first “real” day in ITALIA

ciao a tutti

well I finally had my first full day back in Italy, and it wasn’t very eventful… the joys of not having a car and having a fidanzato that hates public transport, meant we were at home for the day, but it was nice and relaxing, waking up around 10am, getting out of bed to enjoy un caffè, then I put on my workout gear and did 20-30minutes of running on the spot, sit ups, crunches, mountain climbs and press ups (I need to try and lose some pre wedding weight while I’m here haha), then after a beautiful lunch of pasta, I enjoyed an nice long afternoon nap!

After dinner, around 10pm, finally something was getting to happen! we got in the Bella piccola nera Matteo’s mothers old black mini, and went to the meeting spot to catch up with his amici, turns out it was very cold, two others arrived and we all decided we were going to go to their friends house that lives literally across the road from Matteo’s family block. so we went there and caught up with all the friends for about an hour. it was nice for me for once, because normally when I would go there it was difficult, because I would try to speak italian but as you know my italian is very limited, so after a short while I would run out of things to say, and get lost in the conversations because they’re speaking too quickly, but this time I was lucky, because the friends who came with us from London were there too, so it was much easier for me because they talked to me and I didn’t feel left out. I guess because the girlfriend of Christmas (my nickname for him because his last name is Natale), is also an outsider of the group because she didn’t go to primary school with them, so it was easier for her to chat to me, because she knows me better. so that was quite nice! but I do love Matteo’s friends. they do try to keep me engaged, and if they can’t, they put the tv in English for me usually! haha!

The three Matteo's. or in italian they say “Tre Mattei”!

Matteo ed io!

After a while, Matteo, Christmas, Anna (christmas’ girlfriend), Chiappa, Giorgia, Luca and I all went to the Lord Lichfield’s English pub in Rome, it’s the usual hanging spot to go for a drink when we come to Italy! it’s very english, while they don’t exactly speak English, they have pictures of the royals and famous english people all over the walls! it’s very cute! so we went there and enjoyed a drink, and some patate fritta , then made our way back home.

Now on the way back was where the interesting part of the night happened. we were sitting in the car, singing along to the girly music that Christmas had on his iPhone, when we got stopped by the carabinieri! all 5 of us that were in la macchina had to get out of the car and show them our IDs, which as I later found out was so they could check that we didn’t have a criminal record, because I thought it was very strange that they had to ask everyone for their drivers license or ID cards. good thing I decided to bring mine! then I was explaining to Luca what happens in New Zealand when we get pulled over and the policemen didn’t seem to happy about me speaking in English because they didn’t know what I was saying, so they wanted me to say what I was saying to Luca to them. which I did, I don’t think they understood me anyway! Then I asked them if I could take a photo of their car, and gosh did they get upset with me about it, no no no! that was a crime to take a photo of their car! oh my gosh! that is just very strange to me, I just wanted a photo to put up on here, or on Facebook! ahhhhh! then after a good 15 minutes of checking everything out we were finally able to driver the two minutes back home!

Now it’s nearly 3am, and I’m finally tired and ready to fall asleep!

buona notte!



Buon Natale, Buon anno e Buona Befana!

Ciao a tutti,

I’m sure you can understand that this is definitely a busy time of year, which is why I’m only getting around to this post now. How was everyone’s natale, nuovo anno and my favourite holiday of all Befana! 

Unfortunately the holidays snuck up on me, like I’m sure they did with everyone. I have been going to a bellissima Chiesa cattolica italiana (beautiful italian catholic church) every week. As a way to improve the language skills, in a format that I am already very familiar with in inglese. It has definitely helped a bunch with understanding at least the mass. And it’s always such a bonus when I can understand the readings of the day. But most of the time that is a hit and a miss. I have been singing in the coro at St. Peter’s Italian Church , I was a bit worried when joining for the first time, as I thought “Oh dear, how am I going to communicate if they all speak italian the whole time”, but luckily only half of the choir is italian, and the other half tend to have italian family members but are english. But I do try to practise my italian whenever I go. As the little old lady who is the housekeeper opens the door,  and even though she see’s be twice a week, every week, she always asks me why I am there. So I always reply with a sono qui per coro, which is probably grammatically incorrect but she seems to pick up what I’m trying to say, or if she doesn’t she understands when I waltz into the choir room. We sang for messa di mezzanotte or midnight mass this year. It was really beautiful being able to sing the usual christmas carols in italian, and learning some new ones along the way. I grabbed a copy of the mass for the christmas season booklet that they had, so I can take it back to Nuova Zelanda with me, so I can so my old choir mistress back home to see if she would like to do any italian songs next year. I think it’s handy to be able to practise my singing in italian and latin, and I hope it will improve my language skills when we go to italian next month (o dio! Next month will creep up on us in no time)

the presepe in the church - pre baby jesus!

the presepe in the church – pre baby jesus!

La messa finished at around 1.30am, and managed to get home at around 2am, thanks to our wonderful choir director Ricardo, who gave me a ride instead of me having to catch a rather expensive taxi home! Once I arrived home, I gave Matteo all of his christmas presents, and we skyped my mum back in Nuova Zelanda. It was around 3pm over there, as they are 13 hours ahead. I guess that’s what we will soon be, or 12 hours when it comes to Italian time zones! Crazy! Time Zones are so weird! haha. After that it wasn’t long until we woke up again on Christmas morning. And could look properly at all of our toys. Matteo was definitely spoilt! But I wanted to make this a happy christmas because we were both far away from home, and every christmas without mamma is always going to be much harder now. So he deserved it. Plus I had conveniently started buying christmas presents around June, so by the time I found out I was going to lose my job at the beginning of December, I had already bought most of his gifts, including a DSLR Nikon camera (because he didn’t want my preference of a Canon) so that was a nice surprise for him. And will give him a chance to take some beautiful photos in London while we are still here, in Rome before we leave, and then also in New Zealand once we get there! It was a nice quiet day. I am very much looking forward to being with my family for natale next year though. And giving Matteo an opportunity to see what a Nuova Zelanda Natale is like!

Nuova Anno was a quiet one for me. Since not working, I have become a bit of a night owl, because I get to sleep in, and tend to have naps in the afternoon (ohhhh the life), I always stay up until 1 or 2am. So I was up at home by myself, as Matteo had to work, doing a Mossa Fight fitness workout on the xbox fitness. I didn’t even realise it was the new year until I heard the fireworks go off in the park across the road! haha

Now befana didn’t really amount to much for us this year, which is a shame. Next year I really want to give Matteo a little befana stocking filled with candy. He was looking on Facebook at some of his friends and family’s posts, wishing that he had a befana stocking filled with candy. But unfortunately as only he is working, and I have a very limited amount of money that seems to be disappearing rather quickly, even though I’m not doing anything, I didn’t get to do the befana tradition that I wanted to! But hey, befana comes every year! So while she didn’t stop at our house this year, she might find us next year in nuova zelanda! because that is one italian tradition I definitely want to bring with me! hahaha



I hope everyone is sticking to their resolutions this year so far! haha


Anna x

Quanto tempo a tutti!

Ciao a tutti,

Don’t you just hate it when you come so far in una lingua and life gets in the way? That’s what it’s been feeling like for me these past few weeks. I had 1 and a weeks off from work and barely even looked at my mango languages italian course. I did read the daily italian flash-cards I get in my email box every day, as well as the useless word of the day that makes practically know sense because it’s not in any order. But other than that, questa bella lingua has been put on the back burner. Then I came to a realisation, I’m going to italy in 1 month…. I’M GOING TO ITALY IN ONE MONTH! Cazzo! I need to learn this language quick, because I do NOT want what happened last time, where I just used to sit at the table with all the conversations just going over my head! I want to be able to JOIN IN! Even if it’s a little bit, or actually work out what people are talking about.

So I have decided to start my Mango Languages course again from the start, I have 30 chapters to get through and 247 lessons! So in 30 odd days, I need to do 2 whole chapters a day, so intensive italian here you come! I’m just open it will all sink in. It’s fine when the chapters only have 4-6 lessons in them, but when they have more like 7-12 lessons in them it’s very time consuming. But well, it has to be done. Maybe I’ll learn it all, and then just drink a lot of alcohol when I arrive in italy and hope the subconscious mind comes through. That could work right?

I wish I was in italy right now, getting ready for the vigil of La Befana! Il mio bello ragazza bought me un libro all about befana for Natale. When I have children I will definitely be keeping THAT italian tradition alive. When I said to Matteo that I wanted Christmas Stockings to fill up for Christmas, I remember him looking at me rather confused. Perchè in italia they used stockings for La befana not for natale. As we were both here in londra per natale I wanted to have a combination of an italian/english christmas, but with lots of presents, as in an english country you need to have. For Matteo, in italy, they aren’t so big on the presents, sure as a child it’s different, you get a bit more, but as an adult you normally only get one or two presents, and that is it. But boy was he surprised when Christmas came and I had filled up the two kiwi christmas sacks my mum had sent me, both of our stockings, as well as an overflow of more presents for him. I think next year Christmas will be even better, and HOPEFULLY next christmas we might have lui la famiglia with us, which would be AMAZING!

Allora speri i tutto aveva un buon natale e un felici anno nuovo! 

Buona befana! 🙂

Ciao Ciao

Anna x



Frozen: All’alba sorgerò

Ieri I went to see il film Frozen! It was AMAZING!!! I have been wanting to see it ever since I found out there was a principessa Anna in it! Now that I’m seen it in English though, I really want to see it in italian! I found this little clip from the italian version! 🙂


Ciao a tutti

Ciao a tutti,

Allora il mio italiano è coming along quite well as it happens! Sono trying to use it quite often now around Matteo, e con il mango languages course it is coming along abbastanza buona. My vocabulary is definitely improving. The only problems I tend to come up with is that boy does it give me a mouth workout when it comes to saying le parole out loud! Penso in inglese we are quite lazy, with the way we say out vowels, there is about 20-30 different ways to say all of the vowels, where as in italian there is only 7 ways to say them. So when it comes to saying ee, and eh, and ah, and ooh and oh all the time, after a while it just feels like my mouth and lips are hurting because I’m not used to having it in those positions for such a long time!

Penso when I meet italians, or recognise other italians around, I always end up getting to shy to try speaking it in front of them, i’m always worried of looking like an idiota! Lo odio! Ahhhhhhh!!! I wish that I could get past the shyness of failure, and just go for it! Although I think every time Parlo con Matteo he gets pleasantly surprised with how much I now seem to know! And it makes him very happy with how much I now actually know. Hopefully soon I will get over this, i’m sure everyone much experience it at some stage giusto? I mean I’m going to italy soon so I actually HAVE to get over it! Because otherwise I can’t communicate with anyone! 

Allora it is coming up to Natale again, this time I will be having an Natale inglese con italiano elements! I have created il menu con un antipasti, un primo, un secondo e un dolce. With a real italian antipasti for the starter, pizza for the 1st course, and an english roast dinner for our secondo, con pollo, roast pumpkin, sweet potato (I call it kumara), potatoes and cauliflower and broccoli with salsa di formaggio! Then mini pavlovas for dessert with brandy snaps and pannatone! Sounds buono no? 

Well this is where I’m at so far with mio italiano! 🙂

Ciao amici 


Un abbraccio



Photo credit: Me – Matteo by the Spanish Steps, Mid Dec 2012 🙂



Ciao a tutti!

Ciao a tutti! 

Mi dispiace quello I have not been on here for a while. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing il mio italiano! I have had some amazing benedizioni on that part. 

Tempo tempo tempo, what we all never have enough off, and as we get closer to Natale, it feels as though we have even less. I was feeling a bit down on my italian for a little bit, and I was re going through that mango languages passport journey won that ho vinto from doing the 31 day italian challenge with I really am finding it very amazing. I think I could work in un ristorante in italy now! haha! But i was going through it again for like the 3rd time, and it is sticking in my brain, but doing the same thing over and over again just gets a bit disheartening. As I’m sure a few of you would know that feeling. But then out of the blue, I got another email from Cher, after she had sent an email to her contacts at Mango Languages after I told her how amazing I was finding it, and they gave me a promo code for Journeys 2 and 3! That totally uplifted my spirits to continue on down this amazing yet frustrating path that comes with learning a new language. I have only just started the journey 2, and it is getting harder, but rather than all the other online courses that I’d done, that got you to translate italian to english far more often, this makes you translate english to italian, and it has little grammar notes or cultural notes all throughout the lessons. It makes you understand why everything is said or why they do things the way that do, and it just makes it so much more amazing. I think that when I do go back to italia in febbraio I will be able to somewhat piano actually communicate. I’m sure it will be a lot of puoi ripetere più lentamente per favore which is what of the sentences I learnt from the course. But now I can also say come si dici questa parola in italiano? or Cosa significa? It’s even coming handy now when I try to practise what I have learnt on Matteo. He seems pleasantly surprised at how far I am getting, and it has now la mia pronuncia è abbastanza buona! And Matteo can actually understand 80% of what I’m saying, rather than the 40% it was about un mese ago.

I will now try make more of an effort to at least post on blog a week. I at least finisce lavorano in 2 weeks so I will have a bit more time! Am really looking forward to a mixture of an italian/english Natale this year! 

Ciao i miei amici

Anna x