Opening Night - Havelock North

Opening Night - TAURANGA

It's All About Karma

It's All About Karma

The writer/director of God Willing  returns with this brilliant comedy starring two of Italy’s finest talents – Fabio De Luigi (A Woman as a Friend) and Elio Germano (Leopardi).

Giacomo (De Luigi) is a polite but eccentric heir to an industrial dynasty but he’d rather spend his days lost in his hobbies than run a business. A practicing Buddhist, he is led to believe by a retired French scholar (Philippe Leroy) that the reincarnation of his father can be found in Mario (Germano), a materialistic con-man with a hefty debt. The absurd encounter develops into an unusual friendship, as they find they have more in common than they think.

They’re both lonely and feel inadequate, Mario wants to win back his wife who considers him a failure, while Giacomo wants to find a way to be accepted by his stepfather and half-sister who have always considered him a fool. Finding the common humanity between these vastly different men, Falcone reignites the spark that made God Willing such a smash hit two years ago.

Opening Night Photos - CHRISTCHURCH

Opening Night Photos - NELSON

Friday 6 July - Opening Night in Tauranga

Friday 6 July - Opening Night in Tauranga

Tickets have just gone on sale at The Rialto Tauranga for our Opening Night of the Italian Film Festival NZ!

We warmly invite you to see 'Wife & Husband / Moglie e Marito' with complimentary aperitivi for Cinema Italiano Festival ticket holders. Drinks by Peroni NZ, Prosecco from Luna Argenta, Acqua Panna (still water), San Pellegrino (sparkling) and wine, all served with stuzzichini from Vetro.

As always we have a few extra treats on Opening Night so be there from 5.30pm with the film screening at 6.15pm.

Book Tickets Here


L'anno del Cibo Italiano / The Year of Italian Food

An excerpt from Dianne Hales - the author of 'La Bella Lingua'

The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Agricultural Policies has named 2018 “The Year of Italian Food.”  While I personally feel we should celebrate Italian food every year, I’m delighted to add my voice to the chorus of praise for everyone’s favorite cucina (a triple-tasking word that can translate as cuisine, cooking and kitchen).

Italy’s food and language meld together as smoothly as cacio sui maccheroni (cheese on macaroni). Both boast a rich and rollicking history dating back to ancient times. Both vary greatly from region to region, even from village to village.  Both reflect centuries of invasion, assimilation and conquest. And both can transform daily necessities into vibrant celebrations.

Italians have long realized that we are, quite literally, what we eat.  Sapia, Latin for taste, gave rise to Italian’s sapienza (wisdom). In pursuit of divine wisdom and saintly virtues, Italians developed the tradition of “eating the gods.”   Through the yearly cycle of church holidays, they devour dita degli apostoli (fingers of the apostles, crêpes filled with sweetened ricotta); minni di Sant’Agata (breasts of Saint Agatha, stuffed with marzipan); occhi  di Santa Lucia (eyes of Santa Lucia, circles of durum bread);  and  at Christmas cartellate (the cloths that cradled the baby Jesus, made of flour, oil and dry white wine) and calzoncicchi  di Gesu Bambino  (pillows of pasta filled with a mix of pureed garbanzos, chocolate, and homemade rosolio (a liqueur derived from rose petals), fried and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

I have adopted a similar strategy of “eating Italian” to make the language part of me.  l read aloud the lilting words for simple culinary techniques, such as rosolare for make golden, sbricciolare for crumble and sciaquare for rinse.  I  revel in the linguistic pantry of pasta shapes:  little ears, half sleeves, stars, thimbles—and the tartly named lingue di suocera, “twisted mother-in-law tongues,” and strozzapreti, “priest-stranglers” (rich enough  to sate ravenous clerics before the expensive meat course).

Desserts like zuccotto (sponge bombe filled with ice cream), ciambellone (ring cake), suspiru di Monaca (a nun’s sigh) and tiramisu (pick-me-up) glide so deliciously over the tongue that I agree with cooks who claim they can fare respirare i morti (make the dead breathe).   I’m especially fond of Rome’s lacrime d’amore  (tears of love), candy sugar pearls filled with the same sweet syrup parents serve children for a toast on special occasions.

Italian’s gastronomic words—like the dishes they describe—do more than tease or appease the appetite. They spice up daily conversations—as you’ll find in the following examples:

Words and Expressions

Prezzemolo (parsley) -- a  busybody  who noses into everything   

Salame (salami) –- a silly fool, blockhead

Mozzarella –- someone bland or boring

Polpettone (large meatball) -- a worthless or banal movie

Tutto fumo e niente arrosto  (all smoke and no roast) -- all sizzle and no steak

Dianne Hales is the author of  MONA LISA: A Life Discovered and LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language.


Also an early thank you to all of our food suppliers and caterers for the Cinema Italiano Festival Opening Nights

Casamassima in Christchurch

Vetro Tauranga

Alessandros Pizzeria Havelock North

Poderi Crisci Waiheke Island

Non Solo PIzza Auckland

La Bella Italia Wellington

Matakana Deli Matakana



The Italian Film Festival screens in Matakana Cinemas - 14 to 22 March

We are so excited to be screening the 2017 Italian Film Festival Programme at the beautiful Matakana Cinemas.  The Opening Night film is 'Roman Holiday' starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, and this is the restored version of the 1953 classic!

Watch this video on what her children and grandchildren had to say about her style, personality and legacy.



Saying 'I Love You' in the Italian Language

Valentine's Day is coming, and you may be eager to discover new Italian love phrases (nuove frasi d'amore in Italiano) to impress your partner. Let's start with a basic concept that can be a bit tricky:  the difference between "ti amo" and "ti voglio bene".  These two expressions of endearment (queste due espressioni di affetto) are sometimes confused, and this can lead to many understandings (molti equivoci). That's why it's important to know how to use them.

Ti amo

Ti amo can be translated as "I love you,"  and it is generally used in a romantic context between loving couples. Remember that if someone says "ti amo" to you and the feeling is mutual (il sentimento è reciproco), the correct answer is "Anch'io" (me too). On the other hand, if you don't feel the same, you may say "Io non ti amo, mi dispiace" (I don't love you, I'm sorry) or "Non ti amo più" (I don't love you anymore).

There are some other romantic phrases (altre frasi romantiche) that you can use with your partner to emphasize your love, as for example:

    *Ti amo da morire -- I love you to death.

    *Ti amo con tutto il mio cuore -- I love you with all of my heart.

    *Ti amo più della mia vita -- I love you more than life itself.

Ti voglio bene

Ti voglio bene can also be translated as "I love you" but with a different meaning.  Ti voglio bene is not used in a romantic context, but just between friends (amici), parents and children (genitori e figli), siblings (fratelli/sorelle), etc. Other Italian phrases that you can use to show affection are:

     *Ti voglio tanto bene or ti voglio un mondo di bene -- I  love you so much.

     *TVB or TVTB --  Friends and teenagers usually shorten "ti voglio bene" or "ti voglio tanto bene" by writing the acronyms TVB or TVTB.

Effetto Brama - An Italian / NZ Concept Store

We opened our Concept Store in Havelock North yesterday - it's an extended 'Pop Up Store' so we are only in our physical space until 1 June 2018. But, we are online so please take a look at all the gorgeous things we have in store.

It's raining cats and dogs here in Havelock North so here are our favourite things for today


Missoni Umbrella $220  Handbag made in Florence $175

Missoni is a high-end Italian fashion house based in Varese, and known for its colorful knitwear designs. The company was founded by Ottavio ("Tai") and Rosita Missoni in 1953.



We're Opening a Store!

An Italian/NZ Concept Store to be specific, and we are very excited - possibly full of nerves.  This will mean that our website will also now have the addition of a Shopping Cart so you can purchase all the Italian and New Zealand goodies your wallet can sustain. 

Brands represented so far include: Vespa, Italjet Ascot, Martino Gamper, Marvis, Proraso, Acca Kappa, L'erbolario, San Pellegrino, WearYoga, Native Agent, Klay, Mahsa, La Marzocco, Alessi, Palace Distribution, and lots of very yummy food products, our favourite Italian cookbooks, and language learning resources. 

Online Shopping coming soon!



Paolo & Renee 

Week of Italian Cuisine 20th - 26th November

Week of Italian Cuisine in the World: from 20th to 26th November 2017, various dates and locations (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch)

The Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, an event coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the purpose of promoting Italy’s most renowned exports: “the extraordinary Italian taste” and the pleasure of eating together the Italian way, reaches its second edition. Last year this initiative took place in over 100 countries across the world. This year, New Zealand is in the list of participating countries, with a wide array of events showcasing authentic Italian traditions, high-quality products and regional specificities.

There will be 32 events across New Zealand, coordinated by the Italian Embassy, in Auckland (Giapo, JK14 wines & The Corner, Non Solo Pizza, Palazzo Italia, Pasta & Cuore, Segafredo, Settebello, Dante Alighieri Society), Wellington (La Bella Italia, Bel Mondo, Mediterranean Foods, Cicio Cacio, Franziska, Bastardo, Pizza Pomodoro) and Christchurch (Dante Alighieri Society, La Dolce Vita, Casamassima): workshops, meetings with the chefs, food-and-wine tasting and dinners, cooking classes. The Italian cuisine will also be narrated through cultural events, such as the screening of food related films and documentaries.

Two initiatives, strongly supported by this year’s Week of Italian Cuisine and incorporated in some of the events, are particularly meaningful: the candidacy of the Art of Neapolitan pizzaiuoli as UNESCO Intangible Heritage, and that of Le colline del Prosecco in Valdobbiadene’s site as UNESCO World Heritage “cultural landscape”.

The Embassy is hosting two events in Wellington: a mozzarella workshop with Massimiliano De Caro (Il Casaro), and a cooking class “Italy by Ingredient: Parmigiano” with Viola Buitoni, a San Francisco based native Italian leading food expert.

We invite you to make the most of what this week has to offer, immerse yourself into Italian culinary culture and, of course, buon appetito! #italiantaste

Flyer with all events can be downloaded HERE