For years Pia Miranda has been stopped in the street by calls of, 'Found you!', forever linked to that character we all loved: Josie from Looking for Alibrandi. But playing Josie is only one small part of everything that has shaped the woman Pia has become.
As a child, her Nonna would tell her stories of the small volcanic island off Sicily she called home. Cannoli, curses and lighting a candle at church were as much a part of Pia's childhood as mouse plagues, her Aussie Nanna's lemon slice and cheering on South Melbourne at the footy with her Grandfather.
After chasing a childhood dream to become a ballet dancer (with a back-up plan of becoming a nun) she was cruelly shamed out of her leotard and into a new dream: acting. The rollercoaster ride of fame would see her travel the world and narrowly avoid a sky-high #MeToo moment. But after fame comes real life - work stress, career questions, money worries, relationships and heartbreak, love and marriage, illness and grief. Having grown up pinballing between her very Italian side and her very Australian side while trying to carve out a space all her own, Pia didn't realise how the push and pull of tradition had made her world all the richer.
Finally, setting foot on Vulcano to reconnect with her roots, Pia understands how all the parts of herself have made her the true survivor she is. Like her Nonna told her, every day on top of the earth is a good day.
Pia Miranda is best known for her lead role in the much-loved film Looking for Alibrandi. She is one of Australia's best loved and critically acclaimed actors. Finding My Bella Vita is her memoir.
Finding My Bella Vita: A story of family, food, fame and working out who you are
by Pia Miranda
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