Category Archives: orphans

Italain Superstitions Malocchio

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Did you know that the Italian culture has so many superstitious beliefs? Some superstitions are so prevalent, so ingrained in the culture, that they dictate
even the smallest details of everyday life. I can vouch for this because I’m
from an Italian Family and my Grandparents and my aunts and uncles, and many family friends were constantly warning us of these things we must do or not do as I was growing up.

Here’s are some of the most common superstitions :


The curse of the evil eye. Anyone can cast the evil eye intentionally or accidentally. All it to pay someone a compliment while feeling jealous or envious. My Grandmother use to give the TV set the evil eye if someone was doing something she didn’t like. She was adorable. The symptoms of malocchio curse can be moderate
to severe including migraine headaches, to fatigue and dizziness, or a soccer
team losing four straight games, and so on and so forth. The remedy for the evil eye involves a special ceremony performed by a grandmother or mother or aunt who has be taught the ancient ritual to dispel the evil eye.
They drip olive oil into a bowl of water. If the oil beads in a circle around the perimeter of a bowl, she must pray to a female saint for the cure. If the oil beads in a row through the center, they must pray to a male saint.


If a bird should fly into your home, be very afraid, for this is a sure sign of death.


Bread is most revered in Italy. When baking bread, always make the sign of the cross over the dough before baking.  And when taking the bread out of the oven, never let the bread slide upside down when removing it from the baking pans. This is considered disrespectful to the body of Christ. When you go to visit someone’s home for the first time, take a loaf of bread, it insures they never go hungry.  Also no matter how stale the bread is, it  must never be thrown away without kissing it first.

Selling your home:

When Italians want to sell their home, for good luck, they bury a small statue of Saint Joseph upside down facing towards the home.

Itchy Nose:

When your nose itches, it means your going to either kiss a fool or a fool is going to kiss you.

Pregancy Cravings:

Cravings, WHAT EVER YOU DODON’T TOUCH YOURSELF! Why? Because if you don’t have what you’re craving and touch yourself, your baby will be born with a birth mark in the same place you touch yourself and with the shape of your craving. Don’t believe me? My son has a birth mark of a steak on his back. REALLY he does.


Italian, we consider lucky numbers to be 10, 25, and 7. There are some numbers we consider unlucky, like 17, 90, and 48. Wednesday the 13th and Friday the 17th are unlucky days during the month. The number 90 is a scary number (this is from Sicily).

Le Corna or Red Hot Pepper:

In southern Italy, we have some objects that give us good luck, like a red hot pepper and “le corna.” The symbol for “le corna” is a hand with only two fingers pointing down. When a baby is born, we put a good luck object like these under the mattress of the baby’s crib to keep away bad luck. But “le corna” has a different meaning when the two fingers are pointing up. That means your wife or your husband is cheating on you!


Itchy Hand:

An old superstition about itching hands says that money is either coming or going according to which hand? If it is the left yoy receive money, if it is  the right you pay out?

Saint Christopher Medal:

A Saint Christopher medal can be found in a Italians car, he is the patron saint of motorists, he allegedly protect his fellow driver.

Visting Family and Friends:

Never ever go to anyones house empty handed, always, always bring something, to show your repect and graitude for them welcoming you into their homes.

I hope you all enjoy these. Looking back on all these makes me smile, and I thank the lord everyday that I was born Italian and brought up with such a wonderful loving Italian Family.  And even thought many have passed on who taught these superstitions, they will always be passed down from generation to generation. Because that is the Italian way. Viva Italia!!!!!!


Italian War Orphans

Italian War Orphans:
With the war casualties and even larger numbers of pows meant that many Italian children were left with only their mother to support them or on their own. And with a collapsing economy this was very difficult. When the fighting reached Italy, villages and cities were devestated all the way up the peninsula. Many children were killed or wounded and in many cases lost both parents. Large numbers of children were displaced as well as many orphaned. We have very few details on the dimensions of the problem or the measures taken by Italian authorities to deal with it at this time. In many cases this meant children who had lost their fathers and the mothers were unable to support them. Many were taken care of by extended Italian families. But larger numbers of children were on their own or with mothers who could not support them. This was a horrific time for these children, to be left homeless and alone.

Finding Dave’s Family


I had the honor of being able to help out my dear friend Dave who was given up at birth.  Dave was adopted by a wonderful family but always had the yearning to know who his birth parents were.  He came to me one day and asked if I could help him locate his family, Of course I said yes, and that’s when my adventure started. He had his mother and fathers names, so I started my search there. He had heard that he had 4 brothers. I found his father within hours, and learned that he had justed passed away a few years before, and that his father had one brother who was also deceased and a cousin who also was deceased. I did learn he came from a prominent family in Skokie, Il.

His mothers research took me a lot longer to find all the pieces to this puzzle, because womens names change through marriages. Not like in European countries where the women keep their given name.

I went to a genealolgy conference and met Jeanne Larzalere Bloom who specialized in orphans and abandon children. We discussed Dave’s situation and she advised me to get divorce records if they were divorced.

I did find out that his parent divorced in the 1950′s so I ordered the divorce records from the County Clerks office and waited about 2 weeks till they came in. I finally got the call they where there. So I went down town and started going over the divorce records, and they were very sad and hard to read. There was alot of abuse, but I learned from the records that he had a sister, no brothers where listed. I also found his grandmothers name and a aunts name. So I copied all the records and gave a call to fill him in on what I had learned.

Next I started with his grandmothers name and found the obituary, which listed his mothers current name and the town she lived in and a brother and his 2 sisters. His older brother and sister both had passed away. Ugh But he did have a living sister, Yeah. The reason why the brother and younger sister was not listed in the divorce records where because they had different fathers.

So my research went back to his mother, and I found out she also had passed away a few years back, so all I had was his younger sister. It was heart breaking to have to call him and tell him they were all deceased except his younger sister.

So then I started on his deceased brother and found his wife and childrens name.So we contacted her and she told me that his younger sister was in a group home with Autism, she gave me the group home name and phone number. I called Dave back that evening and told him my finally good news he was very excited and couldn’t wait to meet his sister.  So the next day Dave called the group home and he explained the situation. The owners of the group home were so happy to know that she had a brother. And so  we set up a date when Dave could meet  his little sister for the first time. It was so exciting for him, he said he always wanted a little sister.

The picture above is Dave and His Little sister.

Dave keeps in close contact with his little sister and hopes to have her move to Chicago in the near furture.

Never think that there is a dead end, keep asking question, the answers are out there.