Italy celebrates its grandparents

Tenth anniversary of Festa dei Nonni in Italy.

On 2 October Italy celebrates the important role of grandparents in families and society in general.

The Festa dei Nonni is being marked with events and initiatives across Italy over the weekend from 2-4 October.

This year it was officially recognised by the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, in a speech at the Quirinale Palace, in which he underlined the important role that grandparents play as shock absorbers (ammortizzatore sociale), particularly at a time of economic crisis and social change. He also raised the question of whether enough is being done by the state to help them in their important role.

This is the tenth anniversary of the celebration which was introduced in Italy in 2005, and coincides with the Catholic church's feast day for guardian angels.

Grandparents Day was introduced in the US in 1978 following a proposal by Marian McQuade, a West Virginia grandmother of 40 grandchildren.

For details of events in Italy see Fondazionesenioritalia website.