The Fabulous Bidet

November 18, 2011
By | in Italian Culture | 18 Comments

Americans often wonder about the extra item found in many European bathrooms. It looks like a hybrid between a sink and a toilet, but it is not either. It is the dearly-beloved bidet. Italians love their bidets and think Americans are coarse, uncouth and dirty creatures for not using them. Americans can barely look at […]

Fumbling in the Pharmacy

October 26, 2011
By | in Italian Culture | 11 Comments

In Italy mamma-hood is often considered a group activity. Everyone has to get involved — the parents, the grandparents, the aunts, uncles and godparents, the pediatrician and, believe it or not, the pharmacist. Early on I got used to my pediatrician having a lot of opinions, but involving the pharmacist seemed over the top. For […]

Blueberries and Grapes, Hunting and Gathering

September 27, 2011
By | in Italian Culture | 9 Comments

There is nothing better for a little female solidarity than a blueberry patch. My mother raised me on New England blueberry picking. Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. If there was a blueberry patch, my Mom would find it. Of course her blueberry afternoons were followed by blueberry evenings with scrumptious, gooey, messy, purply blueberry pies. […]