Today is my onomastico, or name day, here in Italy. You didn’t know today was dedicated to Saint Laura? That’s just fine, because no one seems to know! St. Laura de Cordoba was a Spanish Christian living under Muslim rule in Spain in the 9th century. After she was widowed she became a nun at Cuteclara, but not much is known about her life or the cult that spread across Europe after her death. She was martyred by Muslims who scalded her to death in a vat of boiling lead on this day in 864. Ouch!

Here in Italy, especially in southern Italy, one’s onomastico is a day of celebration and warm wishes from family and friends, much like a birthday. Who can complain about having two days to celebrate during the year? Onomastico is a rather strange word that intrigued me when I first saw it on greeting cards here on the Amalfi Coast. Now you know what it means if you hear people wishing one another a “Buon onomastico” during your travels in Italy.

  • Lost in Sicily

    Happy name day, Laura!

    October 19, 2009
  • Richard Curtis

    Buon Giorno Laura,

    Buono Onomastica!

    I used to celebratet this day but I get called so many names I could never figure out which one to celebrate anymore….you know like; " hey you $(j(^%#@!!!"……hohohoh

    Love and Light,


    October 19, 2009
  • Megan in Liguria

    Tanti auguri!!! 🙂

    October 19, 2009
  • Cherrye Moore


    October 19, 2009
  • ladylitigator

    Auguri Laura.

    October 19, 2009
  • Anne in Oxfordshire

    Happy name day Laura.. great to have a day named after you 🙂 Mine is on the 26th July I believe. Must look it up properly!

    October 19, 2009
  • Laura

    Well thanks for that information! What a nasty ending for her. I will mark my calendar and celebrate our day next year.

    October 19, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao a tutti! Many thanks to everyone for the sweet wishes! 🙂

    October 22, 2009
  • Happy Name’s Day, Laura! I have to go on my Polish-Italian schtick here, seeing as I’m up North visiting my relatives constantly and Poles are convinced that Italians love them, copy them constantly, and know all about Poland. In Poland you tend to only celebrate the Name’s Day, which becomes extremely convenient when you reach a certain age and don’t want to tell anyone it’s your birthday, but still want to get presents at some point during the year. The Name’s day is a real boon. Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

    October 19, 2010
    • Ciao Barbara! Oh, that’s interesting about only celebrating the Name Day in Poland. I had no idea! But I think I’d ditch the birthday celebrations if I was Italian because of that strange tradition where you have to pay for dinner or drinks for every one if you go out. I’m VERY American in this respect… I want others to spoil ME on MY birthday! I think that’s so much nicer than the Italian approach. I’m not sure if there’s the same tradition for the onomastico though. I hope not! Oh, and very clever about not having to reveal your age when celebrating the onomastico! 🙂

      October 20, 2010

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