Let’s start with the basics. The word for summer in Italian is “estate”. Now, I know what you may be thinking - “That’s an English word!” Well, estate is actually a falso amico - false friend - meaning that it looks and sounds the same as in English but has a different meaning. Rather than a patch of private land with a property, in Italy the word estate indicates “la stagione estiva”, the summer season. Summer is the season of colori vivaci (bright colors) and attività all’aria aperta (outdoor activities). “Le vacanze” are the holidays. The word is plural and feminine and you need it to wish someone happy holidays: “Buone vacanze”! Where do Italians go for the holidays? … [Read more...] about How do you talk about summer in Italian?
'Mamma' is often the first word babies utter in Italian. It’s a simple, two-syllable word, with such a huge meaning. In fact, “la mamma” is probably the most important figure in the life of Italians, so much so that Italian men are famous all over the world for being “mammoni” - “mama’s boys”. “La mamma è sempre la mamma.” That’s our motto: “The Mom is always the Mom”. Le mamme italiane - Italian mothers - are quite dedicated and are widely known for being nurturing and caring. In Italian we’d also say that “di mamma, ce n’è una sola” - “there’s just one mother” - meaning that we should be grateful for our one and only mother because she will always be there for us. In Italy, Mother’s Day - La Festa della Mamma - falls on the second Sunday of May, like in the … [Read more...] about Do you know all about Mother’s Day in Italy?
“I Cento Pittori di Via Margutta” (One hundred Painters of Via Margutta) is an unmissable open-air art exhibition that takes place twice a year in Rome. It features artists from all walks of life and it’s free of charge for everyone. First, a little throwback for those of you who are not familiar with this event: the tradition began in 1953 when a group of local painters decided to revitalize the street with bright colors in the aftermath of world war two. Via Margutta has been home to every kind of painter, sculptor, and craftsman ever since. The beauty of the Cento Pittori exhibit lies in its rich variety: you can gaze on vividly colored watercolors, then turn a corner to see sketches and drawings of all types. More than 3,000 artworks are usually showcased, making this … [Read more...] about Art in Rome: Via Margutta and its 100 Painters
What do Italians eat during Carnevale? This article made me realize just how varied Italian food is even during the Carnival season and inspired me to put together a collection of traditional sweets cooked all around Italy. Do you want to have an Italian-inspired Carnival meal? Come with me on a tour through Italy's most delicious Carnival desserts. … [Read more...] about Specialità di Carnevale: Carnival Specialities from Different Regions of Italy
Confetti? Check! Crazy and colorful costumes? Check! A playful attitude? Double check! We’re all set and ready. It’s time to celebrate. It's Carnival time! Let's step back in time for a minute and see how it all got started, shall we? … [Read more...] about Put your mask on: It’s Carnevale! [+ Free Vocabulary]
It’s Valentine’s day and there’s no better language than Italian to express love, passion, and romance. It doesn't matter who you are, you will steal the heart of anybody by whispering some Italian paroline dolci (sweet nothings) in their ear. From the ever-charming “ti amo” (I love you) to the luscious “amore mio” (my love), I dare you not to succumb to the musicality of this language. Even the most passionate storia d’amore (love-story) of all times, Romeo and Giulietta, has an Italian vibe since it’s set in Verona. Need I say more? Over the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing love-related Italian words and phrases over Instagram and Facebook. A countdown to Valentine’s Day, one that combines love and education. Want to impress your valentine? Read on and try … [Read more...] about Buon San Valentino! Valentine’s day in the Italian language
Christmas may be the most important festivity in Italy, but Easter is a close second. Many cities and villages host religious parades and celebrations - also known as “processioni” - during which a statue of Jesus or the Virgin Mary gets carried through the streets. The Sunday that precedes Easter - called “domenica delle palme” - represents a special moment for Italian Catholics: the Mass lasts longer and olive tree branches blessed by the priest are distributed in churches as a peace symbol. In Rome the Pope takes over St. Peter's Square to greet people from all over the world. Easter Monday is a public holiday called “Pasquetta” and most shops are closed. The usual custom is to go out—whether is a picnic with friends or a trip to the countryside, outdoor activities are a must on … [Read more...] about Italian Easter Vocabulary, Phrases and Traditions
In Italian, “primavera” is the word to describe the beautiful season of spring. It can be traced back to the Latin roots “primus”, meaning first, and “ver”, meaning spring. In Italy, as in many other countries, is common tradition to do some “pulizie di primavera” - or spring cleaning - during this time of the year. Feeling inspired by my own spring cleaning, I have decided to collect into this post a handful of Italian words, expressions and proverbs that will have you ready to jump into “la bella stagione”. … [Read more...] about Essential Italian Spring Vocabulary Words and Expressions (+ Proverbs)
Language and culture go hand in hand. They are inseparably intertwined. Learning the history and culture of a country will help you understand its language to a deeper level. That’s why I want to share with you three online magazines about Italy’s cultural scene and lifestyle. … [Read more...] about 3 Magazines about Italy You Should Read