Anna Revisits her Italian Roots at ‘A Taste of Italy’ Experience - Ideal Carehomes

Anna Revisits her Italian Roots at ‘A Taste of Italy’ Experience

92-year-old Anna Busuttil from Hambleton Grange care home in Thirsk was taken back to her Italian roots when she attended a local ‘A Taste of Italy’ experience.

Anna was raised in Egypt by parents with a strong Italian heritage. The family would speak in Italian at home, never losing sight of their lineage.

Once she had left school, Anna took a job as a receptionist for a cotton exporting firm, where she was later promoted to Superintendent of the shipping department. It was here that she met her husband Bruno in 1952.

Anna and Bruno emigrated to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1956, where the couple raised their two children.

In 1978, Anna and Bruno made the decision to emigrate again, this time to the UK, and made their home in Streatham Hill, London. At 48-years-old, Anna rejoined the workforce having taken time off to raise her children. Anna said,

‘Money was tight, so I started selling tickets part-time at Mecca Bingo Hall. I loved the job and ended up moving to full-time, and I remained there for ten years. I still enjoy a game of bingo!

‘We didn’t move to Thirsk until 2005, two years after my grandson Joseph was born here. We wanted to be closer to him.’

After a happy 15 years in Thirsk and a wonderful 68 years of marriage, Bruno sadly passed away in 2020. Having moved to an assisted living facility in 2019, Anna made the decision to move to Hambleton Grange in 2023 where she could receive more support day-to-day.

In speaking to the team at Hambleton Grange about her Italian heritage, Anna said she missed certain Italian traditions, saying,

‘I remember on special occasions my mother would make homemade pasta with only a rolling pin. White linen would be laid out on every surface in the house so the pasta could dry on it.’

Hoping to give Anna a day to remember, staff at Hambleton Grange took her to a ‘A Taste of Italy’ experience at Thirsk Learning Centre.

On the day, Anna beamed as she shared her experiences and memories of growing up in an Italian family as she sampled traditional snack, and even made her own pasta. Anna said,

‘I loved the whole experience. It’s been over five years since I’ve made pasta! They had a machine to roll it out, they didn’t do it by hand like my mother.

‘I very much enjoyed having my favourite Italian snack, Balconi – I didn’t know it was available in this country! I used to eat this for La Meranda, which is like a mid-morning snack.’

Sandra Anderson, the Home Manager at Hambleton Grange, added, ‘It was so wonderful to see Anna in her element, speaking Italian and telling everyone about her lineage.

‘It’s always such a pleasure to learn about our residents’ lives and passions, and it means we’re able to tailor activities and experiences that they’ll cherish.’

To find out more about life at Hambleton Grange, please call 01845 523 837, email or visit the home’s Facebook page.

Hambleton Grange care home, on Station Road in Thirsk, is a purpose-built luxury care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. With an all-inclusive fee and 24-hour, person-centred care, it is rated GOOD by the Care Quality Commission.