Arrivederci Italia….. Bentornata in Nuova Zelanda

Ciao a tutti,

As you can imagine a lot as happened for us these past couple of months. Unfortunately the internet we were using from Matteo’s aunties house (which was the flat below where we were staying) was rather slow where we were, so I was unable to document a lot of the things we did, but I will tell you some more about them later ūüôā

Saying goodbye is always a difficult task, especially when you are going half way across the world, it wasn’t like going to London where we could just get on a plane and two hours later be back in Italy. Unfortunately this time, we would be travelling on two planes that are around 12 hours in flight time each, with a forced stop over, so it’s a big difference between Italy – to London and Italy – to New Zealand! ahhhhh! Although it was funny, because Matteo couldn’t understand it that way, because he had never travelled that far before, all his aunties were crying, and the Nonnas were crying, and I was crying right there along with them, and when we left Matteo said to me “They didn’t cry when I moved to London, why are they crying now?” haha, yea I wonder…. It’s a much more expensive trip to New Zealand, rather than a cheap flight from London! Really Matteo…. but I guess as he had never travelled that distance before, it was a much different understanding for him, that it was for me.

But I have to say, Long haul flights are pretty comfy, we were flying with Singapore airlines, and it was absolutely wonderful. Matteo was saying he felt like he was in first class! haha it was awesome ūüôā

Got to have some fun while on the plane! Pisolo all comfy in his own seat on the plane! Safety first :P

Got to have some fun while on the plane! Pisolo all comfy in his own seat on the plane! Safety first ūüėõ

After a 12 hour flight from Rome to Singapore, and a 12 hour stop over in Singapore, we made our way this Changi Airport, straight to the showers. It gets a bit expensive if you have more that one shower, like Matteo did at $16pp, but better to be clean I guess! Singapore airport was amazing! I loved the foot massage chairs, I spent so long on them! hehehehehe! And the butterfly garden was just beautiful! We signed up for the free tour of Singapore, and went on a bus tour, and got to stop at the MerLion to have photos. The first thing I noticed when we stepped out in Singapore was the heat and humidity. When we stepped out to see the MerLion, I literally couldn’t open my eyes properly when Matteo was trying to take a photo of me. The humidity was just taking it’s toll so much! I made the mistake of not bringing my sunglasses. Definitely something I won’t be doing again if we ever make it back to Singapore!

As you can see, we are both struggling to keep our eyes open!

As you can see, we are both struggling to keep our eyes open!

After our 12 hour stop over, we were finally on the home stretch, we sat next to a young girl who had a bladder of steel, seriously, it was a 10 hour flight, and they give you so much liquid on the plane, and she didn’t get up once! We were worried because we wanted to sleep, but we didn’t want to get woken up by someone wanting to go to the bathroom, so we were very lucky! We arrived in Christchurch an hour earlier than we were supposed to, I guess due to a tail wind or something. So we were waiting for about an hour for my mother and step father to collect us. I was really surprised that it was sunny, and warm when we arrived, because I thought coming into Autumn it would start to become cold!

My parents finally arrived, it was so nice to see my mummy again! But then we had one day of rest, then it was straight it to last minute wedding organising, it ended up being a rather stressful couple of days that I had to finish all the arrangements. But finally it was D day! The day Matteo and I had been waiting for, it was like a fairytale, it was all quite a blur, from waking up in the morning at my grandmothers, to getting my hair and make up done, putting on my dress and waiting for my mum to arrive to take me to the church, where my God Father was giving me away, and we were saying our wedding vows in both italian and english (and woohoo, Matteo understood 90% of what I was saying when I was saying it in Italian) Then photo time, and party time! hehe! It was a great day! And now for the beginning of the rest of our lives!

Signore e Signora Castellani

Signore e Signora Castellani

After our whirlwind wedding, it was lots of visiting family members, we didn’t really get much of a honeymoon, because we couldn’t afford it, but maybe one day soon :), poor Matteo was feeling a bit like scrambled eggs, because he was going to so many different places all the time, without getting to settle anywhere. We went and staying with my father and his family over the easter break, and then went back home to where my mum is for another few days, we were planning to stay longer, but then decided we just wanted to go to Christchurch sooner, so now we are here in Christchurch, Matteo found a job very quickly, thanks to my wonderful step brother, as a labourer. I’m still looking! Hopefully I will find something soon!

I am just hoping I don’t lose all my italian that I had improved so much after 5 weeks in Italy ūüė¶ but just down the road from where we are living, they offer intermediate italian classes, so I would be tempted to give that a go, after I have some form of income of course ūüėõ

Ciao ciao for now!

Will write again soon

Anna x

la famiglia e la febbre

Ciao a tutti,

Well my first week in Italy is over. And I haven’t done too much, I think the main reason really is because I caught a cold/flu of one of the friends we came to Italy with. So I haven’t been feeling too well. In fact I spent all day in bed today because of it, since I’m all blocked up and struggling to sleep properly at night time.

Oh the joys of being sick, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, it’s still going to screw up your day!

On Saturday we had a nice morning at the family home, then went  out for the afternoon to catch up with a friend from London who was over for a week in Rome, as hi mother lives in Italy. So that was really nice to see him and meet his girlfriend who was here with him. We went to some places that I had never been too before which was really cool.

we met up at Piazza Cavour, which was just across the river from the Pantheon, about a 10-15minute walk from there. Matteo and I arrived about 1 1/2 earlier, so we could have a look around and take some photos, unfortunately the reality of Piazza Cavour, is that there is a monument, some public benches and some stairs to a building and that is it. It did have some cute fountains, which I noticed a gypsy looking lady tossing a coin into one of them. But I don’t think many people do that, as it wasn’t like being at fontana di trevi where the coins are over flowing!

fontana di cavour… I don't know if it's actually called that, there were two of them exactly the same.  Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

fontana di cavour‚Ķ I don’t know if it’s actually called that, there were two of them exactly the same.
Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

The public building in piazza cavour

The public building in piazza cavour

The big memorial.

The big memorial.

At around 2.45pm we finally caught up with Roberto and Andrea, and went across the river more into¬†la citt√†! As we were walking we came across San Luigi dei Francesi¬†or the French Catholic Church in Rome, From the outside it just looked like your usual churches that are everywhere, but from the inside it was incredible beautiful, (as all the churches here are anyway), they even had original artworks from Caravaggio¬†and they were just stunning, I think that is definitely something that makes me love Italy so much more, the amount of amazing artists that came out of this country, and the amount of original artworks that are still in perfect condition that are around for all to see! I mean, I know a lot of people are quite stick in the mud about the artworks and gold statues and all the other fabulous items the catholic church possess, but what I don’t think they realise is that, yes they are already helping the poor anyway, and if they sold all their wonders, it would be a great loss to an already crumbling italian economy, for all the pilgrims and tourists that come to see these beautiful relics and paintings and artworks for free. If they sold them all, they would probably end up with a private collector, hidden away from the rest of the world to protect the item from damage, but at least this way, everyone that ventures to this bella paese¬†gets to experience the wonder and awe of these items that have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years!

Inside San luigi dei francesi Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

Inside San luigi dei francesi
Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

La bella chiesa Photo credit: MAtteo Castellani

La bella chiesa
Photo credit: MAtteo Castellani

The inspiration of Saint Matteo - by Caravaggio

The inspiration of Saint Matteo – by Caravaggio

Then after la chiesa¬†we¬†around a few corners to a “special” coffee shop that was well known for being famous, called Sant’Eustachio. When we arrived there was already a line outside the shop. It’s rather a tiny little caff√® for the amount of business they get, which was quite a pain, as it was very squashed once you finally made it inside the shop. But that being said, it was an adorable little caff√® and I did enjoy a delicious¬†un tiramisu caff√®!¬†

Waiting outside the caffè Photo Credit: Matteo

Waiting outside the caffè
Photo Credit: Matteo

Goodies that you can buy to remember the Sant'Eustachio!  Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

Goodies that you can buy to remember the Sant’Eustachio!
Photo Credit: Matteo Castellani

When we got inside! Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

When we got inside!
Photo credit:
Matteo Castellani

All the sweeties you can buy Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

All the sweeties you can buy
Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

un tiramisu caffè nom nom nom Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

un tiramisu caffè
nom nom nom
Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

After we had our yummy coffees, we headed over to the ruins of Torre Argentina where they have the roman cat sanctuary, and wow what they do is amazing, as I’m sure anyone who has been to Rome, understands that there is rather a large cat epidemic, especially in the summer, and What the Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary does is care for the homeless cats, feed them, spay them, attend to their every needs. What they do is amazing! If we ever move to Italy in our life time, I will definitely be going there to adopt a cat. The cats are so friendly as well! And beautiful! The ladies that worked there were so knowledgable and helpful, I would like to go back if we have a chance!


Enjoying love from one of the many gatti!  Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

Enjoying love from one of the many gatti!
Photo credit: Matteo Castellani

Afterwards, we all had to depart, it was nice getting to catch up with some wonderful amici in roma!¬†After we got back home, Pap√† arrived, in fact he bet us home, as we saw him on our way back from town. We then went to his place, to catch up with him and matrigna.¬†We enjoyed a nice meal at a little pizzeria, where they had karaoke, so I got to sing ūüôā hehe, that was quite fun! Then we stayed at their place on bunk beds. I claimed the top one! It was like I was having a sleepover as a child again! haha!

The following day we went to visit Nonni Anna and Alberto! And we had a delicious lunch, and then got to go through all the old photos of their family. I love looking at old photographs, so much history in them! It was nice to be able to look through them, and see similarities in the family! We then went to the mall, and then it was home time.

Unfortunately I have ended up with a slight¬†la¬†febbre,¬†I slept horribly last night, all blocked up, constantly waking in the middle of the night, so today I spent all day in bed trying to recover, unfortunately Matteo is not a sympathetic nurse, (I think he thinks I must be faking it), but I said to him today, we are in Rome, and I love Rome, if I wasn’t sick, I would be leaping at the chance to go outside and explore the city. I didn’t want to eat much today, but nonna being nonna made me! She even brought me food in bed, she is such a sweetheart!

well this has literally taken me about 5 hours to complete thanks to the joy of the italian internet connection!

I hope we get to explore some wonderful sites tomorrow!

Ciao a tutti!


42 Day Preposition Challenge! Days 1 – 3

Ciao a tutti!


So I have actually been doing my preposition challenge on each day that I’m supposed too, just haven’t managed to have time to do that and get on here at the same time.

Doing the challenge is really surprising me with what I actually already know which is fico!¬†Because we have been writing sentences then putting them on italki¬†to be corrected by native speakers, and while of course there are some big mistakes as there would be when it’s not your native language, I’m actually surprised with how much I got right!

Ecco √® mio esempi¬†for the last three days and with the corrections! ūüôā

giorno uno

Sono di Greymouth dalla Nuova Zelanda
Sono una ragazza di venticinque
Sono una sorella di Jonathan
Lui ha dieci anni
il mio fidanzato Matteo è buona la famiglia!

Sono di Greymouth dalla in Nuova Zelanda
Sono una ragazza di venticinque anni
Sono una la sorella di Jonathan
Lui ha dieci anni
il mio fidanzato Matteo ha una buona famiglia


I am from Greymouth in New Zealand
I am a girl of 25 years old
I am the sister of Jonathan
He is ten years old
My boyfriend Matteo has a good family

giorno due

mio nonno era un uomo di grande gentilezza
ho rotto il mio telefono a un accesso d’ira
Mi manchi i miei amici di vecchia data in Nuova Zelanda e Australia
Bello Matteo era molto semplice, lui comprare un vestito di pizzo per me quando lui era di Roma la settimana scorsa!
Matteo √® pi√Ļ alta di me!
Mi piaci il film Frozen, è un film della Disney circa una principessa detta Anna e una regina detta Elsa, e un uomo di neve Olaf!


mio nonno era un uomo di grande gentilezza¬†dall’estrema gentilezza
ho rotto il mio telefono a un
per un eccesso d’ira
mancano i miei amici di vecchia data in Nuova Zelanda e Australia                           Il bel Matteo è stato molto carino/dolce quando, la settimana scorsa a Roma, ha comprato per me un vestito di pizzo.
Matteo √® pi√Ļ alto di me!
 piace il film Frozen, è un film della Disney circa che parla di una principessa detta chiamata/ che si chiama Anna e di una regina detta chiamata/ che si chiama Elsa, e di un uomo di neve Olaf!


My granddad was an extremely gentle man
I broke my phone in a fit of rage
I miss all my old friends in New Zealand and Australia
Beautiful Matteo is so sweet, last week while in rome he bought for me a lace dress
Matteo is much taller than me
I like the film Frozen. It’s a film by Disney, about a princess called Anna and a queen called Elsa and a snowman called Olaf!

giorno tre

Voglio davvero andare alzarsi surf con dei miei amico
Voglio sarebbe andare di puglia in Italia
Dov√® le spiagge sei d’ora e il oceano √® azzuro e verde
Questa sarebbe fantastica!
Molto meglio di noioso casa di vecchia!

Voglio davvero fare surf con dei miei amici.
Vorrei andare in Puglia in Italia
Dove le spiagge sono d’oro e l’oceano √® azzuro.
Questo sarebbe fantastico!
Molto meglio di una noiosa casa vecchia!


I really want to go surfing with my friends
I want to go to Puglia in Italy
Where the beaches are golden and the ocean is blue
That would be fantastic
Much better than boring old home!


Allora¬†that is me up to day 3, I know I’m meant to be doing day 4 today, but I am too tired today, so I’ll do day 4 and 5¬†a¬†domani.¬†

I was working late at¬†lavora ieri¬†and was telling the italians that came in all about doing this challenge, they seemed really excited for me, it was really¬†carino!¬†I had a long chat with one parent before she went to pick up her son about my practising italian, she said I just need to speak it as much as I can (although we all know that’s the only way to go) she said that even if¬†Matteo¬†won’t talk to me in italian, I should just always answer him in italian, that way he can correct it, and I will improve. So you know what! I’m going to take on that great advice and do exactly that. At least I do know some clever phrases like¬†come si dici..¬†how do you say‚Ķ¬†and¬†cosa¬†significa‚Ķ¬†what does this mean‚Ķ

Ciao miei amici!

A dopo!!

Trying my first italian gelato! Photo Credit: Matteo




Challenge time!

Ciao a tutti,

So as most of you probably notice, I haven’t been so “in” to my Italian as I was 3 months ago, but you know what?! That is going to change! I have decided to actually pay to do (which is big for Anna – to PAY for something haha) but I’m going to do Cher Hale’s¬† “42 – Day Conquer Italian Prepositions Challenge” Because all those little in between words really are the death of me, so hey…. why not conquer them! And it means I’ll get to be on here a lot more.


I think I just lack motivation, but it’s coming into Summer, mio compleanno is only 2 1/2 weeks away, I have more of a desire to exercise (which tends to happen every estate but then in l’inverno I will be like a bear an hibernate) and am just feeling a general happiness, that I haven’t been feeling to much later! So now I am getting back into it! Giving myself a desire to learn again, to conquer this language, that even though I struggle, I really do surprise myself with how much I naturally know every day.

Sometimes I will speak with Matteo in Italian, to ask questions, or answer him, and I just come out with the correct thing to say, BEFORE even thinking about it and haven’t to translate it from English, to Italian, then back to English like I normally do. After I’ve surprised myself, I’m trying to translate what I’ve actually said in Italian and can’t even remember what it is, but I’ve used it right when speaking to him! So that must be a good thing right?!

Now I just need to save my soldi and practise my Italian as often as possible, so if I do infact get to go and stay with Matteo’s la famiglia in augusto like I’m hoping too, (without Matteo) then I need to be able to communicate with them! And we’re also planning a trip for 3 weeks in semptembre! where we are spending 2 weeks close to the sea. Thinking Puglia at the moment, so that could be exciting!!! But nothings set in stone yet! Am open to suggestions if anyone has any hints! But I was thinking southern Italy will be far cheaper than northern Italy!

Well I’m just at lavora now, so probably should get back to work (I’m on my lunch break, so not being cattivo and writing this while the boss isn’t looking) haha!

Ciao bellissimi!

Scrivere Presto!

Anna x


All or Nothing – tutto o niente

Ciao a tutti,

I’ve been having a bit of a struggle lately with my italian, really just trying to get back into the habit of incorporating italian practise into every day life. I think the main problem for me, is I only have two speeds, all or nothing. And the problem is, when I give my all, like spend all my time learning italian, I want to use it all around me, at home, at school, when I’m with my one friend I actually have in london, and the problem is, they aren’t into it as much as I am. They aren’t excited about learning this¬†bella lingua¬†as I am. Why can’t everyone in the world just want to learn italian like me? Or really, just the people that are around me everyday.

At the moment, I think I’ve been filling my italian void with other things, I am quite a self professed nerd, and Game of Thrones addict. (maybe I should watch GoT with italian subtitles to help out my language learning) and have recently been spending a vast amount of money of something called Pop Vinyls. It’s basically a cheap collectable that looks something like this:




This is where all my current funds have been going too, although it got rather bad and Matteo had to sit me down and tell me I needed to stop, so now I can only spend half the money I have made on ebay selling extras I acquired. haha. But now that I’ve stopped being so addicted to collecting these little toys I’m trying to get back into this thing called italian!

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been doing absolutely no italian, when I’m out in public with Matteo I try to speak italian to him, so it’s like a secret language, and I have gotten myself known to the parents at school who are italian. (I lavoro¬†as an admin assistant at a primary school and Children’s Centre) I’m pretty sure a few of them think that I can speak fluently, and I just try to wing it when they actually talk to me in fast italian, and I pretend I know what they’re saying. But still, to me I don’t feel like I’m getting very far.

In August I have two weeks off school during the summer holidays, so after chatting with Matteo who is currently already in Italy for a week (not fair!) I can go there¬†without Matteo for a whole week to try to get a grips with this language. His family are all on board with me coming over to spend time with them for a week, that way I will¬†have¬†to speak the language, because I will have no Matteo there to be my english crutch. I am thinking I might do an intensive italian course while in roma,¬†but¬†mamma said I didn’t have to do it, that she was happy to show me round and spend time with me the whole time. But I guess that depends how much I can improve in the next 3 months. Because if I’m making no vast improvements, I will be spending a lot of time just using random words that probably won’t make much sense to get my point across. But I cannot wait! Because then I’ll come back to work for a week, and we will then be going back to Italy for 3 weeks in september! so I’m really hoping it will then make a difference for me with my language abilities!

Well I better get to doing some fast studying hey?!





two new saints today!

Ciao a tutti,

Allora,¬†oggi¬†marks a big step in any catholic’s life, when both Pope John XXIII (Papa Giovanni XXII) e¬†Pope John Paul II (Papa Giovanni Paulo II)¬†became saints just hours ago!

It’s really quite a big deal! And these two amazing popes, played such a big part in moving the catholic church forward.

When I look at the life of Papa Giovanni XXIII, whom everybody just thought was going to be a caretaker pope, he surprised all, by calling the historic second vatican council. He is affectionately known by italians as il Papa buono or the good pope!

For me, only the past 17 months or so is where I have started to find quite an affection for¬†il Papa buono,¬†as he was far before my time, it was the second time I was in Italy in January 2013, when I was staying with Matteo’s family, and I found out that is great¬†nonno ¬†actually¬†worked¬†for¬†Papa Giovanni XXIII, now that is amazing, as soon as¬†Nonna¬†found out I was a catholic, she showed me straight away the framed photo of¬†her¬†papa¬†with¬†Papa Giovanni,¬†and then she went on to give me a pair of rosary beads that were from¬†Papa Giovanni XXIII,¬†now that just meant to much to me, considering she didn’t really know me that well, but it just meant the world to me, so that gave me a real desire to learn more about this¬†il Papa buono!¬†


Credit: Facebook page - Catholic gags

credit: Facebook page - catholic gags


Then there is the beautiful John Paul II…

I went to a high school named after him, so we learnt a lot about him, he’s the one pope, other than the recent two, that was actually around in my life time‚Ķ for any 25 year old, we have only seen 3 popes, John Paul II, Benedict XXVI and Francis, but none have been quite like John Paul II (I mean I love Francis, and I think very fondly of him, and he will probably create a legacy just like John Paul II, although for now, it’s JPII for the win) I mean,¬†Papa Giovanni Paulo II¬†was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, he was Pope for 26¬†anni!¬†Now that is a very long time to serve as Pope! And he was the first non-italian pope since the 1500s! He visited 129 countries during his reign as pontificate, beatified 1340 people and canonised 483 saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors over the past 5 centuries. And he really called for religious unity, not just christian unity, but unity between all faiths. And he must of been pretty special because Pope Bene waived the 5 year traditional waiting period that existed before Pope John Paul II was beatified!

He was just such a beautiful beautiful man! As they called him shortly after his death Pope John Paul II the great!



It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly - Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly – Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly - Pope John Paul II

It is unbecoming of a cardinal to ski badly – Pope John Paul II


I wish I got to be one of the 800,000 people gathered at¬†San Piedro Piazza¬†today, unfortunately I haven’t been very well this weekend! I keep getting that horrid la febbre di primavera!¬†Finally just starting to feel better today, had to go home early from work on friday, and I have never had a sick day off in the whole year I have worked there! Arrrrh! ūüė¶

Well looked like everyone in roma had an amazing experience of the canonisation of two amazing men!

Ciao a tutti! 

A dopo!




Credit: Catholic Memes

Credit: Catholic Memes


Buona Pasqua miei amici!!!

Ciao a tutti,

As we are coming into Pasqua, it is so nice to see the warmer weather and tempo, it is my secondo anno on this side of the world, and as Nuova Zealanda is coming into autumn, we are now thriving in Spring.

Unfortunately I did catch that dreading febbre di primavera or spring fever, and not the good kind! The one rare occurrence the other half had a Sunday off, I was unfortunately stuck to the bed. But luckily I had an amazing carer, who didn’t actually believe I was ill until I took my temperature! (I think I’ve now past on my febbre di primavera to him though… oops)

It’s weird for me to think back on my past Easters this year, it’s hard when you’re so far away from everything you know, as well as not being around family. I think maybe next year I might have to go to Italy to celebrate it over there, at least I’ll be surrounded by the comfort of my Italian family that I found through being with Matteo, but still, I at least have Saturday with him, on another rare occurrence that he isn’t working!

In New Zealand, basically everywhere would be closed tomorrow, being that it’s good Friday, no public transport would be running, and you can’t buy any alcohol. It’s hard for me to imagine that there are still shops going to be open tomorrow!

This Easter will definitely be a different one! Last year I was singing in an Easter play with a few people from a church¬†I was attending, unfortunately it took me over a hour to get there, so while I loved the sense of community and friendship I had built there, it was just to hard to travel that far, unfortunately I don’t feel the same sense of community at the church that is only a 10minute walk away. I remember I asked the priest if they had any choirs, and while they did, he just seemed really grumpy that I didn’t know who he was telling me to go at see. So it sort of put me off, which is a shame. But I guess we can go to the vigil on Saturday night, it’s much better to go with someone rather than alone right?

Although it would definitely be a dream of mine to spend Easter at the Vatican! Maybe one day hey? haha

It will definitely be a different Easter than usual, but I will make the most of it! And even have roast chicken! At least I can start eating takeaways again, since we both gave it up for Lent! But really can’t say I’m missing it at all!

Allora, Buono giornata e buona pasqua!!!!



Anna x