About Me


I’ve spent countless hours writing – biographies for artists and bands ; press releases for album releases and tours – but ask me to write about myself and all writing abilites go out the window.

Let’s start with the easy stuff. I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I’m the oldest child of an Italian father and a Canadian mother. I was raised on Italian values and traditions and have always had a strong connection to my Italian roots. You will discover that as my journal begins to grow.

I am without a doubt my father’s daughter. I lost my father to cancer in 2007 and am still learning to live in this new world without one of my best friends. I’m a hopeless dreamer. I love the idea of love. I’m still searching for my place in this world. I’m open-minded. I love meeting new people from all parts of the world. I aspire to write the novel that I know is in me.

I started this blog as a means to explore my creative side. I enjoy writing and am putting myself out there for anyone who is willing to read. There isn’t any one thing you can expect from this blog. It will be a mish mash of things – my life, my experiences, thoughts on culture, and general writing about things of interest to me. Who knows, maybe I’ll discover a little bit more about myself in the process.

If you stumble onto this blog and it happens to peak your interest, don’t be shy – I would love to hear your comments.


71 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Thanks Melissa! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so happy you came to check out my blog…it means a lot. Love you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi LuLu,
    I get called that too once in a while. I live in Pickering with my husband and daugher. I was born and raised in Toronto by Sicilian Immigrant Parents and I think there is nothing better then being Italian or in my case Sicilian. My father passed away in 2005 and my sister, brother and mother brought him back to Sicily to buried with his mom and dad. So many things you say about yourself I can relate to. I’ve always believed in love and I believe that even though I’m married…I’m constantly in love with idea of being in love…weird…or that I still long for an old love…that goes without saying…love your blog…keep it up! Ciao Bella.

  3. Hey LuLu! Thanks so much for the linky love!! I like your site too. Reading your “About Me” page I see that we have a lot in common (except for the Italian heritage bit). Looking forward to reading more!

  4. Hi LuLu,

    I like your style. I have a daughter who works in Toronto and lives on the east side of the city in the township of Ajax. I like your headline picture too.

    Thanks Mike! The header photo is a picture of my father’s town from one of the roads leading out of the town.

  5. I just stumbled upon this and it struck a chord with me. I too am half-Italian and lost my father, though 4 years ago. I’m 31, living in Buenos Aires, Argentina for now. But once I have my Italian citizenship I will probably move to Italy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will keep reading!

    Hi Tina! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m glad you found me…it looks like we have a bit in common!! How is your citizenship process going?? I should have my citizenship by the New Year which is so exciting for me!!

  6. Hi Lulu, I was googling calabrisella and found your blog – and we have a lot in common, my father’s italian, my mother is american, i grew up in toronto, and i love to write. I also happened to meet Tina while i was in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago! small world.

  7. Hi! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It’s such a small world!! Where is your father from in Italy?

    I hope you do stop over here again! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep in touch!!

  8. My father moved to Canada when he was 17 years old from a small town in the province of Cosenza called Carpanzano. It is my home away from home and I still have quite a bit of family still living there including my nonna. I was just there this past summer and can’t wait to get back there very soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. LuLu,
    Iwas searching for the words to an Italian song ,(la Calabrisella), and came upon your website. I can find the words in Italian, but cannot translate. I have guests from Italy coming to my house and we are musicians and love to play this for our guest. Can you please help me.
    thank you in advance for your attention. Ray J

  10. I’ve been working on translating it. A wonderful friend has helped me out immensely. Stay tuned I’ll be posting it very soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Love your passion for your Italian heritage and I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear father.

    Looking forward to reading your updates!

    Keep dreaming ๐Ÿ™‚

    – Laura

  12. Ciao LuLu,
    I’ve just found your page through Cherrye’s. I’m Irish and i live in CZ, actually near Calabrisella Camping. Looking forward to reading your pages…

    Hi Jenny! ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome to “meet” you!! Thanks so much for checking out my blog.

  13. Ciao LuLu,
    I am so glad I came across your blog. My grandfather was Calabrian and my grandmother Sicilian. I didn’t start researching the history of my grandfather’s side until my mom passed in 2006.
    I only recently started my blog to keep track of my research and share it with others.
    I look forward to reading your blog.

    Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for checking out my blog and leaving me a comment. I look forward to reading your blog and your journey to finding out your family history. What has been the hardest challenge for you so far?

  14. hola Lulu–

    your are fun to read! i had so smile–u know what happens when one is surfin’ –i was searching for Baci*Abbracci designers–to see how much my lovely backpack that I found in a thrift store in New Jersey really cost.
    I am Cuban and 2x’s your age–but your age at heart!

    Just wanted to share that while doing research to leave America in case Obama was not elected I discovered that reclaiming Italian citizenship is a matter of proving your Italian bloodline!

    Same as Spain–just wanted to share –I am a anthropologist by nature, profession and training–I have no cultural barriers!!

    ciao bella!

    Hi! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed my blog!! I am in the process of getting my Italian citizenship recognized. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take but I’m anxiously awaiting it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your information…and hope to hear from you again sometime! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hi Lulu,
    I stumbled upon this blog. My family is also from Altilia. I have been there numerous times visiting my Nonna, uncles and aunts along with countless cousins. It truly is a beautiful place.

  16. Hey Lulu!

    I’m seriously into Italian stuff right now so I kinda stumbled upon your blog while searching for similar blogs on wordpress.. it exceeded my expectations!!

    I’m glad you liked the blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep checking back!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Ciao Lulu, very interesting blog, well done! I too am Italian, born in South Africa. I find it amazing how no matter what Country we’re born in, we never lose our original roots. I found you by accident, as Rino is my fav. player too. With our Italian origins being Canna, Prov. di Cosenza, we will keep in contact.

    It’s great to “meet” you and thanks for the feedback on my blog. Gattuso has always been one of my favorite players to watch…he has so much heart and passion it’s a treat to watch! ๐Ÿ™‚ Is your family from the Prov of Cosenza as well?

  18. Hi Lulu! I am 33 years old and my parents emigrated from Altilia to Vancouver. I have been to Altilia every year for the last 3 years and enjoy spending time there with friends and relatives. Going back June 2010!!! Glad I found your blog!

    Wow, that’s really cool. I really loved Alitlia, it is such a beautiful town, very well kept and the people are so nice. I’m so glad I decided to go. Enjoy your trip back!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I too stumbled upon your site while searching for the words to “calabrisella” My father sang calabrese songs to my children when they were small and now I’m trying to keep the tradition alive and singing them to my grandchildren. Unfortunately I can’t remember all the words and am having a hard time finding the words to the entire song. Can you help?

  20. Hi LuLu, found your site some time ago, I love it! My parents are from Cosenza, and actually mom was born in Castrolibero, in Fontana Petra. This is a shot in the dark, but my dad’s sisters’ family lives in Toronto – the Russos. They have 3 daughters – Adele, Lilliana, and Susanna. Just thought I would see if you knew them, they are Calabrese too! Anyway, love your pics of Italy. And LOVE your Top Ten lists of Italian pop culture. Keep em coming!

    Thank you so much for commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s always a pleasure hearing from people who read my blog. I don’t know any Russo’s, but you are right it was worth a shot. The Calabrese community is rather big here and it is also pretty close too. Have you been to Italy? or even more specifically, Calabria? I hope to hear from you again!! P.S – if you have any suggestion for other Italian lists, let me know! A presto!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Grazie Lulu for taking the time to respond to my comments from febrero (spanish)! how is you citizenship going? I am trying to get my Cuban passport I have been told there are a lot of Cubans in Italy, be well bella!

    I have received my citizenship and passport, as well as my codice fiscale (it’s like a social insurance number for tax purposes). It went very smoothly and was definitely worth the wait!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Is it difficult to get your Cuban passport? Let me know how it goes!! All the best!!

  22. Hi Lulu,

    I really enjoyed your blog, great work!

    When I was reading the “about you” section, I really felt that I have to leave you a comment. There are so many analogies between us. My father is from Calabria (Cariati Marina) and my mother is Austrian. I was born in Austria and moved then to Switzerland (Zurich). Unfortunately, I also lost my father to cancer about two years ago, which was the most painfull experience in my life.
    I really like your home town, as I have been to Toronto for three months to study English.

    Living here in Switzerland, I spent most of the summers in Calabria and I still have lots of relatives and friends there. Of course, I also visited and still visit the other parts of Italy very often.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Take care

    Ciao Francesco, Thank you for leaving a comment. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father. It really is a truly painful experience for anyone to go through and the void that is left behind is hard to comprehend most of the time. I still have a very difficult time with it. Do you still regularly visit Calabria? I have always wanted to visit Switzerland and hope I find the opportunity to do so when I am settled in Italy. I hope you continue to check in from time to time and be sure to leave a comment every so often! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Ciao LuLu , sono un giovane abitante di Carpanzano (cs) Italy, ho notato con grande piacere l accuratezza con la quale hai parlato del nostro paese , le belle foto che hai messo sul blog, e l animo sensibile e delicato con cui ti rivolgi alle tue radici, e l importanza che attribuisci a queste, lascia davvero provare grande stima nei tuoi confronti.
    se hai un contatto facebook aggiungi la nostra pro loco (pro loco Carpanzano). a breve termineremo il sito web, perchรจ la nostra pagina facebook รจ scarsa e temporanea.
    Cordiali saluti Ceraudo Vittorio
    la nostra email proloco รจ prolococarpanzano@libero.it
    se ti interessa puoi iscriverti alla proloco per ricevere il notiziario cartaceo di Carpanzano, in piรน noi lo inviamo anche via email, questo servizio lo effettuiamo gia per molti Carpanzanesi nel mondo.

    if you have problems to understand this message, please you write me, so I ll write in english! i m pleased ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hi Lulu, I came across your site when looking for information on Grotteria Reggio Calabria. I to am from Toronto and find your blog most interesting. I was born in Bolzano Italy but immigrated to Toronto in 1954. My Mom and Dad are from Grotteria and am trying to find my roots. Can you please give me some direction as to form a blog of my own. I would love to keep in touch. Thanks so much for your time.

    Tosca (Kathy) Tassone McNally

  25. @Tosca – It’s nice to meet you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been in contact with numerous people who have roots in my dad’s town and it is thanks to this blog. I just use the free blog that is available through wordpress. It’s pretty simple to use if you are a beginner. I may eventually move to a self hosted blog but for now the free one offered by WordPress works fine. Let me know if and when you start up your blog!

  26. Hello, Cara Calabrisella LuLu. My Father was born in Carpanzano and came to Niagara Falls, Ny, USA with his family when 3 yrs old. We are Amato, Mancuso, Cristiano, Manfredi, Sposato related. I am desperately trying to find out about the Festa delle Madonna della Grazie di Carpanzano which is held in TORONTO each year. I see you are from Toronto. I am hoping you can give info date, place, time etc. I presume the Festa and Mass are on Sunay, sept. 26, 2010 I really want to attend this Feast and I’m hoping and praying you can come to my assist. Mille Grazie,
    Albert Amato in Niagara Falls, Ny

  27. Ciao Lulu!
    I stumbled across your blog as I search for Nek and his music and pictures. I was born in Costa Rica and I have Italian roots. My paternal grandmother went to Costa Rica as child from Italy. I unfortunately don’t have to go on regarding my roots. What I can tell you is that, like a magnet, in my “older” age and throughout my life, I have been drawn to my Italian bloodline and hope to someday embark on a life quest for my roots. For now, I love to write (I’m a closet writer), I am a make up artist and a criminal investigator. I recently started my own blog with wordpress and find it relaxing but very time conduming. I’m having a hardtime keeping it up to date. But I’ll work on that! For now, I look forward to reading your blog and keeping in touch.
    Best regards,

  28. Hi Lulu,
    Wow – I love this site because my Dad’s parents were from Carpanzano (Nonna’s church was the Maria della Grazie) and I am hoping to go there one day. I love the photos and all the other people’s comments. Albert Amato in Niagara Falls, my Dad was a Sposato, his mother a Vezzi and her mother was a Manfredi. We must be related! My grandparents ended up in Syracuse NY which is where I was born & raised. Mom was American so we didn’t get the good Italian cooking, LOL! I am going to read this whole site! Mille grazie, Lulu!!!!

  29. Buon Natale LuLu.
    Just checked out the presepe vivente links from last year. This is a great blog. I am looking forward to future posts.
    Best, Tania.

  30. Hi LuLu,
    I just came upon your website and realized that your Father was from Carpanzano and moved to Toronto. My late Father was also born in Carpanzano and moved to Toronto in 1953 (I think). Is there any Gallo’s left there? I unfortuately have never been to Calabria.
    Best Regards;

  31. Hey!:)) I love this post about yourself, I think it is brilliant, I would never describe myself in such a great manner…I casually found your blog when I was searhing info about one Italian fashion brand, but I found something much better:))
    Have a nice day!

  32. Ciao Lulu…
    I just found your blog today after searching for all things Carpanzano. My family Cristiano is all from Carpanzano and includes surnames Miceli, Maletta, and Lamanna. I am researching the family genealogy and have identified family as far back as 1802. I got as close as Cosenza way back in 1967, visiting family on a Summer vacation between High School and College, but I don’t really remember nearly enough. I want to return to Calabria to visit Carpanzano in the next year or two to try to find out more about the town and the family. The other side of my Italian family is Sferlazza/Vento from Lercara Fridi in Sicily.

    Thank you so much for posting all the information on Carpanzano.

    Dave Christiano
    p.s. “h” in Christiano added by grandfather Salvatore Cristiano who emigrated from Carpanzano to NY in 1908.

  33. Hi: Found your website after visiting Australia to Italy blog. I just received my Italian Citizenship last week. My family tis from Western NY but I am now situated in San Francisco. My grandparents come from Calabria in the villages of Malito and Maida. And a long lont link from Paterno Canabro. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Hi Lulu! ChrisEllis her efrom California. I recently bought a place in Calabria and am heading over there shortly.I envy you in that you can live there. I miss it so much when I am not there. Love your blog. I’lll be reading it a lot and thinking of being there!

  35. @Chris Ellis Thank you so much for commenting! I’m really glad you enjoy reading my little blog. Where did you buy your place? I know how you feel. Every time I came to Italy to visit I always returned home with this feeling that I needed to go back and it would never really go away. I have to admit, living here has its challenges (like any other place) but I feel fortunate to have the chance to live here and experience this new adventure. Keep in touch! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Hi there,

    I found your website when searching for a recipe for rice polpette. They are special to me as my Mum always makes them when I visit her and my Dad. Thanks for the recipe, and I’ll look forward to reading the rest of your website.


    Dominic Ceraldi

  37. Hi LuLu. Its your cousin Mara from Toronto. I am so glad you are still keeping your Calabrisella Mia site going. Your father would be so proud of you.

  38. Ciao Calabrisella…
    Great blog…and having an almost identical situation I wanted to complement you on your site…
    I was born in Canada to Italian parents emigrated from Puglia and Calabria…
    Transferred to Italy in 2006 and loving tt as I am sure you are..
    If you are on other twitter or g+ let me know…
    Have a great holiday in T:O: …!!!

  39. Ciao LuLu,
    My name is Charlie Colucci, I live in Peoria AZ a suburb of Phoenix. I am originally from New York d’origine Napolitano and Siciliano! I just spent 3 weeks in the Soverato area at Culinary School at ICI. I loved it and have been planning my permenant move back ever since!
    Any tips on making Italia my permenant home?

  40. Ciao Lulu,

    Firstly, I am so sorry to hear you recently lost your father.I feel for you, as know the pain of losing parents and how heartbroken you must be given he was your best friend as well.

    By chance I came across your blog looking for new Italian music to add to my playlists. Although I have no Italian heritage, I have a strong connection to Italy and hope one day to live there. Like you I am a hopeless dreamer and exploring my creativity in many areas.

    I would like to recommend a book called ‘The Confident Creative’ by Cat Bennett. It uses drawing as a way of reaching our creative core and to free the mind. Aimed at artists, musicians, writers and anyone wishing to live creative, authentic lives.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


  41. Ciao Lulu,

    I want to thank you for including Tuscan Muse on your blog. We appreciate the kudos, especially from someone who loves Italy as much as we do.

    As you know, we offer workshops and tours in Tuscany. Our next workshop is on, of all things, blogging! This has made me tune in to blogs like never before. I certainly enjoy reading yours.

    Molte grazie,
    Linda at Tuscan Muse

  42. Hi Lulu:
    Just discovered your blog thru My Bella Vita. My maternal grandparents were from Paterno, Cosenza, Calabro and I visited there for the first time in 1999 & it was like coming home. I have since been back several times to Paterno and the Calabrian Region and will be back again in May/June 2015 with my cousins. My paternal grandparents were from Montrose, Modena, Emilia Romagna Italy, which I have visited also. You are doing what I would’ve loved to do had I been a little more adventurous in my younger days. I look forward to reading your blog.

  43. Thanks, Pamela! I’m so glad you stopped by. It’s always great to here from fellow calabresi ๐Ÿ™‚ If you ever find yourself in Cosenza, let me know!

  44. Hi Lu Lu
    I also discovered your blog via cherrys my bella vita e mail..I’m english but I’ve been living here in Pizzo since 1990…a life , my 2 daughters were born here…I’m not very good at writing, but I love photos, I never go out without my camera ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m looking forward to reading your blog
    Greetings from teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Thanks, Teresa! It’s nice to hear from other English speaking people living in Calabria! Here in Cosenza I feel like I’m the only one…hahaha.Definitely keep in touch! A presto ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Hi. My mother and great part of my family is form Carpanzano. My grandmother was Cristiano Anna and my mother’s is Manfredi. In the last years I lost my contacts, but a part of my heart is there, where i spent many summers when I was a child. Today all my relatives went out of the city hall, but I’m very pleased to see that I can find news througouth yours blog. Of you go to Carpanzano could you please write about it? Thank you very much. I look farward to reading your blog. Annalisa

  47. Hi LuLu! Just came upon your blog and am looking forward to reading it. I am half Calabrese and half Sicilian. My maternal grandparents were from Cosenza and I think I still have many relatives who live there. My paternal grandparents were from the Palermo area. I am even learning to speak Italian through a CD I play when I commute to and from work each day (I have an hour commute each way Monday through Friday). I am tracing my family tree which is interesting. Also love to cook our native dishes. Looking forward to reading your posts. Take care.

  48. Hi Lulu,I am half Italian along with seven other nationalities.I have been to Italy twice and my relatives are from Calabria.My grandfather Carmine Iantria(Andrea) was born in Marano Marchesato and his mother-in -law(my greatgrandmother) Domenica Maletta is from Catanzaro.Domenica was born a Maletta and married her distant cousin Luigi Maletta(I believe)from Marano Marchesato .Luigi’s mother was a Rocca or usually” Rock” in the United States.My mother always said she had relatives in Canada.Some of Domenica’s relatives go by Miletta due to how they pronounced it to an immigration officer.I have Rock relatives in Minnesota.I also have some Chiappetta relatives(my other greatgrandmother’s name} in either Argentina or Brazil.That is my brief Italian family history.Good luck with your blog.

  49. Just discovered your blog, you have a wonderful writing style. I look forward to learning more about your journey. Trovare la propria strada. Thank you.

  50. Hi just stumbled on your website I am also of Italian descent my father and mother are both from Calabria too.
    what about some of the older italaian male singers such as Claudio Villa and Giannini Morandini there music is great too.

  51. There are definitely many great older Italian singers although I’m personally not a fan of Gianni Morandi. I grew up listening to Toto Cutugno, Domenico Modugno, Umberto Tozzi and many others.

  52. Ciao Lulu, I wish to start looking for records for my maternal grandmothers side her name was Maria Carolina DeRose she was from Altilia where do I begin ? I have a tree for my fathers side both maternal and paternal with over 5000 and was fortunate so much was available for Palermo through Ancestry.com but since Altilia is such a small town do I contact a church or Cosenza and I dont speak or write Italian. Need guidance for sure !

  53. If you can find a friend or relative that speaks and/or writes in Italian, your best bet would be to contact the town hall in Altilia (Address: Via Convento, Altilia CS Phone:0984 964328)

    Another option would be to hire someone who specializes in ancestry research. I’d suggest contacting Cherrye Moore at My Bella Vita, she has a great team of specialists in Calabria that can track down information for you. They even plan ancestry tours, so you can plan a trip to Italy and include places like Palermo and Altilia in your itinerary!

    Let me know how things progress! ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Aloha,

    My father was born in Altilia.

    My wife and I plan to go there this next Spring.

    Any information or advice would be appreciated.

    God Bless,

    John Dattola


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