Italian multimedia journalist based in Glasgow. Passionate about gender and postcolonial studies, my work focuses on women's rights, mental health, and sexuality.
Five period myths debunked
As I opened a copy of “It’s About Bloody Time, Period” by BBC journalist Emma Barnett, I realised that the English language has so many euphemisms to describe or, better, to avoid saying the word “menstruation”. Expressions like blood rain, auntie flo, rag week, rusty pipes, and red sea were just a few of the phrases I found.
No matter the wealth of our period vocabulary, however, we still suffer from a sort of reticence when it comes to actually discussing the issue of menstruation itself. F...
Why the gender pain gap is more than just a feminist issue
If I were to talk about the “gender gap”, most of you would immediately understand that I am referring to the difference between the way men and women are treated in society, culture, politics, economy and more. Some of you might directly think about the “gender pay gap”, which concerns people’s average hourly earnings and how they differ based on gender.
If, however, I started to talk about the “gender pain gap”, I’m sure that I would get more than a couple of confused looks. And this is exa...
Brexit: Let’s reform the immigration system, not regret lost privileges
Five years to the day that the UK voted to leave the EU, European nationals find themselves at a crossroads. Should we fight to preserve our own exceptionalism – or campaign for a fairer and more humane immigration system for everyone?
In post-Brexit Britain, gone are the days when Germans, Italians or Spaniards could simply board a plane and start their new life in the UK. So much has changed since I first left Italy three years ago, carrying just one suitcase but many ambitions.
As I build ...
Back Off Scotland: fighting for abortion rights
“While walking with my baby in the pram, I passed one protester standing on the pavement outside the centre. She tried to hand me a leaflet which clearly had anti-abortion messaging… I spoke to her about what she was doing… She looked into my baby’s pram and said ‘but there’s a reason you didn’t want to murder your own baby’. I walked away and she shouted after me: ‘You are a hypocrite. You knew she was a baby and you knew she was in your womb. Would you kill her too?’”
In a turn of events th...
‘How could this happen?’ The Italian anti-choice group that buries foetuses without mothers knowing
For The Independent, I've written about Italy's "Gardens of Angels", cemeteries where thousands of fetuses are buried every year by Catholic anti-choice association Defending Life with Mary (Advm) - all without the parents knowing.
Nearly One Million Italians Are Fighting to Be Recognised as Citizens
For VICE UK, I've written about so-called "Italians without citizenship", people who, despite being born and/or raised in Italy, are still denied citizenship due to outdated laws awarding blood ties.
These "invisible Italians" are disenfranchised and struggle to gain access to healthcare and jobs.
Why do women need to die before we listen?
As we reach the end of this week, I can safely say that the news flow has been overwhelming to say the least. On Monday, International Women’s Day, we started off with sparkly designs being posted everywhere to celebrate the “girl bosses” in our lives. We told them they could do anything they set their mind to. On Wednesday, not only did we find out that 97% of young British women have been sexually harassed but we also began talking about the case of Sarah Everard, a woman who went missing i...
Virginity myths and the lies people tell you
Popping one’s cherry, deflowering: these are only a couple of the many euphemisms we use to describe the first time people have sex. Even the most common expression, “losing your virginity”, implies no longer possessing something, getting rid of something valuable.
I don’t know about you, but these expressions have surely never sounded appealing to me. They have always made me feel uncomfortable and left me wondering about the impact of “having my cherry popped”.
It also doesn’t help that we ...
Glasgow’s strippers are fighting to save their jobs
As the council puts forward a consultation to shut down the city’s lap dancing clubs, dancers are doing what they can to educate the public. Megara Furie, leader of the campaign, tells us: ‘Feminism is having the ability to choose. It’s not a time when you should tell women what to do.’
Sex Work in Scotland: Peer-led Charities Hit Back at Scottish Government
As Umbrella Lane’s team first read the findings of the Equally Safe consultation, the Scottish sex worker charity felt positive. Prerna Menon, Umbrella Lane’s co-ordinator, told Bella Caledonia: “From the amount of responses the consultation received, it’s clear that lots of sex workers actually engaged and made their voices heard.”
However, although respondents highlighted the need for more meaningful engagement from peer-led groups, Umbrella Lane – the only sex worker-led support organisati...
Tips for creating a podcast on a limited budget
The podcast industry has experienced incredible growth worldwide in recent years. According to the annual Edison Research survey released in March, around 176 million people in the U.S. are weekly online audio listeners, an all-time high.
With thousands of shows being released every year, creators can be tempted to start their own. Many, however, feel intimidated or discouraged by the thought of spending huge amounts of money on a project they have no guarantee will take off.
The truth is tha...
Mistakes to avoid when creating a podcast
Originating in the 1980s as “audio-blogging,” podcasting started as a way for people to share their experiences and thoughts via audio recording. Forty years on, it has developed into a full-blown genre that has allowed innovative formats and new voices to enter mainstream discourse.
According to the annual Edison Research survey released in March, approximately 80 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners, a 17% increase over 2020. Not only is the industry growing, but its audience is n...
Dealing with impostor syndrome in journalism? Here are some tips.
All writers experience moments of self-doubt at some point in their careers. The very activities of writing, proofreading and rewriting facilitate reflection and can induce overthinking, even just as a form of perfectionism.
If you’ve ever found yourself, however, questioning the adequacy of your writing skills despite evidence to the contrary, or telling yourself you do not deserve your career achievements, you might be suffering from impostor syndrome.
First described by psychologists Suzan...
Debunking vagina myths
Most (cis) women have a complicated relationship with their vagina, let’s be honest. It’s almost like that super-shy cousin who lives next to your house. You see each other all the time but interactions are inevitably awkward.
In everyday life, this awkwardness translates into anxieties and insecurities which make us feel inadequate, as if there was an ideal vagina we should all strive for. This is partly due to the culture and society that we are immersed in. Campaigners have been fighting f...
It’s Time We Talk About Endometriosis
As this year’s Endometriosis Awareness Month comes to an end, Bella Caledonia has talked to some Scottish women affected by the condition. Despite affecting one in 10 women in the UK, endometriosis is still a lesser-known condition that can seriously impact people’s physical and mental health.
Carrie-Mae Macmillan, from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire, was only 16 when she first started experiencing a regular, excruciating lower abdominal pain. “It wasn’t the level of pain that I would ...