So, just how do you celebrate Mother’s Day Italian style? Well, no where in the world, perhaps, are mothers celebrated as much as in Italy. In fact, Mother’s Day seems almost made for the Italian mamma!
Many Italian’s nearly idolize their mother, and she’s never far from their lips. From the simple phrase Mamma Mia (Oh my goodness) to songs that honor and revere her, like the song titled Mamma, which pictures this quite well.
You can listen to it, below. But you might want to read my partial translation of the song as you do!
1st verse: Mamma, I am so happy. Because I’m coming back to you. Mamma, I am so happy. Why should we live apart? Mamma, just for you my song flies. Mamma, you’ll be with me, and never alone again. Oh how I love you. These words my heart whispers to you, perhaps are no longer used.
Chorus: But Mamma, my most beautiful song is you. You are my life. And for the rest of my life, I’ll never leave you again!
Written by Cesare Andrea Bixio and Bixio Cherubini, this song also contains other verses. Which, as they are along the same line, I didn’t translate. But they leave no doubt about the great love many Italians have for their mamma!
So this year why not show your mother undying love and affection, Italian style?
How to have an Italian-style Mother’s Day:
1. It often begins with a special breakfast.
Since Sunday is typically a day off, they may take Mamma out for a cappuccino and pastry. Or serve her breakfast in bed.
2. Gifts and cards.
Although many people give a gift, it is the school children especially who give Mamma gifts and cards which they made at school. Usually cards with mushy messages like: Best Wishes to You, the Most Beautiful Mother in the World seem to be the kind moms especially love!
3. A visit to mamma is in order.
For anyone living close enough a visit is mandatory, and then stuffing yourself until you can’t possibly hold another bite. Those far away must make the compulsory phone call, or these days do video calls.
4. Nowadays some families take her out.
Or perhaps invite her over for lunch. Yet even today, that seems almost a desecration to many Italian mothers. In her mind, why would they want to eat any cooking but hers?
5. Don’t forget dessert, flowers, or both!
If you do go to her house, don’t forget to take a plant, flowers, or dessert. Usually a fancy cake, or at the very least some pastries. The son-in-law who overlooks this tradition might get blacklisted for all time!
Wives here often take back stage on Mother’s Day, and sometimes not only then.
You’ll often hear Italians say, “You only have one mother!” Implying of course that that makes her more special than anyone else. And it’s true that we only have one birth mother. But it’s usually to best to have only one wife too. And she’s the one you pledged to love till death do you part! So don’t forget to honor her too!
But mothers do deserve honor and recognition.
For the long, often unseen, hours they put in. The mantle of responsibility they carry. The unconditional love and loyalty they show. And the many sacrifices they make through the years.
Which is why I chose to honor my beautiful mother-in-law with this family photo, taken before my husband’s birth and before the family’s later immigration to America. Though now passed on, with her noble beauty and undaunting sacrifices, our Mamma Anna certainly deserves our respect and honor.
Not that my own mother is any less beautiful, noble, or loving. But this post is about Italian mammas!
So to all the Italian mammas, and mothers everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!
Buona Festa della Mamma!”
IMAGES: My husband’s family before his birth by unknown photographer; all rights reserved. | Cake from Pixabay.