30 things to do before I’m 30 – experience the #Amalfi Coast

Ciao a tutti, Another wonderful thing I got to experience while on my l’estate vacanze in Italy was the amalfi coast (another item I can cross off my 30 thing to do before I’m 30, only made possible once again thanks to my soon to be father in law Stefano! And to think we only spent 3 or 4 days just out of Avellino… we didn’t even really go back into town once Papà and Mariangela picked us up! Just stayed up in the beautiful mountain side where Mariangela’s mother lived.

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View from the street, just outside the door of Mariangela’s mother’s house

View from the street again

View from the street again

That was the first morning, just before we were starting out trip to the Amalfi Coast. To be honest we did get a bit lost, and went through a toll both for no reason. OOPS. Went in and then back out, when Papà realised we had gone the wrong way. We took a wrong turn unfortunately (and we all know what men are like with directions…. they don’t want to follow mister tom tom navman! hehe) Finally we managed to find the right path and get on the road again! And gosh, was the view breathtaking! We then decided to stop at a little town just beside Cetara, which according to the google maps stamp on my phone is called Maiori, which was just literally breathtaking. We managed to get to the public carpark which was up a very narrow hill, and we had to pull over to the rather small side whenever a car was coming back down the hill. But we got there in the end and made our way to la spiaggia! 

Walking down the hill towards the beaches

Walking down the hill towards the beaches

Finally getting to the beach!

Finally getting to the beach!

Lots of lovely italians with their beach chairs and umbrellas

Lots of lovely italians with their beach chairs and umbrellas

As you can see, there is rather a large about of sun umbrellas with lovely italians under them, so we decided to walk a bit further along the beach and found a quieter side of the mare (or sea)… In New Zealand I’m so used to saying Ocean, because it literally is an ocean, but turns out in Italy they only have the sea. I think for kiwis, we say that the ocean and the sea are the same, but turns out that seas are smaller than oceans and are usually located where the land and ocean meet… Some fun facts for you. 🙂 We had a beautiful day at la spiaggia di Maiori, I had plenty of dips in the ocean … oops I mean sea (or Matteo would say he was having a bath in the sea) , and got a nice sun tan. I loved the fact that you could hire the umbrellas and beach chairs. Unfortunately I think that they were rather expensive. Like €15 or €20 and we got 4 of them. oops! But I guess that is what happens when you go to a tourist destination in l’estate in Italy! (Even if we were at a less populated beach). But just looking out at the ocean… gosh wasn’t it the life. If I didn’t know Italy before, I surely felt I knew if better after that day. Just relaxing by the beach, going for swims in the sea, putting the goggles on and seeing the fishes swimming below your feet. Even feeling the horrible sea salt in your eyes. It was something I really missed, I mean my summer in Italy was the first time I had been to the beach in 2 years, other than the rather windy time I went there in febbraio! It was the first time that I got to literally swim in the open sea in a temperature that made it feel like I was in the bath! It was just such an amazing reality that I was getting to be present in the moment.

View from my beach chair

View from my beach chair

Going for one of many dips in the sea for the day!

Going for one of many dips in the sea for the day!

Getting to ready to enjoy some lunch before going back in for another swim

Getting to ready to enjoy some lunch before going back in for another swim

After having a delicious Caprese panino, when then enjoyed another soak in the sun, and dip in the sea, and then made our way around 3pm back to the car to enjoy another trip along the Amalfi coast to Amalfi itself. I couldn’t stop looking out the window at the breathtaking views. I felt like, if I didn’t look, I was missing out on an opportunity to plant some beautiful memories into my brain. We finally got to Amalfi and stopped in the car park, and I ran straight out of the car to the Pier. I didn’t look back, I wanted to experience Amalfi in all it’s beauty and fullness. Words can’t really describe the feelings you get when you see a place so beautiful, I mean it looks like something out of a movie, or out of a fairytale, it doesn’t feel real! But gosh it was. Definitely a place I want to be able to go over and over again. Somewhere I would love to bring my family (If I could ever get mum to get a passport and finally leave New Zealand haha). It was literally like Heaven on Earth.

One very excited Anna on her arrival at Amalfi

One very excited Anna on her arrival at Amalfi

Walking onto the Pier in Amalfi

Walking onto the Pier in Amalfi

More beautiful views

More beautiful views

Beautiful Views

Beautiful Views

All those houses that you actually see on the films!

All those houses that you actually see on the films!

Going to Amalfi is literally like finding a corner of the world that is what I like to imagine that heaven would be like. After I had my running away onto the Pier experience, I think put on my tourist hat and had to buy some souvenirs. Which, if you know me, I am the worst person ever to go shopping, especially because I take about 30minutes to decide on one thing, and I don’t think to shop around, I end up paying twice as much for something, that I find in another shop 10 minutes later for half the price… this girl is not a savvy shopper while on holiday! haha. But I did buy an awesome navy sweater with a anchor on it that says Amalfi (I wear it everywhere in London, obviously because it’s super cold) and I bought 3 different sized bottles of limoncello which I still haven’t drank yet. I’m trying to think of how I can take them with me to Nuova Zelanda, because I’m only allowed to take 3 bottles of spirits into the Country before I get stung with duty tax! I might just have to hope my tax refund comes through and post them onto my mummy! But they are awesome little bottles. One is all colourful, in the shape of a shoe, and the other has amalfi art all over it! They are just so cute!

Afterwards we went to the Piazza del Duomo to enjoy an ice cream on the steps of the church, the piazza was absolutely buzzing with life. It was so beautiful to see all the different types of people, foreigners enjoying the new sights, Italians enjoying their august holidays, just the every day little things were all experiences in themselves.

Piazza del duomo!

Piazza del duomo!

the men relaxing on the steps!

the men relaxing on the steps, doing typical italian things — ehhhh smoking! 😦

I really hope to return to Amalfi soon. I don’t really think that will happen just yet, but never say never. I will get to see you again soon Amalfi! Just watch out! Anna will be back! haha (I’m sure there a lots of Anna’s there already, considering Anna is one of the most common female names in Italy haha)

Quick Selfie!

Quick Selfie! 

Well I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip to Amalfi as much as I enjoyed reminiscing about it. I wish I had of kept a diary or something while I was there. Definitely something I plan to do this next trip in exactly one month!

Ciao a tutti!

Anna x

Ciao a tutti – molto tempo che non ci vediamo

Ciao a tutti,

Mi scusa for not writing sooner, I just needed to take a little break for a while from the social media world, but now I am back at full force 🙂

A lot has been happening for me in the mondo di italiano or world of italian. While I still can’t seem to form a proper sentence. I am trying a lot harder. As 2 days before we left italia, Matteo asked me to marry him! It wasn’t a very romantic proposal at all, but I was sitting on the bed at Nonna’s house, saying that I was sad, because we were leaving in two days, and then he came out with the ring. So that’s quite nice. Now we get to arrange a big fat italian wedding!

the ring/ agnello

the ring/ agnello

It has been quite fun getting to plan some things. Matteo’s cugini (cousins) have given us a wedding planner for a wedding gift, so at the moment we are just filling out the questionnaire to send back to her, but it is a bit difficult planning a wedding from here in london, for in rome italy. But I thought it is the right thing to do, to get married in roma, so that even though mamma can’t be there in person, at least she can be there in spirit! And we are planning to go to Nuova Zelanda for our honeymoon and a renewal of wedding vows, as my family are unable to make it to Italia, but it will be nice! Now to count down the days for sabato 12 settembre 2015! 

I have also started attending St Peter’s Italian Church every sunday, I sing in the coro or choir during the mass. I figured since we will be having a mass wedding in italia I might as well start learning the mass in italian! So that is proving useful, and it’s nice to be apart of some form of italian community in london! The only problem is they say the responses so quickly!  But I’m sure I will get there eventually, and start to form some understanding. At least I know it by heart in english, so I know the translations of what I’m meant to be saying which is handy!

St. Peter's Italian Church in LondonSt Peter’s Italian Church

I have also started to take beginner intermediate italian lessons on a tuesday evening. I’ve only been to about 3 or 4 sessions so far, but I can understand about 80% of what the teacher Nicoletta is saying, which is definitely progress! And its really quite cheap, only 300 quid for a whole year! So can’t complain there! So hopefully it will mean I can surprise everyone next time I go back to italy! I’m sure I will get there eventually! It just seems like a very long learning process, when I wish I could just know it already now! I guess it gets a bit discouraging when it really doesn’t feel like I have come very far, but then if I look back to before I started to learn properly, then I have progressed so much! So here is hoping!

Last week we had some amici arrive from roma, Luca e Marta, it was really nice seeing them, I always like seeing Luca when we’re in Italia because his english is wonderful, so it’s a nice treat to be able to speak to someone without having to fry my brain, so it was really nice to see him, and I even managed to have a 10 minute italian conversation with Marta about my wedding plans, so that was handy, because I think her sister is a wedding planner, and she works in a wedding shop back in roma, so I will definitely have to have a look when I make it back to Italy. So it was really lovely being able to see them, and it’s always funny being around people that can speak both italian and english, because they can just switch so quickly from one language to the other without thinking. I am super jealous!!!

From back to front: Matteo, Christmas, Marta, Luca and Me - enjoying M & M world in London

From back to front: Matteo, Christmas, Marta, Luca and Me – enjoying M & M world in London

Well I can’t think of much more to say write now, but I will start writing some more specific posts regarding the month in italy. As I have some wonderful photos to share!

A dopo!

Arrivederci a tutti!

Anna x

buon ferragosto! and my first day here!

I arrived at fiumicino l’aeroporto about 30min late as we were late in departing! I walked onto the ramp to the heat hit me! 28 degrees and I’m in jeans and a shirt! that will teach me! ha ha! after arrive at the luggage train I got a bit confused as to where my luggage was going to be as I had to take it to outsize luggage but it eventually arrived at the right place, and Bella Carlotta and zio Sergio were there waiting for me (I felt so bad, they were probably waiting for over an hour) but they said it was fine! and even though my italian was hopeless, I actually managed to communicate with them just fine and understand about 70% of what they were saying to me!

when we arrived at home, I said my ciao‘s and gave baci to everyone, and we went to Zia donatella‘s for dinner! we had a nice dinner of pomodori pasta and some fried courgettes and green beans! it was simple but delicious! and we spent a while around the table chatting! it was lovely! and I was actually able to chat away in italian with them! Google translate did come in handy when I couldn’t think of the right words but most of the time I did pretty well by myself! if I didn’t understand I would just ask them to repeat and then I would get it in the end! then after a while it was getting late so nonna and I went back to her casa and I went to bed in nonno‘s old room. and slept surprisingly well! I think the mattress has changed in the past two years, as it was quite soft and previously it’s been very hard so I was pleasantly surprised!

And I managed to sleep in this morning! I never sleep in! I am an early bird who wakes up before 6am ready to seize the day! but I slept in until 9am! I must of been tired from the travel and excitement! I got up. did my hair, then went to the Cucina for colazione! I had cornflakes for breakfast! it was fine! I think when I get a chance to go to the supermarket I might get something else though!

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my view when I got up this morning!

I then went outside to plant my pohutakawa tree seeds or my New Zealand christmas tree! I think I will need to keep an eye on them as it’s so hot, they will need to be water, although I’m not meant to touch them for a week! but I guess I can spray the newspaper that is on top of the seedling trays!

As it is ferragosto or the assumption of Mary, it’s a public holiday here in italia, so everywhere is closed, and everyone here is working, or away at their casa di paese, so it’s just nonna and I left behind! so I have spent the morning looking through some old photos, and watching nonna make lasagna for pranzo! I can’t wait to eat it! it looks delicious! well I hope it’s for lunch! haha

well I did eat the lasagna per pranzo and it was buono!, nonna and I carried the lasagna downstairs to Zii Sergio è Donatella a casa and we all ate once Donatella arrived home from work! and it was amazing! and ate everything on my plate! and enjoyed a couple of vino‘s with zio to celebrate ferragosto! It was really nice!

now I’m just enjoying a lie down on the bed! It is such a beautiful day here in Roma! We are off to the beach tomorrow! we are leaving about 8am! I can’t wait! will be amazing! and I might get a tan! haha yaaaaaay!

ciao a tutti 🙂
Anna

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il mio italiano è pessimo!

Ciao a tutti,

I am hopeless when it comes to writing aren’t I! I need to get more into it again! And really need to get into my practising of italian, considering it’s only 4 weeks until I go there, but I guess immersing myself in the culture and the language without my translation crutch (Matteo) will be the best way to learn. That way I will just have to speak it, I can’t get embarrassed about it like usual, otherwise I will be the most boring visitor ever if I don’t talk to anyone! I think I’ll just say any old words and add them together and hope they understand! haha!

 

Well I haven’t had a very good week this week, in the weekend Matteo and I found out that Mamma was back in hospital again. She hasn’t had a good run of it, that’s for sure! This time last year she was in hospital with pleurisy (fluid in the lungs, trouble breathing etc) and was in hospital for about 3-4 months. Then when she finally came out, she had had a reaction to the antibiotics, which made her thighs swell up, so she was bedridden, and 85 year old Nonna was taking care of her. I don’t know if any of you remember me saying, but when we were in roma in febbraio she was still bedridden. Only just recently it seemed like she was starting to get better, she was going out to the shops, seeing people. She really started to seem good, which was why we had booked out tickets so early. But then in the weekend just gone, we learnt she is back again in l’ospedale with Pluerisy and fluid in her lungs. She’s so nervous about everything, which can’t be helping the recovery. But I at least helped Matteo be able to afford to go there as soon as possible (which was today) to go and see her, and maybe lighten her spirits a bit in this difficult time. Then she will get bouncy ol’ me, coming in 4 more weeks! and then Matteo again the following week! So she will have plenty of us around to try to cheer her up!

It was mamma’s birthday yesterday, and I was messaging her on Facebook, and she said the nicest thing to me, after I had told her I had written a letter to papa francesco asking for him to pray for her. She said “Amore mio, My love con te ho avuto il dono di una nuova figlia. With you I have the gift of  a new daughter. Sono felice perche’ ami tanto mio figlio e questa cosa mi conforta. I am happy because you love my son so much, and this comforts me. Grazie per le tante preghiere per le tue e per quelle che arrivano da tanto lontano. Thank you for the many prayers from you, and from those who come from far away.  Sai Anna hai ragione tu perche’ non provarci ad arrivare in alto…  You’re right Anna, to go right to the top, Di certo male non fa…of course it cannot hurt riuscita a farmi sorrier! You did manage to make me smile Ti voglio bene piccola I love you piccola ci vediamo presto un grande bacio See you soon, a big kiss.

I thought that was just the sweetest thing. lei e bellissima! 

Well I hope everyone is enjoying l’estate! 

Ciao belli!

 

Anna x

Mamma and I snuggled up together in february!

Mamma and I snuggled up together in february!

 

picgifs-ciao-301451

San Valentino, Supermercato, la luna, Daniel, Pizza and why old people love Berlusconi

Ciao a tutti,

Ieri was one of my favourite “holidays” san valentino, I always get excited for any excuse to buy presents, perchè I think I am an amazing gift giver, I couldn’t actually wait for yesterday morning to give Matteo his gift, I gave it to him the night before, with the excuse “It’s already Valentine’s Day in New Zealand”, I really like to use that excuse a lot as away to give out presents the day before. He was lucky enough to get a St. Christopher Necklace (although it was a lot bigger than I imagined when I got it.) That good ol’ patron saint of travellers. Since he now has a girlfriend from half way across the world, it would be fair to say we will be doing a lot of travelling together, so we need that little bit of extra protection that San Cristoforo can offer. I even got it personalised for him on the back with: “Matteo, Buon San Valentino 2014, Cogli l’attimo, Ti amo, Anna” So he can always remember. 🙂 My Valentine’s Day present was the day before our trip to Assisi, and that was just as amazing, as well as homemade pizza for dinner.

In the late mattina we made our way to the supermercato, now one thing I will say for italians, they really know how to lay out a supermarket, large aisles, all beautifully arranged, I absolutely LOVE shopping in Italy, I would happily spend hours doing the grocery shop if I lived here. One person I wouldn’t take though is Matteo, who hates grocery shopping, whether it’s a man thing or not, I drive him insane taking forever, enjoying all that’s around me. He just likes to buy what he came in for and then leave, not soak up the surroundings. If we do move back here, he will not be joining be for the grocery shopping, that will be Anna’s treat to herself! haha, we made our way around the beautiful supermarket, getting ingredients for the pizza, and stocking up on paprika Pringles to take back to london. I love how over here, they have flour specifically for pizza, and a whole aisle dedicated to Pasta, which is half the price for branded pasta over here in Italy, that what you pay in london for the same brand, with NO Neopolitan branded dodgy grown on rubbish dumps food! If there was a supermarket in heaven, it will be an italian one!

Clearly enough room for like 3 1/2 trolleys!!! Photo Credit: Google images

Clearly enough room for like 3 1/2 trolleys!!!
Photo Credit: Google images

Checkout that aisle! Oh yeah! Photo Credit: Google images

Checkout that aisle! Oh yeah!
Photo Credit: Google images

After finally getting dragged out of my supermarket heaven, we went back home.
Matteo’s sorella Gaia was planning on making a red velvet cake, from the mixes that we brought with us from londra, go betty crocker! Matteo was busy translating for her in italian, when I spoke to her in english, saying You can understand me right? And she was nodding her head. She studied languages at school, and Matteo’s busy translating, when she can actually read and understand the whole thing herself. She’s a closet english speaker that one! haha

And Nonna was also making homemade  pasta! Can’t get enough of the home made pasta here in Italy! Home made everything tastes so much nicer than bought products! And all it involves in uovo eggs, farina flour and a bit of sale salt! How easy is that! And It makes a delicious mezzogiorno meal!

home made pasta! Photo Credit: Matteo

home made pasta!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The amazing pasta machine! That has lasted 30 years for the cost of around 40-50 euro! Can't go wrong there!  Photo Credit: Matteo

The amazing pasta machine! That has lasted 30 years for the cost of around 40-50 euro! Can’t go wrong there!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Buon appetito!

Buon appetito!

I went to have a nap, and got woken up to Matteo coming back from dropping the alfa romeo back to papa, I arrived in the kitchen to see both papa and Daniel! ahhhh! But first I went out to look at the moon! It was MASSIVE! Una bellissima luna! 

la bellissima luna! bella e gialla!

la bellissima luna! bella e gialla!

After shooting the moon half asleep, I went into la cucina to play with the adorable Daniel. He is the funniest little italian bambino I know (the only italian bambino I know) il mio piccolo amico! My little friend! He has the most funniest characteristics, between blowing raspberries at Matteo, to constantly roaring at me like a lion. We both could not get enough of this adorable little creature that is Daniel. Matteo got told off by Nonna for trying to teach Daniel how to pick his nose, that was quite entertaining. He is just such an amazing little man!

il mio piccolo amico!

il mio piccolo amico!

We then enjoyed finishing the pizzas, I helped Matteo with his patate pizza. A strange combination I thought, but then he thinks I’m weird for liking pineapple on my pizzas in england. After they went in the oven, and came out, we sat down to enjoy them. Who knew that pizza with just patate could be so delicious! Then Zia Donatella arrived with a present for me, just out of the blue, it was so lovely. A scarf and a pair of gloves that can turn into mittens! The best present ever! She said she saw it and thought of me! How lovely! It absolutely made my day!

ingredienti per pizza!

ingredienti per pizza!

finished product! nom nom nom

finished product! nom nom nom

 

While eating cena, Berlusconi came on television, I asked nonna, why all the old people love Berlusconi, since it seems like everyone else dislikes him greatly. She said that 30 years ago, there was only one network on tv, until Berlusconi brought out a new network, with great television shows and all for free. And he was such a hard worker, and made lots of differences for the italians of that time. So they all thought he should try for government because he was such a hard worker. But when that happened others started to get involved too, and it all went down hill from there. But the elderly of Italy will still remember all the good that he did for Italy BEFORE he ran for government, which is probably why they will all still vote for him whenever he decides to run again!

Since they always have dinner so late here in Italy, around 8 o’clock, not your typico 6 on the dot like my parents do in New Zealand, along with a lot of other english countries. I am always worn out by that time. So Matteo got the tv working in the room, and I fell asleep to the beautiful sounds of some tv show called Virus. I think it had to do with the italian government or something along those lines. Although it took me such a long time to fall asleep, because my brain was too switched on to the sounds of the italian and trying to make it out. I’m just hoping at some point it a switch will flick in my brain and it will all make sense!

Allora, buona giornata a tutti!

It always takes me hours to write a post… because i’m using the internet at Donatella’s which is the piano below, so it always goes in and out of connection. Arrrrrrh! Italian internet drives me insane!!!

Ciao

Anna x

pic credit: Catholic gags

pic credit: Catholic gags

San Francesco in Assisi

Ciao a tutti,

Growing up in New Zealand I learnt a lot about my mother’s confirmation saint, Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals because he could TALK to them, had the stigmata, and was a hermit, but a friend to all. So coming to Italy, I really had to go to where St. Francis was from!

When I came here in dicembre 2012, I had even booked a tour of assisi starting in roma, unfortunately it ended up getting cancelled, much to my dismay, and even though I was here all through gennaio 2013, Matteo’s car was a late 80s mini, which was bound to break down if we even drove 50km from where he lived, so that meant my trip to assisi was out in january as well.

Now much to my surprise, this morning after slowly waking up, Matteo says to me, “do you want to go to assisi?”…. Now I thought he was joking, because it would be just like him to get my hopes up only to be like.. just kidding, i’m such a good actor… so I was like “Are you being serious?” and he replied with a “yeah!” So we got up, got ready and jumped into la macchina and was on our way to assisi! 

It was such a bellissimo journey, farms, old medieval houses, we did end up getting lost, because Matteo thought he had missed the turn off, so we had to ask for directions, at least he wasn’t afraid to ask! Then we got the right turn off! I never knew that there were TOLLS in Italy! That actually still have the little man in the booth who collects the money, but hey we are talking about Italy here… so we made our way through the Toll Booth, and back on our way onward to assisi!!!

Beautiful buildings on the drive to Assisi

Beautiful buildings on the drive to Assisi

Matteo had just stopped to ask for directions when I spotted this sign!

Matteo had just stopped to ask for directions when I spotted this sign!

We arrived into “New” assisi, where we came upon a great basilica, unsure of the name, where I spotted 3 francisicans, 2 male and 1 female. I was sneakily taking photos of them from a far distance, so they probably wouldn’t of noticed, when I made Matteo go up and ask them if I could take a photo of them, since I loved St. Francis and they were rocking his outfit, even down to the sandals on there feet. Unfortunately they turned down the offer to be in a photo with me, much to my disappointment.

Me sneakily taking photos of the Franciscans… heeheehee

Me sneakily taking photos of the Franciscans… heeheehee

The cathedral we came across. Not sure of the name of it, but it was closed unfortunately. But it is beautiful from the outside!

The cathedral we came across. Not sure of the name of it, but it was closed unfortunately. But it is beautiful from the outside!

Beautiful statue of the madonna on the top!

Beautiful statue of the madonna on the top!

This is a pathway where people can pay for a brick with their name in it! Photo Credit: Matteo

This is a pathway where people can pay for a brick with their name in it!
Photo Credit: Matteo

We then made our way to “old” assisi, and boy was it magical. This bellissimo little medieval town. That is tiny, but has like 5 or 6 churches! We went to the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, which had two parts to the basilica, an upstairs and downstairs. It was just breathtaking being in there, the ceilings, o dio they were magnificent! I just sat take to take it all in. It was so amazing! With the paintings by Giotto! They were just divine! 

View of Assisi from the car on the way there.

View of Assisi from the car on the way there.

Arriving at the basilica! Photo Credit: Matteo!

Arriving at the basilica!
Photo Credit: Matteo!

Entrance to the Basilica  Photo Credit: Matteo

Entrance to the Basilica
Photo Credit: Matteo

Matteo managed to get a few sneaky pictures before he got told off! Photo Credit: Matteo

Matteo managed to get a few sneaky pictures before he got told off!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Artwork by Giotto! Photo Credit: Matteo

Artwork by Giotto!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The amaze balls roof!! Photo Credit: Matteo

The amaze balls roof!!
Photo Credit: Matteo

We unfortunately arrived rather late, so didn’t get to see all we would of liked, and I ended up suffering from il mal di pancia so that didn’t help either. We made our way to see some of the other sites, such as The Temple of Minerva.

The Temple of Minerva. Photo Credit: Matteo

The Temple of Minerva.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Then we managed to find where St. Francis was born, called chiesa nuova  They have turned his old house into a mini church! It is rather a cute wee place! I just love the history, and medieval feel about this town!

St. Francis' Parents. Photo Credit: Matteo

St. Francis’ Parents.
Photo Credit: Matteo

Chiesa Nuovo on the inside! Photo Credit: Matteo

Chiesa Nuovo on the inside!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The original door from when it was St. Francis' House. Photo Credit: Matteo

The original door from when it was St. Francis’ House.
Photo Credit: Matteo

I absolutely adored Assisi, it was definitely a big highlight of all my times I have been in Italy. It will be somewhere I will definitely come to see again! I cannot rave about it enough! Thank you Umbria!

Here are a few more images of our trip to Assisi!

The basilica from "New" Assisi! Photo Credit: Matteo

The basilica from “New” Assisi!
Photo Credit: Matteo

The view from the top half of the Basillica of San Francesco.

The view from the top half of the Basillica of San Francesco.

Me with the gorgeous view behind me! Photo Credit: Matteo

Me with the gorgeous view behind me!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Beautiful Assisi! Photo Credit: Matteo

Beautiful Assisi!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Just got to make sure we were on the right street! Photo Credit: Matteo

Just got to make sure we were on the right street!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Hanging out with the parents of francesco!  Photo Credit: Matteo

Hanging out with the parents of francesco!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Just casually sitting in the house where Francis was born! Photo Credit: Matteo

Just casually sitting in the house where Francis was born!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Yes… it's true… I am secretly pinocchio! Photo Credit: Matteo

Yes… it’s true… I am secretly pinocchio!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Mascarpone pastries! It looks like a toy apple! Crazy!!

Marzipan pastries! It looks like a toy apple! Crazy!!

Random plaques on the side of a building! Photo Credit: Matteo

Random plaques on the side of a building!
Photo Credit: Matteo

One last view of Umbria from on high. Looks like the clouds are starting to roll in! Photo Credit: Matteo

One last view of Umbria from on high. Looks like the clouds are starting to roll in!
Photo Credit: Matteo

Buona Notte miei amici.

I hope you enjoyed my reminiscing of my journey as much as I enjoyed being there!

Ciao

Anna x

Not understanding a language that surrounds you can make you really depressed

Buonasera miei amici,

È vero (it’s true) when you are in a foreign country it can get very frustrating when you can’t understand thing going on around you. I so WISH and DREAM I could understand the things that are coming out of everyones melodic mouth over here. And I am really trying, but just somethings it feels as though you have hit a brick wall, with no where to go. And let me tell you, il mio bello ragazzo is no help at all. Every time I build up my courage to say the small sentences I can actually say that make sense for everyone to understand me, it is HORRIBLE when he is around, because he here’s me say it and then goes on to ripetere exactly what I have said in his version of my voice. It really makes me want to crawl into a grotto and hide and never resurface. He doesn’t understand how much courage it actually takes me to build that sentence in my head, the amount of thought process it actually takes to get there to begin with, when I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, my worrying that I might not actually be understood, only to then here in repeating in the high pitched girly voice of Matteo mocking me. He is lucky, he can speak both languages… he can switch like its nothing. A year ago he couldn’t do it. But now he is pretty much perfect at the mongrel languages we call english. I desire so much to be able to communicate with his family, to be able to have a full on conversation with nonna, or to have a laugh with mamma. 

I really enjoy when I have those small breakthroughs with the language, that may seem like to nothing to the ordinary Joe Blog, but to me it feels as though I am walking in the clouds. When I say things to Lucky, like Batti il cinque and he actually gives me a High Five! Or when I say come fa leone to Daniel and he replies with a ROAAAAAAAAR! Although that’s a dog, and a 14 month old. But I guess it is still progress. 

And the understanding is getting there, I just wish there was a switch in my head, where I could block out the english and just understand italian. I mean when we were hanging with Matteo’s amici just two days past, they did a run down of words like animals and fruits where they would say them in italian and I would tell them what they were in english. I have enough vocabulary, just forming that DAMN sentence! ARRRRRRRRHHHHH!

To which everyone replies piano piano piano….. But I want it NOW! I don’t want it to slowly happen! I had to have a bit of a giggle when Matteo’s aunty Paola came to visit yesterday (nonna and her 3 daughters all live in the same apartment complex, just on different floors, or those mamma is living with his while her apartment is being renovated) and she was telling Matteo that it annoys her that I can’t speak italian, and that he should speak to me in italian all the time so I can start to understand the italian structure properly. I replied with an anche io me too. Because I understood what she was saying. Why is learning a new language as an adult never easy? Why is it sooooo frustrating!!!?

It’s not fair…. Now I love Disney! Disney movies are my favourite, so as a way to try to improve the minuscule amount of italian I do know, I have started youtubing videos of disney movie songs. Because I love to sing, I spent 7 years doing singing lessons, and singing for weddings and funerals and in church, so I figure lets use this gift I have to incorporate my language learning. And I know the songs well enough in english anyway, so learning them in italian and already knowing the translation should speed up the learning process right? Oh I hope so! I even started watching la sirenetta (the little mermaid) I was so impressed that they managed to have sebastian with a Jamaican accent even though he is speaking italian! That is AWESOME! I am trying to wait for Frozen to come out on dvd here in Italy, I have seen it quite a few times already and they have a principessa Anna (clearly named after me) so I am longing to see it in italian to be able to watch it over and over again in the hope that at some point it will begin to make sense.

Well rant over!

Buona notte a tutti

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!

This is what my brain looks like when attempting italian!

Ciao

Anna