I miss my granny

One year ago today, I was in Rome and spoke to my Granny for the last time.

Ann Cicioni

April 4, 2011

Ann Cicioni, 89, of Frackville, passed into the arms of our Lord with her loving family by her side on Monday evening at Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson Street.

Born in Shenandoah, she was a daughter of the late John and Anna Zemansky. She attended Shenandoah schools.

She was a member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Frackville, the Catholic Daughters of America, St. James Court and the Frackville Senior Citizens.

She began working at age 15 as a housekeeper in New York City and then worked as a machinist at a defense plant during World War II in Chester.

Ann was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She enjoyed bowling in her early years and took pride in attending her grandchildren’s sporting events.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Giacamo J. Cicioni, in 1988. She was the youngest of eight children and was also preceded by brothers, John, Paul, Michael and infant sisters and brothers.

Ann is survived by five children, Walter Cicioni, husband of Ellen, Surprise, Ariz., Mary Ann Tokarczyk, wife of George, Ashland, Nancy McCloskey, wife of Ron, Frackville, James Cicioni, husband of Bobbie, Frackville, and Joan Beckett, wife of Curt, Landisville; 15 grandchildren, Jennifer, Matthew, Debbie, Nick, Mike, Andy, Amanda, Angela, Brandon, Jessica, Natalie, Ryan, Jaclyn, Elana and Lauren; four great-grandchildren, Aiden, Saige, Lucas and Anna; and several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Frackville, with the Rev. J. Michael Beers, pastor, as celebrant. Relatives and friends are invited to call the church from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday with a prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be visiting hours at the church from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Interment will be in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ann’s name to the Ann Cicioni Memorial Fund c/o Wachovia Bank, 2 S. Lehigh Ave., Frackville, PA 17931. Albert L. Gricoski Funeral Home, Frackville, is in charge of arrangements.

Published in Republican & Herald on April 6, 2011
sky blue pink ❤

Last post from Europe

So right now I’m chilling in the Fiumicino airport sitting next to a pack of highschoolers at 7:18 am waiting to board my aircraft in 10 minutes.  I layover in London for a few hours and then will arrive in Philly at 3:35 PM Eastern time.

Yesterday was a  very sad day, I had to pack all of my things and decide what to take with me, what to throw out, and what clothes I was going to give to the homeless.  It was a shitty day and I didn’t get to say goodbye to a lot of people because most people are not leaving today and I left at 5 AM for the airport.

I’ve had so many events occur in the past few weeks since my last blog post that this is literally the first time I’ve had a chance to actually leisurely write it all down.  After my parents left, I had 3 weeks total left in Rome.  I left my parents the weekend before they left because I was going on an academic excursion for late antique / byzantine art for Jan Gadeyne to Ravenna, Classe, Bologna and Aquilea.  We did not end up going to Aquilea because the trains suddenly went on strike so last minute we had to hire a bus for the next morning and lost some time.

That was an intense trip; I must have seen 500 churches.  I did a presentation on the mosaics of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and my prof. was impressed.  I’ve learned a lot about Art, Design and whatnot this semester.  I have gained a lot more knowledge than I have had just 4 short months ago.

Anyway,  I got a call the day my parents got back informing me that my granny was in the hospital and was in kidney failure L I talked to her one last time and she passed away Monday night.  I flew home from Wednesday to Sunday to attend the viewing and funeral and to be surrounded by my loved ones.  That was very hard.  Because of this, I fell very far behind on my schoolwork and had to get extensions for all of my end-of-the-semester papers plus finals were quickly approaching.

My friends back in Rome were very helpful during this difficult time.  When I got back, I only had 2 days of classes left.  I attended all my classes and then on Friday night I went to my favorite Reggae Yard Club, Big Bang.  It was really fun.  On Saturday, I went camping in Tuscania at the hot springs with Veronica and about 20 other Italians.  It was a really fun time, lots of memories.

I  then got down to crunch time for work.  I had to write 3 papers, prepare for 4 finals, 1 oral final and 1 presentation by the following Thursday, so I had about 4 days to do all of that.  AND I DID IT! J I feel confident that I did well on all of my finals.  One  paper I got back in my design class was an A! My professor told me I should consider working in the field of web design..

I should be boarding  my plane right now but of course I’m not.  I am so sick of flying and am so annoyed that I have a layover.  I’m excited to see Neil in Philly when I land, he’s picking me up.


Finishing the semester today!

I have 3 finals today and then I am done with the Temple Rome program!  After that, I have sooooooOOOOOOOO MUCH TO TELL YOU ALL 🙂  I leave Roma in 48 hours

I’m sorry

I realize that I am very behind on posts.  Many things have happened and I haven’t had time to post for a while.  As soon as I get a chance I will!

Mamma e Papà sono qui!

So much has happened in the past few days that I cannot even wrap my mind around it.  I guess I’ll start from the beginning.  On Thursday morning, I woke up at 7:30 AM, the time that my parent’s plane was supposed to land.  I decided to not go to my first class (9:00-12:00) so that I could wait for them to arrive at my apartment.  I was wondering where they were and then I got a call around 9:45 AM.  It was my mom telling me that they were still at the airport and that their baggage was lost!! It was apparently in Boston, where they had a layover.  So, I told my mom to get a taxi to my apartment which is about 45 minutes from the airport.  She said okay so I sat on the balcony for 3 hours to wait for them to come in.

I was getting increasingly anxious and worried because I had no way of contacting them and I had no idea what was taking them so long.  They finally arrived and told me they had gotten on a bus from the airport that took them the wrong way… they were not in a good mood because of their bad experience and I felt bad because I had to go to class in less than an hour.  I took them for their first cappuccino and then I had to say goodbye to go to my other 3 classes.

When I got back, I cooked them a delicious dinner J I made them fresh pasta with mushrooms and zucchini for the first course and a chicken dish for the second plate.  They really enjoyed it and I was happy to show off my cooking skills for them.  My dad didn’t feel well so he immediately fell asleep after dinner.   Me and my mom walked to  the Vatican and she got her first gelato at my favorite place.  She loved it.  I showed her St. Peter’s Basilica and then a little more of the city before we went back to the residence (they rented a room there, my apartment is there too).  Oh, also, the room they got was for 7 people and was a huge apartment with a wrap around balcony! I was jealous. Oh yes, by the way, my parents luggage never arrived at the Rome airport but Italia airlines promised they would deliver it by 9 am  the following day.

Our journey began the next day on a plane to Bari in southern Italy.   Of course the luggage never arrived at the Bari destination and  the hotel clerk said that alItalia airlines had called and that  it would be at our next stop in Napoli the next day as it was my parents  third day they still had the same clothes on.  I had some things like socks and underwear and shirts for my mom, but I only had one shirt that fit my dad.  Bari was on the coast and we had beautiful weather.  On the first day we took about 3 mile walk near the coast taking pictures and enjoying the very different sights which were a mix between Italian, desert, and Mexican.  There were cacti and lizards which I never see in Rome.  We were starving and ate at the first and only restaurant we came across.  We had a delicious pasta dinner me and my mom drank wayyy too much wine haha.  We were having a great time just walking around checking out local residences and the seaview along the way.

We walked back to the hotel very tired, so we all took a 2 hour nap.  When we woke up we decided to stay in for the night and plan for the next day.  We ordered a room service meal that was delicious and shared it. Pasta with clams, fresh fish and crustini bread.  Dessert was a crème brulee topped with Chamord Raspberry Liqueur (My Mom told me)   We had a train leaving from Bari to Naples at 4 PM, so we explored Bari from 7 AM until the time we had to catch the train.  Bari was really cool.   There were really cool seaports and people selling huge live squid.  I insisted that my mom and dad eat their first Italian pizza for lunch.

We walked around the city all day and it was painful because we checked out of the hotel early in the morning and had to carry all of our stuff because the hotel was outside of the city.  When it came time to go to the train station me and my mom walked up to the kiosk to print our train tickets to Napoli which I had already ordered.  There was about 5 young guys standing at the kiosk next to us and came up to my mom and ask where we were going to help us.  I said no, but my mom said Napoli which was the biggest mistake ever.  I told him we didn’t want his help and continued to print the tickets on my own.  The train didn’t leave for a couple hours so we went to a caffe nearby for a cappuccino.  When it was time to board the train, I realized I had booked the tickets for the next day by accident!! I was standing in line with my mom waiting to change my tickets for the train leaving 30 minutes from then. My mom noticed the same kid that asked where we were going before was behind us trying to steal something out of my purse! I turned around and yelled at him and my dad ran in from smoking a cigarette outside and things got a little heated.  We went outside to tell the police and they didn’t seem to care.  So we decided to run to our platform to catch our train without the men noticing (there were about 10 of them inside the station in a group).

They didn’t see us board but we realized they knew where we were going because previously my mom told them Napoli when they “pretended” to help us at the kiosk.  We got on the train and sat down.  My dad and I told my mom to wait with our stuff while we went to get the police to make sure none of the men got on the train with us.  When we were standing outside of the train waiting for the police, two of the men walked up and down the train until the saw my mom and quickly tried to get on the same car as her!! My dad quickly followed and got her off the train before they got to her or I don’t know what would have happened.  I don’t even want to think of it.  I was so scared for my life that I literally peed my pants because I thought we were going to get stabbed.  There were so many of these men, they were from North Africa.  … I am not even writing all the details and I don’t even feel like typing any more… this is so long.  Tonight’s my 21st birthday.


… Part 2 of this entry.


Right now I am  back in room in Rome laying in my bed before I fall asleep.  The bad luck didn’t stop yet.  We decided to go to the airport in Bari instead of taking a train and fly to Naples.  When we got to the airport they said that since it was so close (a 3 hour drive) they had no flights going there! So we were forced to rent a car.

We were driving to Naples and the gps we rented through Hertz died, and the only charging port in the car was broken.  We were 100 km outside of Naples and had no idea where to go.  Long story short, it was a really bad night and it took us 6 hours to find the hotel from Bari instead of 2.  I’m sick of talking about misfortune so now I’ll tell you all the good stuff that has happened from that point on.  We finally knew for sure that their luggage that was lost (5 days earlier) was at the Naples airport.  So we took the rental car to the airport  mand their luggage was there! We didn’t love Naples so we decided to drive to Pompei which was 30 minutes away.  It was beautiful there.  No words to describe it.  After a few minutes we left for Sorrento, another beautiful 25 minute drive along the coast.

This small town was our main destination because my dad works with wood and this is the most famous place in the world that makes inlayed wooden music boxes.  He was in heaven there.  We had a great time, and stayed in a really cool hotel.  We ate a great dinner together, and the next day we went on a fairy to the isle of Capri at 7:45 AM.  My dad left to go back and work with one of the Italian woodworkers so they could teach him the trade! It was great.

Me and my mom took a bus up a mountain on a scary road to Ana Capri which was a really cool village.  There we saw a beautiful church with a handpainted floor.  Me and my mom took the fairy back to Sorrento and met up with my dad.  Instead of driving to Naples to catch our train we decided to take the rental car all the way from Sorrento to Rome.  It was about a 3 hour drive with beautiful views.  I was really glad my parents finally had clean clothes and were happier haha.

We got back into Rome yesterday (my birthday) and I took them to Augusto, my favorite restaurant in Roma.  We ate a delicious dinner and had a really good time together.  I enjoyed showing the some of my favorite parts of city.  They are here until Sunday so I will write about the adventures of the days to come in the next post.


A dopo!



Travel Log

Where have I been?

  • Todi
  • Umbria
  • Prague
  • Milan
  • Palermo
  • Florence
  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid

Where am I going?

  • Bari
  • Naples
  • Sorrento
  • Isle of Capri
  • Ravenna
  • other northern cities

Where do I want to go?

  • Nice
  • Dublin
  • Venice
  • Greece
  • Constantinople
  • Morocco
  • Egypt
  • Berlin

!Madrid! with Shona

This past week was a very beautiful and eventful one in Rome.  On Tuesday it was about 80 degrees out and sunny it was beautiful.  On Wednesday night at midnight the festivites began to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.  At midnight there were fireworks at the colosseum which Veronica and I could see from the warehouse we were at for a techno show.  We saw four different DJ’s perform.. it was really fun..

On Thursday it was St. Patty’s day & the festa but I had classes from 8:30 am – 8:00 pm and it rained all day anyway.  I still made an awesome dinner with some of my girlfriends.  It was a feast for men.  On Friday it was also a beautiful day and I picked up my new replacement cell phone, and went to the airport to catch my flight to Madrid to meet Shona, my good friend who was meeting me in Madrid from London.  She goes to SU with me and plays vball.

I LOVE MADRID!  Shona and I had an amazing time in Madrid.  Our hostel was perfectly located in the center of a huge bar and restaurant area.  We ate really good food and saw some really cool churches and we took a tour of the palace.  We had the most gorgeous weather.  I wore flip flops! because it was 75 and sunny… almost nobody speaks English here so it was hard for us to navigate around and especially to order food.  Last night we ate dinner that had a place with pictures on the menu so we knew what we were ordering.  I really like empanadas.

We drank a lot of Sangria,  including a lot for free… for some reason all the bars give you your first drink free! I love it.  Shona just left to catch her flight.. mine is in about 12 hours, then its back to Roma for another week of classes.  But… my parents come on Thursday morning! I booked a trip for us to go to Bari, Naples, Sorrento and The Isle of Capri this coming weekend… the weather should be lovely..  ciao ciao!

Fiasco at the Residence

When me and got back to Rome from Amsterdam it was time to explore.  In between classes we walked to Piazza del Popolo, the capital building, the colosseum… He went to the Trevi Fountain on his own while I was in class… So we were enjoying ourselves drinking good wine and eating good food.  We cooked some really good dinners, he loves the food here & the cappuccino as do I 🙂

On the Friday night before he left (on Sunday) we had a hotel near my residence about a 5 minute walk away.  We were falling asleep around 1:30 AM and were awaken by the  sound of someone breaking into our room! Someone was fidgeting to open the lock and Neil told them to go away.  They went away and came back 10 minutes later.. It was soooo scary.  I quickly called the police and we pushed the dresser against the door.  The police arrived (5 of them) and asked us questions and took our information down.  Then we took a ride in a cop car back to my residence 🙂 where they said Neil could stay last night.

Because they are the law I thought they would be able to mandate that he could sleep in my room… WRONG! The porter gave us such a hard time and then tried to kick Neil out at 5:30 am and told him to walk around the block even though he had nowhere to go.  No hospitality & no privacy.

So that sucked then on the last day in Rome we went to Campo di Fiori to an amazing dinner and drank great wine.  We stayed in the  hotel that is next to my residence then Neil woke up early and left in a taxi 😦 I miss him a lot.  I had a really great time with him.

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Such an unnecessary email

March 17 has been declared an Italian national holiday for 2011, celebrating
the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. On March 17 banks,
government offices,many shops and public schools will be closed.
Plans are in place to hold live shows, concerts and theatre productions in
streets and squares all over the centre of Rome, including Via XX Settembre,
Via del Quirinale, Via Veneto, Piazza dei Cinquecento, Piazza Venezia,
Piazza del Campidoglio, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via
Arenula, Piazza Sonnino, Castel S. Angelo and Via del Corso. To finish the
celebrations, a firework display is scheduled to take place on the Janiculum
Temple University will be open and classes will be in session.

Neil’s visit ended too soon…


This is a list Neil and I have compiled during his 10 day visit in Rome and Amsterdam:

  • The Vatican
  • St. peter’s basilica
  • Piazza del popolo
  • Tevi fountan
  • Collosseum
  • Capita building
  • The hill picnic
  • Trastevere
  • Campo di fiori
  • Augusto
  • Bar Hilda
  • Carbinieri plastic seats
  • 5 euro pizza
  • Wine
  • Trionfale market
  • Caprese salad
  • Porketta
  • Old bridge gelato
  • Good pasta
  • Bikes
  • Pancakes
  • Red light
  • Swans
  • Carmello
  • Room service
  • Pea soup
  • Christmas pollen
  • Old couple smoking
  • Playing pool
  • Burger king
  • Scarf bar
  • Dick chocolate
  • Herring
  • Pickle
  • Lamb sausage
  • Rubies
  • Fish bag
  • NH museum quarter
  • Crazy lady in Pinocchio bar
  • Rijk useum
  • Nasty pancake
  • Airplane sandwich: veal and cream cheese
  • Small talk caffe
  • Stolen louchuffe glass
  • Weita beer
  • Danger stairs
  • Candy and gummies
  • Cheese
  • Music
  • Some crazy movie
  • Bike traffic
  • Coffee shops
  • Trionfale market
  • Lost my phone by the pantheon

I understand that this is a crazy long list, so take some time to soak it all in.