I had so much fun doing “5 Questions With..RomePhotoBlog” that I have decided to turn it into a series. I stumbled across Katie’s blog, Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino, a little while back and was instantly drawn to her positive thinking and inspirational posts. Positivity is contagious and since connecting with her I’ve found myself on an even more positive path to realizing my personal goals and dreams.
So, it is my pleasure to share 5 Questions With… Katie of Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino.
Your blog touches on many different aspects of your life, what made you start writing a blog? And how did you come up with the name?
I started my blog back in 2006 when I was starting once again my longing to become Italian through my Nonna. Then I found other blogs, more blogs, more blogs about Italy. It became an obsession. I read more and more about other people’s experiences and wanted to learn EVEN more about my ancestors. Then I moved to Florence as an au pair in 2007, so I thought I would keep it up for family and friends who would want to read about me.
I started with Olive Oil and Vino Dreams. Then when I switched to WordPress after my 9 months in Florence as an au pair, I changed it into Italian. I came up with it by way of the old show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Champagne wishes and Caviar Dreams. I thought of myself as living the BEST life. As I have told people before, I feel like Mary Tyler Moore throwing up her hat and saying ‘The World is my Oyster’ when I arrive in Florence. It is where all my dreams have come true.
You’ve lived in Florence off and on for many years. If someone was visiting Florence for the first time, what in your opinion should be the first thing they do?
OH this is a tough question. As I do not recall what I saw first when I first arrived, I would have to say definitely see the Ponte Vecchio. Meander through the streets that have no tourist and enjoy authentic Florence. For a great view, please travel up the steep hills to Piazzale Michelangelo and look at gorgeous views of Florence. Nothing beats a great relaxing afternoon viewing the hills rolling outside of Florence.
Let’s say someone had never heard of Florence, how would you describe it to them based on your personal experiences with it?
Florence is a magical place where dreams come true….oh sorry that is the tag line if Florence was Disney World. I would describe Florence as a historic place in which I have grown into the strong, persevering woman I am today. There are so many sites that people don’t normally take the time to see. I see possibilities manifesting in Florence. As much as Florentines are called closed and cold to strangers, I have never had that happen to me in Florence. I always felt welcome and never felt turned away. I have been in every possible situation living in Italy. Receiving a ticket from the bus police, sat stuck in a very hot train in the middle of a field sunflowers, had my debt and credit card stolen in front of my eyes, dragged my huge bag across the city numerous times, missed my train, drove a car amongst the Italians of my beloved city, worked illegally then was fired because I was illegal (saw that one coming). With all the experiences I have endured and survived through good and bad, I am still deeply in love with Florence. Nothing could turn me away from where my heart was first planted perhaps first by my ancestors born and bred in Emilia-Romagna.
Many people, myself included, are applying for dual citizenship. How has your experience been and what advice would you give others who are starting their journey to dual citizenship?
I started my journey with Italian citizenship back in 2005, then I had to start again in 2006, then in 2007 I filed all of the papers (I thought) I needed to obtain citizenship. Alas I found out this past year that they lost my application in Chicago, and have no record of me applying. Livid, I said you find my papers and you send them all back to me. Finally finding them, I shifted my thinking to a lot less strenuous avenue. British citizenship. My mom was born in London. Why didn’t I think of this years ago? Anyways, I am processing that right now, praying it will come to me by May.
Advice to all aspiring dual citizenship people, READ ALL THE FINE PRINT, ask a lot of questions when getting the full application, and GET YOUR NUMERO PROTOCOLLO. I was too trusting with Mr. Oddo in Chicago and never thought to ask for my numero protocollo. Mistake! And know if you are going through a great-grandparent or grandparent, the process time just like everything in Italy, it is going to take a LONG time. There are a few other ways in processing it a bit faster, I have connections regarding that. I won’t bore you with that here, feel free to contact me. I will hook you up!
In reading your blog, there are many posts that I personally find inspiring and motivational. What are your current aspirations and what do you do to encourage yourself to keep moving towards them?
Thanks, I try to keep my blog uplifting and positive as much as possible. Even if my real life is a little fuzzy sometimes. I am glad people see it as inspiring and motivational, that means a lot. I love to motivate people to do what they aspire to do. I believe that there is always a possibility for every dream to come true. Which following that thought, I found my calling to be a teacher. Teaching Bodyflow for sure has assisted in that as well. My current aspirations are a combination of many. Obviously getting my citizenship and getting back to Florence for good is a big one. Training to be TEFL teacher is second helping with my employment status when arriving in Florence. My writing is what needs a lot of encouragement at times. I find myself sinking into a pit of despair when it comes to my writing when I meet a wall of “how can you call that writing”. That is when I step back and reassess my objective for that particular piece. Or I let it be for awhile and see if it will grow something out of itself while I look away. Sometimes ideas need to brew and simmer for awhile before you can add a bit more seasoning to it. What keeps me moving forward is my heart and unwavering faith in my passions. I know that all my dreams have all came true before and they will continue to manifest before my eyes because I believe in each of them. Nothing has stopped me before so why should that brick wall stop me now? I can’t take all the credit though, I have a great support system of friends and family who keep me focused in pursuing everything to my heart’s desire. A support system is key in life. And NEVER, ever stop following where you heart is pulling you to.
Check Katie at her blog Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino , grab a glass of vino and make yourself comfortable.