Sao Paolo native Bianca Vincenzo met her husband in an Irish bar in her home town. Now she works as a tourism ambassador for Cobh she tells Roisin Burke
A lust for the grassy plains of Ireland led to a love of a good Cork man when Brazilian Bianca Vincenzo visited an Irish pub in her hometown Sao Paulo only to meet her now husband Ronan Morely for the first time.
Bianca, aged 32, who had spent time in Dublin previously, went to the Irish bar as she missed Ireland.
On the day she met Ronan, the pub was packed with people watching the rugby.
“I was miserable in Brazil when I went back. Even my mom was telling me to go. I couldn’t get Ireland out of my head. I couldn’t get over Ireland.”
Describing that day she met Ronan, Bianca said: “The place was full of Irish people. Ronan’s friends came up to me and asked could they leave their stuff on the table, they thought I was French and told me they were Irish, I said ‘I love your country!’
“He called over his group of men, Ronan among them. Ronan was a bit shy, but he gave me his business card at the end of the evening and that was that.”
The pair got married last September in Sao Paulo after Ronan proposed in Offaly on a romantic weekend to a gothic castle.
“He booked a weekend in Offaly, a gothic castle because he knows I like that and he picked an unusual ring because he knew I wanted something different. It is golden rose with a purple stone.
“I kind of knew it was coming. We had been together four years, I had moved over to Ireland, we had talked of marriage, but I didn’t expect the surprise proposal.”
Six years later, happy homeowners in Cobh, Ronan and Bianca are living a busy life, Ronan working in his family business and Bianca working as an investigation specialist with Amazon.
“I was very lucky,” Bianca said, “Amazon was the first job I got when I arrived in Cork.
“I review people who want to sell stuff on Amazon and I detect fraud.
“I enjoy it, it is a very good job. I always had great attention to detail and an investigative personality and I like that every day is different.”
Now Bianca works from home in Cobh, which she really enjoys, and she also volunteers locally as a Cobh Tourism Ambassador welcoming tourists off the cruise ships.
“I wanted to get to know people and I wanted to help out locally,” she explained.
“Cobh has over 100 ships a year, it is mad, there are loads of people coming.
“I wear a vest that says Cobh Ambassador and I hand out leaflets, give people information and answer questions when people come off the ships.”
This is not Bianca’s first volunteering role in Cork.
“In the past I volunteered with the Cork French Film Festival, doing social media for them,” she said. “It was great.
“I am totally addicted to movies so you help out and you get to watch loads of the movies and you also get to meet loads of directors and people like that. It is a great gig.”
Bianca said she absolutely loves movies and will watch absolutely anything.
“I love going to the film festivals, Cork Film Festival, French Film Festival. I could see two movies a day.
“I am always amazed by the storytelling, I love the gift of storytelling, writing stories and putting them on screen and the performances.
“Movies are a window to different cultures.”
The young professional, who has a degree in advertising, said she has always had a creative flair but has no interest in acting or performing.
Since coming to Ireland, Bianca has become a big fan of the food from Irish chippers, which they don’t have back home.
“I love chippers, we don’t have them in Brazil, KC’s, Golden Fry, all of them, I’ve tried them all!”
Bianca, who also has Italian citizenship and speaks conversational Italian after spending some time there, said she is a much calmer person since moving to Ireland.
“Ireland has a different pace. Sao Paulo has a population of 19m people. It is a very big city.
“Crazy and chaotic.”
The Brazilian who is currently learning to drive said that she enjoys her life in Cobh with her husband Ronan but frequently uses the Cobh Connect bus to visit the city.
“I love all the festivals, gigs and restaurants that there are in Cork. I don’t go out in Cobh, sometimes I go to the local pub, but mostly I hop on the bus and go into the city.”
Bianca said she loves Mutton Lane in particular.
“The music playlist in Mutton Lane is amazing, I don’t know who makes it but I love it and it’s so dark with the candles and the people reading the paper.
“It is so cosy.”