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

Anna

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

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Visiting Anacapri on the isle of Capri

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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

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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

Anna

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…. 

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

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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

30 things before I’m 30 – Pompeii!

Ciao a tutti,

I was going through my list of 30 things before I’m 30 and realised that I actually achieved a few of them on my last trip to Italia. 

Although the more I read through this list, the less likely some of them seem, especially now that things are changing, and we are going all the way to the other side of the world. But I guess that when we do finally get to make those trips back to Italia, once we are in Nuova Zelanda, it will be much more special, and we will want to see so much more of this bella paese that I now call my second home.

But anyway you didn’t come here for the above, you came here to learn all about my experience of Pompei…. turns out in italian it’s only one “i” not two, like we english like to write it, it’s NOT Pompeii! but Pompei! I had big arguments with Matteo about this spelling… turns out as a native English speaker, you shouldn’t really try to defend that italians are spelling their place names incorrectly! haha oops….

Quick casual selfie in the carpark!

Quick casual selfie in the carpark!

The view of Pompei from the line to get in!

The view of Pompei from the line to get in!

 

The massive line!

The massive line!

I remember the excitement I felt finally getting to go to an iconic place in history! Considering I did really want to go to Naples, I think that Pompei may be the closest that I am going to get because Matteo is a scaredy cat when it comes to Napoli! It didn’t take long for the line to move, and then suddenly we were in! On a beautiful late agosto di mattina, Anna was finally getting to visit the ruins of Pompei! 

I remember just walking in that entrance and being fascinated straight away, because one thing that fascinates me a lot (which is rather strange really) are the pavements and roads. They are all so bumpy and old, and frustrate me a lot if I am a passenger in a car while driving on them. But then I guess that is part of Italia, and one thing I love so much. Keeping the old along side the new, and it makes Italy just beautiful, in the way it can embrace having both old and new side by side.

Seeing all the latin writings, things like sign posts, and random paintings, everything about Pompei just wanted to make me travel back 2000 years ago to that time, to see what it would be like in those days.

Street signs

Street signs

The original roofing structures - which are used in most houses all throughout Italy today

The original roofing structures – which are used in most houses all throughout Italy today

Latin Street Signs

Latin Street Signs

Eumachia - The public priestess of venus in Pompei during the middle of the 1st century AD. She funded the construction of a large building next to the public forum in Pompei.

Eumachia – The public priestess of venus in Pompei during the middle of the 1st century AD. She funded the construction of a large building next to the public forum in Pompei.

Everything about this city of ruins was amazing,beautiful, fascinating, unbelievable, just to name a few ways of saying practically the same thing. It was just such a truly inspiring place to be in! And what a cracker of a day we picked to go and explore! I remember by the end of the day (we were there for probably over 6 hours) I was completely worn out, my poor footsies were hurting from all the walking we had done! And we didn’t even manage to see everything! I’m pretty sure there was still so much more! Between seeing the ruins of little cities and houses, to the graveyards and the vineyards, and the garden of fugitives in their plaster cast forms. When I first saw the plaster forms of real people killed in the aftermath of mt vesuvius’s eruption I wanted to cry. To see the forms of children, pregnant woman and men alike it was just heartbreaking to imagine what they must of gone through  all those years ago. To see some of them cradled in a ball, or some hugging each other. I had so much compassion just seeing those remains of all those destroyed in the volcanic eruption!

victims in the garden of the fugitives

victims in the garden of the fugitives

Monte Vesuvio in the background

Monte Vesuvio in the background

Now one thing I absolutely adored when it came to Pompei was the zebra crossings!  The blocks in the road allowed pedestrians to cross the street without having to step onto the road itself which doubled up as Pompeii’s drainage and sewage disposal system. The spaces between the blocks allowed vehicles to pass along the road. To think that 2000 years ago, they had systems such as what we know now as a Zebra crossing is just fascinating!

 

Me standing on the old school zebra crossing!

Me standing on the old school zebra crossing!

 

Well I can’t think of much more to say but I will leave you with some more photos of my trip to Pompei! 

I'm was getting very good at the art of the selfie!

I’m was getting very good at the art of the selfie!

The many tourists enjoying the site as much as we were!

The many tourists enjoying the site as much as we were!

My little (or large) italian poster

My little (or large) italian poster

beautiful view of the ruins

beautiful view of the ruins

a version of an oven in 70AD

a version of an oven in 70AD

More Latin

More Latin

Relaxing against a pole from all the walking we were doing

Relaxing against a pole from all the walking we were doing

My handsome companions, Papà and Teo

My handsome companions, Papà and Teo

Another stunning view - and to think these were all taken with an iphone5!

Another stunning view – and to think these were all taken with an iphone5!

Panorama time!

Panorama time!

more views of the ruins

more views of the ruins

Cracker of a day

Cracker of a day

another temple or something

another temple or something

Artwork in Pompei

Artwork in Pompei

Casual selfie by the vineyard

Casual selfie by the vineyard

Wishing I could take home some of those grapes

Wishing I could take home some of those grapes

happy times for Anna, Teo and Papà

happy times for Anna, Teo and Papà

The site where the graveyard was

The site where the graveyard was

Being a bit creepy and taking a rest in  a memorial

Being a bit creepy and taking a rest in a memorial

The amphitheatre of pompeii

The amphitheatre of pompeii

Large view of the amphitheatre of pompei

Large view of the amphitheatre of pompei

Enjoying being such a small thing in a not very large, but still adorable amphitheatre… I guess it's not colosseo!

Enjoying being such a small thing in a not very large, but still adorable amphitheatre… I guess it’s not colosseo!

Latin writings just before you walk into the amphitheatre!

Latin writings just before you walk into the amphitheatre!

Pompeii outside gymnasium! where the gladiators worked out!

Pompeii outside gymnasium! where the gladiators worked out!

The outside gymnasium again!

The outside gymnasium again!

What would have been a shop or a bar!

What would have been a shop or a bar!

Getting tired from all that walking!

Getting tired from all that walking!

More artwork!

More artwork!

More artwork!

More artwork!

Fun times with Teo!

Fun times with Teo!

 

I had such a lovely experience getting to view Pompei! And it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for my amazing soon to be father-in-law Stefano! He is just the best! I am a very lucky girl!

And to finish of the day, I got myself a cute vase with artwork on it, which is currently in a box ready to be shipped to New Zealand. Along with getting to enjoy a granatina al limoni, which was like a fresh lemon slushy! It was delicious!

Me feeling spoilt with my granatina al limoni!

Me feeling spoilt with my granatina al limoni!

Well folks, that’s all for now!

A dopo!

 

Anna x

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

buona_befana_by_twisted_wind-d5qmvi2

Arrivederci! 

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

 

Anna x

vacanze, il calcio, amici e bad language skills

Ciao a tutti,

I know I have been so hopeless not going on here! When so much has actually happened when it comes to all things italian!

I will try to commit to getting on here more often, especially with doing the 42 day preposition challenge, I got up to day 10 and sort of fell sort! oopsie!

Well as I said a lot has happened for me on the italian front in the past couple of weeks! I booked my ticket to roma italia per la 14 agosto! So I’m going a week earlier than Matteo to hang out with la famiglia and improve my language skills since they speak no inglese! which is good! I’m pleased! Because it will force me to have to use what abysmal skills I actually have! haha

I have been watching the depressing auzzuri in the FIFA world cup! Well I mean I was proud of them that first game, when they bet England! It was playing at 11pm at night here in londra so I went to a pub in Leicester Square and watched it with Matteo, and 3 of his colleagues (2 were italian) and that was good, there were more italians than there will english, and they were so LOUD! I loved it! And to walk away with great leverage to use at work since they were all supporting England was fantastic as well! haha. It was such a great atmosphere, and it made me proud to be supporting at team like italia, and hey, they won that game clearly because they were the much better looking team! 🙂  And it made me really like Pirlo! He is just a fantastic player! With his Jesus beard and lucius hair! Fantastico!!! 

I then went to watch the second match italia was playing against Costa Rica, now that was just a depressing game, and really ruined my weekend! I watched it again with a group of italians which was good! But unfortunately they just played badly!

Then on tuesday evening after work we went to watch the last and final game, I can’t believe we got a red card that was something that wasn’t even our fault, then Chiellini got bitten by the vampire Suarez from the Uruguay team! And He DIDN’T GET A RED CARD? What the hell? But I was pleased to learn just 10 minutes ago that he has been banned for 4 months after disciplinary procedures were put in place! And so he should be! It should be more than that! Geeez! Poor Chiellini, no wonder the elbow went up once Suarez had taken a bite into his shoulder! What did you guys think of the games? I really felt that the mexican ref they had was picking on the italian team, clearly he wanted the south american team to go through!

I have started my mango languages cause again, piano piano I at least have time to do one of two lessons, and I’m just hoping it will sink in!  And I’m going to start the 42 day preposition challenge again in the weekend! so that should help as well!

I am starting to get really exciting for roma! Spending 4 weeks in italia will just be amazing, and I finally got a permanent job in the office at school so I might actually have money to burn this time! I’m going to take a near empty suitcase, so I will HAVE to go shopping for clothes and other things! I’m even going to buy myself a prescepe that I saw in the souvenir shop at san giovanni in laterano! I’m really starting to get prepared for Natale!!

Allora, Can’t think of much more to say!

I’ll leave you with a nice pic of the game on Tuesday!!! hahaha

Ciao xxxx

Anna

suarez

Da quanto tempo

Ciao a tutti,

I know I’ve been cattivo and have been a bit MIA. But I still ti voglio bene! I have been half doing my preposition challenge. Although I struggled with day 9, so only have just completed it now, so I think I’ve got like 5 more days of catch up to go! will post about it shortly, but not in this post!

I did something quite exciting iere! I bought my ticket to Italia!!!!! ahhhhhh, so on glovedi 14th agosto I will be flying into fiumicino l’aeroporto with mamma waiting for me on the other side. And WITHOUT Matteo!!! He will arrive a week later! So I am so very excited. But that means that I definitely need to get my A into G, if I don’t want to have the language skills of a 2 year old!

So I have once again started my mango languages course, I have all 3 journeys, so I just need to get through all of them. Last time I only did two of them. And they did help me so much, but then I kind of gave up, so I just need to encourage myself a bit more, I’m sure a lot of you know how easy it is to get out of good habits.

I am sure that spending 4 weeks in Italia will definitely give me a better grasp on the bella lingua, especially with planning on going places where not much english is spoke. I’ll be spending one week by myself in roma with la famiglia, then Matteo will arrive for a couple of days, then we’re planning to go and spend two weeks in puglia by the ocean! Not quite sure WHERE in puglia yet, but somewhere that is reasonably priced and looks beautiful! At least it should be amazing weather still being agosto and early settembre! 

Coming into my second summer while being on this side of the world, I am starting to form some good habits, have started Matteo’s crazy italian detox diet, with mainly involves salad and meat, and pasta only once a week 😦 I’ve started running to lose those kilograms I put on when I lived in my horrid flat where I ate takeaways all the time, and it is hard to lose stored fat! But the running is actually going well, for my birthday last week Matteo bought me an iPod nano, and it has the nike+ app, and it is amazing for helping me with timing and distances of my runs. And I now have a rather crazy obsession for an italian brand called nunalie!

So bring on estate I say! This summer will be amazing! Cannot wait to spend 4 weeks in a bella paese! 

Ciao ciao!

Anna

Puglia - photo credit: google images

Puglia – photo credit: google images