Mariuccia is a very special person in Roberto Bolle's life, but is seldom seen or talked about. The paparazzi don't photograph her, and she doesn't give interviews about her relationship with Italy's most famous male dancer, yet for Bolle she is central to his life… she's his mother.
On Boxing Day, Mariuccia will have her media profile raised when she appears on the Italian programme Unici, among actors, directors and tv personalities, to talk about her son.
She's giving me a very special present. It is not natural for her to appear in public like this, and I'm sure there'll be certain things that I'll be hearing for the first time,
said Bolle in an interview in this week's Chi magazine.
Bolle left the family home when he was 11-years-old to study at the La Scala ballet school.
We've never really talked about how it was for her when she let me leave from Milan: the difficulty of the decision, the worries. They are things that you feel, but putting those feelings into words has another importance.
We'll all be in front of the television to watch it together. It will be quite emotional, in a different way for each one of us.
His parents live in Trino, near Vercelli in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy, the same town where the young Roberto spent his infancy.
I go back whenever I can. To find myself in the same family atmosphere, cosseted and protected, is wonderful. It's a great fortune for me that my parents still live where I grew up: it's like a thread which keeps me tied to the ground, giving me stability.
My parents are crucial for me, even when they're in the last row. Now it's my Dad's turn to come up front.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.