March 8 is Women’s Day in Italy, here called “Festa della Donna” even if the official name would be “Giornata internazionale della Donna“. This “holiday” is controversial: according to some people there should be no reason to have a special day dedicated just to women as if they were “endangered” creatures; others believe that women’s achievements should be celebrated and the difficult conditions in which many women still live throughout the world should never be forgotten.
Personally, I think it’s a nice thing to remember the important women in our lives and that it is also important to be aware that, for women, things are not always as easy as they are for men, not even in societies in which there is apparent sexual equality. However, I do not think that women should have any special celebration just for being women, and they should find the time to go out and have fun with their girlfriends more than just one day a year, as if that was the only time when their “lords and masters” let them out for their prison-yard time. If they can babysit/iron/take care of them on March 8, well, they can certainly do it any other day of the year.
Here is a Wikipedia article about International Women’s Day.
In Italy, the symbol of Women’s Day is mimosa flowers, which are in bloom in this period. I would therefore like to take advantage of this occasion to “celebrate” some of my favourite women on the web (and some in real life too!) with a virtual branch of mimosa!
Over the year, I have met many incredible women who, besides being interesting, funny and smart, are also great professionals and share more than one passion with me. Over time, they have encouraged me, supported me, entertained me, inspired me and, I have to say, in some cases, fed me too!
My virtual bunch of mimosa goes to:
Letizia (@MadonnaDP), the owner and great hostess of the beautiful Agriturismo Alla Madonna del Piatto near Assisi, in Umbria. She is the person who manages to bring friends together in the warmth of her home and puts up with the crazy stuff! She is an excellent cook, renowned for her authentic cooking lessons and for her great food blog.
Giulia (@vallenuova), the most ecological inn-keeper you will find in the Marches and beyond (believe me!!!)! She has a great agritourism on a working farm near Urbino, Valle Nuova, and she is working really hard to make tourism greener and more sustainable and authentic.
Rebecca (@brigolante) has three lovely guest apartments in her agriturismo Brigolante near Assisi, in Umbria. She is a funny, witty, beautiful woman. As soon as her webmaster finisher her blog, you’ll see what she can do! LOL In the meanwhile, enjoy Rebecca’s Ruminations!
Monica (@monicacesarato), THE multitask woman! She lives in the city of the world famous “Ponte dei Sospiri”, where she runs the Faronhof B&B, she teaches Italian as a Foreign Language in Venice and traditional Italian and Venetian cooking! We are real wonderwomen, so now we have better find a way to meet in person!!!
Megan (@bellavitaitalia), another beautiful, smart and resourceful women I have trouble to keep up with! She lives in pretty Lerici, in Liguria, not far from the Cinque Terre and has something new on her plate every time we speak!!! You can read about the stuff she does on her Bella Vita Italia website!
Eleanor and Maureen, the creators and managers of an independent publishing house based in Tuscany called Pari Publishing, in a small medieval village called Pari. Small communities survive because there are resourceful women like them. One of their latest books, would be the perfect gift for Women’s Day: Unveiling the Breath: One Woman’s Journey into Understanding Islam and Gender Equality.
Lorella (@boutique_events) is a gifted flower designer based in Tuscany, Fiori e Dintorni, and my partner in our wedding and event planning business, Boutique Events. She is a real artist and a great friends!
Kim (@kimmer999) and Pauline (@PaulineK): they are the heart and soul of the Slow Travel great website and of its community Slow Talk. Without them, I wouldn’t have probably met most of the great people mentioned in this post, so thank you ladies!
Donna (@MaremmaGuide) is the publisher of a great website about my home area, the Maremma. Incredibly enough, we haven’t found the perfect time to meet yet, but we absolutely have to. It’s a great thing that there is finally someone else in the area as passionate as me about it and certainly determined to make people see how beautiful and pleasant the Maremma is.
Robin (@MyMelange) is a talented photographer and publisher of a great blog about travelling to France and Italy. She has recently started her own travel consulting business and she is already very appreciated!
“Girasoli” – I know she doesn’t like having her name published online – (@girasoli), whom I had the pleasure of meeting for lunch in Pisa, after many years of chatting online on forums and twitter! She has an interesting blog called Shave Ice and Gelato.
Sheila (@italytutto) has a great website that gathers all the major blogs about Italy. A great resource. I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting her in Pisa over lunch and I think this might be the beginning of a friendship! She divides her time between England and the Lunigiana, in Tuscany.
Judy (@divinacucina): one of the most renowned and appreciated teachers of traditional Tuscan cuisine and a real prodigy in the kitchen! She has recently published a fabulous book and she has a very interesting website called Divina Cucina.
Alexandra (@arttrav) is an art history professor living in Florence and she publishes an incredible online magazine called ArtTrav. She is also the mind behind @tuscanyart and @TuscanyActive, of the Voglio Vivere Così social media team of the Regione Toscana (Tuscany).
Other incredible ladies I’ve met online are Kathy (@dreamofitaly, editor of the award-winning subscription travel newsletter Dream of Italy), Nancy (@ItalyTravelista, owner of a tour company and publisher of the great ItalyTravelista Blog), Julie (@TravelwithJulie, publisher of a fabulous blog about travelling in Italy), Jessica (@italylogue, a BootsnAll’s resident Italophile with a lovely blog and website – Why go Italy), Laura (@FacingTheStreet, a freelance travel writer specializing in ways travellers can live like locals on the road – you can read it all on her Facing the Street blog), Melanie (@italofileblog, publisher of the interesting Italophile blog), Roz (@miabellavita, an Italian from a long lineage of fine cooks now living in the States – check her La Bella Vita), Robbin (@robbin_g, how do you get from being a recording engineer to being an international wine expert? She did it! Check her Vineyard Adventures! I haven’t forgot we had decided to meet while you are in Tuscany lady!!!), Lisa (@wanderlustwomen – a spirited travel journalist who publishes on this interesting website Wanderlust Women Travel), Molly (@amalari – freelance journalist and owner of these beautiful vacation rentals in Lucca), Catalina (@catascraft – a very talented artist creating beautiful illustrations and taking great photos, check her blog), Nazzarena (@NazzarenaArman – we have an agreement that I will not talk about pizza with her… ooops, I’ve done it again! She’s a talented wedding coordinator living in the UK), Erica, Barbara and Oriana (@TuscanyNova, @TuscanyTunes, @TuscanyTrends, @TuscanyTips, @ShopInTuscany, @tuscanyfit… yes, essentially the Voglio Vivere Così Social Media Team!), Karen (@toptraveleurope, editor of the great sites Europe Top Travel Content and Europe à la Carte), Laura (@lauradebe – a tech girl and social media addict, she says. I suspect she’s the mastermind behind @ToscanaIN – I haven’t forgotten about our lunch in Florence, don’t worry!), Kathy (@kathygori, an eclectic, interesting woman: screenwriter and a lover of Indian cooking with a blog that I adore, The Colors of Indian Cooking), Lulu (@Calabrisella – not sure why she wants to leave Toronto to go to Calabria, but we will find out by following her great blog Calabrisella Mia! LOL), Franca (@FrancaPorter, owner of my next dream holiday destination, the beautiful Au Belle Fleur B&B in France) and Janice (@solotraveler – the most adventurous woman out there, who’s not afraid of flying alone! Check her blog Solo Traveler!)
Who did I forget? If you want to add some virtual mimosa love below, please go ahead!
March 8, 2011 Update!
I have met many more great women and I would like at least to add at least Giulia aka @julskitchen author of the amazing Juls’ Kitchen Blog. I should add more and I will! But tonight I’m falling asleep…
March 8, 2012 Update!
I have certainly forgotten someone, but please forgive me!
This year I would like to add Elisa, who writes a blog/online travel guide about the rural and beautiful Tuscan Maremma. I also want to include Valentina, the amazing designer of Cut and Paste, who created Liam’s birth anouncements; Giovanna of Crazy about Tuscany, Silvia of Trippando, Evie for sending the recipe of bagels, Auntie Soph of Lifesdandies and Tara of Richmond’s English Shop who solved my craving problems while I was pregnant.