Fiocco Nascita: Italy’s Sweet Approach to Birth Announcements

If you wander through an Italian city or village, you might spot the occasional bow tied outside an apartment door. This ‘Fiocco Nascita’ is a birth announcement – letting the world outside know that a new little person has arrived.

A birth ribbon tends to be pink or blue to indicate the arrival of a tiny girl or boy, and they can be extremely ornate or simply made out of tulle. They tend to be tied up high above the main door (portone) to alert the neighbors that the big day has finally come. 

A fiocco nascita is typically hung up the day the baby comes home from the hospital, and stays up for around a month. Some say that the bow – two pieces of ribbon tied together – symbolize two becoming one. Though these days, I don’t think many people give a thought to the symbolic meaning because the tradition of hanging up the fiocco nascita is well established across all of Italy. 

The bows can be handmade and personalized with the name of the baby, so they act as a keepsake for many years to come. These fancy fiocco nascita can also be pricey, and ring up at close to €100 depending on how elaborate they are. However, even the simple bows tend to include a small card where parents can write the name of the baby, as well as its birthday, weight and height, if desired.

I smile every time I see a fiocco nascita, sending silent best wishes to the family who are just settling in. I love the discrete way of informing the palazzo that the baby is here (no need to keep asking!) and the extra bit of decoration and joy that it adds.

When we put our first bow on the door in 2017, all of the neighbors we were close to stopped by with food and gifts, which made our first forays into parenting feel less lonely – our village let us know they were there! When the second ribbon went up, we were in the first weeks of Italy’s national COVID lockdown and so no one could visit but we could still share a bright piece of news.

I suppose this is also a good way to let you all know that we have hung our third fiocco nascita outside, as well. A new little Roman is here (making her entrance 4 days after we moved to our new Roman home) and we can’t wait to show her her city. 

If you are interested in more parenting/kid experiences in Italy you can check out traveling and eating in Italy while pregnant, what babies eat in Italy, breastfeeding in Italy, and giving birth in Italy

One thought on “Fiocco Nascita: Italy’s Sweet Approach to Birth Announcements

  1. Giacomo Malvermi says:

    Chinotto is very addictive.
    Why? It is bitter. It has a weird taste and it leaves a strange bitter taste in the mouth. But I quite literally cannot live without it. As dark as vaffancola but that’s where the similarities end.
    It’s so Italian and so wrong under so many aspects, but I LOVE it!

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