It may not come as a surprise to my regular readers, but I just wanted to clarify that I am rather fond of Italian things. This is what led me to write this blog in the first place. I was also fortunate enough to call Italy my home for 7 years. I have asked some foreigners to participate in writing guest posts about what they love about living in Italy. I am no longer there myself and I love reading the posts of people who still are. This got me thinking though. What about Italians who no longer live in Italy full-time, what do they miss about their motherland.
I would like to welcome Flavia Cacace to An Italophile.
I have only just learnt about Flavia as she was one of the professional dancers on the very popular Strictly Come Dancing. Strictly Come Dancing is a ballroom dancing competition where celebrities from all areas are paired up with professional dancers. They are judged by four judges who are Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood. Throughout the entire series it was essential to not miss an episode in our house. Flavia and her partner Lewis Smith (2012 silver Olympic medalist for the men’s pommel horse final) won the 2012 series. Flavia’s professional dance partner, Vincent Simone was also involved in Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with Dani Harmer.
Flavia was born in Naples and moved to England when she was four years old. She is the youngest of 6 children and has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. She started dance lessons when she was five years old at a local dance studio that specialized in ballroom dancing. She took many exams until she was 14 years old when she started competing. She had two partners before finding her current partner, Vincent Simone.
One of the things that I love about southern Italy is the warmth of the people. My father-in-law is from the south. Mealtimes are an amazing event with lots of lovely homemade things.
I believe that pasta is one of your favourite things. What are your favourite Italian meals?
My favourite is spaghetti bolognese or frutti di mare.
Do you speak Italian or a Neapolitan dialect at home with your family?
Italian with a hint of Neapolitan here and there, it adds character.
When you visit Italy what do you like to do?
– Do you catch up with family or explore different places?
I used to mostly see family and go to the seaside in the school holidays, but now if I had the time I would love to travel round and sight see, something to look forward to.
Do you play the viola to relax?
When I have some time off I do, I’m hoping to have a sound proof room in my house so I can play whenever without worrying about annoying anyone.
Do you think it was serendipitous that your professional partner ended up being Italian?
I believe in fate and all things happening for a reason, it was meant to be.
Although you have spent your formative years in England, is there a particular something that makes you feel Italian?
I definitely feel Italian, I was born there, my mum and dad are both Italian, I love the language, music, food, climate. I like to think that I’ve taken the best of both worlds and mixed them and that has created who I am. I love the UK and it’s home, I loved my schools and the fact I feel I have been allowed to have the best of both.
Do you think Italian children are brought up differently to English children?
I think it very much depends on the generation that their parents are from and if their parents were born in Italy or England.
Is there anything you miss about Italy?
It’s a combination of things, mostly the weather because food you can get here with there being so many restaurants, music too, it’s mostly the climate but I’ve learnt to love the winter here and it’s now my favourite part of the year. I enjoy looking forward to going to Italy on holidays and feeling quite at home when I’m there too. As I said it’s the best of both places.
If you moved to Italy, what might you miss about England?
Definitely the coziness, the log fires, being indoors when it’s wet and windy. The cobbled high street of my town, Sunday roast and generally the order. Lots of things. X
Flavia has a busy time ahead of her with her Midnight Tango tour. She and Vincent have also created a dance app available from iTunes. In addition the pair have three Argentine Tango DVDs. Hopefully we will see her later this year on Strictly again.