Find out what constitutes baby food in Italy and how it is different from what Americans feed their children.

Image by 5686750 from Pixabay

Italians feeding their babies is more art than science. Trust me. I learned the hard way. My husband, a native Italian, and I brought our son to Italy for long stretches at a time starting when he was 6 months old.

I’m Italian American, and I have been visiting the homeland since I was a baby myself. Americans who know me would consider my upbringing distinctly Italian. But I grew up in the United States, and many of the traditions surrounding baby’s feedings were news to me.

What Do Italians Feed Newborns?

The pressure is on for Italian mammas to exclusively breastfeed in the beginning…


Image by samuel Lee from Pixabay

My 21-month-old son curls up next to me. He makes sure his tiny bottom is touching my belly and, even though I am behind him, he awkwardly pushes his fingertips onto my lips. Once in a while, he reaches for my hair and holds onto it until his eyes flutter. Then, he drifts off to sleep.

Close for Comfort

This is our nightly ritual. There is no space between us until I feel confident enough that he will stay asleep and I lift him up to place him into his crib. Often, he looks at me but for a moment. I see his…


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Mom

ADDRESS: Anywhere U.S.A.

CELL PHONE: My kids have it, so no use including the number

HOME PHONE: I’ll just assume you are a telemarketer, so don’t bother

EMAIL: IronicMommyDearest@ThisIsaFakeEmail.com

BIO: I’m a mother, a giver of life. My talents include changing diapers, making pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse, and planning birthday parties with the raddest themes, including Italian pizza chef and Spidey web slinging. But my skillset doesn’t stop there. I cure boo boos with a kiss and know how to bring down the temperature of both someone with a fever and someone having a tantrum.You’ll …


This mom is seeking more than a job. She’s looking for a little humanity.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Any day after September 26, 2011 (when I became a first-time mom)

To whom it may concern:

I’m writing to apply to the position of visible human being. I think I’d be a good fit for this job because of my extensive experience in the nearly 33 years I spent holding such a role before I delivered my eldest son on September 26, 2011.

In the years leading up to motherhood, I was a head turner. When I walked into a room, people paid attention. I was fine looking, but it wasn’t about my looks. I knew how to take…


Find out about one woman’s resurrection after the evil eye killed her spirit.

Image by Bruno Marques Designer from Pixabay

Francesca Di Meglio, the girl, was finished off in April 2004. It marked the end of a life characterized by determination, grit, meatballs, and warding off the malocchio or evil eye.

Many Italians believe in the malocchio, the idea that someone, who is either jealous, angry, or mean can cause bad things to happen to you. These people curse you with their dirty looks.

The eye eventually gets everyone and Francesca was no exception. Maybe she didn’t wear enough red or didn’t have an old zia who could properly swirl the olive oil in water to break the curse that…


The soccer season in Italy is launching August 21, and there is so much on which to keep tabs. Get ready to keep your eyes on the goal.

Image by graphi from Pixabay

If your heart is beating a little faster and you can hear the smack of a foot hitting the ball, you just might be ready for Italy’s Serie A to launch on August 21. The new Serie A season promises great drama, entertainment, and maybe a few surprises.

The Sun Rising Again on Serie A

While Serie A has taken a backseat to other European leagues in recent years, it is rising again. Of course, the days of Serie A being home to all the best in the world (think Diego Maradona at Napoli and Roberto Baggio at a number of Italian clubs) seem like history. …


Find out about the etiquette and experience of having dinner at Italian restaurants in Italy.

This is a typical dish at an Italian restaurant in Italy. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Americans are usually befuddled by Italian restaurants in Italy. The experience is nothing like the one back in the United States. Obviously, nine times out of 10 the food is much better in Italy. But it’s much more than a difference in cuisine.

Learn about what you can expect when having lunch or dinner at a restaurant in Italy:

Pasta is never a side dish.

In the United States, you often get a side of pasta with something like chicken parm. In Italy, pasta is a first course meal and is not served on a plate with meats or fish. There may be sauces made with…


Discover the underestimated city and the three islands in the Bay of Naples: Ischia, Procida, and Capri.

A trip to Naples or one of its islands, such as Ischia (pictured here), is a dream. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

Naples is overlooked, underestimated, and misunderstood by most outsiders, especially Americans. But the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and extraordinary character and contributions make it worth your attention. The biggest draws, however, are its three islands. Capri, Ischia, and Procida are precious gems that have attracted visitors for generations.

If you want to make the trip, you need to plan ahead. Discover Naples, Ischia, Capri, and Procida:

Naples

Learn more in “What’s To Love About Naples, Italy?

Many people think of Naples as an unsavory city, so it doesn’t get much attention from American tourists. But there is magic in Naples…


Get insider tips and tricks from someone who has lived on the Neapolitan island of Ischia and plan a blockbuster vacation.

Ischia is known for its beautiful beaches, which you find at virtually every turn. Photo by Francesca Di Meglio

The beauty of the island of Ischia in Italy is its simplicity. Known as l’Isola Verde or the the Green Island, Ischia is the largest of the three Neapolitan islands that also include Capri and Procida. The island is 19 miles off the coast of Naples, and is about 18 square miles. With a population of 60,000, this is the most lived in Neapolitan island. Therefore, you will find many comforts and welcoming people, who rely on tourism to survive.

Ischia is composed of six comuni or communities. There is comune d’Ischia, which includes the capital Ischia Porto with its…


Discover the charming island of brightly colored buildings, black sand beaches, and giant lemons.

Image by mario fumagalli from Pixabay

Few people know of Procida, a small island off the coast of Naples in Italy. Overshadowed by the neighboring islands Ischia and Capri, Procida offers untouched beauty and far more tranquility. Perhaps, you will recognize it as the setting of the critically acclaimed film “Il Postino.” A few scenes of the “Talented Mr. Ripley” were shot here, too.

With under 2 square miles of territory and only 10,500 inhabitants, Procida is cozy. …

Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio is a veteran reporter who has worked for Bloomberg Businessweek and Ladies’ Home Journal. Visit francescaandantonio.com for her blog.

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