Francesca Tacchi 🫒

It's time for my #ItalianThread! Today, I want to talk about a very interesting subject... fingers crossed that you like it!


Ready? go! 1/?

Italy is an extremely superstitious country. It was THE most superstition country in Europe until recently - in a recent poll, we find it at the third place, with 'only' 58% of Italians believing in superstition 2/?

Even among those who don't believe, it's almost impossible not to find gestures and behaviours which are 'scaramantici'. As a playwright Eduardo de Filippo put it: 'Only an ignorant would be superstitious, but not being superstitious brings bad luck'! 3/?

The origin of the many and varied Italian superstitions are difficult to trace back. They are a mixture of Roman mysticism and rural wisdom. Many are connected with the Evil Eye, which I talk about here: 4/?

And of course, each region, province, and even town has its own supersition and 'rituali scaramantici'. I'll try to cover some in this thread! So, let's explore superstition in the various region of Italy... 5/?

My Sicilian mother-in-law, who is a general practician, still retains a lot of rituals from her youth. For example, she would never accept or gift scissors, knives or tissues, as it's believed that these gifts will bring you blood and tears 6/?

She'll give you a cent in exchange for scissors, so that it's not a 'gift', thus rendering the bad luck null. Also, my spouse told me she used to draw a cross on a child's aching body part using a golden coin, to magic the pain away. 7/?

In Tuscany, there are many rites to increase good luck for those students who approach the 'maturità', the exam at the end of Italian high school. For example, in Pisa, there is the 'Rite of the Lizard': the students make a 'pilgrimage' to the cathedral, to touch the 8/?

little bronzed lizard on the church's door. This is said to bring good luck both for the exam and for the life ahead. 9/?

A superstition of Campania is that you should never gift a pin, and if you receive it as a gift you must use it to sting your finger and draw blood - this way, you won't suffer from pain and sorrow in the future 10/?

Of Neapolitan origin is also the most popular Italian amulet against the Evil Eye: the cornicello, of which I talk about here: 11/?

Veneto has a superstition that made me laugh for how appropriate it is! Almost comical for those who know northern Italy: the evening after a member of your family died, you should not make polenta 😂 12/?

Another superstition connected to death, in Veneto, is that you should never put your dearly departed to rest on a pillow stuffed with feathers: otherwise, their soul won't find rest, only pain in the afterlife 13/?

Then, there are a variety of 'riti scaramantici' (gestures that are supposed to bring good luck, or keep bad luck at bay) that are common across all the peninsula. For example, the left is supposed to bring bad luck so you should never get down the left side of the bed, nor 14/?

hold bread with the left hand, or step into a new house with the left foot. When bread was signed with a cross, it also brought bad luck to rotate it on the table! These are, quite evidently, all superstitions tied to christianity 15/?

But Italians are SO superstitious they often make up new rituals on the spot! For example, during the EuroCup, the Italian team would casually 'forget' to pick up one of their staff: that's because the first match they played, they did, and won. Simple logic, no? 16/?

Superstition in Italy occupies that weird place where... you don't really believe it, you know it's not rational, but you do it JUST IN CASE. My spouse and I are doing all kind of 'rituali scaramantici' to keep bad luck at bay in sight of our honeymoon 😂 17/?

There are many superstitions in Italy, you can find extensive lists on the internet. Check out this one for Veneto! It would be impossible to list them all here, so I hope I tickled your curiosity about this interesting aspect of Italian folklore 18/?

And if you're curious for more stuff about my country, check out my usual linktree page :3 19/19

Sat Sep 11 14:06:15 +0000 2021