Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Kindness of Italian Grandmas

--by earthling, posted Sep 19, 2009

We were traveling in Italy recently and what really made our trip memorable are the encounters with Italian Grandmas.

I had just crossed a busy road in Roma. A grandma right next to me sprinted across and came back with my toddler's missing shoe. I hadn't even noticed and she thought it would be easier to run twice than try to communicate with me through our language barrier :)

Another time, I was looking for Fontana de Trevis and had wandered off in the name of looking at this and that. Out came a Grandma from a small cafe and she instantly knew I was lost. She took me by my hand and asked where I was headed. Then she went into a rapturous discourse about the fountain (I guess) and in 3 minutes, I was standing in front of the masterpiece. Just as she was about to disappear, she searched for my eyes and made signs for me about how to get back!

On the last day of our trip, we were in the local Metro train and a very old Grandma boarded. The train was full and many of us offered our seat to her. She accepted my offer and a couple of stops later, I found myself sitting again, right next to her. We chatted, she in Italian and me in English :) When she learnt my husband and I were headed to Tivoli, she spontaneously took out return tickets for us by an expensive inter-city bus and thrust it into my hand.  

And I've lost count of the Grandmas that played with our toddler as if he was their own. But the warmth of all those Grandmas is very hard to forget.

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Readers Comments

DebraE wrote: Although i am not of italian decent, i have been fortunate to know several italian grandmas. Love of family would be the first way i could think of to describe these women.

Your story transports me back to a time when these women were alive. I know any one of them would have done the same.

My children are adults now, but a very favorite book of theirs was strega nona by tomie depaolo. I went to look up the book to share it here, and i see he has written additional books about this good
Italian grandma. Any of them would be a treasure, just like the grandmas you encountered.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story
Of the kindness shown to you and your family.

Gloria wrote: That's amore!
Veena wrote: Nice expereince of u. Thanks for sharing!
cabbage wrote: What a wonderful experience---we remember these stories of kind strangers in different lands--they really treated you and your children as they would want everyone to treat anyone's children. What a marvelous thing. Barbara kingsolver describes a similar experience (in another country) in her book of essays "high tide in tucson"--it's called "anybody's baby" i think. Lovely. Thanks for sharing!
BumMiggity wrote: Wonderful! Go granny's!
Yammuna wrote: Tat's really amazing and wonderful. !
FairyBubbles wrote: Yes, they are lovely people, but then so are you!

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