1. Food is always her question and her answer.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you’re depressed, can’t sleep at night because your boss treats you like crap, or you have the flu. The first question your Italian mother will ask you will be: “Have you eaten?” Her question is so typical of her that your answer will always come automatically “Yes, I have/Of course, I have” even if it’s been five days since the last time you ate something.

2. Your Italian mom loves calling you. All the time.

Even though you’re almost in your forties and you’re off for the weekend just a two hour-drive from home, you know that as soon as you arrive in your vacation place or about to come back, you’ll receive a phone call or a WhatsUp message (why did I ever teach my mother to use Whatsup?) asking you “Have you arrived safely? Everything’s ok?” Of course, you can remind her that “Mum, I’m not twelve years old anymore!” but it will be useless.

By the way, do you know you can block users on Whatsup? You are welcome, fellow Italians.

3. She tells everyone every minute detail of your birth and childhood.

A friend of yours had just had a baby, she’s visiting you and it happens that your mother is also there. You don’t have kids so you can’t share your own experiences, but, wow, your mother can! She will start telling in detail everything about your birth and your first days as a newborn, as though you were born yesterday (but actually it happened in 1979). You’ll feel embarrassed and bored listening to the same old story for the millionth time, so you shift the focus on something else as fast as you can.

4. Sunday is definitely her day.

Your mother is not practicing Catholic and neither your father is but for her is impossible not to consider Sunday a special day. You can try to tell her that for you is just a day like any other, but you know you’re supposed to go see your parents in your best clothes and have a massive lunch together on Sundays You are away on vacation? You’ll receive her Whatsup message (again) with her usual “Have a nice Sunday”. Sigh.

5. You never dare tell your mother you are ill. It’s not worth the drama.

If it happens that you woke up with a stomach ache, a little headache or a scratchy throat, don’t ever tell your Italian mother. She will immediately get overly worried about you and she will stop doing anything she is doing to come and see you. Of course, you will need to follow all her advice and hers only. If the following day you’re still feeling mildly ill, you will hear her whispering to you “don’t you think it’s better to be safe and go to the closest ER”?