living in italy: women

This is going to have to be a two-parter, because there's a whole lot to say about the woman in Italian society. Today, though, I'll synthesize, and tell you one thing that I've learned about women here, especially moms: They want to give me food.
I try to say no, because sometimes I really am full, but they reply, "Now Marissa, don't be shy, take the third cookie, please." It's hard to say no, especially when they're coming at you with a gorgeous little plate of something or, if they're really clever, a pre-wrapped package that I have to take. They say, "Marissa you're looking so thin!" (Gaunt, actually, is the word they use.) "You're doing way too much Zumba, here, please take this molten lava cake I just made."
Last week Nietta, gotta love her, made me adorable heart shaped waffles with a decadent chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Then, Maria gave me a jar of this gorgeous cherry jam her friend made. Meanwhile the scale is tipping and they're calling me gaunt. Go figure.

[Nietta's waffles and Maria's jam]

And speaking of women, today is Women's Day in Italy (Festa della Donna) and one of the discos in town is having a women-only party! Of course we're all going. I'll post photos to the Facebook page tomorrow! Happy Women's Day!


  1. YUM - those heart shape waffles looks absolutely amazing! I feel like if I lived in Italy I would be huge by now - I know you exercise, but still I don't know how you stay so slim!


  2. festa della donna! :) love this holiday. hope you have a wonderful day and are treated like a lady!

    ps... how lucky are you to be called "gaunt?" sono geloso!! :)

  3. happy italian valentines day! :) !!!

    take the cake today! :) mmmmm
    xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  4. Hahaha. I love that! Those waffles look wonderful. Happy Festa della Donna....hope you ladies have a great time.

  5. This is too cute. I've definitely experienced this in other areas of the world, and especially in my own family {my grandmother is Puerto Rican and Cuban., so it's def a cultural thing}. I love that they made you heart shaped waffles though! So sweet :)


  6. My boyfriend's grandmother makes those heart shaped waffles around the holidays and I've started looking forward to them every year. I loved to sit and watch Italian women when I lived abroad. They seemed so confident and strong while still being graceful and of course they were always impeccably dressed.

  7. I definitely noticed this when I was there and that trait did not leave the women who emigrated to America. The bf's grandma, mom, aunt, etc. all constantly try to feed me when I visit them.

    I also noticed the Italian women I met (mostly the bf's friends and relatives) all thought I was underdressed and destined to catch a cold no matter what I was wearing. Almost every one of them offered me their coats and scarves b/c the ones I brought with me just were warm enough according to them!

  8. Happy Woman's Day! I love when people give me yummy tasting food! And these goodies look really really yummy!

  9. Waffles! Being from Belgium this is def my favorite thing on earth to eat (and french fries lol, but not together lol).

    BTW you have been tagged!

  10. So love this!!! I want Italian women to feed me :) Those are the prettiest waffles ever! XO brynn

  11. this made me laugh out loud, that is so how the Arab women are too. and (not) surprisingly I am exactly the same. ole habits die hard, i suppose! xo

    p.s. if you don't want those waffles, i will gladly eat them for you ;-)

  12. Oh my gosh! My best friend in high school was Greek & she would literally force me & tell me how thin I was. Scary & hilarious!!!
    Love, leigh

  13. Hahaha, this reminds me of one of my husband's aunt, she's always offering me food, and big plates to eat! And also reminds me of some dinners we've had where we would be offered so much food! And you know how it is that you feel obligated to eat because you don't want to offend the hosts! Is the worst!
    But they are so nice how they take good care of you!

  14. Elena Isaeva3/20/2013

    The more I read your blog, the more I love Italian culture:). I want someone to feed me these waffles!

  15. Anonymous5/25/2014

    You as a woman in Italy will be just like the olive tree on your wedding reception "the stronger,secure part of your family"....your children will allways call MAMMA first in any situation and your husband will ask your parere e giudizio in ogni situazione.........sempre !!! auguri a entrambi ciao Claudio


thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, i love reading them so much!

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