The Madonna Addiction edition

La Dolce Vita has a problem…..

…..The country is addicted to the Madonna

And Mama is the Madonna substitute

So two little problems need to be resolved…..


… does Mama have children without the

grunting, groaning, moaning efforts of Papa ?

Frankly, she can’t !


Who is actually the boss here ?

The answer is not straightforward…..

In the north of Italy the answer is simple

Mama ! ! ! ! !

But the pretence is maintained that Papa is in charge

As long as everyone (starting with Mama) acts as if Papa

is in charge then…..

…..Papa is as happy as a ‘maiale nella merda’ (pig in shit)

So it’s simply all a great big game…..

For example…..

…..Mama to car salesman ‘Let me ask my husband which one

he would like’

…..Mama to Papa ‘Tell that prick we are having the canary

yellow coupe’

So a kind of flexible approach to ‘Madonnernity’ exists

Down south, the problem is more problematic…..

Mama and Papa can both be in charge…..

…..but not in the same household

Some southern Italian families are still living a medieval kind of life

This is summed up perfectly in the 1977 film entitled…..

…..’Padre Padrone’

…..which means…..’Father and Master’

… which to this day some girls go straight from her father’s

house to her husband’s…..

…..with NOTHING in between

And if said girl is not a virgin when she unveils her truth on the

wedding night (evidence not necessarily required to be displayed)

…..but preferably !

Then it is still grounds for an annulment in the eyes of the Catholic


Hard to believe but true

As is the statistic that nine out of ten twenty five, yes 25, year

old Italian girls / women…..

…..will swear blind they are still VIRGINS

Incredibly, many women think it doesn’t count if you do it in a car !

… opposed to a bed !


You are no longer a virgin

Equally incredibly, some women think if you don’t enjoy the sex

then it doesn’t really count !


And start getting used to it because that may be as good as

it gets !

Yesterday, the G-man went on a little Madonna hunt of his own…..

…..easy tiger…..

…..remember the big G is big on fidelity

No, the G-ster was ‘Sulle tracce di Jacopo Bassano’ or in

our dialect

‘On the Bassano trail’

Jacopo Bassano was a sixteenth century Renaissance painter


…..Yes, you guessed it, Bassangeles

…..and his favourite altar piece subject was the Madonna

Up into the mountains with his true love (Giulietta) to the

tiny village of Santa Caterina di Lusiana…..


‘Madonna in Trono col Bambino e I Santi Caterina e Zeno’


‘Madonna on the throne with a baby and Saints Catherine

and Zeno’

It brought a lump to my throat…..

Giulietta glided round the hair pins like she was on rails,

the autumn light was limpid, the roads empty, the leaves

just starting to turn

This IS actually better than THAT

(because you can’t do that when you are 90 but you can

still do this ! ! ! ! !)



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