I am sitting next to my 95 year old grandma and will ask her all of your questions and answer them just as she says them.

She immigrated from Italy in 1955 with 4 kids and worked 7 days a week, 14 hour days for 7 years while raising four kids. She watched Mussolini speak in person in Italy, hid from the Gestapo, and had to cut up her wedding dress for clothes for her children. She is the most wonderful beautiful Nonna in the world. Ask her anything!

Nonna and Nonno on their honeymoon: http://imgur.com/Zdi2i

EDIT:: Their wedding photo. Thank you all for being so wonderful. She said "tell all my computer fans I love them! I love all of them!" http://i.imgur.com/jpnnS.jpg

EDIT: a picture of me (OP) and Nonna http://i.imgur.com/GUqAx.jpg

Comments: 1993 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

belalugosiscats527 karma

What is the most disturbing technological advance of the 21st century in your opinion?

NonnaIrma1244 karma


EpoxyM393 karma

How did you experience WW2 and what was the opinion of Germans in Italy back then?

NonnaIrma707 karma

My husband was an Italian soldier. He would steal chickens from gestapo to feed our family. You don't want to know the opinion we had of Germans. We hate them. We still do. I had to hide under the road in the sewer so I did not get killed. When we killed one German soldier, they would kill ten civilians and children as pay back. Mass graves all over my city.

DooberBooberDoo771 karma

Not to sound rude, but I myself am part German. I know you have a lot of resent for what happened during WWII, though I could never imagine how it was at the time. I hope you don't hold every German accountable. My great grandfather (my mother's grandfather) was put in a death camp for resisting the Nazis. He wasn't in the military, he only spoke out against them. The only reason I say this is because I feel as if I have to stand up for my heritage. I've been to Germany before, and the people there are pretty nice. The older folks not so much, but college students my age all knew English and were very fun to be around. Do you think you could ever forgive Germany? I completely understand if you couldn't. I'm glad you made it through that terrible experience, and I wish you many more happy years.

NonnaIrma77 karma

I replied to this and somehow it didn't show up. She has poor English. She doesn't hate Germans. Her oldest son married a German. She hates the ones that hurt her family and her people back then. She loves Germans today. Just not the ones back then that we're doing those horrible things. I'm sorry if it did not come across like that. She meant she still hates those Germans in the past.

Thank you for your grandfather!

DooberBooberDoo11 karma

And thank you for that response. Unfortunately a lot of redittors who commented have shown their ignorance, I hold nothing but respect for you and your grandmother.

NonnaIrma23 karma

Thank you. That's nice before I die. I impact one person.

omnibenevolent361 karma

Who taught you to computer?

NonnaIrma665 karma

It was your father...your mom, too. (my parents). I try everything, I like to learn. I like to computer.

sleepy_wall1628 karma

I like to computer too, slightly facist old lady.

almillarskovich289 karma

Sent to /r/nocontext.

TalksOnTheCan43 karma

Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite sub reddit. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. Cheers and an up vote to you.

NonnaIrma23 karma

"I'm glad. Making people laugh is good. Hahaha. Now I laugh"

fickett352 karma

What was going through your head when you watched Mussolini speak?

NonnaIrma729 karma

I love Mussolini. He did so much for the young people. He used to allow kids to do sports, get education, his only problem is going along with hitler.

uncommonsence283 karma

This AMA is incredible

What's your favorite moment from your childhood? Have you gone back to Italy and visited?

NonnaIrma519 karma

thank you!!! (then she laughed hysterically). my father was a train conductor so I would ride the train with my sister all day all around, we would eat desserts, read, and ride the train. several times. I can't even count how many!

xxllamacornxx268 karma

If you could relive just one moment in your life, what would it be? Why?

NonnaIrma829 karma

my wedding day. I love my tesorro, he was just (she giggled like a school girl) i love him. Even after he gone, I love him forever, I was kind of sad because I left my parents, But I love him so much.

xxllamacornxx80 karma

Did you keep anything that reminded you of him? Any momentous (like your wedding ring)?

NonnaIrma213 karma

She has a picture of them together on his Motoguzzi motorcycle still on her nightstand. All their wedding presents broke coming to America or she had to leave in Italy. She never had a drivers license because he always wanted to take her everywhere.

wattace245 karma

What is your best piece of advice to young people today?

NonnaIrma671 karma

Go to church. (all my aunts chimed in) shut up! I no stupid! Okay. Try to get an education. Yep. I was telling someone when we got to America people told the kids get high school diploma. Just the high school. Now they say master degree! Now college and no job! This is a very...Ahhh! They all... "mom!!! I move back in!!"

Aaguns216 karma

Did you ever see brutality from the SS or Gestapo personally? If so, what happened? Thanks.

NonnaIrma367 karma

They would stand in front of my house with machine guns. There was a square, they were all in the center with machine guns. Ready to shoot. They would lie down and if you did anything, they shoot without question.

Sup_Shenanigans197 karma

If it's not to personal I would like to know if you are afraid of death. I mean I'm sure you have faced more of it than most of the other members of reddit, so after going through all of that are you afraid?

NonnaIrma17 karma

Everyone is afraid of death but when you believe in God, he will help you. Of course I'm afraid. The worst is that I can't see you cousin new baby (due in dec. she thinks she will pass before then). The worst will be missing you and my children. Grand children. Great grandchildren. I love you so much.

popsicle_time192 karma

How does your grandma feel about gay rights?

NonnaIrma433 karma

Cadeto?! Against it 200%. I don't care. I don't like al these parades, (I asked why) because when they do parade they try to...I don't like these things. What more do you want to know?! I said i don't like it okay!

purenitrogen104 karma

Cadeto? Do you mean Che hai detto? "What did you say?"

NonnaIrma214 karma

Yes, I'm sorry. Most of this is coming from an iPhone and I am typing as fast as I can, sometimes it messes things up, she is answering 50% in Italian.

bfeliciano188 karma

In all of your years, what surprised you most about the world? I.E. Technology, politics, social movements, etc.

NonnaIrma540 karma

almost everything because all these things. The astronanut. they walk on the...anything, everything, they walk everywhere. we didn't even dream when I was young, we couldn't.

[deleted]182 karma


NonnaIrma266 karma

  1. L'Aquila where they have the big earth quake! these poor people

  2. can I ask laura? (my aunt) LAURAAAA....don't know baby doll!

  3. he's reaaaaaaaaaaaally bad. yep. he's a bad guy. realy bad. in what way i don't know. i just learned he is bad.

justsay_yes176 karma

Did you ever meet any of the American soldiers coming through Italy? And just curious, how prevalent was the Cosa Nostra (and organized crime in general) during your years in Italy?

NonnaIrma333 karma

lots, lots, lots. such nice men. I don't know because it was not talked about. You don't talk about that!

royalstaircase160 karma

How do you feel about the portrayal of world war two (all of it, not just the battles) in the various storytelling media (books, film, etc)?

NonnaIrma390 karma

they don't know the real story. if you believe the war really ended in the early 40's, you are wrong.

waterpoloing157 karma

What was your favorite musical artist or song when you were a teenager? Are there any recent songs or musical artists that you like? My Nana doesn't seem to like any of todays music one bit....Thanks for doing this! :)

NonnaIrma395 karma

we hear a lot of classico music. Bibli Zini... let me think... that is all. ohhh today music is HORRIBLE. I call it "Barking Dogs". okay you are welcome!

ServerGeek129 karma

  • What is your favorite Italian dish to cook/eat?
  • Do you have any plans to join Twitter?
  • Who was your favorite U.S. President in your lifetime, and why?

NonnaIrma424 karma

cook- uhm. E-e-e. how you say? Cappelletti. Eat-now I only eat the soup. I used to love artichoke. Roast lamb with green potatoes.

Cadeto? I don't understand. I am to old for computer!! I can not hardly see no more. I like to play on the computer.

Clinton. He was a good president. That's why. He left the country in a decent state with surpluss.

I detest George w. bush! Did they ask that?! Eight years of screwing up. F him. An effe!

KimJongUno216 karma

What does "cadeto" mean?? I keep seeing it.

Nonna, all of reddit hates George W. Bush.

NonnaIrma191 karma

we still wash the dishes by hand. Does Kim Jong Uno know that? we still do dishes by hand.

it means "what did you say?" or "what do you mean?"

LewisIsHere29 karma

Hi Nonna - what do you think of Capretto stew? I think it's my favourite - I was hoping to find some when I went to Italy but couldn't find anyone that sold it.

NonnaIrma43 karma

I do not know what that is. Spell it. I have never heard of that.

Roxxer129 karma

After seeing the human race advance for 95 years, what do you think the next 95 years will look like?

NonnaIrma319 karma

I hope it's better than the first 95! I'm hoping they don't have any war again.


How do you feel about Jews?

NonnaIrma596 karma

As a whole? Or one jew? What Jew?

MrCynicalMan126 karma

Would you ever want to go back to Italy?

NonnaIrma392 karma

all my family is here now, only family left there is niece, all my grandchildren, great grandchildren, they all come here. my parents all die, my sisters all die. I just don't.

Josiah621122 karma

Just wanted to say its amazing to be able to see your point of view, me being only 19 I'm always interested in seeing history. It's amazing, you're 95 and have seen things that no person will ever see again in that time and place. You're amazing!

NonnaIrma173 karma

I don't know. I don't think so. I was working all the time, sometimes weeks, months, I don't even remember because I start working and never stop until I could not longer do anything

( she got a huge calcium deficiency in the war and lost the ball part of her ball/socket joints and can not move without major pain now)

AnticholinergicCraze111 karma

How did the Italian populace feel towards Mussolini? Did they really feel that he would solve problems or was it more of a military rule? (was the spirit of the Italian people [from your experience] behind Mussolini?)

How was it moving over the ocean to a nation that was previously your home-country's enemy? Are you glad that you did not finish raising your family in Italy? What parts of American culture do you appreciate most?

NonnaIrma259 karma

No he solved a lot of problems! No thinking. I know. I saw it.

We never hate America! Did I say that?! I no say that! We love America! Americans are so friendly. I love them. America...we were living close to road. One side was downtown Rome, the Americans got here in WWII. we lined the street and threw chocolates and candies to them. Like Mardi gras.

No. I am not glad about that. We enjoy life. America is all about work. They take one month vacation, a several hour lunch...ah...

Culture meaning what? I think California is the best. The people there...so beautiful. I would've liked to stay in new York with civilized peoples.

BaginaVoob101 karma


NonnaIrma94 karma

What part of italy were they in the war? I don't know what to say to them...that is so nice. I don't know.

MagentaVitus94 karma

How much of a sacrifice was it to cut up your wedding dress? Do you still have the clothes you made from it?

NonnaIrma200 karma

a very very big sacrifice. yes. in the war we didn't have anything. I lost everything I loved. no, no, no, no! I wish I did, but, eh.

ptsbbam89 karma

Provide proof please!

What was your biggest culture shock upon entering the US? (Assuming she immigrated to the US)

Also, when Mussolini spoke.. What was the crowd's general opinion towards him at that point? (Was he persuasive, moving, hated, loved, etc.)

NonnaIrma117 karma

Capito. Everything different. Musical different. The language. I can't speak one word. They loved him! He was a very motivational speaker. I can let them hear it. Do they want to hear it?

abluesguy87 karma

Tell her "Cento de questi giorni " Post her reply. Tell her I know its not her birthday, but I wish it anyway.

NonnaIrma267 karma

my father was born on 20 of july in 1882. wish him a happy birthday. I was so close to him. Even with so many years of him missing, in the morning, I still look for him.

TryingTheKarmaLotto87 karma

Were your father and mother around?

NonnaIrma117 karma

of course. Yes, they were, yes. that was the worst thing I could do is to leave them for America

theatrelover82 karma

Are you ever afraid that something like the Gestapo could happen again? Why or why not?

NonnaIrma266 karma

I hope not. I am not afraid because I don't know how long I will be in this world. But I hope for everyone that is here, it will never happen again.

Juagoo79 karma

During WW2 what did Italians think of the Japanese/the Japanese attack on America?

NonnaIrma124 karma

no infraction, NOTHING! for me, it was about Italia! don't say that. But I really, no hard feeling.

classyamerican70 karma

Which decade did you enjoy most? Why?

NonnaIrma165 karma

the one in my first beginning of marriage to Nonno. (my grandfather)

pressthebuttonfrank69 karma

My grandfather emigrated to America from Naples, traveled America as a band director. What career did your Nana's family pursue in the old country? Also, when she came to America did they speak Italian at home and English at school or just English?

NonnaIrma121 karma

In Italy, they made leather shoes and when they came to America they were chefs. They spoke Italian at home and my dad actually started school not knowing English.

Kelsig66 karma

What is the best meal in your opinion?

NonnaIrma300 karma

I don't know! Gnocchi!

InfernalWedgie56 karma

Ciao Nonna, di dove è Lei? Quale città? (Hi Grandmother, where are you from? Which city)

NonnaIrma64 karma


TerminusE5t47 karma

What goals do you have left on your bucket list?

NonnaIrma82 karma

I wish I had some! I don't have anything. What do you think?

WrongWaySmileyFace41 karma

Thoughts about people like this making stereotypes for italian-americans everywhere?

NonnaIrma312 karma

When I left, we did not have TV. Now, I only watch divorce court. I cannot compare.

tritonx35 karma

Are you afraid of history repeating itself?

NonnaIrma7 karma

War for sure. All the wars im afraid. We have to move ahead. Do better. Or try.

SebastianRamone30 karma

Where the 1960's a big a turning point as people depict it in your opinion? And if not what decade was a huge turning point in your life?

NonnaIrma62 karma

no, no. ah-ah. actually, ah, 1980. no, no. let me think! hm...the...your father when he turned 54. that decade. (6 years ago). no. the day when we left this country. or Italy. When I came here. (26 of November)

spauldeagle11 karma

What's your secret for living to such an old age?

NonnaIrma8 karma

Lots of work. Not eat much. Work a lot. That's true. Very true