Happy International Women’s Day

A mimosa flower.  In Italy women are given mimosa flowers on March 8th, International Women's Day

A mimosa flower. In Italy women are given mimosa flowers on March 8th, International Women’s Day

Dear Blog Readers,

Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day, and I have been inspired by this article “Five of Italy’s Most Influential Women” from www.ItalyMagazine.com to do a blog post reminding you of some of the interesting Italian women — past and present– who I have written about in this blog, and some of the issues facing women in Italy that I have touched on over the past two years.  My choices of the women to write about were completely random. So here goes….

In my blog post “Artemisia Gentileschi: My Italian Heroine” I wrote about Italy’s greatest female baroque artist.

In “Like Water off a Duck’s Wings” I wrote about Rita Levi Montalcini, a nobel-prize winning Italian scientist.

in “The Italian Tiger Mamma” I wrote about Ilda Boccassini, an Italian public prosecutor who has taken on the Mafia and Berlusconi with equal grit and determination.

Another determined Italian woman I’ve written about is the first black Italian Minister, Cecile Kyenge.  See blog post “Call Me Black” and “Courageous Cecile

Slipping back into history, I wrote about the beheaded Roman beauty Beatrice Cenci, in the blog post “Spooked and Inspired by Beatrice

For those interested in art, I wrote about Raphael’s great love and passion for “La Fornarina” (the little baker-girl) in “Love and Passion in Rome.”

I also have written about some Italian women who are doing interesting work.  In my post “Alessia – Breaking Barriers in a Man’s World” I wrote about Vatican photographer Alessia Giuliani.

In “The Marvelous Works of Rossana Petrillo,” I wrote about an Italian artist who uses traditional damask cloth to produce gorgeous paintings.

Over the course of the past few years that I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve also looked at some of the down sides of life for women in Italy.  In one particularly difficult blog post to write, I addressed the issue of “Femicide in Italy

Other posts “Not the Dolce Vita” and “Desperate Housewives in Italy” looked at some of the cultural challenges facing Italian women, particularly mothers.

There are plenty more women in Italy that I would like to write about.  Some were mentioned in the article linked above, businesswomen like designer Miuccia Prada, anti-Mafia fighter Rita Borsellino and politicians like Italy’s out-going foreign minister Emma Bonino or current speaker of the lower house of parliament Laura Boldrini.

I am also open to suggestions.  If anyone can think of an Italian woman, past or present that they would like me to write about, let me know.

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Trisha Thomas
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.

14 Comments

  1. Joan Schmelzle
    2014/03/09

    Hi,
    Yours is the second blog I have read on the topic of Internationa Women’s Day and Rome. I am saving this so I can read your past blogs on women in Rome. The first one was from the historical perspective, and I sent a link to many of my woman friends. I will put it here in case you are interested. Apparently it first appeared in 2013, but I found it in Buzz in Rome for this past week.
    http://www.buzzinrome.com/2013/03/06/celebrating-march-8-our-top-10-of-the-most-inspiring-women-of-rome/?utm_source=BuzzInRome+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ea7ff6aa55-February+2014+Newsletter+Issue+85&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2b2d7f160-ea7ff6aa55-66724017
    Good grief! I didn’t realize the web address was this long when I copied it our ot my address bar.
    A presto

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/10

      Thank you for that link Joan. It was long but I was able to open it and see the list. Great stuff. There are several women on that list that I have on my to-do list to write about — Livia, the Roman Empress and actress Anna Magnani. But I must study up on all the others too. Yippee– more material to write about.

      Reply
  2. Nancy Rockwell
    2014/03/09

    Thank you SO VERY MUCH for bringing all these women out of the shadows and into our sight. Each has been a fascinating read and an inspiration. Thanks also for the breath-taking photo of the mimosa flowers. You have no idea how exciting it is, here in snow and ice bound NH, where we are grateful for two days of slightly above freezing temperatures, We haven’t had such in a few weeks, and have precious few at all since late Nov. It’s been a Russian winter here. Hoping the thaw will extend to US-Russian relations. There’s already been a war in Crimea, in the 1890s. Been there, done that – no more!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/10

      Thank you Nancy — and I love all the interesting women you bring out of the shadows from the Bible and share with your blog readers. On international women’s day I heard someone speaking about women from the Bible and I think they were talking about a woman named “Anna” as inspirational — but I didn’t find her that inspiring. I like the women use choose — the one’s with some spunk. Yes, spring is arriving in Rome, and I must admit it is lovely — it gives me hope — something I really need right now. I also need a little more spunk and fighting spirit.

      Reply
  3. Alan
    2014/03/09

    . . it was good to wander back through some of these posts – with the exception of the Thatchers and Killerys of this world I do believe women would make a better fist of running the show!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/10

      Well, I am not sure that women once in power are any less ruthless than men….but there sure are a lot of good women out there making the world a better place. How about Turkish women? I bet a lot can be said on that topic. What is the perspective from rural Turkey where you are? Do they celebrate International Women’s Day in your village?

      Reply
  4. Allegra
    2014/03/09

    Trisha, how about Maria Montessori? Nominated three times for the Nobel Prize, She singlehandedly changed the face of education worldwide, quite the woman for us Mammas!!
    Interesting the contrast with her private life: one love child which was fostered by another family.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/10

      Ah, Maria Montessori — what a great idea! I didn’t think of her. Last night I decided I want to do a post on Empress Livia (wife of Augustus), definitely not an Italian — but one of the most powerful Roman women ever. So now I have Livia and Maria Montessori on my list. Thank you!!

      Reply
  5. Gaby Acosta
    2014/03/12

    Trisha,

    I really love that you did a round-up of all your posts on women to celebrate International Women’s Day! You brought these women and their incredible stories into light. I’d love to add one of these post of your choice to the #WomenInspire blog carnival. Or you can write a new blog honoring an amazing woman in your family, a role model in your community, or a hero from the history books! Everyone who submits a blog will be added to our roundup and the posts that best exemplify the theme of our campaign will be featured on our site! Here is how to participate: http://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/womeninspire-a-womens-history-month-blog-carnival-call-for-submissions/

    Thanks so much!
    ~Gaby
    [email protected] Team

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/13

      Thank you Gaby — I would love to participate. I am trying to think who I prefer. I love Artemisia Gentileschi…but I am also pretty fond of the tale of my own family heroine Elizabeth Spicer. I will think about it and submit something. Thank you for writing to me.

      Reply
  6. Kathy
    2014/03/14

    Hey Trisha
    I’d like to add your name to that list. Italian mama of three, full time worker, Zumba master and user of frozen peas and proud of it! I am in awe of you and your achievements – your reporting last year on the Pope’s election and the loss of the refugees in Sicily was inspiring to me and your humour never fails to totally crack me up.
    A toast to you Trisha – an incredible International woman if ever there was one!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/15

      Oh Kathy, you are so sweet! I am feeling like a bit of a wet wash-rag these days. You cheer me up. And yes, Long Live Frozen Peas!!!

      Reply
  7. Lenora Boyle
    2014/03/22

    Trisha,
    I’ve just discovered your blog and love it, and as an Italo-American dual citizen, I love all things Italian.
    Wonderful idea to write about inspirational Italian women. There were/are so many women in the world who were and are powerful influencers, but they are unknown to us. I’m happy to see your gathering of women. Have you thought of writing a book?!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/03/23

      Lenora — I am thrilled you like my blog and I hope you continue to read it. I am a bit all over the map — sometimes recounting things I am covering for work, other times recounting silly experiences I have as a foreign woman living in Italy. You asked if I ever thought about writing a book? This blog was born out of a manuscript (of the same name) that I had hoped to get published. After getting rejected by several agents, someone suggested a blog as a way to attract a publisher. I have been blogging since 2011 and no publisher has ever expressed an interest in me, so I have momentarily given up. In the meantime, the blog has taken on a life of its own — giving me the opportunity to write about so many different topics and interact with people all over the world — and I love that.

      Reply

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