Italian Word of the Day – “Ricominciare” (+ Visa Update)


La Maestra Maldestra

La Maestra Maldestra

It’s been a long time since I last published a Word of the Day post, but I figured this was fitting. Today we’re going to learn about the word ricominciare.

ri (again) + cominciare (start) = to start again

And that’s exactly what I have to do with this whole Italian Visa process, folks.

Grazie to all of you who took the time to leave a comment, send a message, say a prayer or light a candle for me when I went to apply for my Italian work Visa a couple weeks ago. Things didn’t quite go as planned (obviously) and now my team of trusty friends and I have to ricominciare da zero (start back at square one) with the whole process.

Back to the drawing board...

Back to the drawing board…

Having to re-do things because they weren’t quite right the first time isn’t as disheartening, however, as hearing that something’s impossible. And I’m (thankfully) sitting in the first camp. So now I know how things go. Now I know what to do, who to see, what to send and what to sign. This Visa is still within reach, and so is my dream of living and working in Italy (again).

So, to ricominciare is not all bad. No, not at all. Besides, I’m not the only one who has to fare salti mortali (jump through hoops) to get something done on the Visa or Permesso di Soggiorno (permit to stay) front.

Take a look at these posts from other great Italy bloggers to read their trials and tribulations:

Girl in Florence – How to Survive Your Next Permesso di Soggiorno Renewal

Italy Project 365 – How to Obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno per Lavoro

The Florentine – Let’s Talk About Visas II

And just because we are still talking about our Word of the Day, take a listen to Adriano Pappalardo’s 1979 hit, “Ricominciamo” (Let’s Start Over).

(If the original music video is available in your area, take a look. The guy looks like a pro wrestler-turned-singer!)

Say a Little Prayer for Me…


Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"I’m going to ask you to farmi un piacere. Do me a favour. Please.

As I’ve maybe mentioned once or twice before, I’m in the slow and horrible process of applying for a Visa that will allow me to live and work in Italy. If you’re an active follower of this blog, you’ll have read about my past experiences in il bel paese and you’ll know that I just can’t get enough. I want to go back, and not just for a summertime visit. (Relax, Canadian friends and family. It won’t be forever!)

So I started this ridiculously complicated and frustrating Visa process in June of last year, and with the help of two great friends in Siena, have managed to get to the final stage: the application appointment at the Italian Consulate in Toronto.

Monday is judgement day. It’s the day when the hopefully happy and well-caffinated Consulate employee will peruse my pratica (application file), and check the innumerable documents I had to run willy-nilly around the public offices of Siena to get. Then they’ll either:

a) look at me kindly and say, “Signorina, everything seems to be in order. You can come back to collect your Visa next week. And, by the way, complimenti on your wonderful Italian.”

And I’ll smile.

or

b) brusquely point out many insufficiencies and inconsistencies with my file and say, “Signorina, I’m sorry but it is not possible to submit your Visa application today. You must do this and this and this and this and then re-book your appointment to come see us again when you really do have everything we require.”

Then I’ll cry.

Because the thing is, I’ve already done pretty much all I can possibly do to get everything they require. Every piece of paper, every stamp, every everything. My friends and I have spent hours, days of our lives even, trying to get all the required documenti (documents) to make this Visa a reality. But of course, like so many things in Italy, the country’s beautiful bureaucracy makes it impossible (in my situation) to have my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed the way they’d like them to be.

So on Monday, let’s hope for option A, shall we? But I have to admit, option B is a real possibility.

What I’m asking you, readers, is to incrociare le dita, to cross your fingers for me. Send me some good vibes and positive thoughts. And if you’re of the praying, candle-lighting persuasion, per favore, pull out all the stops because…

I really want this.

Welcome to 2015!


Not Just Another "Dolce Vita"Yes yes, I know I’m about a week late with this post.

I got it.

But what can I do? Lately I’ve been busy flying across the world, celebrating Christmas in another country, attending my best friend’s wedding in said other country and then traveling around said other country with, up until a few days ago, a party of 10. Sounds great, no? It has been.

The proverbial sun setting on 2014 in Queenstown, NZ.

The proverbial sun setting on 2014 in Queenstown, NZ.

But all this wonderful stuff doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you, readers. Happy New Year! Are you excited for what’s to come? Made some resolutions, or at least some goals? Some dreams for 2015? Happy to leave 2014 in the dust, or sad to have it behind you? I’m one of those people who likes reflecting on the year around the end of December and beginning of January. And that’s what I’ve been doing, between the white-water rafting, the luging, the penguin watching and the scenic drives through New Zealand’s beautiful mountains. This year I rung in the new year with a gazillion other people in picturesque Queenstown, NZ. Have I come to any startling conclusions?

DSCN0471

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Queenstown, NZ.

Well, 2014, the first two thirds of it, were great for me. The last bit, not so much, but I’m not willing to let that taint the memory of the entire year. Looking forward, as I’ve often said on this blog, my life is in a beautiful, wonderful state of flux at the moment. I’ve got this trip planned until the beginning of February, but after that, my life, my job, my everything is up in the air, which means endless possibility in my books. It’s exciting.

Speaking of books, each year I buy a calendar planner that I take almost everywhere with me. I write my life down in this book: article due dates, teaching hours, milestones, coffee dates, trip details – everything. For the new year, I managed to find a book that I think suits me to a T and I’d like to share some of its wisdom with you here:

IMG_2626

IMG_2638

IMG_2633

I’m hoping to do both…

Who knows where I’ll start the year next year! But here are a few things I do hope to do in 2015:

1. Cross a couple more countries off my 30 Before 30 “Travel Bucket List”. (Am headed to Singapore and Hong Kong this month, which are both new for me!)

2. Grow my freelance writing business, Wordistry. (Will concentrate on this after my trip is done!)

3. Spend some time in Italy. (That’s always on my goal list for the year, and I’ve succeeded for the last 5 in a row…)

4. Engage in some professional development to make me a better teacher/writer/translator. (Exciting, but still need to plan this one out a bit.)

5. Dedicate more time to my creative writing. (Exciting and also… somewhat dread-inducing)

What are your goals for 2015?

Felice anno nuovo, readers. Happy New Year! Auguri! I wish you tante belle cose in the year to come, and I hope you’ll stick with me to see where this “Not Just Another ‘Dolce Vita'” of mine takes me.