At Home With Natalia Bonifacci | V18.
YOU'RE FLUENT IN FIVE LANGUAGES; WHICH LANGUAGE DO YOU DREAM IN?
I dream in Spanish, Italian or English, which are the languages that I use in my everyday life. I was born and raised in Italy. My dad is Italian, but my mother is Costa Rican, so at home growing up we spoke Spanish and Italian. I live in LA so I speak English, obviously. I’m from Bolzano, in South Tyrol, so since I was born I was exposed to German (my grandmother was Ladin) and then in high school I started studying French too. I’m comfortable with German and French, but I don’t use them as much, so they don’t pop up in my dreams at all; those two are my “weaker” languages.
WHEN IT'S SAFE TO TRAVEL AGAIN, WHERE WILL YOU VISIT FIRST?
Italy and Costa Rica, because they both mean friends and family to me, and I want Leo to go home too. I’m really lucky; they are such magical places. These days there are a few places in the US on my mind that I want to discover. I’ve been based in LA for a very long time and there are a few spots that I’ve wanted to visit but never have because I traveled so much abroad. I’ve never been to Big Sur! That’s coming up very soon. And I really want to go to Nashville, New Orleans, and New Mexico.
AS A FORMER BALLET DANCER, DO YOU STILL INCORPORATE DANCE INTO YOUR LIFE?
I loved ballet! You know, I was never the greatest dancer or particularly gifted, I was fine, but I did ballet for almost 14 years and it was a passion. Dance is not only physical, but it’s also a mental exercise. I think some of that discipline I still carry with me. I think my body carries a lot of muscular memory from those years, like the way my arms are shaped come from those years. A lot of people ask me what’s my workout, honestly besides running behind a toddler for the most part, I’m living off all those many years since I danced from 5 years old till I was 19. I also think that my background has helped me on set, the way I move for the camera or how I create shapes, there’s definitely a very rooted (almost unconscious) awareness about it that comes from dancing.
FAVORITE PIECE OF ARTWORK IN YOUR HOME? WHY?
I have a few. There’s a large painting by my longtime friend Christian Rosa. It’s right across my couch, I do a lot of thinking and relaxing in front of that painting, I get lost in it, it inspires me. There’s a drawing by my friend Alex Ruthner, I love his work. He brought that framed as a gift at one of my birthdays when I was a bit of a party girl. That night I carried that framed drawing in my hand to a few after parties and random places so I have really lots of affection for it and it’s a nice memory of those days. My friend Amy Jo Diaz’s collages and handwriting. And Leo’s work, my son’s - I have a lot of his art all over. I also really love photography and I have a few images by friends getting framed right now, I can’t wait to get those home. I have a few things framed that I’ve done myself, not necessarily art, but they have a meaning, a moment in time. That’s the feeling I like the most about being home, being surrounded by things that are meaningful to me and it’s always a work in progress - your chosen space grows and evolves with you.
YOUR SON LEO IS ADORABLE. WHAT ACTIVITY DO YOU ENJOY DOING TOGETHER THE MOST?
I think that what we enjoy the most are morning cuddles or cuddles in general. He comes into my bed every morning on his own and we sleep a bit longer, then we hug and talk. I really enjoy our conversations. That’s one of my favorite things. Personally, I really like observing him taking things in, when we go for walks or if someone comes over, I really enjoy seeing how he interacts with the world on his own.
COMING FROM A MULTICULTURAL BACKGROUND, WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FAMILY TRADITIONS YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE WITH LEO?
Being multilingual is a big one for me. It was an incredible gift from my family to me and I think knowing different languages since childhood really opens your mind, it humbles you, it allows you to understand different perspectives and through that you become more compassionate towards other human beings and cultures. Leo’s dad is Italian too, so I chose to only speak Spanish to my son and Leo’s also exposed to English since we live in LA. At three years old he is perfectly fluent in those three languages. I have to say I’m so proud of that. Traveling too is big to me. Since I was born, as a family we traveled constantly and Leo’s life until the pandemic started has been the same. I think being Italian on its own brings a lot of values to the table, the sense of family and friendship, sitting and talking at the table at meals for a very long time, enjoying life, the sense of humor; it’s all part of our DNA.
WHO IS YOUR FASHION ICON? (PS: YOU'RE OURS)
I’d say my paternal and maternal grandfathers, since I was very young. There’s a lot of inspiration from them in my style. But style is not only how you dress, it’s how you move, how you laugh, how you carry yourself in the world, how you treat others, how you reinvent yourself, how courageous you are. Both of them, for different reasons, had a really strong imprinting in me from very early on.
WHAT DOES "PERFECTLY UNDONE" MEAN TO YOU?
I think it has something to do with being effortless in being true to who you are and it has something to do with being real.
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