What is my Italian Connection?
It may surprise you to learn that my love of Italy goes back much further than my love of Mr Prada!
At school I loved learning languages but my other love was Art and Art History. As you can imagine during this period of study I came across many famous Italian artists and sculptors such as Giacometti, Caravaggio and Bernini Let's face it what do Italians not know about art!?!
I grew to love their work, fell head over heels with the architecture and the way what I now know as 'La Bella Figura' (The desire to make a good first impression), often seeps into art as well. This is why the local council office in an Italian town is as beautiful as an art gallery. There is no reason in Italy why anything should be ugly or brutta!
With all this buzzing in my head I signed up to a beginners language course in Italian language but also with modules on history, culture, literature and film! It was a heady mix of Primo Levi, Luigi Barzini and Beppe Severgnini!
Then at some point unfortunately most of us stop studying and head off to work. Italy became my dreamy holiday destination and nothing more. My creative side was suppressed and I ended up moving three hours away to London working in the main financial centre, Canary Wharf. I was working in an editorial role but in a huge American bank in a tower with literally thousands of people. Completely not my calling in life!
Once settled I decided that I wanted to start learning Italian again and I signed up for a course. Call it fate or what you will, but a about a month later I had an internal email at work from a man with the surname 'Prada'. I thought this must be a made up name! No one in the UK has this name unless you are part of the fashion label.
I blamed the cheeky boys in the IT department for sending me a fake email asking me out for a drink. They then conceded that they weren't clever enough to create and send fake messages and that this person 'Mr Prada' did exist. They knew him and he sat somewhere on my floor of 300 people!
So I found out where he sat, made sure he wasn't an old managing director looking for a very young girl! Oh yes it happens! And we went on a date. He was not what I was expecting or looking for but actually here we are over 11 years later!
Now our mutual love of Italy is obviously very useful. I do put a limit on how much pasta we eat each week! Mr Prada would eat it at breakfast, interspersed with Panettone! We are raising our children with both of our languages and cultures.
Christmas is always an interesting combination. We spend one year with Italian family in Italy and the next with our English family. Hopefully getting to see my Sister who now lives in Dubai!
This year it's the English turn so we have stockings on Christmas Day in keeping with English traditions. Then on Christmas Day we have turkey but there will be Panettone and Pandoro as well as Christmas Pudding!
I still can't get Mr Prada to eat parsnips but the children will be happy as they get stockings on Christmas Day and La Befana on 6th January!