A traditional bank holiday in Italy today: la Befana.

In Italy, la Befana is traditionally an old woman (a kind of a good witch) who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas.

According to a tradition la Befana visits all italian kids on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany’s night to fill their socks with candies and little gifts if they were good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they were badly behaving. Traditionally, all Italian children may expect to find a lump of “coal” in their stockings (actually rock candy made black with caramel coloring), as every child has been at least occasionally bad during the year.

It’s just another nice occassion to pamper our kids one more time.


20 movies about parenting to watch.

  • Mrs Doubtfire

  • Parenthood

  • Father of the bride

  • Life as we know it

  • The kids are all right

  • Kramer vs Kramer

  • Cheaper by the dozen

  • Look who’s talking

  • Little Fockers

  • She’s having a baby

  • Knocked up

  • The nanny diaries

  • Nine months

  • Yours, mine and ours

  • The Help

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting

  • Junior

  • The back-up plan

  • Labor Pains

  • Juno

Italian babies 

Advantages and disadvantages of having a baby in Italy.While pregnant I did some research about pros and cons of having a baby in different EU members. We were considering different possible places to live.

Some countries are better than others, in some ways, and there is no perfect place anyway.

Let’s talk about Italy. What I like about Italy are warm people, joy of life, baby fashion, Mediterranean food, sunny days, surrounding history, art and beauty everywhere.

The national health service is decent quality but overloaded. At least at north.

We did not much research about school as we think our baby will attend in different country. (We travel a lot.)

There are also some issues that are less positive abut having a baby in Italy. The diapers, formula and medicines are exaggeratedly expensive. I bought some disposable diapers online, from abroad, and they costed much less including a delivery fee. This is crazy.

This country is so magical. It could be an interesting experience for a baby to grow up here, but then unfortunately he will struggle as an adult. It’s complicated country. Very nice to stay for holiday, but quite intricate to live in.

We did not decide yet to move out as we are still waiting to see how the things are going to be and then we will decide.

Christmas is coming. Italy is a catholic country. This holidays are lived very intensely here. Every person is preparing for them. Today we went shopping to the local supermarket. It was full of people hunting for some great deals, buying literally every thing possible. Such consuming behaviour!

We bought enough for a week living for our family and had a full trolley and we were the ones with less stuff on it.

I understand that the holiday is important but, according to me, there is no reason to grab every possible thing. I prefer to receive a gift that is useful to me and do not like to waste the cash on something that is not going to be used.

The right gift for the right person = money well spent.

Good cop bad cop

Sometimes parents are falling into this trap: being good cop or bad cop. This means taking opposing roles in dealing with children.

A loving and understanding mom in the role of “good” and the rigid and authoritarian father in the role of the “bad”.

It used to work in the past. Every parent had the role he/she wanted: a mother who used to stay at home created a special link with her children and a father that got back home after a long day at work appeared authoritative.

Now it’s a huge mistake. Why?

Because in the long run it impoverishes family relationships. Authoritative parent keeps distance and an understanding one cannot be respected enough.

What is the alternative?

Both parents act as one team. If one says “No”, the other confirms. And no one cracks under child’s pressure, no matter how he or she protests. Both parents result loving and authoritative enough.

Lucky parents 

Lucky parents with grandparents.Many people do not realise how lucky they are. They have an option to leave their babies with people they trust most and it’s all free of charge!

Today I went with my toddler to the playground and I saw some grandpas with their grandchildren playing around. And I was so invidious about the parents.

My baby has only one grandmother left and she is living about 1500km away, so she cannot help me to take care for him. She couldn’t help me anyway as she is still working full time. But having some help, even on weekends only, would be nice.

Then I saw a child I know with her babysitter. I thought that it would be difficult for me to leave my baby with such figure. Not because I am overprotective, but I have seen some babysitting behaviour that I didn’t like at all. The adult wasn’t doing what she was paid for. It is really adding an insult to injury. The parents cannot take care for their daughter and they spend a hard cash just to get nothing. Nobody has money to burn, and it’s really annoying that you cannot trust a person who should be reliable.