Benvenuti alla Dolce Vita Club ! Ma cos’e` La Dolce Vita Club?
La Dolce Vita Club is about a passion for all things Italian. It’s a celebration of that extraordinary nation; a chance to rejoice in language, cinema, culture, food and fashion. A way to communicate, using hands and gestures, with other like-minded folk who miss a good “chiacchierata”. A chance to talk about all we miss…
For me, it’s my Italian family and friends… It’s about the taste of a ripe Italian tomato on fresh bread with some olive oil and salt; it’s a macchiato and brioche in the mornings at the local bar; it’s red-tiled roofs; opera and tacky pop music; it’s sunflower fields; cobble-stoned streets; it’s living history; beautiful people; unreliable transport… Ahhhh, Italia!
The Club was born out of the deep and strong necessity to remain connected with my motherland ITALIA ! Not always possible when you live halfway around the world – in the antipodes.
Over endless coffees with my “amica di cuore” Lisa (Lili Marlene) Garside, we devised a club, a society, a haven to ease the pain of living so far from L’Italia and keep its magic alive in Perth.
Our shared passion for all things Italian started more than 20 years ago with our friendship and continues today.
Coming from northern Italy – my papa` is from a wine-growing family in Asti commonly known as “Le Langhe”. Mamma instead is from the border of Italy and Slovenia – a beautiful part of the world that over time has been the centre of many feuds and was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
As part of the now famous post war migration, my parents (separately) came to Perth. Like many migrants their stories began with a move to the Goldfields. What a shock it must have been to move to Kalgoorlie, Gwalia and Leonora… A stark and harsh contrast to their green, lush, verdant homeland. I did the journey back to the Goldfields some years ago with my Mum – but that’s another blog!
Mamma and Papa`, like many Italians, both have a wall plaque at the Fremantle Maritime Museum to remember their journey, sacrifices and adventures.
Thanks to my loving parents I grew up in the (then) very ethnic suburb of Mt Hawthorn. Nearly everyone on my street had tomatoes, “radicchio” e “insalata” growing in their front garden.
I studied Italian at University as part of my way to stay connected to Italia. In 1992 was fortunate to win my first scholarship to Perugia to study at the Universita` Per Stranieri… and I returned to study part of a Masters in Journalism in 2000 at La Scuola di Giornalismo Radiotelevisivo… My love affair with Italy has remained strong ever since.
At the same time, Lili Marlene grasped a dream to live in Italy at a young age, studied Italian at High School and University, skipped her graduation to be on a plane for Firenze – where she studied language and cultural studies at Lorenzo de Medici in the city’s ancient heart. Her love affair grew stronger over the years with frequent trips and life adventures. She has been spotted dancing at the Masquerade Ball in Casanova’s Palazzo for the Carnivale di Venezia, living in an Tuscan medieval clifftop town, sailing in Sardegna and most recently- attending a wedding in the Franco Zeffirelli villa in Positano.
Our vision is to do nothing more than breathe in the qualities, charm and art of Living La Dolce Vita. Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece lights the way – bringing us Marcello and Maddalena, The Baths of Caracalla, The Trevi Fountain, Cha Cha Cha Club, Paparazzi and the majestic backdrop of Rome!
So let’s begin here in Primavera Perth with monthly “pranzi”. Then outings – we already have some planned. And each week we’d like to introduce to a “new” Italian word, concept or saying… This week my friends, perhaps predictably, our word is
LA DOLCE VITA: Which literally means “the sweet life.” It also means ‘life full of pleasure and indulgence’ (which is the bit we like!).