International Women’s Day is important in Italy, but it has the feeling of being graciously bestowed on women by their men. The flower of the day is mimosa and sprigs and bunches are on sale everywhere. Naturally it is the men who offer them to the women. On the evening of the eighth my neighbour came round with four freshly laid eggs and I had the feeling this was his Woman’s Day gift to me, maybe eggs because he felt mimosa might be a touch too personal.
However what intrigues me most is the mimosa given to two local Madonnas: one is the patron saint of the town where I live, and the other is a Madonna Addolorata – the Madonna in mourning for her son. She stands in a shrine on the way to the patron saint. I want to know who gave them this mimosa, a man or a woman?