Thursday, 14 December 2017


The holiday season is great time to try something new!  So, I've gotten together with some of my favourite bloggers, to give you some ideas and suggestions for great family activities indoors or out!

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Winter Fun Ideas
Blog: Mama Indulgences

Sharing some fun winter ideas to make some memorable family moments this Christmas.

Outdoor Activities to do this winter with your kids!
Blog:  Mama Blabs

Wondering how you're going to get through this winter season without going crazy, cooped up inside all day?  Then don't!  Here are eight awesome ideas to reap the benefits of getting outside, no matter what the weather decides to do.  Click the link to read some fun ideas the whole family will love!

Black Pioneer Village - Festive fun for the little ones

The holidays are a great time to visit new places, especially those that offer festive activities with an educational twist!

December Dolce To-Do List

If you haven't already checked out Viva la Dolce's December Dolce To-Do List, be sure to do so!  It's a great help in remembering all the important things to get done this month!

Simple Winter Crafts your Toddlers and Preschoolers Will Love!

Try this simple toddler or preschooler seasonal craft - a fun craft stick Christmas Tree!

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Hope you enjoyed this holiday round-up!

Monday, 11 December 2017


With the first real snow fall of the year and Christmas right around the corner, I couldn't help but choose Andrea Bocelli's rendition of "White Christmas" or "Bianca Neve," for this week's Music Monday!

This song is a classic Christmas carol, and an all-time favourite - including one of my own! Being Italian-Canadian, this version is especially heart-warming as it mixes both Italian and English.

World-renowned artist, Andrea Bocelli, sings alongside Canadian musician and producer, David Foster in the video below.   It was Foster who produced Bocelli's first-ever Christmas album, My Holiday, which was then turned into a PBS television special entitled, "The Andrea Bocelli and David Foster Christmas Special."

I have watched Bocelli perform this song on the special, as well as, live in concert in 2009, when he visited Toronto. Each time, Bocelli performed this song to perfection!  Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 7 December 2017


I am delighted to be a part of the Dolce Vita Bloggers - a community of bloggers who share a strong passion for Italian culture!  Each month, we will be writing on a specific topic and posting them on a shared forum (click on the image above to read the posts from other bloggers).  A big thanks to hosts, Kelly from Italian at Heart, Jasmine from Questa Dolce Vita and Krisite from Mammaprada for inviting me and putting this together.


My connection to Italian culture dates began from the day I was born.  My parents are immigrants from Abruzzo, Italy, and have always maintained a strong connection to their heritage.  Italian was spoken in our home and the culture was included in all aspects such as food, music, school, social events, etc. Although I was born Canadian, I grew up in a very strong Italian-Canadian community.
Growing up, I spent most of my summers in Italy as much of our family remained there. I am grateful for these experiences and consider them a huge part in helping shape who I am today.  
As I grew older, my passion for Italian culture grew even stronger. I continued to study the language and in my early adolescent years, was fortunate to study the language in Siena one summer.  This was a life-changing experience and completely solidified my love for Italy and the Italian culture!
I pursed a career in media in the Italian community, which I continue today, and also decided to get my teaching degree in order to share with others my passion for languages.
My blog, Viva la Dolce, was born out of my love for my Italian heritage.  It is my way of sharing with others, my passion for the Italian language, culture, and most of all the "dolce vita" mentality.  It is also a way of keeping my family traditions alive, as well as the many valuable lessons taught to me through my culture.
I hope you will join me in my journey, and help me in celebrating all that is Italian!  As I always say, Viva la Dolce! ;)

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

December Dolce To-Do List

The Christmas season is upon us!  While there is much to see and do this month, be sure not to miss out on some of the most important things.  To help make sure you don't, check out this month's "Dolce To-Do" below!

1. Write your holiday cards - This year, log off, and put some pen to paper!  Adding a personal touch to your Christmas messages, makes them all the more special.

2. Break out the Christmas carols! - You really can't get away from them, so you might as well join in!  Carols are great to help get into the Christmas spirit, and spread some cheer.  Consider getting together a small group and caroling around your neighbourhood, or even your office! 

3. Eat lots of Panettone! - Don't be afraid to indulge in your favourite sweets or savory dishes.  Yes, we need to be mindful of our diets, but then again, some of these sweets and dishes only come around once a year so ... YOLO!

4. Go out and play in the snow - With the cold weather outside, it's so easy to stay in and hibernate. However, don't forget that fresh air is important all year-round - so bundle up and go make some snow angels!  Besides, you may be pleasantly surprised just how fun it is to act like a kid again!

5. Visit a Christmas market - Christmas markets are full of great finds!  There are so many unique gift choices to discover, as well as interesting on-site experiences (pictures with Santa, fun selfie-walls, giveaways, etc.).  What's more, when buying from a Christmas market, you are helping to support small businesses, so it's a win-win!

6. Reflect on the reason for the seaaon - We all love Santa, but that is definitely not what Christmas is all about.  Be sure to take some time this season to reflect upon the true story of Christmas, and value it's teachings.

7. Host a party -  In the midst of all the hustle and bustle this season, don't forget to actually spend time with your loved ones, instead of just sending them a gift.  Whether you host a party at home, or organize a gathering at a restaurant (or other place of choice), the important thing is bringing friends and family together to spend some quality time.

8. Reflect on your year and prepare for the next - Take some time to think of all your accomplishments this year, goals you still need to work on, and all that you are thankful for.  Then, look ahead to 2018, and make a plan for the new year! Consider what projects you would like to work on, goals you would like to reach, places you would like to visit, etc. 

9. Give to others - Share the joy of the season, not just with family and friends, but with strangers as well - especially those in need.  This time of year can be difficult for many.  Consider helping to alleviate someone's stress or pain by donating or volunteering your time.

10. Make some time for yourself - Whether it's getting a manicure done, doing some personal shopping or sitting and enjoying a nice espresso by the fire, be sure to take a time-out during this holiday season to calm your soul and recharge.

Friday, 1 December 2017


Decorating for the holidays is so much fun! While the Christmas trees, the twinkling lights and the lush garlands make me smile from ear to ear, the sight of il presepio, or nativity scene, really warms my heart.

Il presepio has longtime been a huge tradition in my home. We have always enjoyed designing our presepio with the manger scene, alongside a tiny village.  I always love looking at all the intricate details, from the hand painted statues of the holy family to the miniature town hall in the middle of the village. My parents go even as far, as building multi-level platforms, which are then covered by paper, moss and fake snow, to mimic the mountain range from their hometown in Italy.  

While my family enjoys going all out when putting together il presepio, many opt to set up a simple manger with statutes of the holy family, three wise men and animals, which is just as beautiful! After all, that is how the original presepio was designed back in 1233 by Saint Francis.  It was on Christmas Eve of that year that Saint Francis staged a story of the birth of Jesus in the city of Greccio, Umbria. When word got out about his presentation, many churches were inspired to create their own presepio with large realistic statues.

The practice of presepi became especially popular during the 18th century in Napoli, with elaborate representations. Artisans were called to create miniature statues made of wood or terracotta for the presepi of royalty and the wealthy.  Today, Napoli remains the hub for presepio art, as it is known for it's mercato del presepio (nativity scene market).  The street, Via San Gregorio Armeno, which has become known as, "Via dei Presepi" (Navity Scenes Road), is where one will find a multitude of artisan shops, with presepio pieces being created year-round.

Below you'll find some photos from this popular street in Napoli, as well as a variety of  representations of il presepio. 

Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Monday, 27 November 2017


This week's Music Monday features Annalisa, with her current chart topper, "Direzione la vita."  This artist has been featured before on VLD, when she collaborated with the duo, Benji & Fede, this past summer.  

Like many other artists, Annalisa shot to fame after participating in a reality television talent show. While, the hit TV series, Amici di Maria De Filippi, helped make her into a star, Annalisa had already made her name on the music scene long before.  She began working as a musician in her early teens, and even spent some time working with two bands, Malavasia and Elaphe Guttata, before starting her solo career.  Since her debut album, Nali, in 2011, Annalisa has enjoyed great success with multiple hit albums, and chart-topping singles.

Check out her latest below:

Friday, 24 November 2017


Today marks the end of Bully Prevention and Awareness Week - a week designated by the province of Ontario to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment.  

Schools throughout the province have been busy with various initiatives and events going on this week in hopes of shedding light and understanding on this very important topic.  While we have certainly made progress in understanding the seriousness and impacts of bullying, I believe many would agree that there is still work to be done. That is why it is so important to remember to continue the anti-bullying efforts year-round.

In spirit of this special week and in honour of all those who have been victim to bullying, I would like to share a song that I wrote and recorded a while back.  I wrote this piece in hopes of lifting up those who were going through some troubled times.  I hope that it can still prove inspirational today.

This song is dedicated to all those who are struggling trying to find their way - no matter what anyone says, just show the real you.


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