Being An Italian Grandma “Nonna”: The Most Common Stereotypes!

What comes to mind when you think of an Italian grandma? Well, some of the most common things that spring to mind are exceptional cook, one that will not hesitate to give you a piece of her mind and deeply loves her family. Italian word for grandma is nonna. Other Italian grandma names include nanna, ajaja, and ava. 

So, What Are The Most Common Stereotypes For Nonna?

In this section, you’ll learn some of the most common stereotypes for nonna. You probably heard one of these phrases at some point if you have an Italian grandma. 

Italian grandma stereotypes - The Proud Italian

You need to eat more

When nonna is in town, you will eat well. You cannot simply tell her that you are full. She will not hear any of that. The typical question they’ll ask you is, “Are you sick or something? You eat now.”

What do you mean you are not hungry? Of course, you are!

Another thing you cannot tell your Italian grandmother is you are not hungry. They believe the millennials are selective when they talk about lactose and gluten intolerance. 

You’re looking far too skinny

For the ladies that are watching their diet and maintaining a lean body, nonna has something to say – you’re far too skinny. They will not leave it at that, and they even offer to feed you to fatten you up. 

Italian Grandmas disapprove using of phones too much - The Proud Italian

Youth these days are always on their phones

If you are someone that spends most of your time on your phone, on social media platforms, nonna doesn’t like that. You will not miss an Italian grandma lamenting how the youth have lost their social skills. The phones have become their mode of interaction that the youth have forgotten how to have a decent conversation with other people. 

They dance with wine cups in their hands at weddings

Nonna is also concerned about the way the new generation drinks. First, she believes that it is awful for one to dance with wine cups in their hands. Then, they believe that their descendants drink too much. It even surprises them more that the bride and groom drink during their wedding. You’ll hear nonna say, “You just wouldn’t have seen it in my day!”

When are you getting married?

If you are not married and nonna believes you are of age, trust me, she’ll say it to your face. They like to use the phrase, “You better do it soon; otherwise, I’ll be down in the ground.” The phrase is to put pressure on you to get married soon as they don’t have much time remaining. 

Italian grandma most common phrases- The Proud Italian

I want great-grandchildren sooner rather than later

Once you finally get married, you are not off the hook yet. Nonna wants great-grandchildren. They’ll tell you how when they were your age they already had two children. 

Most common phrases and questions you heard from Nonna - The Proud Italian

Your new partner….are they Italian?

Your nonna will always be interested in your personal affairs. She wants you to hook up with Italians to keep the culture. So, don’t get offended when she asks you questions such as “are they Italian?” they are just Italian grandmas. 

Your hair looks so much better when you leave it natural

Ladies, nonna likes your hair natural. Next time she’s visiting, ensure you leave your hair natural. Otherwise, you’ll likely hear something like, “Why do you feel the need to straighten your hair all the time?” 

You’ve put on weight

When you put on some weight, nonna is happy. She doesn’t like you, skinny. According to her, skinny means you are not eating well. But when you’ve added some weight, nonna believes you are eating well, and you should keep it up. 

Italian grandma serving coffee - The Proud Italian

What would you like to drink? Coffee?

Your grandma is not Italian if she does not serve you coffee. When nonna offers you coffee, it is a sign that she cares about you. Whenever she offers, be ready to take it as she will not take no for an answer. Otherwise, you should be prepared to answer questions like “You don’t drink coffee after 9 pm? Why?”

You shouldn’t buy gnocchi at the supermarket

Your nonna wouldn’t let you buy pasta from the supermarket, especially if she has a family recipe used for several generations. Unlike the millennials who buy prepared foods from the supermarkets, nonna believes in doing it herself. 

Italian grandma making ravioli - The Proud Italian

Tell me, do you cook anything fresh for yourself?

When you visit nonna and enjoy her freshly prepared meals, she believes you live off fast foods. Your Italian grandma will even offer to cook you some meals to take with you just to ensure that you eat healthy.


Nonna, which is Italian for grandmother, is an important figure in all Italian families. From the stereotypes mentioned above, you can see a reflection of someone who holds values dearly. Your nonna wants you to stay healthy, eat well, get married, and have children. Oh, and have some coffee while at it!