“In a town in Calabria, a long time ago, there lived an old lady called Strega Nona, which meant “Grandma Witch.” Strega Nona is one of those magical people who can do anything, “even the priest and the sisters of the convent went, because Strega Nona did have a magic touch.” In Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola everything was going well and Strega Nona was content, but as she was getting older, like many of us she decided she needed help. Who answered her ad but “Big Anthony, who didn’t pay attention.” This line always makes my children giggle. Big Anthony is given a list of his duties but the most important one is never touching the pasta pot! Of course Big Anthony wants to impress the town…
The Strega Nona stories are a wonderful start to a trip to Italy. Calabria occupies the toe of Italy and is a bit off the beaten path, but with 500 miles of coastline, shipwrecks and four national parks, there is lots to explore. Some of the smaller towns like Locri which has been around since 680BC have amazing ruins, perfect for exploring and allowing your children’s imagination to run as they enjoy all of the pasta Italy has to offer, even if it doesn’t come from a magic pot!
If you’d like to add Strega Nona to your child’s library, click here: Strega Nona
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