Sono senza speranza (I am hopeless)

Ciao a tutti,

How long has it been since I have made an effort to get on here…. clearly too long!

We enjoyed a beautiful 6 week stint in Italy over the italian spring/summer of maggio/giunio. I got to experience my first italian wedding, a trip to the Isle of Capri, I got to see the REAL arche di triomphe (not that pretend one they have in Paris), and I got to spend time with blessed Nonna Rosa! It was absolutely amazing! I cried so much the days before we were leaving, because I didn’t want to go! I will tell you more about the trip in another post (I promise, I won’t leave it forever this time).

On a more exciting note (although a trip to Italy is of course very excited) I brought back a little surprise, I mean the first time we came back to New Zealand I brought a husband home, and now this time, we have brought home a little surprise in my belly 😀 We are expecting a little italian! I have 4 more weeks until we can find out if it’s a little bambina or bambino! But I couldn’t be more thrilled! And hey, it means Matteo will have to start talking to bebè all the time in italian, so I’m sure to pick up more italian then hey!

Well I will write more again soon!

A dopo



Lilli and Biagio (The italian names of Lady and the tramp) are waiting in anticipation for our little roman!


Visiting Anacapri on the isle of Capri

Notiziaro 1!

Ciao a tutti!

So I managed to finally write my first newsletter! It’s a bit basic for now, but I guess it’s better now than never! And It’s a start! 😀

Click the picture below to check it out if you’re interested! 🙂




Ciao Ciao

Anna x

Buongiorno! Da quanto tempo (long time no see)!

Ciao miei amici!

Sono speranza! I am hopeless! But I’m sure you can forgive me! I hope! Transitioning back to life in New Zealand hasn’t been hard for me! But I think l’italiano marito (the italian husband) may be struggling a little bit! I can’t believe we have been here for nearly 5 months! And married for 4 1/2 months already! (And I still haven’t sent all my thank you cards out yet… oops)

But while I may have been back in Nuova Zelanda and for me it feels as though I never left… I haven’t let that stop me from learning italian! Because now that I’ve married an italian I want to be able to speak it even more! It has given me a new sense of desire to understand and communicate in this bella lingua!

Before we got married we had decided to write our own wedding vows, and because I knew it would be hard for Teo to get married in a foreign country that he had arrived into 5 days before I wanted to say my vows to him first in italian just for him, then in english for the benefit of everyone else. Since we only had one other italian at the wedding, standing by Teo’s side, his bello cugino Daniele. So with the help of youtube, some disney songs in italian with english subtitles, I even managed to get some rhyming in there, and I will share it all with you now 🙂

Oggi, per la prima volta
Proprio come per magia
Ho la vita che sognavo
Ho sperato molte volte in qualcosa per me
Come un fulmine sei comparso tu
Forse il sogno e già realtà
Abbiamo fatto un duetto
Che sembra proprio perfetto
Tu ormai lo sai più di me
Io ricordo in un attimo quel che amo
La gioia che provo pensando a te
Se la strada non è dritta e ci sono duemilla pericoli
Ti basti solo ricordare che
sono con te
I tuoi problemi sono anche i miei
E non c’è nulla che io non farei per te
Non dovrai scappare
Sul mio aiuto puoi contare
Non sei più da sola ormai
Se le forze uniremo
So che noi ci riusciremo
Mai nessuno ti vorrà mai bene quanto me
Perché il destino ha deciso
Per essere insieme
E nessuno la spezzerà mai
La mia terra e il mio cielo sarai
Anche chi non c’è più ci protègè da lassù
Sei la mia anima gemella
Non vedo l’ora di passare il resto della mia vita con te
Oggi io ho il mio nuovo sogno sente che sei tu
Ogni dubbio va via
Ti voglio sempre al mio fianco
Io ti proteggerò, non temere
Dì addio alla malinconia
Non ti lascerò
Perché lo so che tu sei tutto ciò che
Resto qui
Non andrò mai via
Da oggi tu sei casa mia
Ti amo

reading of the vows

reading of the vows

and now in english 🙂

Today, for the first time
Just as by magic
I’m going to have what I dreamed of
So many times did I hope in something for me
Then you appeared like lightening
Maybe my dream is already reality
Who knows!
We’re a duet
That seems just perfect
And you know it better than me
I remember in a moment what I love
The joy I feel I feel thinking about you.
If the road is not straight and there are two thousand dangers
It will be enough only to remember that I am with you
You’re problems are also mine
And there is nothing that I would not do for you
You won’t have to run away
You can rely on my help
You’re no longer alone
If we join forces
I know we can make it
No one will ever love you as much as I do
Because destiny has decided
for us to be together
And no one will every break it.
You will be my land and sky
Even who is not anymore will protect us from up there
You are my soul mate
I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you
I can’t wait to grow old with you
Today I have my new dream I feel that you are the one
Every doubt goes away
I want you always by my side
I will protect you, don’t be worried
Say goodbye to sadness
I will never leave you
Because I know that you are everything
I’m staying here
I will never go away
Starting from today, you’re my home
I love you

con il miei due belli italiani!

con il miei due belli italiani!

It was such a lovely day for a beautiful kiwi-italian matrimonio! But gosh it feels like forever ago now, I guess because it was all so quick, after arriving back here to Nuova Zelanda on the Tuesday to getting married on the Friday, it all happened so very very quickly! But I wouldn’t change it for a bit! It was one of the best days of my life! (And I hope Teo thinks the same too! haha) I know it was hard for him being far away from all la famiglia, but maybe one day when we are a bit more financial we can have a renewal of vows in italy 🙂 that would be very cool!

My beautiful girls on my special day!

My beautiful girls on my special day!

After our whirlwind wedding, and just coming back from Italy, we didn’t have much of a honeymoon, but went and saw some beautiful sites around the south island as much as we could before we had to get back into the grind and find jobs and have responsibilities again!


Stop over on the way to Punakaiki


Punakaiki – Home of the pancake rocks


super excited about this blue ocean Nuova Zelanda has!


Stopover on the way to Picton! Time for lunch!


The Picton foreshore!


Some people have too much money haha! But beautiful sunsets!


Charlotte Sounds – Picton


New Brighton Pier – Christchurch! A day where we celebrated Mamma Stefania’s birthday!


getting up close and personal with a Llama at Willowbank Wildlife centre!

So we have managed to do a few things since arriving back in this country! I am reminded how beautiful New Zealand is! Every Country is different and beautiful, but for different reasons. I mean, I LOVE ITALIA! I would move there in a heartbeat if the economy wasn’t so broken and Matteo would actually move home haha! And it is so beautiful because of all the rich history that is within the very walls of the things you see everywhere, and the sea and beautiful views. But then New Zealand is beautiful for completely different reasons, where we have seen, which is the South Island, it is still so untouched by people. Still so raw in its history, and beautiful in just simple everyday views that you see. I love both countries that I like to call mia casa but for different reasons. ahhhh! It’s very frustrating!

But I can now have a conversation in Italian, albeit a very broken, grammatically incorrect conversation, but still a conversation, and if they speak slowly, ho capito! (I understand), and that is thanks to my wonderful italian teacher Francesca! as soon as I got a job here in Christchurch, I went in search for an italian teacher, because let’s face it… Teo is a lost cause for teaching me, and he’s too lazy because it takes me about 3 times of repeating to understand it, and he gets frustrated if I don’t get it the first time! haha! So I have to then pay someone to teach me, and it’s paying off! I am understanding things so much better, even when I am naughty and don’t do my homework until just before I’m heading to my lesson… hehe, but she only talks to me the whole hour lesson in italian, and it’s only if I really don’t get something, that she will break into english. But she is fantastic! So bring on June next year, because we are planning a trip to Italy, and I’m going to blow everyones mind with how good my italian has gotten, even though I haven’t been there! hehe!

Plus I write letters to la famiglia in italy, and Matteo translates them to italian, then I rewrite them in italian, so that is helping too! I have a special box for all the replies I get. So far just Nonna, nonni and Chiappa! But that’s ok! They are all so wonderful! And I love sending special surprises to everyone over there! 🙂 hehe

Well I promise I won’t take so long to write next time!

ciao a tutti!

tua amica

Anna 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😛

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 😦 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 😛

Ciao ciao for now!

Will write again soon

Anna x

benvenuti a roma!

ciao a tutti!

allora, I have finally arrived back in Italy after 6 months away! being here last summer feels just like a distance memory! ahhh

after having to sit on the plane for 2 1/2 hours because the air traffic controllers in Italy decided to strike, the plane finally started to move! I had never been on Ryanair before, I guess lucky for me I have little legs! but it still wasn’t very comfortable, that’s what you get for cheap flights! haha definitely get what you pay for! :p



after seeing all the beautiful clouds and views from the air, we finally landed in Ciampino l’aeroporto! when I finally felt the fresh italian air on my face, I couldn’t stop smiling! I stood there with my little shoulder bag thinking “I am home”!

I think as a child I always felt a strong connection to Italy. I didn’t have much to do with my fathers side of the family, but would always claim that 1/4 of italian that was in my blood thanks to them. even though I had never been to this country before especially as a child it was fascinating, to learn about rome mostly even though our family came from Stromboli, one of the aeolian islands to the south of italy. I think I just loved Rome, maybe because I was a catholic and pope John Paul II was pope around that time, and Romans are cool and all that stuff, but even at high school I loved learning about the Roman Empire and then roman Gods and all that type of thing. even now I still find in so interesting! And now that I’m here, now that I’m back, I just feel like I’m where I belong! And seeing la famiglia again was just wonderful! seeing the aunties! giving them their regali that has been sitting at home since christmas time! and just sitting and chatting! and seeing bellissimo Daniel! who’s just as cute as always! it’s wonderful! And Nonna! Bella nonna rosa I always miss her the most, she is the most beautiful soul ever! as we were sitting around the kitchen table getting ready for dinner she was saying while caressing my cheek “after months and months and months you’re finally back here with me”

Being here and enjoying all this goodness and it’s only the first evening… is making me feel a bit scared, because I finally feel like I’m somewhere I belong, and I know we have to leave… and to go back to the other side of the world! while I can’t wait to see my family, I’m leaving my other family behind! I feel a bit like I’m between a rock and a hard place! I think that will definitely be the first thing we save up for when we get to New Zealand, will be a ticket to come back to visit! because I don’t want the length of time away from Italy to be like me and New Zealand! It’s a scary thought! ahhhh!

well I’m sitting in bed now, All filled up on frappe! thanks to Mardi Gras! I think I had about 10 pieces of frappe and still managed to eat a Snitzel for dinner! hehe! which I’m quite fussy, so me even trying the frappe was quite a feat in itself! turns out I like it after all! hahahahaha

buona notte miei amici!

I will put some other photos up when I get Matteo’s fine, since mine died on the plane trip! but finally managed to charge it again!

will write very soon! because now I’m here, I will have lots of italian goodies to talk about hahahahaha ha!

ciao ciao ciao


Italia – Not so far away now!

Ciao a tutti,

I can’t believe it’s now febbraio! Only 12 more days until we arrive back in la bella roma… after 5 months! It’s a bit scary to think that this could be one of the last times we will actually be able to afford to go back, considering New Zealand is a lot further away than being just here in London! So we will definitely have to make the most of it. And I will have to make the most of the opportunity that these 5 weeks will give me to learn more of this bella lingua I have learned to love.

Some of la famiglia

Some of la famiglia

At least this time in Italy will be more about la famiglia rather than the actual country, and I guess lucky for me, they don’t really speak much english. So I guess that is definitely handy as well, providing I can get out of my comfort zone, and not use Matteo like my english crutch that I normally do. I remember when I was last in Italy, I went a week before Matteo, so I could practise with the italian language, and I actually made a lot of progress. We managed to communicate, (I think largely to the help of google translate), but I was actually progressing, I could sit down and have semi conversations with everyone, and my listening skills were getting better, I was learning to understand what everyone was saying, even though it was a bit of a process of Italian -> translate to english -> decide what I want to say in english -> translate back to italian. I remember when Matteo and I first got together, he had the same problem with his english, now he thinks in english when he is with me, so no longer has this problem. It just seems like it takes a lot longer for me to understand and revise this way of thinking. And I don’t want to lose it when we do go to New Zealand, I think I will try to speak it more when I’m there, because I want to feel like I will have this secret language with Matteo, that no one else will really understand. But it will probably just come out sounding all wrong. 😦

I think one of my main problems is that I try very hard to listen to a conversation with la famiglia like on Skype or on the phone, I sometimes gather the general gist, but then end of getting lost in the conversation, which leads to me losing interest in trying, and then I give up. It feels like an ongoing cycle. Even when we are actually in Italy, I do the same thing, like sitting at the dinner table, trying to understand the conversations, then my brain hurts, so it decides to shut off, then I feel embarrassed if someone is trying to talk to me, and I’m lost in my little kiwi brain of mine, in a far of distance land, that isn’t anywhere near the vicinity that I am actually in that moment!

Let’s just hope in these next 12 days, when we are catching that plane to the airport in Rome, I manage to get some progress in this journey!

I will write again soon

A dopo

Anna x

30 things to do before I’m 30 – Go inside an Italian Castle

Ciao a tutti, I was lucky during my italian summer to get to visit a Castle, FINALLY. After our disaster in febbraio last year, when we tried to visit Castello Orsini-Odescalchi in Bracciano about 30km out of Roma (although I’m pretty sure it took us around 1 1/2 – 2 hours to get there) only to find that everything in Bracciano happens to be closed on a lunedi (Monday), I was finally going to be able to pretend to be una piccola principessa in a castello! And all we had to do was get a ride to the centre of la citta di Roma! 

The only view of the castle that I got to see in February 2014!

The only view of the castle that I got to see in February 2014!

Castel Sant’AngeloFinally I got to experience a historic Italian Castle! I remember always being fascinated by the idea of Princes and Princesses and Castles and fairytales. When I first imagined going to Italy, I think apart of the fact that all the historic buildings and structures seemed like something out of a fairytale, made the idea of going to Italy so much more appealing! (It probably didn’t help that as a child my mother and step father used to fill my head with ideas that I was dropped off at the doorstep in a basket because I was a long lost Princess haha) Italy, and it’s history and castles were just all so appealing! Not that Italy had exactly had a monarchy, after they managed to abolish the monarchy in 1946 and send Re Umberto II into exile! But Finally I, Anna (without the king) was finally getting to experience stepping foot into a 2000 year old castle!

My first look at this magnificent Castel Sant'Angelo

My first look at this magnificent Castel Sant’Angelo

The Castle of the Holy Angel, as it is called if you translate the name in English, was in fact originally constructed as a mausoleum by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, in 123 the building works started, for what would later turn into a fortress and a castle for the catholic papacy in the 14th century.

Remains of what was clearly a strong fortress!

Remains of what was clearly a strong fortress!

I guess when it came to the Papacy and the Roman Empire and what I imagine would be countless sieges, it definitely acted as a strong hold for the church.

All those little doorways had windows, so they most likely acting as a good place to shoot from!

All those little doorways had windows, so they most likely acting as a good place to shoot from!

Fun Fact! Castel Sant’Angelo even acted as a prison for the Papal State…  I guess when your whole country is the size of an ant hill, there isn’t exactly room for a prison. haha The views from Castel Sant’Angelo were just beautiful, from the views of la citta di roma to the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge that leads towards the Castel. It literally felt like something out of a fairytale book. The type of stories that start with C’era una volta…. 


The view at the top of the castel! You can even see the tip of San Pietro in the distance!


View of the Ponte Sant’Angelo… I was a bit worried when taking this photo, there was a small hole on the ground, I thought I would drop my phone and it would be gone forever! ahhhh

From the artillery rooms, to the crazy italian cartoons from back in the day, there was so much to see in this Castel now turned museum. For €10.50 I definitely felt I got my monies worth!

Strange artwork in one of the museo rooms!

Strange artwork in one of the museo rooms!

There was even a restaurant within the Castel (I can’t remember the restaurant name unfortunately) which made a delicious pizza (but come on, where do you find a bad pizza in Italy). We arrived at Castel Sant’Angelo just before lunch around 11ish, maybe a bit later. And as I’m sure those of you who have been to Italy know and understand that the italian version of “lunch time” is around 2pm. So after a few hours walking around the Castel we fortunately stumbled across this restaurant in one of the upper floors of the building. I remember Matteo being in the il bagno so I remember asking if the table was free in my horrid italian. Pretty sure I even used the wrong word, I can’t remember what incorrect word I used but it wasn’t libero or gratis. oopsie! But the waitress seemed to work out what I was trying to say anyway so that worked out to my favour! And I remember the prices weren’t that bad for a restaurant within a tourist destination!

Enjoying my italian coca cola at pranzo!

Enjoying my italian coca cola at pranzo!

My little friend I made while enjoying my lunch!

My little friend I made while enjoying my lunch! Must of been eyeing up my cibo!

My delicious pizza for the day!

My delicious pizza for the day!

After a beautiful l’estate day in a castel from just out of paradiso, We finally decided to make our way back to the meeting point to get our ride back to la casa.

Enjoying the view from Castel Sant'Angelo

Enjoying the view from Castel Sant’Angelo

I really hope that during this next trip to Italia, even though funds will be incredibly abysmal because we are having to move to nuova zelanda with practically only the bond money from the flat, I really hope we might still get an opportunity to explore a bit more and see some more castles. Even if they’re just around roma… I’m pretty sure there are more castles than just Castel Sant’Angelo in the eternal city!

All roads lead to Rome right? haha

Ciao a tutti!

Until next time!

Anna x