you mom.

women dressed in yellowRemember to give an extra hug or shout out today to the women that matter in your life. And remember the women whose lives are not what they could be… We’ve come a long way baby, ma c’è ne ancora di strada da fare! (there’s still a ways to go!)


Leave a comment! Have you heard of Women’s Day before?  Do you celebrate it?  Which mimosa do you prefer, the flower or the cocktail?

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Verona is for lovers… and graffiti artists + Valentine’s Love Phrases

Il balcone at Juliet’s House

A little while back, I had the chance to spend a little time in Verona, and of course one of the places I visited was the famed Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House). Though it’s not really her house, nor is there any proof that she ever existed outside the Bard’s play, it has become a pilgrimage for innamorati (lovers) and others who want to witness this fictional place and perhaps leave their mark as an ommaggio (homage) to love…

It’s pretty straightforward, and yet…

And there’s where it gets tricky – what some consider an amorous declaration others deem defacement of public property. If you’ve ever been to la Casa di Giulietta, you’ve probably seen what I mean. Despite visibly posted signs citing ordinances prohibiting attaching love letters or notes and writing on surfaces, at the penalty of steep fines and even possible jail time, the practice persists mostly unfettered.

Iron gates laden with lovers’ padlocks

Chewing gum, post-its, love letters and graffiti declaring love (and sometimes less noble slogans) adorn the entryway of the portico, walls and other surfaces in the courtyard; and padlocks hang from the iron gates. And though technically it’s not allowed and is frowned upon by many as a lack of decent manners and decorum, people, especially Italian high-schoolers on field trips,

More room at the top…

continue leaving their mark in broad daylight.

In relatively recent years these surfaces have been subject to major clean-up campaigns at least twice (2008, 2012), with new fines, and the police of Verona put on alert. But it seems they can’t stop love – in just a matter of time, love birds/graffiti artists/wall defacers win out, and the surroundings return to their previously graffiti-ized state. Apparently after the most recent scrubbing, temporary wall overlays were put up to protect some of the original surfaces – knowing that visitors would continue leaving their mark.

Graffiti overload

Trees + bricks + love notes gone wild

School kids congregate at the entrance

While I don’t condone the graffiti-ing of this location, I do find it fascinating that a place associated with a fictional story of star-crossed lovers holds such a powerful attraction for the collective imagination. La Casa di Giulietta seems to have become a sort of a participatory public art installation. Visitors are driven by the desire to bring good luck in love by leaving a note or rubbing the statue of Juliet. Maybe that’s why the police and even the shopkeepers [whose sales must no doubt benefit from these visitors] seem to tolerate the spectacle…  Maybe the true story is in people’s imaginations, and perhaps it’s true, perhaps you simply can’t fight love… or high-schoolers hyped up on hormones, gone wild with gum and sharpies…


This club receives letters from lovebirds wanting advice

Want to write or whisper some sweet nothings to your beloved this Valentine’s Day? Here are a few that will warm their heart…

  • Caro/a: Dear or darling
  • Tesoro: Treasure, sweetie
  • Amore, amore mio: Love, my love
  • Ti amo: I love you (for romantic loves)
  • Ti voglio bene: I care about you, I love you (for anyone)
  • Sei nel mio cuore: You are in my heart
  • Per sempre: Forever
  • Baci e abbracci: Kisses and hugs
  • Buon San Valentino! : Happy Valentine’s Day!

What do you think of all the love notes from visitors to la Casa di Giulietta? Should authorities crack down on love birds who leave their mark? What can or should be done? If you could, would you leave a love letter or declaration at Juliet’s House?

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, learn italian | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

“Blackbird Days”: Italy’s Distant Cousin to Groundhog Day

Does groundhog see his shadow?

Christmas holidays have come and gone, and by the end of January, many of us have had it with cold, gray, rainy or snowy weather. How much more of this and how much longer ’til spring? If you’re in the U.S., you might check in to find out whether the groundhog saw his shadow. In Italy, there’s a similar spring-predicting folklore, and it centers on the humble blackbird, who according to legend, started out white…


Prefer to read this post in English? Skip to the text in  green.

“Blackbird days”

I giorni della merla sono il 29, 30, e 31 di gennaio. Secondo la leggenda, se questi giorni sono freddi la primavera sarà bella, e se sono caldi la primavera arriverà tardi.  Questo è forse la cosa più vicina nel folclore italiano all’osservanza di Groundhog Day (2 febbraio) negli Stati Uniti, secondo la quale, se la marmotta (the groundhog) vede la sua ombra, l’inverno durerà altre sei settimane. Se invece non vede l’ombra la primavera è in arrivo.

January 29-30-31

“Blackbird days” are the 29th, 30th and 31st of January.  According to legend, if these days are cold, spring will be beautiful, and if they are warm, spring will arrive late.  This is perhaps the closest thing in Italian folklore to the observance of Groundhog Day (February 2nd) in the United States, according to which, if the groundhog sees its shadow, winter will last another six weeks.  If instead it doesn’t see its shadow, spring is on the way.

Merla, blackbird, was once white

La leggenda dei giorni della merla ha le sue radici nei tempi romani quando nel calendario il mese di gennaio ancora conteneva solo 28 giorni.  Secondo la storia, una merla, con uno splendido candido piumaggio, veniva regolarmente strapazzata da gennaio, mese freddo e ombroso, che si divertiva ad aspettare che lei uscisse dal nido in cerca di cibo, per gettare sulla terra freddo e gelo.

January casts bitter cold & snow

The legend of  “blackbird days” has its roots in Roman times when the calendar month of January still only contained 28 days.  According to the story, a blackbird, with her splendid, snow white plumage was usually thrown about by January, a cold and overcast month, who amused himself by waiting for her to leave her nest in search of food, and then casting bitter cold and frost onto the Earth.

Merla sings to mock January

Stanca delle continue persecuzioni, la merla un anno decise di fare provviste sufficienti per un mese, e si rinchiuse nella sua tana, al riparo, per tutto il mese di gennaio, che allora aveva solo ventotto giorni. L’ultimo giorno del mese, la merla, pensando di aver ingannato il cattivo gennaio, uscì dal nascondiglio e si mise a cantare per sbeffeggiarlo.

Tired of the ongoing harassment, one year the blackbird decided to gather enough provisions for a month and closed herself in her burrow, taking refuge for the entire month of January, which at the time had only 28 days.  The last day of the month, thinking to have outsmarted the wicked January, she left her hideaway and started singing to mock him.

January gets mad and borrows days from February

Gennaio se ne risentì così tanto che chiese in prestito tre giorni a febbraio (che allora aveva ancora 31 giorni) e si scatenò con bufere di neve, vento, gelo, e pioggia. La merla si rifugiò  in un camino e lì restò al riparo per tre giorni. Quando la merla uscì, era sì salva, ma il suo bel piumaggio si era annerito a causa del fumo e del fuliggine, e malgrado cercava di ripulirsi non ci riusciva.

Merla seeks refuge in a chimney

January took such great offense that he asked February (which then still had 31 days) for a loan of three days, and he went crazy with snow storms, wind, ice, and rain.  The blackbird took refuge in a chimney and there she stayed sheltered for three days.  When the blackbird came out, she was indeed safe, but her beautiful plumage had blackened from the smoke and soot, and despite her efforts to clean herself up, she wasn’t able.

Since then Merla’s feathers have been black

Il potente gennaio si godette la scena e poi disse con il suo vocione: “Che questo serva da lezione a voi e a tutti gli animali: non si scherza con le stagioni, con il freddo o con il clima. Non ci si può prendere gioco della Natura. Da oggi in poi io (gennaio) avrò 31 giorni e gli ultimi tre giorni saranno i più freddi dell’anno. Per ricordare a tutti questa storia, i merli porteranno per sempre queste piume nere”.

Blackbird Days proverb

Powerful January was amused by the scene, and then he said in his thundering voice, “ Let this serve as a lesson to you and to all the animals:  You don’t joke with the seasons, with the cold or with the climate.  You cannot mock Nature.  From today forward, I (January) will have 31 days, and the last three will be the coldest of the year.  To remind everyone of this story, the blackbirds will forever more bear black feathers.


Well, here where I live, the last three days of January were not very cold, so, I guess that means spring is still long way off… *sigh*. How about the weather where you are? Heard of the “Blackbird days” story before? What’s your take on animal and weather folklore?

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Arriva la Befana | The Befana Is Coming

Around Italy, i ragazzi, the kids, are getting ready to hang their calze, stockings, by il camino, the chimney, with care, in hopes that la Befana soon will be there.

i bravi, the good ones, will get caramelle, candies, and little regali, presents, while i cattivi, the bad ones will get carbone, coal.

While Babbo Natale, Santa Claus, comes on Christmas Eve, la Befana arrives during the night between January 5/6, coinciding with l’Epifania, Epiphany.

There are other noteable similarities and differences between the main present-bringer, Santa, and la Befana.

Just like Babbo Natale, la Befana travels through the air. In place of a sleigh with flying reindeer, befana dollla Befana flies a broomstick from house to house where there are bambini, children, entering by way of il camino.

Where Babbo Natale is rotund, merry, white-bearded and dressed in red and white, la Befana is depicted as a smiling, grandmotherly-looking witch, wearing tattered clothing and covered in soot astride a broomstick.

Just like Santa Claus, la Befana’s origins are nebulous, mainly the stuff of folklore, with many variations.befana + re magi
The most common story I encounter is that la Befana lived along the route the Magi took to Bettlemme, Bethlehem. In this version, they stopped at her house seeking food and shelter, but she wasn’t feeling sociable and sent them away.

Later, la Befana had a change of heart and set out to find the Magi to accompany them to find the Christ Child. But by then, she was too late to catch up, and she never found the three kings or the baby Jesus.

So, as the story goes, to this day, at this time of year, she still travels the world, leaving gifts for every child, lest they be il Gesù Bambino, the Baby Jesus.

Poster for a Befana event

January 6, the Epiphany, marks the official end of the Italian Christmas holiday season. It is also said that la Befana takes away the old year, and i dolci, sweets, and regali she brings symbolize seeds to grow in the new year.

Many cities and towns hold special events and parties dedicated to celebrating la festa dell’Epifania/la Befana, Epiphany holiday. People play bingo and cards, and gather outdoors in the piazze, squares, for festivities, including music, processions, live presepi, nativity scenes, mercatini, open-air markets, and live appearances by la Befana.

And while it’s mainly a celebration for the kiddos, you’ll find adults getting in on the action, too, dressing up and parading around as la Befana.

Feeling festive? Perhaps you want to get into the act, too… You could wish people “Buona Befana!,” a popular greeting on January 6 in Italy.

This could be a great time to adopt a fun new tradition, with kids, family or friends. All you need is una calza, a stocking!

Buona Befana, and hope she brings you caramelle!

Have you heard of la Befana before? Do you have any special observances for Epiphany?

Have fun practicing the Italian words in this story on Quizlet!! Click here to access the Quizlet Christmas Round-up list, and use the password JODINA.

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Holiday Vocab Round-up! Top 30 Italian Christmas Words & Phrases + Quizlet Practice Set!

Ciao ragazzi!

Before going on holiday break, my students asked if I would create some materials to help them practice their Italian and stay engaged with the language during the holidays…

So, here’s a round-up of the most popular Italian Christmas words and phrases. I’ve set it up the same as the “Words of the Week” (WoWs). WoWs are words we choose and practice each week from the materials we’re working on in class.

I’ve added this week’s WoWs below, to a list I created in Quizlet. If you’re already familiar with Quizlet, then you know how engaging and fun it is to use the many interactive exercises it features to build your vocabulary and strengthen your memory. Click here to access the Quizlet Christmas Round-up list and use the password JODINA.

  1. Natale: Christmas
  2. la vigilia di Natale: Christmas Eve
  3. il presepe, il presepio: Manger, nativity scene
  4. i regali: gifts, presents
  5. gli addobbi: Decorations
  6. le luci: lights (also, “le luminarie”)
  7. le palline: ornaments (lit. little balls)
  8. l’albero di natale: Christmas tree
  9. la stella: star
  10. il vischio: mistletoe
  11. le castagne: chestnuts
  12. le caldarroste: roasted chestnuts (also called castagne arrostite)
  13. il panettone: Italian Christmas cake (dome shaped with candied fruit and raisins)
  14. le lenticchie: lentils (eaten to ensure good fortune in the new year)
  15. il cenone: big dinner, from the word cena (dinner) plus the suffix -one, indicating ‘large’
  16. la chiesa: church
  17. santa messa: holy mass
  18. Gesù Bambino: Baby Jesus
  19. Babbo Natale: Father Christmas (babbo is a colloquial word originating in Tuscany and meaning dad, daddy, pops)
  20. Buon Natale!: Merry Christmas!
  21. Buone Feste!: Happy Holidays!  
  22. Auguri di stagione!: Seasons Greetings!
  23. Capodanno: New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day (lit. the ‘end of the year’)
  24. Buon Anno!: Happy New Year!
  25. Prospero e felice anno nuovo!: Prosperous and Happy New Year!
  26. l’Epifania: Epiphany, celebrated Jan 6th
  27. i re Magi: the wise men (three kings, magi)
  28. la Befana: gift-bringing witch (comes on Epiphany)
  29. la calza: stocking (to hold candies and small gifts la Befana brings)
  30. i biglietti di auguri: greeting cards

Got any Italian holiday questions or words to add to the list?

Let me know if you like this and find it helpful… If I know people are using it, I’ll create more practice materials!

Posted in Italian Holidays, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Auguri alle donne! | International Women’s Day

festa donna 8 marzoMarch 8th is International Women’s Day. This day is observed widely in many countries around the world. Oddly though, it is not observed in the United States. In fact, the first time I’d heard of it was shortly after I’d moved to Italy.

In italia la Festa della Donna si festeggia l’8 di marzo. | In Italy, Women’s day is celebrated on March 8th.

festa donna mazze mimose

Mazze di mimose | Bouquets of mimosa flowers

Gli uomini regalano i fiori, solitamente le mimose, alle colleghe di lavoro e a tutte le altre donne importanti nelle loro vite… mamme, sorelle, fidanzate, ragazze, ecc. | Men give flowers, usually mimosas, to their female colleagues and to all the other important women in their lives… moms, sisters, fiances, girlfriends, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, the mimosa is not just a popular cocktail made from succo d’arancia (orange juice) and champagne, though I suspect this drink was inspired by the true mimosa.

mimosa.drink

La mimosa piu` famosa — the most famous mimosa: Mimosa Cocktails

The mimosa is the fragrant and fluffy yellow pom-pom-like flower of the acacia tree.  California is full of these trees this time of year, as is Italy, which is why this flower is so common on this day.  I love the smell of these flowers — their fragrance zooms me straight back to wonderful memories.

Below are a few Women’s Day auguri (greetings) to share with someone special:

  1. Questa mimosa è bella come te che splendi e profumi nel giorno della tua festa.” | This mimosa is as beautiful as you that shine and are fragrant on your special day.
  2. Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo ed in particolare alla mia che è la più bella che ci sia!” | Good wishes to all the women of the world and in particular to mine who is the most beautiful there is!
  3. La donna è la colonna portante del mondo, senza te tutto crollerebbe e la nostra famiglia andrebbe in rovina… Grazie donna, grazie mamma.” | The woman is the main supporting column of the world, without you everything would collapse and our family would go into ruin… Thank you woman, thank you mom.

women dressed in yellowWomen’s Day is a celebration of all that is wonderful about women, and it is a day to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and importance of the role of women in our world. It’s also a moment to consider improvements and changes needed to better the quality of women ‘s lives in general, and especially of women and girls whose rights and life conditions are extremely compromised or perilous.

Remember to give an extra hug or shout out to the women who matter in your life today. And remember also the women whose lives are not what they could be. We’ve come a long way baby, ma c’è ne ancora di strada da fare! (there’s still a ways to go!)

Have you heard of Women’s Day before?  Do you celebrate it?  Which mimosa do you prefer, the flower or the cocktail?  😉  Love your comments!

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Love, Italian Style | Amore all’italiana

saying i love you in italian“Ti amo” or “Ti voglio bene”?

That is the question for italophiles this upcoming day of San Valentino.  The answer, it turns out, depends on the object of your affections.

“Ti amo” (I love you) is reserved for romantic loves, while “Ti voglio bene” (I want/wish you well) is used to say I love you to everyone: family, friends, and lovers. Per non fare brutta figura (to not make a faux pas) watch the video below!

After the video, check out the round-up of Italian love phrases to help you sweep your adorato (adored one) off their feet! Plus a link to send free online Italian Valentine’s Day cards.

Video:  Saying “I love you” in Italian

More instructional videos >>

Be your own Don Giovanni with these romantic phrases!

  1. Buon San Valentino (Happy Valentine’s Day)
  2. Ti amo. (I love you. Used only for romantic love.)
  3. Ti adoro. (I adore you.)
  4. Amore mio (My love, my beloved)
  5. Tesoro mio (My treasure)
  6. Ti voglio bene. (I love/care about you. Used for all types of relationships: family, friends, lovers.)
  7. I tuoi occhi brillano come le stelle. (Your eyes shine like stars.)
  8. Sei bella come una rosa. (You are as beautiful as a rose.)
  9. Per sempre (Forever)
  10. Per sempre tua,o (Forever yours)
  11. Sono pazza,o di te. (I’m crazy for you.)
  12. Anima mia (My soul)
  13. Sei incredibile. (You’re incredible.)
  14. Sei bellissima,o. (You’re very beautiful.)
  15. Sei un dono. (You are a gift.)
  16. Sei stupenda,o. (You’re fantastic.)

Send a free online Italian Valentine’s card to someone special at www.kisseo.it.

heart in cappuccino coffeeA tutti i miei lettori un buon San Valentino! Siete stupendi! (To all of my readers, a happy Valentine’s Day! You’re fantastic!)

Got a favorite Italian  love phrase or anecdote? Ever wished someone Happy Valentine’s in italiano? Sei un tipo romantico? (Are you the romantic type?) Leave a comment below!

Posted in Expressions, Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, italian idiomatic expressions, Italian idioms, learn italian, Sayings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buoni propositi per l’anno nuovo | New Year’s Resolutions

[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]

È giunto quel momento: un nuovo anno luccicante è iniziato! Un anno pieno di possibilità e buoni propositi, cioè tutti quegli atti e nobili intenzioni che vorremmo riuscire a mettere in pratica nei prossimi dodici mesi.

That moment has arrived: a shiny new year has begun! A year full of possibilities and resolutions, that is to say, all those actions and noble intentions  that we’d like to be able to put into practice in the next twelve months.

Ecco i miei, o perlomeno tre dei miei più importanti obiettivi:

Here are mine, or at least three of my most important goals:

– Rimettermi in forma… visto che l’anno scorso ho messo su peso e non mi vanno più i ginnasticajeans… uffa! Mi sono già iscritta ad un intenso programma di ginnastica.

– Get back in shape… seeing that last year I put on weight and can no longer get into my jeans… darn it! I have already signed up for an intensive exercise program.

– Imparare a gestire e investire intelligentemente i soldi… visto che ormai sono diventata responsabile con le finanze, è giunto il momento di procedere al prossimo traguardoinvestire soldi… Sono brava con le parole, ora voglio migliorare le capacità finanziarie.

– Learn to intelligently manage and invest money… seeing that by now I have become responsible with my finances, the moment has arrived to move to the next milestone… I’m good with words; now I want to improve my financial skills.

– Imparare a cantare e a usare bene la voce. È sempre stato il mio sogno poter cantar bene, o almeno decentemente (possibilmente evitando che i cani abbaino mentre intono una canzone). In più, visto che parlo per mestiere, apprendere l’uso corretto Jodina singing at Cicciotti's-editeddell’apparato vocale-respiratorio penso sia un buon investimento nella mia vita professionale.

– Learn to sing and use my voice well. It has always been my dream to be able to sing well, or at least decently (possibly avoiding that dogs howl when I sing a song). Moreover, seeing that I speak for a living, I believe that learning to correctly use my vocal-respiratory apparatus is a good investment in my professional life.

Questi sono i miei propositi per il 2015. Le aspirazioni e i sogni che punto a realizzare. Dichiararli agli altri è sempre difficile, ma fondamentale. Per questo vi chiedo di condividere anche i vostri. Che cosa farete nel nuovo anno? Come investirete il vostro tempo? Per quali obiettivi lotterete?

These are my resolutions for 2015. Aspirations and dreams that I aim to realize. Declaring them to others is always difficult but essential. For this reason, I’m asking you to share yours, too. What will you do in the new year? How will you invest your time? What goals will you strive for?

Auguro a tutti un anno  felice e pieno di creatività!

I wish everyone a happy new year full of creativity!

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, learn italian, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Fave 3 Friday: Handling the Holidays – Calma, sangue freddo e un respiro profondo | Calm, cool and a deep breath

[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]

Le feste invernali sono alle porte e per molti di noi, il Natale può essere una ricorrenza tanto bella quanto stressante. Forse per l’ansia di trovare il regalo perfetto, partecipare a cene e ricevimenti, o per alcuni, sentire la mancanza di familiari lontani o assenti. Quello che ci serve è una boccata di aria fresca, con lo sfondo romantico della Costiera Amalfitana. Ecco tre immagini catturate la scorsa primavera che vi voglio regalare…

The winter holidays are upon us (literally, “at the doors”), and for many of us, Christmas can be an event that is as stressful as it is beautiful. Perhaps it’s the anxiety of finding the perfect gift, attending dinners and parties, or for some, feeling the absence of family who are far away or have passed. What we need is a breath of fresh air, with the romantic Amalfi Coastline as a backdrop. Here are three images captured last spring that I want to give you as a gift…

Sogno o realtà? Sulla strada per Ravello percorrendo la Costiera Amalfitana… / Dream or reality? On the road to Ravello traveling the Amalfi coastline.

Sogno o realtà? Sulla strada per Ravello percorrendo la Costiera Amalfitana…  |  Dream or reality? On the road to Ravello traveling the Amalfi Coastline…

VillaRuffolo + Sea.WM

Golfo di Salerno visto dai giardini di Villa Rufolo a Ravello.  |  The Gulf of Salerno seen from the gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello.

Positano.WM

Cartolina da Positano: l’incantevole paese della Campania, con le sue case color pastello costruite direttamente sul precipizio.  |  Postcard from Positano: The enchanting town of Campania (region) with its pastel colored houses built right into the cliff.

Sono sicura che ora va meglio. A volte basta poco per rilassarsi e gestire lo stress. Voi come ci riuscite? E cosa fate per ritrovare il vostro equilibrio?

I’m sure that now you’re feeling better (lit. “it’s going better”). Sometimes it takes very little to relax and handle stress. How do you manage it? What do you do to regain your balance?

Auguri di stagione!  |  Seasons greetings!

 

[Grazie al mio collaboratore speciale, Lobsang Burzacchini]

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Auguri alle donne! | International Women’s Day

festa donna 8 marzoMarch 8th is International Women’s Day. This day is observed widely in many countries around the world. Oddly though, it is not observed in the United States. In fact, the first time I’d heard of it was shortly after I’d moved to Italy.

In italia la Festa della Donna si festeggia l’8 di marzo. | In Italy, Women’s day is celebrated on March 8th.

festa donna mazze mimose

Mazze di mimose | Bouquets of mimosa flowers

Gli uomini regalano i fiori, solitamente le mimose, alle colleghe di lavoro e a tutte le altre donne importanti nelle loro vite… mamme, sorelle, fidanzate, ragazze, ecc. | Men give flowers, usually mimosas, to their female colleagues and to all the other important women in their lives… moms, sisters, fiances, girlfriends, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, the mimosa is not just a popular cocktail made from succo d’arancia (orange juice) and champagne, though I suspect this drink was inspired by the true mimosa.

mimosa.drink

La mimosa piu` famosa — the most famous mimosa: Mimosa Cocktails

The mimosa is the fragrant and fluffy yellow pom-pom-like flower of the acacia tree.  California is full of these trees this time of year, as is Italy, which is why this flower is so common on this day.  I love the smell of these flowers — their fragrance zooms me straight back to wonderful memories.

Below are a few Women’s Day auguri (greetings) to share with someone special:

  1. Questa mimosa è bella come te che splendi e profumi nel giorno della tua festa.” | This mimosa is as beautiful as you that shine and are fragrant on your special day.
  2. Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo ed in particolare alla mia che è la più bella che ci sia!” | Good wishes to all the women of the world and in particular to mine who is the most beautiful there is!
  3. La donna è la colonna portante del mondo, senza te tutto crollerebbe e la nostra famiglia andrebbe in rovina… Grazie donna, grazie mamma.” | The woman is the main supporting column of the world, without you everything would collapse and our family would go into ruin… Thank you woman, thank you mom.

women dressed in yellowWomen’s Day is a celebration of all that is wonderful about women, and it is a day to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and importance of the role of women in our world. It’s also a moment to consider improvements and changes needed to better the quality of women ‘s lives in general, and especially of women and girls whose rights and life conditions are extremely compromised or perilous.

Remember to give an extra hug or shout out to the women who matter in your life today. And remember also the women whose lives are not what they could be. We’ve come a long way baby, ma c’è ne ancora di strada da fare! (there’s still a ways to go!)

Have you heard of Women’s Day before?  Do you celebrate it?  Which mimosa do you prefer, the flower or the cocktail?  😉  Love your comments!

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