Three Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day in Italy

You know how your mom said something as a child that always stuck with you and you find yourself remembering those wise words well into your adult years?

Well, when I was young, I had a hard time understanding the Mother’s and Father’s Day gift-giving rituals that excluding us kids.

“But when is Kid’s Day?” I asked, as I handed her the gift my father had bought in our names.

“Every day is Kid’s Day,” she replied, as she happily accepted the present, along with the laughter and adoration of my father, her quick remarks had earned her.

“Hmmm …,” I thought, as I begrudgingly marched off. “It’s never kids day … and I’ll never tell my kids that!”

And I haven’t. (No, I don’t have kids, but that is neither here nor there, really …)

But I have repeated those words.

When I moved to Calabria in 2006, I’d never heard of the Festa della Donna or International Women’s Day, so I wasn’t really expecting the outpouring of presents I received from my husband. Although he brought me a mimosa flower-and if memory serves, a new pair of shoes-he did have one thing to say about it.

“Why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?” he asked.

… and I think you know what I said.

Mimosa Común photo credit: jlastras

But more to the point, today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. It represents not only the economic and political achievements for which it was founded, but for me, here in Calabria, thousands of miles from my closest female family members and friends, it represents gratitude.

1. Today, I’m celebrating Women’s Day with as many international women as I can round up-and that is the first way you can celebrate. We are meeting for pizza and shopping here in Catanzaro, and I, for one, am hoping to hit up the Furniture Fair in Catanzaro Lido.

2. If you can’t get your girls together for lunch and shopping but happen to be in one of Italy’s larger cities, then you are in luck. Venice had free admission to the state museum yesterday and several attractions in Rome and Florence regularly have free or reduced entrance fees for Women’s Day.

3. Recognize the Women in Your Life. I’m thankful for many of them*, particularly the ones who have helped to make my transition into Italy a success.

From the blogless world, I’d like to thank my favorite Irish lass, Jenny, who found my sign for a mother language English teacher in our local bookstore and dialed the number.

Kerri and Felicia, who are down to earth, logical and realistic in their experiences as an expat in Calabria and who share their positive perspectives each time we meet.

For my newest friend, Karen, who’s recent move to Catanzaro has spurred an equally enduring friendship between our husbands and who is teaching me the art of making a mojito.

Many of you know my friend, Michelle of Bleeding Espresso, who incidentally, I met-along with Dawn, from Bovino-the weekend of my first International Women’s Day celebration in Calabria.

So, there you go. Three ways to celebrate International Women’s Day today. What are you planning to do?

*For the purpose of this post I’ve limited my shout-outs to women who live in Calabria. So, Mom, yes … I love you, too!

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5 Responses
  1. Nice post! I completely forgot about the mimosa flowers they give you in Italy for Festa della Donna. I was in Umbria at this restaurant with a huge group of woman. The restaurant gave us all the yellow puff-ball flowers. We thought ourselves so special. Those Italians really know how to charm their women.Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh, I ‘d say they do! The supermarket near my house handed out flowers yesterday, too. Strangely enough, they weren’t mimosa … mah! 🙂

    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..To Travel or Not To Travel? That is the Question =-.

  2. We had a big celebration in our Croatian class with the 15 of us (men brought flowers, and women baked and exchanged little gifts)I lived in the States most of my childhood and I had never heard of this celebration before. I’m happy to say this is my first year celebrating it!..

    To new friends made.

    A Mexican chica living in Europe

    Fun! Auguri.

    .-= Elisa´s last blog ..Which language do I speak? =-.

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