Piovere, Bracciano, il lago e una kinder sorpresa MAXI!

Ciao a tutti,

Allora, ieri I woke up to piovere piovere piovere… I hate rain! More than anything, it gets in the way of all my wonderful plans. And I really love to plan things! Unfortunately because of the pioggia it meant no assisi because all the roads were closed. But we had a back up plan, so we made our way to Braccianoa small town about 30km (18 miles) northwest of Rome. Now while it was raining a little bit, the views were stupendous, bella campagna views. Green grass everywhere, little farm houses, my italian dream! But when we arrived we arrived only to disappointed.

We first arrived at the Italian Airforce Museum only to find the gates barred, and a little sign saying closed on the weekends and on lunedi… great, just travelled about 45 minuti to NOT see some old war machines. Then we went on to arrive in the town of Bracciano to go to see the Castello orsini-odescalchinow this was one of my one goals of this vacanza to see a Castle! At 25, I still like to think I’m a princess in my head, and if I went to an italian castle I would have walked around saying very loudly sono principessa anna! But alas, we arrive into Bracciano, make our way to the castello all the while thinking everything is looking pretty closed, no shops open, not even pizzerias. We arrived just outside the castello, get out of the car, pay for parking, only to find that the castello orsini-odescalchi is also not open on lunedi… what is up with everything not being open on a monday… so much to how disappointed me started to make our way back. Couldn’t even go anywhere for a bite to eat for lunch, because all the bars, restaurants and cafes were closed.

the only view of the castle I get to experience…. so close yet so far away. Maybe next i will get to be principessa Anna…

the only view of the castle I get to experience…. so close yet so far away. Maybe next i will get to be principessa Anna…

Gate all shut up :( drove all this way with nowhere to go!

Gate all shut up 😦 drove all this way with nowhere to go!

After all this disappointment of NIENTE being open, we made our way to see one last possible destination in bracciano, Lago di Braccianoit is a lake of volcanic origin and the second largest lake in lazio. So we made our way there, unfortunately it was still a miserable day, but hey I got to see some swans. haha

beautiful swans, with their massive long necks!

beautiful swans, with their massive long necks!

il lago! Even in crappy weather it is still beautiful!

il lago! Even in crappy weather it is still beautiful!

Selfies time!

Selfies time!

Playing hide and seek Photo Credit: Matteo

Playing hide and seek
Photo Credit: Matteo

My poser of a fidanzato!

My poser of a fidanzato!

After our disappointing late morning/early afternoon we made our way back to roma, and stopping at the autogrill, where I found the most amazing treat in il mondo!

GIANT KINDER SURPRISE!!!!

GIANT KINDER SURPRISE!!!!

Later that evening, we enjoyed a wonderful cena, of those funny looking roman broccoli, it was really delicious! With herb potatoes and roast turkey! At around 9.30pm, we then made our way to the “meeting spot” where all of Matteo’s amici gather to have a chat and decide there next location, it was so nice to see his friends again, I just love how everyone greets each other with air kisses on the cheek! We then made our way to a bar for a quick coffee, (or in my case a coke) then made our way back to the meeting spot. Luckily some of Matteo’s friends can speak a little bit of english. Matteo’s friend chiappa, was saying that if we speak in english, it’s like a secret language, no one else will really understand. I was thinking that that is how I feel about italian, it’s like a secret language that everyone else understands apart from me. I really need to concentrate if I want to understand what’s going on, but even then, half the time it just washes right over me! But as everyone tells me piano piano! I guess it’s not going to come over night, but it will happen…. eventually! i mean I want it bad enough! JUST HAPPEN NOW!!!! ahhhh!

On a side note, I did have to actually talk to some shop keepers by myself, I had to go to the pharmacy to get some buscofed (ibuprofen) and Matteo waited in the car, I went into the farmacia, up to one desk, and said “hai bisogno di buscofed” she pointed me to the main desk, so I repeated the question to the donna behind the counter, and it all worked out wonderfully! No one even said anything in english to me at all… perchè they normally do when they hear my accent.  I was so proud! Then I also had to ask for a straw in italian, not that I can remember what I said now, but he never replied in broken english too! Small steps Anna, small steps!

Well I’m still in bed, so I best be getting up soon, Matteo has gone for a long awaited haircut, and pranzo won’t be too far away!

Ciao miei amici!

A dopo

x

Anna

 

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la massa, homemade gnocchi, in mare e pirates

Buonasera a tutti,

Di mattina I awoke early to get ready for mass, we were running slightly behind so I couldn’t go with nonna and Paula, so Matteo drove me to this cute little chiesa just down the road, where he used to do his catechism classes as a bambino. I’m still not used to cars over here having a steering wheel on the other side, when I feel like i’m going to be driving la macchina myself every time I hop into the passengers seat (because in New Zealand we drive on the left side of the road.

weird cars that have their steering wheel on the wrong side!

weird cars that have their steering wheel on the wrong side!

We made it to mass, albeit a bit late, Matteo just took me in to find where Nonna was sitting, and then left to sit in the car until it was finished. I bought myself a mass book in Australia before I left, and it was both english and italian, so I managed to follow along alright, which was good. It was a piccola carina chiesa, and afterwards, nonna introduced me to a few of her amiche. It was so adorable, she seemed so proud to introduce me to them. And one of the little old ladies could speak a bit of english, which was nice. And even the padre was really lovely, when nonna introduced me. Not that I could do much apart from smile and nod my head. haha

The cute little mass sign

The cute little mass sign

At the entrance to la piccolo chiesa

At the entrance to la piccolo chiesa

beautiful statue of our lady

beautiful statue of our lady

the cute little church! It's tiny! Ahhh

the cute little church! It’s tiny! Ahhh

After chiesa we made our way back home. Nonna was telling me that Matteo should of come into church. I was saying I thought so too! When we got home it was time to make home made gnocchi! It was sooooo easy! All it was, was boiled patate grated,  farina e uovo! And that’s it! You would add the farina e uovo alle patate, then knead it together with your hands, then pack it into a long thick roll, and cut it in slices, then cut that slice in half, and then roll into thinnish long snake like roles with your hands, and then cut into pieces. Then after that you put it in boiling water, and when the water starts boiling again, they’re done. And nonna made a sugo di pomodori al ragu. And boy was it delicious! Definitely something I will be making for lunches when we get back to londra, I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make!

Grated patate! Photo Credit: Matteo

Grated patate!
Photo Credit: Matteo

add farina!  Photo Credit: Matteo

add farina!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Then add the uovo Photo Credit: Matteo

Then add the uovo
Photo Credit: Matteo

Kneed it all together. Had to really put my body weight into it! Photo Credit: Matteo

Kneed it all together. Had to really put my body weight into it!
Photo Credit: Matteo

roll it in to a long bread like shape, and cut off slices, then cut in half again. Photo Credit: Matteo

roll it in to a long bread like shape, and cut off slices, then cut in half again.
Photo Credit: Matteo

rolling them into little long snakes.  Photo Credit: Matteo

rolling them into little long snakes.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Then chop them! Photo Credit: Matteo

Then chop them!
Photo Credit: Matteo

the uncooked gnocchi! All ready to put in boiling water! Photo Credit: Matteo

the uncooked gnocchi! All ready to put in boiling water!
Photo Credit: Matteo

All done! Gnocchi al sugo pomodori al ragu

All done! Gnocchi al sugo pomodori al ragu

Now to add the parmeggiano! I LOVE parmeggiano!

Now to add the parmeggiano! I LOVE parmeggiano!

When pranzo was over, nonna brought out her old coins, because we were chatting about the lira and how 80000 lira equalled like 40 euros. or something along those lines. It was so amazing seeing some of the coins that she had, and random medals she had in her coin container! Even some from la guerra! 

An old war medal. Nonna has like 6 of these!  Photo Credit: Matteo

An old war medal. Nonna has like 6 of these!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Pope Paul 6th! Became pope in 1963! Was from Matteo's Great great nonno!

Pope Paul 6th! Became pope in 1963!
Was from Matteo’s Great great nonno!

Other side of Pope Paul's coin. Photo Credit: Matteo

Other side of Pope Paul’s coin.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Another Vatican coin. Photo Credit: Matteo

Another Vatican coin.
Photo Credit: Matteo

2nd side of this coin. Photo Credit: Matteo

2nd side of this coin.
Photo Credit: Matteo

We found a coin with a swazstika on it!  Photo credit: Matteo

We found a coin with a swazstika on it!
Photo credit: Matteo

That pomeriggio  we made our way to fumicino in spiaggia. And got to experience the mare al romana. Gosh it was windy, but rather bella still. Obviously its no amalfi coast and we are still in inverno but it was a nice day considering. Not somewhere I think I would want to go for a swim in febbraio considering it looked pretty rough, but still. It was nice to be able to say, been there done that!

Getting ready to go for another ride in the alfa romeo. Realising I am really not made for car modelling! Photo Credit: Matteo

Getting ready to go for another ride in the alfa romeo. Realising I am really not made for car modelling!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The roman ocean!

The roman ocean!

To windy! Not everyone can create the perfect wind hair!

To windy! Not everyone can create the perfect wind hair!

Graffiti, graffiti everywhere!

Graffiti, graffiti everywhere!

the cute little seaside town

the cute little seaside town

dopo la mare we made our way for a quick look around the mall, then made our way back to nonna’s. Once we arrived, who should show up but the cutest little pirate in all the world!

Daniel the pirate! Photo Credit: Matteo

Daniel the pirate!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Allora, not much more excited happened after that, it’s now 12:25am, and I should really go to dormi as we are going to go out of rome for the day tomorrow!

A dopo miei amici!

Ciao

Anna

So much italian fries my brain

Arrrrrrrrrrh!

Amo questa bella lingua così tanto! Ma it just hurts my head so much from all this learning, i feel like my brain is frying! Is that normale? I guess I just want to understand it all so quickly and not have to do the hard work, but then I know the hard work is the most important foundation of lingua learning. I guess I will get it eventually, I just have to encourage myself to stick to it. I really want this, more than I have wanted something before. I want to surprise everyone back in italy with our much I’ve progressed, even being in an english country. I guess I really just need to believe in myself which is the main thing. I went on amazon this morning and purchased a dual language book of Le Avventure D’Alice Nel paese Della Miraviglie, e Le avventure di pinocchio. So hopefully that will improve my reading and pronunciation abilities.

Just had a big heart to heart with Matteo (il fidanzato) about language learning, because he had to do it from the opposite end, learn english from italian, and he said when he first met me and was having to speak english all the time he was always translating it from italian to english first, and it just always took so long, but then when he got here to london and started talking in english all the time and HAVING to actually speak it all the time, he started thinking it that language, so that cut out that whole long process of always having to translate in his head, he said his father said to him that you truly know a language when you start thinking in that language.                                                                                                                                                 But that when it comes to me I shouldn’t be so hard on myself when it comes to my language learning, that i should take it slowly and I will get there, and when we go back i should try and join in the conversations in la cucina con mamma e nonna! Which i shall definitely try to put into action when I get there! But as expatatbirth said to me in one of her comments, is that I should try to subconsciously pick it up as well, by having italian on in the background. I guess our brain is a wonderful thing with how the subconscious mind works. So I shall definitely start doing that. Domani will be my italiano grande giorno where after I go shopping in the morning to send some cake mixes to italy for mamma (since she can’t get Betty Crocker in Italy), I think I will do some exercises on duolingo, read some amazing blogs, listen subconsciously to gladiatori di roma and she if i pick anything up! 🙂 

Well it’s bedtime for me now! Got an early start in the morning!

Ciao tutti!

A Presto

Anna x

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Ahhhhh selfie with the timer at il colosseo