I am very new to the world of blogging! But I been told you are a community of very understanding people…So, here it goes!! Who in their right mind wants to write about everything and nothing and especially about being Italian?! I must be out of my mind! It all started last year when my daughter Paola, introduced me to face book. I told her, I did not want to have a face book account, but did she listen to me?! In one ear out the other and she went ahead opening an account under my name and within an hour I had 40 friends. Where did they all come from??? I got excited as friends started to request my friendship and this encouraged me and I decided to ask family members to be my friend on face book and many did accept, however several did not accept my friendship or should I say ignored that I was family. Anyway! This did not bother or stopped me. I became quite good with face book and soon I created a page “Inspirations for Everyone” and wrote inspirational thoughts. I enjoyed it very much, but I needed more. My friend Maria suggested that I should start writing a blog. But what should I write about!? As they say; write what you know and I certainly know what Italians are all about. The problem about writing what I know is that I will probably be disowned by some family members, after they read about themselves in my blog. I guess after all it just pays to be my friend. Ops! Did I just say that! Nevertheless I’ll promise to be discreet!
I do want to clear the persona of being Italian. Being Italian is not all about Mafia, owning a Pizzeria and your husband having a lover across town. Unfortunately this is what most movies and T.V. series portrays us, but don’t get me wrong not all Italians are Saints and nor immoral. The problem with Italians is we love everything about life, but most of all, we put passion into everything we do. Many believe that the Italians live like the Corleone family in the Godfather or the Sopranos. Well!! Let me tell you that some do live like that, but most of us don’t have a pizzeria to launder money or have an uncle Polly who cooks amazing pasta sauce and then is told to kill the family traitor. The bottom line is we Italians are passionate about everything we do despite if we live like the Sopranos or not. What I know is that many Italians work hard for a living and deep inside our souls there is a fire and this is called AMORE (LOVE) and sometimes it’s explodes like a volcano spreading the passion, especially when you go and visit an Italian family, they will pour love on the table with food and wine. What can I say, hospitality is in our DNA. Now that you know that most Italians are not Mafiosi (Mafia Members) you can relax and continue reading my blog. It is simply an offer you can’t refuse!! Trust me I won’t bite!!
I’m sure you would like to know a little about me! I was born to Italian immigrants parents living and working in Switzerland. Here is where my life gets complicated.The Swiss immigration officer told my parents that I was not entitled to receive a Swiss citizenship because they were immigrants.That really sucks! So much for being born in a neutral country! When you ask an Italian where he or she is from, they will tell you that they are from a certain region of Italy. They rarely say they are Italian because Italy is divided in 20 regions and each region has their own dialect, foods, wines and traditions. What I do know, is that Italians no matter what region they are from they are proud to be Italian. This is also said for my parents. They both come from a different region of Italy. My father Tarcisio (not a very common name) was born in Cernusco Sul Naviglio a town in the province of Milan, Lombardy, Italy about 8 km from center Milan.
My mother Albertina was born in Castelfranco Veneto a town in the province of Treviso, Italy approximately 40 km inland from Venice. These two provinces have very powerful history to be proud of and that is where a conflict can arise during a conversation between my parents. I will talk about this subject at a later date. My parents path crossed in Lausanne Switzerland, mom worked as a nanny for a Physician and dad was a machinist. The nanny and the machinist married in 1955 and had me in 1958.
In the fall of 1959 my parents decided to immigrate to Canada and we arrived with the ship Saturnia and docked at the famous Pier 21 in Nova Scotia, where many immigrants arrived with the hope for a better future. My parents settled in Ottawa the capital of Canada. I had no voice in the matter, but my parents had a strategy. The plan was for them to work several years, make good money and return to their beloved Italia. During that time dad sent money back home in Italy and Nonna (grandmother) Carolina, my father’s mother bought land and not long after our new home was being built-in Italy. After long hours, seven days a week, for three years, my parents packed bags, trunks and me and returned to the Bella Italia. My father being very ambitious, bought new furniture with mom’s approval, signed me in school and opened a machine shop business. Way to go dad!!! We were ready to start a new life in sunny Italy and live la dolce vita. Mom was happy because she had her dream home. I was happy with my cousins and new friends. But something was troubling dad. Not long after being settled in our new beautiful decorated home, dad declared something to mother that horrified her to disbelief. I remember that day so clearly because mom was crying and dad was saying over and over to her, “It is for the better.” Better for what? Better for whom? My father’s declaration changed the course of our destiny…