Strong Italian Women

18 Mar

I come from a long line of strong Italian women. They may have differed in size, shape, personality, temperament, and accomplishment, but they shared some important characteristics:  independence and fortitude.

Fortunately, this is not unique to my family. Miranda, my Italian teacher’s mother, was another such lady. Although I never met her, I had the pleasure of speaking to her on the phone a year ago in Italy. Like so many of her generation, she didn’t need a college education to demonstrate her skills.

When Miranda moved to Chicago with her husband, she wanted to work.  She knew she had a knack for design as she made all of her own clothes, so she headed downtown to Marshall Fields.  When they asked for her resume, she instead asked them for some fabric. Watching her work her magic, they hired Miranda on the spot.


Miranda Brigiotti in her own design in Chicago, late 50’s.

After some years in America, she returned to her native Italy, still independent and feisty. Many years later, at the age of 88, she became what is believed to be the oldest Italian to get her driver’s license. When asked why, at 88, she responded, “Because it’s necessary to be independent!” And later, when proudly showing her license and asked again why now,  she replied, “Because I’m still young!”

Sadly, Miranda passed away in January, 10 days before her 91 birthday, but she remains a great role model for us all! You don’t need to understand Italian to enjoy this wonderful YouTube of Miranda, posted by her niece, as the interviewer describes “the red-haired elegant woman dressed in black who finally got her driver’s license at the age of 88!”

Brava, Miranda… Complimenti!



8 Responses to “Strong Italian Women”

  1. Deidre March 18, 2014 at 9:09 AM #

    Lovely story, Judy! My Italian has lapsed too long but I did understand a few phrases. Love the red tresses–and the little bit of vanity she still had. Looking good.


    • blogginginitaly March 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM #

      Thanks, Dee. She answers that she is tired of asking her husband to drive her around and wants to be independent, but you can pretty much understand her just from the gestures.


  2. Yvonne Wilson March 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM #

    Love it, love her, love the way she “hops” up onto the curb. We should all be so fortunate to look, act and be that spry when we are her age. Thanks for sharing Judy!!


  3. Patricia Hughes March 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM #

    Dear old thing! I remember seeing her on the TG3 Toscana!


  4. Filocia Poma March 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM #

    Love it, we should all be so lucky. Thanks for sharing.


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