Dolce Vita Bloggers Linky, Lifestyle, Little Kids, travel

I Trust And Love You: A Love Letter to Italy #DolceVitaBloggers

My Childhood in the Philippines

Hello! I am Mamma Carmela, the writer of Bellissimamma! I am a Filipina expat living in Italy with my husband and two little boys. Thank you for dropping by!

Do you remember the time when we used to write letters to our friends? Those were the good old days. When I was in second grade, my friends and I would write on scented stationery and end our messages with acronyms of countries such as J.A.P.A.N. (Just Always Pray at Night), I.N.D.I.A. (I Nearly Died in Adoration), and C.H.I.N.A. (Come Here I Need Affection). My favorite was I.T.A.L.Y. (I Trust And Love You). Now, what used to be a corny acronym written at the end of 1990s love letters is now a real promise from one mother to another. I am writing this letter to Italy, my new home.

A Love Letter To Italy

Dear Italy¬†ūüáģūüáĻ,









Mamma Italia, my adoptive mother, thank you for welcoming us into your family. I trust that we made the right decision to raise our children in your home. You promised me that you will respect my linguistic human rights to speak my native tongue, as you patiently teach me to speak the language of your people. I trust that you will educate your grandchildren, Leon and Lucas, with the knowledge of your history and your culture, and that they will grow up with a multicultural mindset and a global perspective.

ItalySiena, Italy


Mamma Italia, I love your majestic beauty that greets me every morning. Every day, I wake up seeing your glorious face. You welcome me with your warm embrace. I promise not to take your love for granted.

Siena, Italy
A Promise


I love that my children can freely and safely play in your backyard. They can run and climb and enjoy the great outdoors and breathe your fresh air. We promise to respect and take care of your natural beauty.

Siena, Italy

I love listening to the stories of your youth. Thank you for showing me your precious treasures from the past. We promise to respect your history and your culture.



The Filipino word “itali” means “to tie” or “to bind”. From now on, our lives are bound to each other. Mi fido e ti amo.




Thank you to The #DolceVitaBloggers Hosts Kelly, Jasmine, and Kristie¬†for this month’s link-up, A Love Letter to Italy!

Dolce Vita Bloggers

Read Next: Walk Back In Time: Siena

Castellina in Chianti
fashion, Italy, Lifestyle, Motherhood

Bellissimamma Style: The Floral Headwrap

Bellissimamma Style: The Floral Headwrap

Castellina in Chianti

The Floral Headwrap. Last Saturday I went took a bus from Siena to Castellina in Chianti¬†for some “mom-me time”. I wanted to feel inspired and refreshed so I took the “day off” from taking care of my two toddler boys. When I got off the bus, I was excited to see a flower stand selling sunflowers! I bought the flowers, had them cut and wrapped, and went on with my day.

Italian summers can be extremely hot and dry, so my hair was not looking its best. It was all limp and sweaty and sad. So when I found this very lovely headwrap on display in one of the open market stalls, I was excited to try it on! I was very happy to see how much of a difference it made to my look. It is handmade with love by a stylish Italian lady who loves to make headwraps, scarves, jewelry, and pillows. I found her stall in front of a house with a window that looks like this:

Castellina in Chianti
The House With A Lady Peeking Out The Window

My Style Inspiration:

Castellina in Chianti

Just like the statue of the woman gazing out the window, I paired my headwrap with a white off-shoulder top.

Summer Sunflowers

Sunflowers in Tuscany

To complete my Under the Tuscan Sun look, I bought a pair of sunflower earrings from one of the jewelry stands in the mercato:

Sunflower Earrings

Archaeological Museum of the Chianti Area

A Day Well Spent

Castellina in Chianti is a beautiful hill town that is only thirty minutes away from Siena, Italy! I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Ristorante Sotto le Volte, checked out the Etruscan exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of the Chianti Area, visited the chapel, had coffee gelato in the gelateria, and bought my husband a bottle of Chianti wine as my pasalubong (Filipino word for “travel gift”/ souvenir). I went home feeling refreshed and happy and excited to see my kids!

This post is part of the Main Line Life Linky! Check out these other stylish and wearable outfits for moms and or/ women over 30:

Girls’ Night at 30 Main

Our Trip To The Farmer’s Market

How To Wear Denim on Denim


Ciao for now! Please follow my Facebook Page and Instagram!

Read Next: Gucci Garden Galleria


Literacy, Little Kids

Bili Si Mama: My Kuya and I/ My Ate and I

Bili Si Mama Ng Aklat Pambata

Filipino Children’s Book. Ngayong buwan ng Agosto ay ipinagdiriwang ng maraming Pilipino ang Buwan ng Wika! Dahil ako ay isang bibong blogger, naisip kong magsulat tungkol sa mga aklat pambata na gawang Pilipino. Siyempre tayong mga magulang ay mahilig¬† bumili ng mga aklat na dekalidad para sa ating mga anak. (Sa totoo lang, hindi ko talaga binili ang mga aklat na ito dahil pasalubong talaga ito ng mga kapatid ko galing Manila. Pagbigyan niyo na ang pun para pasok naman sa pangalan ng blog ko. )

My Kuya and I/ My Ate and I

Matutuwa kayo sa board book na ito na gawa ng Adarna House! Nakakatuwa dahil ito ay 2-in-1 na magkabalikaran. Isinulat ito ni Ani Rosa Almario at iginuhit ni Kay Aranzanso.

Bilang nanay at guro, mairerekomenda ko ang aklat na ito para sa mga batang Pilipino. Nagustuhan ito ng mga anak kong sina Leon (2 taon) at Lucas (1 taon), lalo na ang “My Kuya and I”. Nakaka-relate ang panganay ko dahil alam niya na siya ang “kuya” at ang “big boy”. Kaya para sa kanya ay exciting ang kwento nito. Si Bunso naman ay nakikinig rin kagaya ng kanyang kuya!

Ang Disenyo

Tuwang tuwa ako sa kalidad ng aklat- matibay, makulay, maganda ang disenyo at maganda ang pagkaimprenta. Hindi rin nakakatusok ang mga sulok kung mapapansin ninyo, kaya pwedeng pwede itong hawakan ng maliliit na mga kamay.

Ang Wika

Isinulat ang My Kuya and I/ My Ate and I sa wikang Ingles, ngunit ginagamit ang ngalan ng nakatatandang mga kapatid na “kuya” at “ate”.Kahit hindi isinulat sa wikang Filipino ang aklat na ito, karamihan naman ng mga batang Pilipino ay nagaaral ng Ingles, Filipino, at mother tongue.¬†Para sa akin, may legit na rason kung bakit hindi ginawang bilingual ang aklat. Piling-pili ang mga salitang Ingles na ginamit sa kwento para mabasa independently ng mga batang Kinder to Grade 1. Kung ito naman ay gagawing read-aloud, kayang kaya na itong maintindihan ng mga batang 2 gulang pataas. Punong puno ang libro ng mga sight words¬†kagaya ng “we”, “have”, “same”, “like”, at “different”. Maganda ang dalot ng mga salita kung binasa nang malakas. Hindi tunog “robotic” o “corny” pakinggan. Malapit siya sa natural na paguusap sa wikang Ingles ng mga bilingual (o trilingual) na batang Pilipino.

Ang Mensahe

Maganda rin ang mensahe ng aklat na ito sapagkat ipinapakita dito ang magandang pakikitungo ng magkakapatid. Bukod pa dito ay natuturuan ang mga bata ng konsepto ng pagkakatulad at pagkakaiba.

Ang Kulturang Pinoy

Tuwang tuwa ako sa mga guhit sapagkat mga batang Pilipino ang makikita ninyo dito! Mga batang itim ang buhok, kutis kayumanggi, naka-shorts, naka-sando at tsinelas…hindi bat napakahalagang maka-identify ang mga batang Pilipino sa mga tauhan ng kanilang mga binabasa? Talagang nakakakilig at nakakatuwa mga magulang ang aklat na ito. Damang dama ko ang Pinoy childhood sa aklat na ito.

My Kuya and I/ My Ate and I
(c) 2015 Ani Rosa Almario at Kay Aranzanso


Anong mga aklat pambatang gawa ng Pilipino ang marerekomenda ninyo at bakit? Huwag mahiyang magsulat ng comment!


Sa uulitin!


Chateau de Bouthonvilliers
France, Marriage, Motherhood, Weddings

To The Guy I Married Twice

A Shout Out To My Hubby

My husband and I recently celebrated our five-a-half-year anniversary! For those of you who don’t know, we got married twice. We did not get a divorce and then remarried. (By the way, divorce is still not legal in the Philippines!) We just had two weddings. Why get married twice- you may ask? We had been in a long-distance relationship for two years since I moved to the U.S. for a cultural exchange program. The only way we can be together right away was to get our¬†documents ready before the deadline for some important paperwork.

The first “ninja wedding” was in an intimate setting with very close family and friends. The first wedding really was the legal date of our marriage. Two days after the wedding, I flew back to America.¬† We were “married” and yet we were again embarking on a solo flight. At least for another six months.

In between the waiting period something terrible happened. I lost the diamond of my engagement ring! It was the worst feeling in the world. It never turned up even though I searched through garbage bags and cleaned through the whole apartment. But you know what? I had to move on. I bought a hundred dollar “engagement ring” at J.C. Penney and “owned it”.

Finally, after six months of painful waiting, my husband and I were back together…forever! The second wedding took place at The Glass Garden, Philippines.

Our First Wedding in 2012
Our Second Wedding in 2013 (c) Filterpan Photography

Why Two Is A Special Number

  1. Two weddings
  2. Two break-ups (that we survived, obviously)
  3. Two years of being apart (long distance relationship)
  4. “Two” engagement rings
  5. Two countries we moved to (U.S. and Italy)
  6. Two children (Leon and Lucas)

A Couple of Throwback Photos

My 18th Birthday

Traditionally, when a Filipina turns 18, her parents will throw her a huge formal party where everyone important in her life is invited. I had a huge crush on my husband, and I asked him to be my debut’s escort! Actually, he was my third choice because the first two backed out! See…everything happens for a reason! Ten years later, he became my “escort for life”! These photos were taken at Fernwood Gardens in Manila, Philippines in 2002.

Our Engagement (See the original ring)

So my hubby proposed to me in a garden restaurant. We were both so happy that we forgot to finish our¬†dinner! I don’t even remember why we had leftovers¬†because the food was so good.¬† If you are craving for osso¬†bucco, you need to head over to Rustic Mornings by Isabelo! We both need to go back with our two little boys and I will order the same thing we had that night.

  • Gardens are our “thing” obviously! Fun fact: my name “Carmela” actually means “garden of paradise”.
JC Penney engagement ring
My “fake” $100 engagement ring

Cheers For Five Years! (Cin cin per cinque anni!)

Chateau de Bouthonvilliers
Ma Famille
(c) Hershey Neri

Mi amore…

The Lord has blessed us with two darling boys. I know that having children completely changes a marriage. It hasn’t been easy for us taking care of two toddlers. Life is now more challenging (and exciting) as we go through the early stages of parenthood. Parenthood is messy, and we’re and stressed out…but I know that this will make our relationship stronger! We can do this, babe!

Happy 5th and a half Anniversary!


Baci e abbraci,

Carmela (Bellissimamma)


Check out our LOVE STORY:¬†¬†Storie d’ Amore Love Stories by Questa Dolce Vita!¬†

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