Festa Della Donna – A Celebration of Women
As we settle into the beauty of Spring, we are reminded of where we were and who we were with last March 8th, a date that is celebrated in Italy as Festa Della Donna – a celebration of women.
What started as a series of political events has now turned into one of cultural significance honoring Italian women and now, women all over the world every March 8. Back in 1945, the Union of Italian Women declared that this special date should be set aside to celebrate womanhood across the country. There were two past events that transpired on this very same day in history that led to the declaration of International Women’s Day. First in 1857, a strike by garment workers in New York led to the formation of the first women’s union in the United States. And sixty years later, Russian women initiated a strike calling for “bread and peace” during the twin horrors of World War I and the Russian Revolution. Today, the Festa Della Donna brings women together in celebration of one another.
On March 8, 2013, we were in Tuscany on our first of what is sure to be a great many villa-scouting trips. It was toward the end of our whirlwind Tuscan tour. After a 2-hour drive across beautiful countryside, we met the owner of our most romantic, intimate and remote villa, Casa Piccolina, for lunch. We were also joined by one of her dear friends, and the four of us enjoyed a leisurely and fantastic lunch in a family-owned restaurant Enoteca Guidi located in the splendid Tuscan town of Sansepolcro. It was during this special meal, over salumi e formaggi and fine Italian wine, that we learned that March 8th is a day to celebrate the women in your life. The villa owner, who has become a friend, showered us with gifts of chocolate bars and Mimosa flowers to commemorate Festa Della Donna. It is a memory that we treasure. Being a female-owned business and great friends, we decided to bring the tradition back to the States with us and celebrate in 2014.
With Mimosa flowers in hand, we celebrated with our friend and Italian teacher enjoying a lovely afternoon, cooking, eating and sipping prosecco in celebration of Festa Della Donna and one another. It is tradition and custom for wives, mothers, daughters and friends to be given flowers, specifically a lovely yellow flower called a Mimosa, by the men in their lives. Over time, women in Italy have also given the flowers to one another to show love, respect, strength and unity. It has been said that the Italians were the first to start the tradition of sharing the Mimosa flower on this special day.
True, that any day is a great day to send flowers to a strong, beautiful woman that you love, but March 8th has given us all the perfect excuse.