We're Celebrating Our Bambini with an Italian Baby Shower!

First off, baby showers are not normally held in Italy, so there are no customs that can be followed for an Italian baby shower. However, there is not one person that is going to refuse to join you for a few hours of Italian baby shower fun!

Let the invitations announce the theme! If you can find someone to help you write it in Italian, by all means, do so. There's no better way to let everyone know what's going to happen at this Italian baby shower. If you can't do so, word it in English but drop in a few Italian words.

You could choose a commercial card that sports a picture of wine bottles and olives on checkered red fabric or print your own cards using Italian-themed pictures. Use black or brown paper for the background and attach the picture to the front to frame it and print the Italian baby shower details on a cream colored paper that can be glued inside. Invite the guests to “Casa della (the hostess' name) to celebrate Mamma (the mommy-to-be's name) and the little bambini that will join us soon.”

Decorate the party area like an Old Italian trattoria. Have some travel posters around and the ubiquitous grapevines and grape bunches and the must-have braid of garlic.

Deck the tables in red checkered tablecloths and top them with wine bottle candelabras. Set the tables very simply; the emphasis is more on the food than on table decorations. The food table can be a little more decorated, though. Some grape leaves and bunches of grapes (real or synthetic) set the stage nicely. More wine bottles acting as flower vases finish it off. Have some Italian music playing in the background, either classic opera or more modern Italian music (Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli are great choices for this) and you're done.

Now the food! This is the highlight of the Italian baby shower and should include 2 to 3 kinds of pasta, each with a different sauce and different kinds of pasta noodles. You could have a tomato-based sauce, a cream sauce, and a plain pasta al burro (with butter and cheese). An insalata mista (mixed greens salad) and a rich chocolate dessert finishes the menu nicely. A choice of red or white grape juice cut with sparkling water makes the meal even more festive.

What about the cake? Since this is technically an adaptation only, have any sort of cake the mommy-to-be wants. If you want to be culturally correct, Italians are very famous for their desserts and the best option would be to order a traditional style cake from your local Italian bakery.

A great game to play here would be the Italian Baby Shower Word Scramble. Use an online translator to translate common words that are associated with maternity, pregnancy, and labor into Italian. Then scramble the letters and print them out in a list form. Give each guest a copy of the list and have them unscramble the Italian words. Dictionaries not included except to check!

There are favors from Capodimonte available online. These sweet ceramic favors of baby rattles, rocking horses, cribs, pacifiers, and playing babies are definitely worth the $2 or so they're being sold for.