Hundreds of families across the USA will say “benvenuti” to an au pair from Italy this year. That’s because Italian au pairs bring a lot to the table—and we’re not just talking about food!
Italian au pairs have a lot of childcare experience from growing up with large families. It’s extremely common for Italians to babysit younger siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. Spanning generations and usually several households, Italian families are close-knit ones, with extended family often joining together for meals. Because of how important family is in Italian daily life, American host families find themselves bonding very quickly with their au pairs from Italy.
Take the Sinofsky-Bohm family for example. They’ve become wonderfully close with their Italian au pair Grazia. They admit that at first, the idea of having someone from outside their family live with them was unfamiliar—but with her warm smile and jovial demeanor, Grazia quickly won them over.
“We sing songs and laugh together,” says host mom Laura Sinofsky-Bohm. “Often times we can be found finishing each other’s sentences. A simple look and we could communicate with each other. Ironically, there have been times my husband has walked in on us belting out theatrical tunes and dancing in unison. He jokes saying that we are like sorority sisters.”
Italian au pairs, Italian nannies and Italian babysitters also tend to be well educated. Italian universities are largely supported by the state, so a college education is accessible to many young people. As the world job market is getting increasingly competitive in recent years, Italians are more and more likely to attend college to compete.
Italian au pairs have also shown their host families time and again how committed they are to sharing Italian culture and learning more about American culture. The Cooper family from Connecticut had some excellent help when their daughter’s school was learning about other cultures. Their Italian speaking au pair Margareta introduced the language to their school community!
“Margareta went to her classroom and greeted the children in Italian,” says Kristen Cooper, a host mom in Connecticut. “She then strung pasta necklaces with the kids and taught them to sing a popular children’s song in Italian. She is also exposing us all to Italian cuisine, holiday traditions, and customs.”
Italians au pairs are also very skilled drivers! When you think of Italy, you may picture a tiny little fiat. The truth is, while au pairs that grew up in cities may need to adjust to larger cars, outside of small city blocks larger sedans are more common. Since Italian au pairs are used to both crowded cobblestone roads and snowy country roads, they’re quite adaptable—and able to bring your children to school, sports, or wherever else they need to be.
And of course, what Italian au pair doesn’t have a passion and love for food!? Of course, an au pair from Italy is a perfect person to learn more about Italian cuisine from, especially if you’ve grown up with Italian-American traditions. The Teefey family in Pennsylvania jokes with their au pair about “fake American” traditions and “fake Italian” traditions, like the seven fishes on Christmas eve, that aren’t practiced in Italy. Now, as one big global family, the Teefeys and their au pair combine Italian and American traditions to make their own that will always be special to them.