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Festa della Donna Is Italy’s Day to Celebrate Women

08 March 2024
by Giadzy
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The annual holiday on March 8 is an opportunity to recognize the powerful women in our lives.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and while the holiday is observed around the world, Italians go the extra mile to make this day a true celebration. Women’s Day began in New York City in 1909 to draw attention to the political issues facing women at that time, who did not have the right to vote and were often exploited at work. It gradually spread around the world, and in post-war Italy, the holiday took off when activists Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei used the day to hand out branches of flowering mimosa to other women as a symbol of sisterhood. While it began as a deeply political event, la Festa della Donna has become a joyous occasion to celebrate the achievements of women in Italy while we continue to work toward a better future. 

Mimosa branches
Today, on Festa della Donna, Italians give mimosa branches to the women in their lives—mothers, sisters, friends, and co-workers. Fragrant and ubiquitous, the bright yellow flowers are among the first to bloom in spring in Italy, meaning they can usually be found in abundance in early March. Their numerous tiny blossoms are said to represent the many accomplishments of women, and their resilience in cold weather and harsh conditions are a symbol of women’s strength. You’ll find cakes made to look like mimosa flowers in pasticcerias across Italy along with, of course, mimosa cocktails. Some museums offer free admission to women on this day, like Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, and you’ll spot sales and other public events in most cities. 

While every day is a celebration of powerful women here at Giadzy, we always love to take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the incredible women-owned businesses we work with! At Riso Buono, Cristina Brizzolari has dedicated herself to continuing an incredible rice-growing tradition on an estate that has grown carnaroli rice since the 17th century. Giada’s grandmother, in fact, worked on that very land when she was preparing for her role in the film Bitter Rice, and she always cherished her connection to the young women laborers she worked alongside there. When Giada and Cristina met, it was a moment of true serendipity. 

The women of Masseria DaunaWhen Giada first tasted the tomatoes from Masseria Dauna, she was blown away. Then she met Saveria Pozzuto at the farm in Puglia that she runs with her sisters, and there was no question that we had to share them with our Giadzy customers. Continuing the traditions of their parents, these passionate women grow their tomatoes in Lucera, on the hills of the Dauni mountains. Masseria Dauna uses a technique called arid culture to grow their tomatoes. This sustainable form of agriculture relies on the natural strength of the soil, rather than intense watering, to create a product that is concentrated in flavor and absolutely divine. 

This Festa della Donna, why not follow the Italian custom and let a woman in your life know you admire her? Mimosas are optional; a card, flowers, or even a text message can deliver the same warm, fuzzy feelings. 

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