Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Women's Role in Italy

This weekend, one of my favorite aunts gave me a very special book that is FULL of interesting random facts about...you guessed it - Italy! So, from now on, everything you ever wanted to know about Italy (and probably a lot of stuff you don't care about) will be posted on this blog.

This book has kept me cracking up (most of the time). Some facts are more interesting or less disturbing than others, but I will definitely be sharing the ones that caught my eye.

The first batch of facts all share a common topic - Women. I thought this was fitting considering my last post in which I disclosed women's recent victory over my household!

1.) In Italy it is considered unfeminine and improper for the woman to pour the wine.

2.) It is illegal for a woman to be a prostitute in Siena - only if her name is Mary. (I guess the Susans and Saras get all the perks?!?)

3.) Venice has had gondolas for more than a thousand years, but never a female gondolier. (In 2007, the Locanda Art Deco hotel did hire a woman to steer their private gondola, but she is not recognized by the gondolier's association, cannot officially call herself a gondolier, and, by law, is only allowed to paddle guests from that hotel!)

I guess women get a pretty raw deal in Italy....Unless, of course, you want to be a prostitute and your name is something other than Mary - then you've got it made.


Anonymous said...

Hi there!!! Your website is just sooo great and you're such a beautiful woman... I am also married to an Italian man, that's probably why I can understand so many of your comments so well. *lol*

BTW, I am from Germany and would really like to hear from you if you're interested in some chit chat! ;o)))

I'm afraid I am too shy and cautious to leave my E-mail address here, however, if you wish to send me message, you will definitely know how to let ME know about that, won't you?

Best wishes to you and your family from Silke from Germany!!!

Aunt Josie said...

I'm so glad you loved the book. I did too and read it in one sitting. Thought of you and knew you could have fun with it on the blog. Enjoy!

Sara said...

Hi, I am an Italian woman, my name is Sara I live close to Venice. I'd like to comment the points I have read here.
I am a freelance and in one of my jobs I have to pour wine in wine International fairs. Even in my daily life I can pur wine without being considered unfeminine and improper, nobody cares about that!

It isn't illegal only in Siena to be a prostitute, but in the entire Italy, it doesn't mind if your name is Mary or Sara.

Yes, there are no femala gondolier in Venice, but the true is no tourist would like a female gondolier to sing a love song to you. Thre are some unspoken request from the foreign visitors too!

Plese try to report not only the worse from my country and inform the others even about the important rule women have in their country. I would be very grateful to you.

una mamma italiana said...

Thanks everyone for the comments...and to Sara for the clarification! I hope that everyone who reads what I write here understands that I write what I know and what I learn for the purpose of sharing and entertainment....if I am wrong, I can only ask for your forgiveness, since I am definitely not a perfect mamma italiana! Thanks for understanding. (and as I mentioned, these were random facts from a touristy book that I shared to make people giggle a bit!) CIAO!

Anonymous said...

Ciao mammaitaliana.
Come puoi vedere sono italiano (e di Siena), e mi scuso se non scrivo in inglese ma non lo so parlare proprio bene.

Sapresti dirmi il titolo del libro in cui si afferma appunto che รจ "It is illegal for a woman to be a prostitute in Siena - only if her name is Mary"?


una mamma italiana said...

CIAO! Il titolo del libro e "Little-Known Facts About Well-Known Places - Italy" There are several books in the series about other countries too. This one was just about Italy. I hope this is helpful:)

Anonymous said...

Grazie mille, mamma italiana!

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