Written by: Tania Pietracetella
My name is Tania Pietracatella. I was born in Perth, Western Australia. My parents are Italian immigrants who owned very successful Italian restaurants in Perth while I was growing up. At the age of 12 I took my first flight to Italy to visit family. Since that trip I began returning every year. I have a profound love for my Italian heritage and culture. I married and lived in Italy before returning to Perth and having children. We continue to take our children each year to visit our family.
Next in our Italian Series for this month is Tania from The Little Italian School in Perth. Tania teaches Italian Language classes as well as traditional cooking in her Italian inspired home in Western Australia. Many times I have wished Tania and I could be neighbours. Tania and her family visit Italy each year to spent time with family and today I asked her to share what a return to Italy means for her family.
Return to Italy
Returning to Italy each year is always at the top of our priority list. I guess it’s a part of our yearly routine. Going back to our ‘other home’ is always loads of fun as we just adore catching up with our friends and family, and the kids love seeing their nonni, godparents and especially first cousins.
We always base ourselves in our hometown, and do smaller trips from there. Travelling with the kids has never been an issue, but then we have never made it an issue. I’d seen parents with babies and kids on every flight I’d ever been on and was convinced there was nothing to it… and I was right. I thought to myself, ‘if they can do it, we can do it too’. So after the kids came along, we went on with travel as usual.
We’ve never been big on sightseeing. Not because the landmarks aren’t breathtaking, but because the crowds of people cause more stress than relaxation, and we like to go away to relax. This means staying in bed and breakfasts, laying on beaches, enjoying long lunches, meeting new people and discovering new customs in quiet parts of Italy where there are more locals than tourists. It helps that we speak Italian. You won’t find many English speakers when you go off the beaten track.
Of course we have found each year is very different for the kids. As they grow they are more familiar with the way things work in Italy. They love having the freedom to roam around in the piazza’s while we have our afternoon aperitivo. They always meet new friends and join in their games and it’s such a joy to watch.
Apart from our little trips, I think our kid’s favourite part would have to be spending time with their cousins in our hometown in Molise. They get spoilt rotten by our family, and lap up all of the extra attention of course! They also love their little downtime after lunch, knowing we’ll always be out until late at night.
We avoid shopping unless we really want something we can’t get here in Australia, which is almost next to nothing now with online shopping. I’m also aware of the extra luggage and packing that comes with it, which can be pretty stressful, so it’s not something we crave to do while we are away. We don’t care much for ‘things’ we don’t really need. It’s more the memories shared with everyone that we like to bring home with us.
We visited Paris with the kids, and would like to visit other places in Europe soon, but for now we are just happy doing what we do. Holidays are fun and something to look forward to when you work hard all year. I always remind the children that the travelling wouldn’t be as exciting if we did it all year round. I like to think they will slowly understand that life around the world is similar for everyone and that the grass is never greener. It’s all about what you make of the life you have, where you live.
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