How do you celebrate Mother’s Day Italian-style? Well, mothers are celebrated nowhere else as much as in Italy. In fact, Mother’s Day seems made for Italian mammas!
Many Italians 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.
Following is my translation of the 1st verse and chorus, and a video of Andrea Bocelli’s live performance of it at the colosseum.
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?
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.
While many people give mothers a gift, school children prefer to make gifts in their classrooms for their mothers. And cards with mushy messages like: Best Wishes to You, the Most Beautiful Mother in the World. Those seem to be the kind moms 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 hold another bite. Those far away must make a compulsory phone call, or these days a video call.
4. Nowadays some families take her out for lunch.
Or 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 go to her house, take a plant, flowers, or dessert. Usually a fancy cake, or at least some pastries. The son-in-law who overlooks this tradition might get blacklisted for life!
Wives here often take backstage, and not just on Mother’s Day.
Italians often say, “You only have one mother!” Implying that she is more special than anyone else. And it’s true that we only have one birth mother. But it’s usually better to have only one wife too. And she’s the one you pledged to love till death part! So honor her too!
All mothers everywhere deserve honor and recognition.
For the long, often unseen hours they work. The mantle of responsibility they carry. The unconditional love and loyalty they show. And the many sacrifices they have made over 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 she’s no longer with us, our Mamma Anna, with her noble beauty and undaunting sacrifices, certainly deserves our respect and honor.
Not that my own mother is 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 by Sharky.
7 replies on “Celebrate Mother’s Day Italian Style! [Audio]”
Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I do enjoy hearing about the cultures of other countries . Hope you had a happy Mother’s Day!
Thanks Donna. It was a good day. Hope yours was too!
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Yes it was. Thank you and blessing to you and yours.
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I wondered if the opening photograph was from your husband’s family, thinking perhaps the young boy was he. / We’ve always loved Andrea Bocelli. Will watch the video as soon as I comment. Have you seen the film about his life? Well-produced and very interesting! / There’s no Italian blood in our family (that we know of), but our daughter-in-love made tiramisu for our Mother’s Day celebration–one of our favorite desserts!
No Nancy, I’ve never seen the film about Andrea Bocelli’s life. I’ll have to look for that! You did have a special treat for Mother’s Day. Tiramisu… One of our favorites too!! Gnam, gnam!!
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Well, dear friend, I hope you’ve enjoyed your Mother’s Day as well. What a sweet tribute to your mother-in-law and mothers everywhere. I love the picture. Thanks for sharing the heart of the Italians toward their moms–what a heartfelt commitment!
Oh yes, my dear friend. Mothers hold a primary place in this nation! So as you can imagine, Mother’s Day is a big thing too! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day with your family!!