Celebrating Mother's Day in Italy: Mother and daughter with beautiful flowers in Santorso garden.

An insider guide on How to celebrate Mother’s Day in Italy

Mother’s Day, or “La Festa della Mamma” in Italian, is a special occasion celebrated worldwide to honor and appreciate the love, care, and sacrifices that mothers make for their families. 

In Italy, La Festa della Mamma is celebrated with great enthusiasm and warmth, reflecting the country’s deep-rooted family values and traditions.

When is Mother’s Day in Italy?

Just like in many other countries, Mother’s Day in Italy is observed on the second Sunday of May, and is focused on spending quality time with family and showing appreciation for mothers and mother figures.

The tradition began in the early 20th century, inspired by the American holiday created by Anna Jarvis. 

It gained popularity after World War II and has since become an important day for families to come together and honor their mothers.

In this blog post, we will explore the local customs and traditions associated with Mother’s Day in Italy and learn some Italian words and phrases to use on this special day.

Please note that this blog post is not an exact transcript of the podcast episode linked below. However, if you give it a listen, you’ll find the pronunciation of the Italian words, which are conveniently highlighted in bold.

What are the traditions on Mother’s Day in Italy?

Italians are known for their strong family bonds, and Mother’s Day is no exception. Families come together to celebrate and honor their mothers (mamme), grandmothers (nonne,) and other maternal figures (figure materne).

A typical Italian Mother’s Day celebration includes a festive meal with traditional Italian dishes, either at home (a casa) or at a restaurant (al ristorante). 

This is a time for mothers to relax and enjoy the company of their loved ones.

Many Italians take the opportunity to cook their mother’s favorite dishes or bake a special dessert, like a heart-shaped cake (torta a forma di cuore) or a traditional Italian dessert like tiramisu.

Just like in many other cultures, Italians show their love and appreciation for their mothers by presenting them with gifts (regali) and flowers (fiori).

Popular Mother’s Day presents in Italy include chocolates (cioccolatini), perfumes (profumi), jewelry (gioielli), and spa treatments (trattamenti di bellezza).

To express your love and gratitude to your mother or other special women in your life, it’s customary to give a bouquet of flowers (bouquet di fiori or mazzo di fiori), particularly roses and potentillas.

Potentillas are reminiscent of wild roses and display vibrant colors ranging from yellow to pink, orange, and fiery red, along with captivating fragrances.

The enchanting quality of potentillas is their ability to close their leaves to protect their flowers during bad weather and at night, much like a mother would do for her children.

There’s no better metaphor to thank a mother for the love she provides.

In short, potentillas make the perfect gift for an amazing mom!

On Mother’s Day, flower shops and markets bustle with people selecting the ideal bouquet for their loved ones.

Besides food and flowers, children often craft handmade cards or gifts for their mothers, expressing their love and appreciation.

This heartfelt gesture adds a special touch to the day, making it even more memorable for the mother.

How to Say Mother’s Day in Italian

Now that we’ve learned about the customs and traditions of Mother’s Day in Italy, let’s see some Italian words and phrases that you can use to make this day even more special for the Italian mothers in your life.

If you want to wish your Italian mom or friend a Happy Mother’s Day, the most common phrases you can use are:

Buona festa della mamma” or “Felice festa della mamma.” 

Alternatively, you can also say “Auguri per la festa della mamma!” which means “Best wishes for Mother’s Day!”

When writing a Mother’s Day card (biglietto di auguri), an e-mail, or a text message (messaggio) to your mom in Italian, you can consider including the following greetings: 

“Ti voglio bene, Mamma” which means “I love you, Mom!” 

It’s worth noting that “ti amo” and “ti voglio bene” both translate to “I love you” in English, but there’s a significant difference between the two in Italian. 

Ti amo” is usually reserved for romantic relationships, while “ti voglio bene” is used for family and friends, especially one’s mother or relatives.

“Ti auguro una splendida giornata della mamma!” – “I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day!”

Sei una mamma adorabile!” – “You are a lovely Mom!”

Sei la migliore mamma del mondo! “- You’re the best mom in the world!

Tanti Auguri, Mamma! – Best wishes, Mom!

“Grazie per essere sempre presente, Mamma!” – “Thank you for always being there, Mom!”

In conclusion

La Festa della Mamma (Mother’s Day) in Italy is a heartfelt celebration of love, appreciation, and gratitude towards mothers and maternal figures.

Whether it’s giving flowers, cooking a special meal, or spending quality time with family, the Italian culture and traditions surrounding Mother’s Day highlight the importance of showing appreciation and love to those who have nurtured and cared for us.

By understanding the local customs and traditions, as well as learning some Italian words and phrases, you can make this special day even more memorable for the Italian mothers in your life.

I hope you found this brief lesson in learning how to say “Happy Mother’s Day” in Italian helpful!

If you’re interested in exploring further, you can find many more language guides in the “Learn Italian” section of this website.

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Buona Festa della Mamma!

I'm a freelance travel designer and writer, and I absolutely love what I do. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and traveling is the ultimate source of inspiration for me. In fact, I became particularly drawn to planning travel experiences in Italy back in 2015, and I've been hooked ever since! I'm what you might call a "slow traveler" - someone who likes to take their time exploring new places and soaking up different cultures. And when I started writing about my travels a few years ago, I was blown away by the incredible opportunity it gave me to share my experiences with others and learn from them in turn. It's truly an amazing thing!