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Italian Mammas

If you have, had, are, or know an Italian mother, turn off your computer and RUN to Barnes & Noble and get this book! If you have been to Italy, were ever a Soprano's fan, are a Jewish mother, or just want a few good laughs, get it anyway!


This book made me laugh cover to cover!

Descriptions of stereotypical Italian Mammas is a good place to start.


We have the traditional, "old school" mamma (or nonna) in the house dress and apron, who cooks a 14 course meal every Sunday (and makes you eat all of it). Dinner and holidays are a production. She wears a black dress to funerals (and goes to all of them), sensible shoes, and worries constantly about her children. Something is wrong if her son doesn't call every four hours. You will find her with her rosary beads at mass. She will always be there for you, and IF she drives, it will be a large, "sturdy" car. Her house is spotless, she displays her wedding china, but the living room furniture is "for company". She can't conceptualize life without grandchildren, and has a drawer of booties READY. She does NOT mind their own business, and may have a talent for drama.

"New School" suburban Italian mammas:Madison Avenue meets Jersey Shore


Modern day surburban (MDS) mammas look like Connie, in The Godfather or Carmela in the Sopranos. They wear fashionable clothes, often with the words "Juicy" emblazened on their sweats, have lots of leather furniture, family photos everywhere, and drive a Lexus or other expensive SUV. They are into primping, "big hair" and spend their days shopping, having facials and manicures, or lunching with friends. They spend lots on treatments, makeup and "products". They let their husband have a big screen TV, but everything else in the house matches, as does their jewelry. These "hot babes" are into sexy and trendy.

The Super-educated mamma (SE):


More like Lorraine Bracco's character, Tony Soprano's therapist, these women grew up with some priviledge. They dress more conservatively and stylishly, but not particularly sexy. Unlike the MDS mamma, the SE mamma's home is beautiful, tastefully decorated, and understated. She likes fresh flowers (from a florist), and marries someone of her caliber. She retains some of her Italian values. She drinks too much wine and gains weight, but knows how to seek help or therapy, and does. She is a less smothering mamma than a MDS, and knows how to cook, but does less of it than the MDS or old school mamma. She understands the Italian culture and mixes it in when she wants.

Come on, you KNOW these people! I love it. I will NOT point fingers! You know who you are!

A few real Italian mammas:

Joy Behar (the View)
Connie Sellica
Annette Funicello
Elizabeth Edwards
Laura San Giacomo
Kelly Ripa
Brooke Sheilds
Cyndi Lauper
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone)
Sophia Loren
Gina Lollobrigida
Claudia Cardinale
Susan Sarandon
Penny Marshall
Connie Francis
Gwen Stefani
Lidia Bastianich
My Mom

The list goes on and on! Next time well talk about the different types of Italian nonnas.

Comments (5)

Great post, Palma! I will definitely have to get that book!


Very interesting, Palma. Seems that "a talent for drama" runs through all of these Italian mamas!


Sounds like a book that I have to have. I'm sure that many of us have a few good stories!

Fun post! Loved the descriptions. I will have to look for the book.

Palma, just wanted to let you know that a good friend that I gave the book to for her birthday called to tell me how much she LOVED the book! Thanks so much for turning me onto it.

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