Chi sono io – who am I?

It seems like a hundred years ago now, but back when I was living in Australia in 2012, around febbraio, I decided in a whirlwind moment that I wanted to travel to Europa. At the beginning I was just planning to do a 6 week trip and seeing all that I could see, a whole bunch of countries I had dreamed off, and catching up with some amiche that I hadn’t seen since just getting out of high school. Then I went to buy my ticket to londra. I decided to first by a one way ticket, then I would get my return a couple of weeks later… I never did get my return ticket. I decided, screw it, i’m over Australia, I want to see the world, and what better place than londra to have Europa on my doorstep.

I didn’t want to look back at my life and have regrets, my own mother, bless her heart, whom I love dearly, is in her late forties and has never left New Zealand, I didn’t want to be like that. Granted she did have me in her early 20s, so a baby would of been harder to drag around to the other side of the world, but still. So I thought, why not, LETS DO THIS! So I set off to get all my correct documents to be able to leave to come to this country called England. I was still planning to do my part of my Europa  trip, but the destinations changed somewhat, after an experience at a Youth Conference called Ignite, I remember kneeling during Adoration, and thinking Dio, dove devo andare? And all I could think about the whole time I was kneeling there, was Italia, italia, italia, Sweet, that’s a good enough sign for me, ITALY HERE I COME!

So I started all my preparation for Italy, I was arriving to London on the 9th of dicembre 2012, e 3 giorni dopo I was flying into roma fiumicino! 

Photo Credit: Roberto Schnieder

12 Dec 2012: Sitting on the plane, only 1 hour to go till Roma.  – Photo Credit: Roberto Schnieder

I remember the feeling I felt as I was walking out of the departures. I’m in Italy…. I’M IN ITALY!!!! A place I could only dream of, I have always felt a special connection to Italy…  Maybe because my grandmother’s parents on my father’s side were from the little aeolian island of Stromboli, or maybe it was because I spent 24 years going up going to the roman catholic church, just something about Italy gave me a strong connection, and there waiting for me at the otherside of the departures was my italian pen friend (now boyfriend) at the time Matteo….

I remember listening to all the sounds of the loudspeaker in italian, I remember laughing at the fact that both Matteo and I had to use google translate on our phones a lot of the time to be able to communicate.

The first place he took me after he got me an italian sim card was the vatican. Something that living in New Zealand you only DREAM about seeing, not thinking you would actually ever get to GO there! And it was bellissimo! 

After spending a week with Matteo, and him taking me out to explore places I had only imagined, or seen in images, I got to see il colosseo, bocca della verità, il bio parco, piazza di spagna, piazza venezia, fontana di trevi and so much more. The more I saw, the more I fell in love. I then took a short trip by myself away from roma, to firenze for 3 nights, unfortunately I got quite frightened by myself, so only ended up exploring during sunlight ours, because my first evening there, when I was looking for the shop that sold puzzle rings, a man in his mid thirties on a bike asked me the time, he then realised I couldn’t speak italian, and was like “oh I need to practise my english” then I asked him for directions, as I was following google maps on my phone, but getting rather lost, and he was like “I’ll take you there, I’ll take you there…” Then he lead me the complete wrong direction, and offered to take me to piazza michelangelo, because his CAR was RIGHT THERE! Then he started taking selfies of me and him, it freaked me out a bit, so I told him I had to go and get back to my hostel, so I briskly walked off, as quickly as I could!

Dec 2012 - Photo Credit: Me

Dec 2012 – Photo Credit: Me

After firenze I caught the train to Verona for a night, after watching Letters to Juliet a few times to many. Unfortunately going to Verona, in the middle of winter, with it being -1 degrees in the middle of the day, was not ideal. I got to see a few places, but unfortunately because of the low temperatures, I really didn’t enjoy all of Verona had to offer, I ended up spending 5 hours in the stazione di treni luckily chatting to a Kiwi family who were waiting for there connecting train to Germany. Catching that train BACK to roma could not have come soon enough!!!

The whole reason I went to this freezing cold winter town! Photo credit: Me

The whole reason I went to this freezing cold winter town! Photo credit: Me

The suddenly, back in roma, and it was time for natale, I had never spent a christmas away from New Zealand before, and to be honest, I found it quite hard. I spent natale with Matteo family. And they were lovely, yes but still the language barrier was there, I could pick up maybe 1 word in 20, but that didn’t help give me any context, for christmas eve, it was new to me, that everyone ate seafood. I’m not a bit seafood fan, so I could only nibble at a bit of this and that, which I think made me look rather bad because I was this weird fussy kiwi girl who couldn’t communicate properly. Then we had tickets for the vactican mass, but turned up to late, so didn’t get a seat, so just went back to Matteo’s place, because it was too cold to stand in st. peter’s square.  Christmas Day dinner was quite different for me too, it felt like Meat, meat and more meat haha I really missed my roast potatoes for Christmas dinner! But it was again, a new experience. I hope that next time I spend a natale in italia I will be able to share a bit of nuova zelanda with them. 

After Christmas I ended up going to Germany, The netherlands and Belgium to see some friends from when I was just out of high school, then I went to Sicilia, that was a whole new experience in itself, I was spending two days there, before I went back to roma. Can’t say I was too impressed with the hostel I stayed at, when I arrived, there were still people in the room I was meant to be in, and they ran out of toilet paper in the toilets, and no one was ever around for me to say anything. but other than that, Taormina was such a nice place by itself. Pretty small, but I went for a few nice walks, and saw Mt. Etna! I remember when I was catching the bus back to Catania airport the bus driver was saying to me fa freddo, fa freddo, I replied with a “no! It’s hot!” But safe to say I was much happier back in la bella roma.

Enjoying the sun in Taormina.. Photo Credit: Me

Enjoying the sun in Taormina.. Photo Credit: Me

The beautiful Mt. Etna

The beautiful Mt. Etna

Then come gennaio, I spent a whole month in italia, staying with Matteo and his family. Unfortunately it rained a whole lot, so I didn’t get to see to much, and I missed my flight because of the snowfall in London, but luckily got another 10 days in italy without having to pay anymore for my ticket, because it was a real mistake.

When I came back to londra I made a vow to myself, that my italian, wouldn’t be as hopeless as it was those first 6 weeks I spent in my secondo a casa, so here entailed, “Kiwi Girl attempting italian”. I am very lucky to the point where I have a real live italian to practise on everyday if I need too, and am studying a mango languages course that I got for free, thanks to the fantastic Cher Hale! It makes such a difference to having support from so many people, people that I’ve never met before, and people that I see everyday, like the beautiful mother than comes into school everyday who’s italian, who says little things to help me practise, to the PE teacher who was pleasantly surprised to see I could have a short conversation with him, the the cleaner that said I’m doing better than his daughter’s boyfriend because he can see how much I want it, and am trying… to all the encouragement I get from my friends and family. I know deep down I will get there. As everyone tells me… piano piano Anna! 

But I know deep down that if it wasn’t for Matteo, my crazy italian penpal/now boyfriend who is in london with me, it would be so much harder without his encouragement. Even when he gets annoyed at me for talking out loud when I’m doing my course. I know I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it alone, so everyone is making this possible for me.


Ciao a tutti


Some more photos of my beautiful trip in dicembre/gennaio 2012/2013!

My first italian pizza ever!  Photo Credit: Me

My first italian pizza ever!
Photo Credit: Me

My first trip to the vatican! Photo Credit: Me

My first trip to the vatican!
Photo Credit: Me

il colosseo!  Photo credit: Me

il colosseo!
Photo credit: Me

Bocca della verità! Didn't lose my hand! woo hoo!  Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

Bocca della verità! Didn’t lose my hand! woo hoo!
Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

Pietà The most beautiful depiction Photo Credit: Me

The most beautiful depiction
Photo Credit: Me

Fontana di trevi Photo Credit: me

Fontana di trevi
Photo Credit: me

fontana di trevi Photo Credit: A dodgy rose seller

fontana di trevi
Photo Credit: A dodgy rose seller

Firenze from the cupola Photo Credit: Me

Firenze from the cupola
Photo Credit: Me

At the bio parco Photo Credit: Me

At the bio parco
Photo Credit: Me

hanging out with the cheetah at the bio parco. Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

hanging out with the cheetah at the bio parco.
Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

Trying my first italian gelato! Photo Credit: Matteo

Trying my first italian gelato!
Photo Credit: Matteo

il piccolo nero! My sexy italian ride! Photo Credit: Me

piccola e nera!
My sexy italian ride!
Photo Credit: Me

17 thoughts on “Chi sono io – who am I?

  1. […] it was nice writing a page of the reasons behind learning for me. You can check it out here —> Chi sono io? It’s all a new […]


  2. VisitSiena says:

    thank you for following my blog! happy that you like it:) what an interesting blog you have ! for sure will be back here 🙂


  3. ytaba36 says:

    Ciao! Thank you following me. 🙂


  4. Ciao Kiwigirl! thank you for following me, I read your story and it’s amazing, you took a brave decision and, to me, the right one.


  5. bevchen says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love this about me! I even managed to understand the random Italian interjections. Haha.


  6. Mrs. Bingles says:

    Ciao Anna, I love your intro and your passion about Italy. Keep it up, it’s a beautiful language and culture!


  7. georgefebish says:

    We have the same pictures snd love Roma

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jayden says:

    It’s always a relief when someone with obvious exrietpse answers. Thanks!


  9. "Why should a white with an IQ of 100 be entitled to earn five times as much as a Mexican with an IQ of 90 because of an accident of geography?"Why should a physician with an IQ of 130 be "allowed" to earn three times as much as an engineer with an IQ of 130? Why should your salary be subsidized by massive government spending, when you can essentially be replaced by recorded lectures online?


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