Welcome Home…

April 26, 2011 / Local Interest

I tend to think Italians are born with roots. And those roots influence so many choices, traditions, customs, and culture. Italian roots are intertwined with home, tradition, memories and friendships. One telling sign that home is where the heart is? Birth announcements Italian style. Why send out cards announcing the birth of your little one when most of your family, friends, and even your colleagues all live in a 10 km radius?

Italian birth announcements are not only for the neighbors and friends who will bring gifts and flowers to the newborn. They are a welcoming gesture to the little bundle of joy, an exuberant “finally he/she is here”. It’s like putting a stamp on the home that says, “now Viola lives here too”.

Announcements can go from sedate, with a few pink or blue bows, to wonderfully over the top, with paper mâché storks on the front porch (which is what i came home to, after my first born) to hand-painted signs, to bows and garlands and tulle everywhere (yep, still me, after the second born).

But the most touching, the most yell-it-from-the-rooftops joyful announcement was the one orchestrated by a couple who finally, after two and a half years of waiting and wishing, brought home their adopted 4 year old son. They put pictures up all over the neighborhood, and wrapped their balcony up like it was a thousand Christmases and birthdays all rolled up together. Sigh… I love it.

Welcome home, little babies.

– Contributed by Enrica Frulla, a marketing consultant and copywriter living in the Marches.

Enrica Frulla

by Enrica Frulla

Enrica was born in Italy, raised in the United States and is now living in Senigallia, on the coast of the beautiful Le Marche region. A marketing consultant in a past life, Enrica is now a freelance translator. Recently, her creativity and passion for telling people what to do has also  “translated” into an event planning business. www.besteventlab.com

10 Responses to “Welcome Home…”

  1. It was one of the first differences I noted when moving to Italy, and what a charming custom it is. Babies and children are welcome everywhere, and it is so appropriate to tell the world around them of their birth, and give them a warm welcome home. Thanks for the Note.

  2. Toni DeBella

    Enrica, I have always been touched by the way Italians give family and friends the highest priority. Although my father was born in America to Italian parents, he lived his life for his family and friends as if he had grown up in Italy. It is a strong tradition that is passed down to me, a second-generation Italian-American, but it is the one thing about my “sub-culture” that I am most proud. Babies Rule!!! Thank you for this lovely artilce. Toni

  3. Carl Mario Nudi

    This tradition shows how precious children are to the Italian family. I love the story. Thank, Enrica.

  4. Joe Annechino

    Very nice note…on a subject not often mentioned (if ever).



  5. Angela Melczer

    This was wonderful. It made me smile to think of how precious babies are. I have a pillow with a saying on it that is attributed to an Italian Proverb, “When a Child is born, so is a grandmother”. Don’t know how it is said in Italian, although I really like the sentiment in English. Grandchildren are truly a gift!

  6. Gian Banchero

    I just found this wonderful article (today on June 9th, 2011), wonderful… Over 35 years ago my family was blessed with the start of an army of grandchildren, now the second wave of great-grandkids is marching in to the joy of the family… As my once very strict Italian father used to say, “A child can never do wrong.” He constantly spoiled his grandchildren becoming upset with their parents when the kids were being reprimanded… For a few years we didn’t have any infants in the family, how empty all our arms felt… Again because of the new arrivals the family sits together passing the latest bambino around never allowed he or she to set foot on the floor… And the new grandparents, aunts and uncles are wisely being allowed to spoil the latest members to the “tribu'”, the tribe… In the words of my Nonna and Nonno when they’d see their grandchildren, “Gioia, gioia!!!” (“Joy, joy!!”)… Great article and photos, thanks Enrica!

  7. alison Plant

    I saw lots of balconies in Italy last year that had storks on them announcing the arrival of a new baby. does anyone know where I can order some of these storks please? I live in the uk. The ones I saw seemed to be made of fabric and were padded and quite substantial. thanks

  8. Hi Alison, sorry but I just saw your reply today. The storks are either made of wood or cardboard (2D) or paper mache (3D). The paper mache is then covered up in fabric, feathers, etc. You could probably even have one made by people who make pinatas, though I am not sure whether people even make pinatas in the UK! I found this online — looks like they ship all over Europe http://www.etsy.com/it/listing/169117949/cicogna-annuncio-neonato?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=stork+&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=IT&ga_includes%5B0%5D=tags&ga_search_type=all


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