Buono Festa della Mamma! Happy Mother's Day!
There's a saying in Italy that goes “Solo un giorno in cui ricordare, chi mi ha donato la vita, 364 giorni per renderti orgogliosa di quel dono. Auguri, Mamma!" This translates to "There's just one day in which to remember who gave me life. But there are 364 days for me to make you proud of that gift. Happy Mother's Day!" Mothers are so important in Italian culture and have a deep history of being honored for giving their children the gift of life. We love this quote because it shows how mammas are celebrated all year round, and not just on Mother's Day. On Mother's Day, however, there are extra special festivities and events to honor Italian mothers!
History of Mother's Day in Italy
Held on the second Sunday of May, Mother's Day has been celebrated in Italy since 1957. Recognition of Mother's Day in the United States began a few decades earlier, in 1914, so what made Mother's Day finally reach Italy? It all started with celebrations in the village of Tordibetto, which is located just outside of Assisi.
Father Otello Migliosi, a parish priest in the village of Tordibetto, thought that mothers needed a day to be celebrated for their hard work and contributions to the community. So, he promoted the Mother's Day celebration that soon spread to other villages and then all across Italy. By the following year, Mother's Day was celebrated all across the country.
Without Father Otello, Mother's Day likely wouldn't have become a national holiday in Italy until many years later. In honor of this, a park, Motherhood park, was dedicated to the memory of the first Festa della Mamma in Italy. In addition, the park showcases a striking bronze statue representing motherhood by artist Enrico Manfrini.
How Italians Celebrate Festa della Mamma
Similar to celebrations of Mother's Day in the United States, Festa della Mamma is a day dedicated to making mothers smile. The day usually includes gifts and a special meal, either at home or at a restaurant. Thousands of Italians travel back to their childhood homes to spend time with family and make the day extra special. It's also thought to be the day Italians make the most phone calls, many of the calls from loved ones wishing the woman in their lives a Buono Festa della Mamma!
Although Festa della Mamma has become one of the most popular days of the year to eat out, there's still plenty of home cooking going on- mom just doesn't lift a finger! In the morning, pastries are a popular homemade treat and served with freshly brewed coffee. Check out this recipe for a delicious Italian pastry called cornetti. Similar to a French croissant, a cornetto is a flakey, buttery pastry with rich vanilla bean and pops of orange zest.
Or spend the day making mamma a Mother's Day feast! Start off serving some roasted cherry tomatoes with creamy burrata sprinkled with flakey sea salt and lemon zest, don't forget the side of toasted ciabatta! We also suggest a quick drizzle of this excellent lemon-infused olive oil. Whip up some delicious pasta for the main course with this simple homemade sauce:
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 Olive Oil, check out our suggested olive oil for this dish here!
1/4 Parsley, fresh or dried
3 or more garlic cloves, depending on how much you like!
Generous handful of fresh basil
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Optional red pepper flakes
Start off by putting your olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, half of your basil, oregano, and optional red pepper flakes in a saucepot on medium heat. Heat for about two minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic too much. Add your can of San Marzano tomatoes, salt, pepper, and remaining basil, and give a good stir. Blend to desired consistency with an immersion blender, or pour into a blender. Add more fresh herbs as needed, and enjoy over delightful bucatini pasta!
The Perfect Italian Gifts for Mother's Day
Of course, the ultimate gift would be a trip to the grand country of Italy; what better way to show your mother all the love and gratitude you have for her than a trip to Italy? And she's also the perfect travel companion! Check out this blog post on the perfect ideas for a mother-daughter trip to Italy.
The next best thing to gift mom other than a visit to Italy? A gorgeous handmade Capodimonte-style vase to hold the fresh flowers you'll buy her! Imagine how her face will light up as she takes in the mauve vase with soft blue accents, how she'll smile as she admires the handcrafted flowers. Made in Italy by exceptional artisans, this vase is the perfect gift from Italy that will bring her joy year after year!
Along with flowers, many children will write their own poems to gift to their moms! Here is a section of one of our favorite poems for Festa della Mamma, written by Salvatore di Giacomo:
Pecchè ll'ammore 'e mamma
è 'na ricchezza
è comme 'o mare
ca nun fernesce maje.
Because a mother's love
Is a wealth
Is like the sea
that never ends.
Whether you're spending Mother's Day at home or out exploring, you'll be sure to find the perfect gift for mamma in Tesori's Mother's Day collection!