The Italian American Podcast
The Italian American Podcast
The Italian American Podcast
IAP 165: Mal'Occhio -- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Evil Eye with Special Guest Agata De Santis
1 hour 1 minutes Posted Nov 17, 2020 at 6:03 am.
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Show notes

The Mal’Occhio… the Evil Eye… It's a concept that lives deep in the collective psychology of Italian America, but is it science or superstition?

The answer depends on what you believe, as you’ll hear in this week’s episode when we sit down with Italo-Canadian filmmaker and author Agata De Santis, whose documentary film and follow-up book “Mal’occhio: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Evil Eye” might just change they way you see this ancient Italian belief.

Reminding us all that “everyone has a mal’occhio story,” Agata recounts some of the more compelling stories she’s encountered throughout her years of research, and why most people agreed that “It’s true, but I don’t believe in it!”

Agata will also teach us about the amulets, incantations, and other means of protection people use to defend themselves against the mal’occhio… including the cornicello which, she stresses, is not a pepper!

And we will talk about how to understand belief in the Evil Eye within traditional Catholic teachings, and what the mal’occhio means in the context of the Italian American diasporic experience.

Get out your cornicello, scissors, mano cornuta, or whatever else you wear to protect yourself from the mal’occhio, and join us for an episode we guarantee will have you examining your opinions with fresh occhi!

To purchase Agata's book or to learn more, visit