Tag Archives: italian classes

Top 10 Reasons People Study Italian

Why do you study Italian? (And if you don’t, why do you think people study Italian? And also, what are you waiting for? … This beautiful language is calling you! 🙂 )

I came across this list and thought it very accurately reflected the reasons my students have given over the years for studying (courting, pursuing, being enamored and sometimes even obsessed with) what many consider the world’s most romantic language.


Here’s that compilation. (It’s in Italian and English, so you can practice!)

Motivazioni per lo studio dell’italiano

  1. È la lingua più musicale del mondo.
  2. È la lingua del paese con il più alto patrimonio artistico e culturale.
  3. Per andare in vacanza e parlare con la gente del posto.
  4. #3-Vacanza / Vacation

    È la lingua della lirica, della moda e del design.

  5. È la lingua del buon vino e della buona cucina.
  6. È la lingua dei miei nonni o dei miei genitori.
  7. Devo trasferirmi a lavorare in Italia.
  8. Il mio partner è italiano.
  9. Voglio studiare in Italia.
  10. Sono pensionato e voglio trasferirmi in Italia.

List source: Torre di Babele, Roma.


Motivations for Studying Italian

  1. It’s the most musical language in the world.
  2. It’s the language of the country with the greatest number of world heritage sites.
  3. To go on vacation and speak with the people of the place.
  4. It’s the language of opera, fashion and design.
  5. #5-Vino e cibo/Wine & food

    It’s the language of good wine and good cuisine.

  6. It’s the language of my grandparents or my parents.
  7. I have to move to Italy for to work.
  8. My partner is Italian.
  9. I want to study in Italy.
  10. I am retired and I want to move to Italy.

What do you think? Did your reason for studying this gorgeous language make the list? Are they any reasons you would add? Leave a comment!


Corsi di italiano

 

Learn Italian! – Spring Italian Language Classes start March 27 – Sign up now for Early-bird discount!

 


 

Posted in learn italian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch Movies, Improve Your Italian!

 

Shorter days, longer nights and chilly temperatures make it the perfect season to cozy up with a good Italian movie.

Most of my students find watching Italian movies an enjoyable experience, but “they talk so fast” (referring to dialog in the films) is a frequent observation, usually followed by this question: “What can I do to increase my comprehension of these films?”


Here’s my advice for a tried-and-true way to employ Italian movies as a vehicle to exponentially expand your understanding of spoken Italian :

  1. Watch as many movies as you can get your hands (or eyes) on, preferably ones that are easily available. (See my picks of Italian movies on Netflix here.)
  2. Choose one of these movies as your “project”. Make it a film that you enjoy so much you’d happily watch it over and over again, because that’s exactly what I’m about to prescribe.
  3. Watch the whole movie several times, while reading the English subtitles, until you have the movie meaning and content memorized.
  4. Now, starting with chapter one (or the first section/scene of the film), turn off the subtitles and (already knowing what is happening in the scene) focus on listening only to the Italian. At this point, because you know exactly what’s going on in the movie plot, you are free to focus on the spoken language. Listen to each chapter or scene several times, focusing first on getting the gist and then gradually on comprehending words and phrases.
  5. If possible, when you first turn off the English subtitles, consider watching with the subtitles switched to Italian.
  6. It might seem like you’re training yourself to be able to understand only this one movie, but stick with it. What you are really doing is using it to train your ear, and this will improve your comprehension skills and spill over to any new movies or programs you listen to in Italian (not to mention actual live people). When it’s time to choose a new movie “project”, if you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be amazed at how much more quickly you are able to understand and get the gist!
  7. Here’s that list of my Italian movie picks on Netflix. Enjoy!

Got any favorite Italian movies? Or listening comprehension suggestions you’d like to share? Love to hear your comments!

Posted in italian movies, learn italian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

2 for Tuesday: Scioglilingua | Tongue Twisters

[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]

Gli scioglilingua sono un ottimo modo per esercitare la tua pronuncia in Italiano!

Tongue twisters are an excellent way to practice your Italian pronunciation!

3 tigri contro 3 tigriEccone due divertenti che ha condiviso il mio amico Lobsang di Torino. Li ho provati lo scorso sabato nella mia classe di conversazione e studio dell’italiano e gli studenti si sono divertiti un mondo facendo esercizio.

Here are two fun ones my friend Lobsang from Torino shared with me. I tested them out this past Saturday in my Italian Study & Conversation class, and the students had a blast practicing them.

Tre tigri contro tre tigri. | Three tigers against three tigers.

Dieci limoni, cento limoni, mille limoni.  |  Ten lemons, a hundred lemons, a thousand lemons.

[P.S. No, they don’t make sense… of course not, they’re tongue twisters! 🙂 ]

10-100-1000 limoniSuggerimenti & Consigli:

  •  Ascoltare le registrazioni audio
  • Pronunciare lo scioglilingua lentamente, poi due volte di fila, infine tre volte senza fermarsi
  • Aumentare la velocità senza sacrificare la pronuncia corretta

 

Suggestions  & Advice:

  • Listen to the audio recordings
  • Say the tongue twister once slowly, then twice in a row, and finally  three times without stopping.
  • Pick up speed without sacrificing correct pronunciation


Tre tigri contro tre tigri.

Dieci limoni, cento limoni, mille limoni.

Divertiti e fammi sapere come va! Hai mai usato gli scioglilingua come modo di fare esercizio in italiano? Lo trovi utile, difficile, divertente? Quali sono i tuoi preferiti? Lascia un commento!

Have fun and let me know how you do! Have you used tongue twisters before as a way to practice Italian? Do you find it useful, difficult, fun? What are some of your favorites? Leave  a comment!

See more tongue twisters here: Italian Tongue Twisters | Sopra la panca…

Posted in Expressions, italian tongue twisters, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fave 3 Thursday: Parole di gratitudine | Words of Gratitude

[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]

ringraziemento-harvest-cneterpiece-pumpkins-candles-aplesNello spirito della gratitudine e in osservanza del Giorno del Ringraziamento, ecco tre cose per cui sono grata:

In the spirit of gratitude, and in observance of Thanksgiving Day, here are three things for which I am grateful…

  1. I miei studenti e i lettori di questo blog, senza i quali non potrei seguire la mia passione nell’insegnamento di questa bellissima lingua. |  My students and blog readers, without which I couldn’t follow my passion of teaching this beautiful language.
  2. Internet, senza il quale sarebbe molto più difficile fare quello che faccio.  |  The internet, without which it would be much more difficult to do what I do.
  3. Gli amici e i familiari, vicini e lontani, che mi appoggiano e spronano a modo loro,  tramite i mezzi a disposizione (telefono, social media, contatti diretti), a dare il meglio ringraziemento-Snoopy+woodstock-reverse imageper inseguire, sviluppare e condividere i miei obiettivi e idee, cosa che mi da uno scopo nella vita. Grazie!  |   Friends and family, near and far, that support and spur me on in their own ways, by available means (phone, social media, direct contact) to give my best in following, developing and sharing my goals and ideas, which gives purpose to my life.  Thank you!

Buon Giorno del Ringraziamento a tutti!  E voi di che cosa siete grati?  |  Happy Thanksgiving Day to all!  What are YOU grateful for?

 

[Grazie al mio collaboratore speciale, Lobsang Burzacchini]

 

Posted in Fave 3 blog posts, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Vocaboli Italiai | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fave 3 Thursday: Italian Idiomatic Expressions with “Acqua” (Water)

[Note: Any text in Italian is followed by the English translation.]

Siamo giunti a novembre, e qui a San Diego, speriamo siano vere le voci che girano, a proposito di un autunno e un inverno piovosi, grazie all’effetto meteorologico conosciuto come El Niño. Lo scorso weekend, in occasione della Festa di Halloween e il Giorno dei Morti, l’acqua è arrivata con un tempismo perfetto. Non era poi così tanta, ma era la prima volta dopo mesi.

We have arrived at November, and here in San Diego, we hope that the rumors going around, regarding a rainy fall and winter, thanks to the weather phenomenon known as El Niño, are true. This past weekend, on occasion of Halloween and Day of the Dead, the water arrived with perfect timing. It wasn’t really so much rain, but it was the first time in months.

Nel sud della California piove solitamente tra novembre e marzo, forse un po’ ad aprile. Da lì e fino a metà ottobre più niente, se escludiamo una leggera pioggerella ogni morte di Papa. Negli ultimi anni la situazione si è aggravata, fenomeno che ha creato una severa condizione di siccità, oltre a numerose preoccupazioni per l’aumento di potenziali incendi”. Alcuni giorni fa, un amico musicista, mi ha raccontato come in un recente concerto avesse suonato canzoni con temi legati alla pioggia, nella speranza che la stagione autunnale ne avesse portata di nuova.

In southern California it usually rains between November and March, maybe a bit in April. From there to the end of October, nothing, not counting a light sprinkling every blue moon. In recent years, the situation has worsened, a phenomenon that has created a severe drought, in addition to great concern over the increased chance of wildfires. A few days ago, a musician friend of mine told me about a recent concert where he’d played songs with rain themes, in the hopes that this fall season would bring some more of it.

Oggi, lo spirito della pioggia mi ha ispirato nella scrittura dell’articolo di questa settimana! Ecco tre bellissime espressioni idiomatiche che invocano un elemento così prezioso e fondamentale al nostro benessere.

Today, the spirit of rain inspired me in writing this week’s article! Here are three great idiomatic expressions invoking that very precious element, so fundamental to our well-being.

Nº 1 –Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata–

This literally translates as “Wet bride, lucky bride”. This what people say to console a woman if her wedding day is a rainy one.

 

Nº 2 –Acqua in bocca–

This literally translates as “Water in mouth”, and is the Italian equivalent of the English expression “Mum’s the word”. It’s what you say when you want to tell someone to keep a secret. To get this expression, it helps to picture someone holding water in their mouth — pretty hard to spill the beans or even speak at all if you have a mouth full of water!

 

Nº 3 –Piove sul bagnato.–

This literally translates as “It rains on the wet guy,” and is similar to the expression “adding insult to injury”. The person who is already having a tough time of it (already wet), now also gets rained on, adding insult to injury.

 

Bonus!  Here’s a short video I shot of the rain last March in Italy. We had just arrived at Tenuta Vannulo to tour the grounds of this buffalo mozzarella factory, when it started to “piovere a catenelle” / rain cats and dogs.  We are on the bus waiting for it to let up.

What do you think of rain?  Write to me… I love reading your comments!

Posted in Expressions, italian travel, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Sayings, travel with jodina, Vocaboli Italiai | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

La Befana viene stanotte! | Befana Comes Tonite!

befana cartoon, on broomBabbo Natale (Santa Claus) didn’t check everything off your list? Not to worry. You get a second chance tonite.
Kid’s all over Italy are getting ready to hang up their stockings for la Befana to fill this eve of Epiphany, January 6, the day of when the wise men are said to have arrived in Bethlehem.

Just like Babbo Natale, la Befana flies through the air (in place of a sleigh with reindeer, befana dollthe Befana flies a broomstick – both pretty incredible, really) from house to house where there are bambini, entering by way of il camino (the chimney) and leaving treats for i bambini che sono stati buoni (the kids who have been good) and coal for i bambini cattivi (the naughty children). No mention is made of whether she has a list that she checks twice, but I digress . . .

Where Babbo Natale is rotund, merry, white-bearded and dressed in red and white, la Befana is depicted as a smiling , grandmotherly-looking witch, wearing tattered clothing and covered in soot astride a broomstick.
So what do we know of la Befana’s origins? Well, it’s all pretty much lore; just like what we know of Santa from “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, etc., it’s pretty fantastical… and both seem like stories that pre-date Christian traditions.

befana + re magiThe most common story I encounter is that la Befana lived along the route the Magi took to the Natvity Scene. In this version, they stopped at her house seeking food and shelter, but she wasn’t feeling sociable and sent them away. Later, la Befana has a change of heart and sets out to find the Magi, and to accompany them to find the Christ Child. But by now, she’s too late to catch up, and she never finds the child. So, as the story goes, to this day, at this time of year, she still travels the world, leaving gifts for every child, lest they be il Gesu` Bambino (the Baby Jesus).befana festa poster7

 

What does the Befana bring to good children? That depends on the traditions (and budget) of the household where they live. Most just get little treats, candies and gizmos, similar to what St. Nick (from whom Santa Claus derives) puts in stockings of kids whose families observe St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6), but some lucky kids get iPods and other such fancy loot!

 

befana di personaMost cities hold special events and parties dedicated to celebrating la festa dell’Epifania/la Befana (Epiphany holiday). People play bingo and cards, and gather outdoors in the piazze (squares) for festivities, including music, processions, live nativity scenes, open-air markets,  live appearances by la Befana, and more. You’ll find links to a few of these happenings below. befana parade

And while it’s mainly a celebration for the kiddies, you’ll find adults getting in on the action, too, dressing up and parading around as la Befana in carne e ossa (in the flesh).  The picture here looks like a sort of Befana bunny hop!

befana calze

Feeling festive? Perhaps you want to get into the act, too. This could be a great time to adopt a fun new tradition, with kids and family or friends and housemates. All you need is una calza (a sock or stocking) – any type, even a long sock will do – and some little treats!

Buona Befana!

Have you ever heard of or celebrated la Befana? Comments welcome!

Epiphany/Befana celebrations in Italy:  Roma-Milano-Napoli  |  OstiaBaby Befana Party

 

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Siena | Part 2 | Veduta mozzafiato dalla terrazza panormica | Foto Blog

rooftops in the historic city center siena italy

[Note this blog is written in Italian interspersed with the English translation.]

       Dopo il mio giro per la Piazza del Duomo (Siena, Part 1, Duomo & People-watching), mi sono recata al cosidetto Facciatone che offre ai visitatori di Siena delle vedute mozzafiato. All’inizio del 300, si comincio` la costruzione di quello che doveva essere un enorme ampliamento del Duomo. Ma il progetto si fermo` nel 1348 quando Siena venne colpita dalla peste, che decimo` la popolazione.

       After my stroll through the Duomo Square (Siena, Part 1, Duomo & People-watching), I went to the so-called Facciatone (Big Facade) that offers visitors to Siena breathtaking views. At the beginning of the 14th century, construction was begun on what was to be an enormous enlargement of the Duomo. But the project was stopped in 1348 when Siena was struck by the plague, which decimated the population.

italy siena facciatone, duomo nuovo

Ecco il Facciatone, in mezzo.  /  Here’s the “Big Facade”, in the middle.

Non si e` mai ripresa la costruzione, e cio`  che e` rimasto e` solo un grande facciatone (da cui nacque il soprannome) che non sembra altro che un grande muro. Oggi il Facciatone (detto anche il Duomo Nuovo) serve come terrazza panoramica.  Si accede alla terrazza dal museo dell’opera del duomo situato accanto. Una scala a chiocciola porta in cima alla terrazza panoramica che fornisce spettacolari vedute di Siena a 360 gradi.

Construction was never resumed, and what has remained is only a huge facade (from which the nickname was born) that looks like nothing more than a big wall.  Today the Big Facade (also called the New Duomo) serves as a panoramic terrace. You can get to the terrace from the Duomo Museum located next door.  A spiral staircase takes you to the top of the panoramic terrace that provides spectacular 360-degree views of Siena.

a fiddler in siena italy near piazza del duomo

Proseguendo verso il Facciatone ecco un violinista appassionatissimo che ci fornisce una colonna sonora perfetta. / On the way to the “Big Facade” a very passionate fiddler provides us with the perfect soundtrack.

iodina ascending spiral staircase to view point, terrazza panormanica siena italy

Eccomi sulla scala a chiocciola quasi arrivata in cima alla terrazza. / Here I am on the spiral staircase, almost to the terrace on top .

view of siena countryside  in Ialy

La mia fatica mi regala una splendida e rinfrescante vista di Siena e dei dintorni verdeggianti. / My efforts reward me with a splendid and refreshing view of Siena and its verdant surroundings.

view from on high of duomo of siena, itaky

Una veduta del Duomo, della Piazza del Duomo e del campanile. / A view of the Duomo, Duomo Square and the bell tower.

view from on high of siena duomo, bell tower, and cupora

Il campanile e la cupola tra le nuvole. / The bell tower and the cupola in the clouds.

view from on high of cupola siena italy

La cupola del Duomo con la sua lanterna in stile barocco disegnato da Bernini. / The cupola of the Duomo with its baroque style lantern designed by Bernini.

view from on high of torrei del mangia, siena, italy

Una veduta della famosa Torre del Mangia; a sinistra un pezzetto della Piazza del Campo dove corrono i cavalli nel tradizionale Palio di Siena. / A view of the famous Mangia Tower; to the left a small piece of the Campo Square, where horses run in the traditional Siena horse race.

jodina in siena italy at top of panoramic terrace

Ce l’ho fatta! Ora mi riposo e mi godo le vedute mozzafiato di Siena. / I made it! Now I’m resting and enjoying the breathtaking views of Siena.

view of rooftops siena italy

Un ultimo sguardo dall’alto dei vecchi tetti di tegole di terracotta. Questi sembrano di essere disposti in uno schema a labirinto. / A last look from on high of the old terracotta tile roofs. These seem to arranged in labyrinth formation.

boots going down spiral staircase in Siena

Scendendo la scala a chiocciola. E` sicuramente valsa la pena salire! / Descending the spiral staircase. It was definitely worth going up!

Have you ever heard of the Facciatone? Which is your favorite view? Love your comments!

  [Grazie sentite ai miei assistenti di redazione Enzo e Giovanna ed alla mia assistente grafico Mimi!]

Posted in Italian Holidays, italian travel, learn italian, Photo Foto Blog | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dal fruttivendolo | Fruits & Veggies all’italiana | Foto Blog

Simpatia fruttivendolo-greve greengrocer in greve in chianti italy

il fruttivendolo Simpatia a Greve in Chianti / the Simpatia (meaning ‘congeniality’) greengrocer, town of Greve, in Chianti

[NOTE:  This post is written in Italian, interspersed with the English translation.]

In Italia la frutta e la verdura si possono comprare dal supermercato insieme agli altri fabbisogni alimentari, così come negli Usa, però il luogo più comune, più tradizionale e di gran lunga il più divertente per acquistare prodotti agricoli è il fruttivendolo.

In Italy, you can buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket along with other needed food items, just like in the States, but the most common, most traditional and by far the most fun place to purchase produce is from the fruttivendolo, or the greengrocer’s.

fruttivendolo-asparagi-venezia -asparagus at a greengrocer in  venice

Asparagi in mostra al mercatino del Rialto, Venezia / Asparagus on display at the open-air market in the Rialto, Venice

I fruttivendoli (detti anche ortolani) si trovano nelle zone residenziali insieme ad altri negozi e anche ai mercatini locali, dove gli italiani vanno regolarmente per comprare della frutta e della verdura fresche e dove molto probabilmente conoscono i nomi del proprietario e delle commesse del fruttivendolo.

Greengrocers (fruttivendoli, also called ortolani) are found in residential areas along with other shops and also at the local street/open-air markets, where Italians go regularly to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and where they very probably know the names of the owner and shop assistants of the greengrocery.

fruttivendolo-insalata mista-greve-mixed greens at greengrocer, chianti, italy

Insalata mista e salvia dal fruttivendolo Simpatia, Greve in Chianti / Mixed salad greens and sage at the Simpatia greengrocer

Siccome stiamo entrando in piena stagione del giardinaggio e della coltivazione degli orti, e con essa l’entusiasmo per ogni forma di frutta e ortaggio che abbondano nei caldi giorni estivi, mi sembrava l’occasione perfetta per condividere alcune foto delle delizie trovate dai fruttivendoli italiani. Non solo sono belle, ma secondo me, la produzione agricola italiana è tra le più gustose che abbia assaggiato.  Godete!

Since we are entering into the high season of gardening and vegetable garden cultivation, and with it enthusiasm for every type of fruit and vegetable that abounds in the hot summer days, it  seemed like the perfect occasion to share some photos of the delights found at Italian greengrocers. Not only are they beautiful, but in my opinion, Italian produce is among the tastiest.  Enjoy!

fruttivendolo-zucchine-greve-zucchini at greengrocer in chianti

Zuccchine con i fiori ancora intatti. Sono buonissimi nel risotto! Dal fruttivendolo Simpatia, Chianti. / Zucchini with their flower blooms still intact. These are great in risotto!

fruttivendolo-peperoncini-venezia-chili peppers drying at the market in venice

Peperonicini appesi per essicare. Notate gli spicchi d’aglio. Venezia. / Chili peppers hung to dry. Note the cloves of garlic. Venice.

fruttivendolo credit policy-greve-greengrocer's humorous strore credit policy

Il proprietario del fruttivendolo Simpatia mette in mostra la sua spiritosa prassi sul credito: “Faccio credito solo ai novantenni se accompagnati dai genitori.” / The owner of Simpatia greengrocer displays his humorous store credit policy: “I offer credit only to those in their 90s, if accompanied by parents.”

Have any interesting Italian fruttivendolo anecdotes? Are you keeping un orto (a vegetable garden) this summer? Are your favorite verdure (vegetables) shown in these photos? Love to read your comments!

[Grazie sentite ai miei assistenti di redazione Giovanna ed Enzo e alla mia assistente grafico Mimi!]

Posted in Italian Food, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Photo Foto Blog | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Gironzolando per Montepulciano | Strolling through Moltepulciano | Foto Blog

Comune di Montepulciano2

Montepulciano. Voi siete qui…! |               You are here…!

[NOTE:  This post is written in Italian, interspersed with the English translation.]

Un gioiello di città di montagna: Montepulciano.  Si trova nel cuore della regione del Vino Nobile a sudest di Firenze.  È il paese di montagna più grande della Toscana del sud ed è racchiuso tra antiche mura costruite nel 1511. Montepulciano, che ha origini dal popolo degli Etruschi, vanta delle bellissime viste e viuzze tra chiese e strutture rinascimentali. È proprio un bel posto per andare a zonzo.

A jewel of a hill town: Montelpulciano. It’s in the heart of the Vino Nobile wine region southwest of Florence.  It is the biggest hill town in southern Tuscany and is enclosed by ancient walls built in 1511. Montepulciano, which dates back to the Etruscans, boasts beautiful views and narrow streets among churches and renaissance-era buildings. It’s really a beautiful place to wander…

i cipressi

I cipressi | Cypresses

I cipressi:  Paesaggio visto dalla Porta al Prato, uno dei principali accessi alla città. (Prima dell’uso delle carte stradali, i cipressi si piantarano lungo i cammini per segnalarli ai viaggiatori.)

Cypresses:  Panorama seen from near Porta al Prato, one of the main city gates. (Before the use of maps, cypresses were planted along roadsides as a way to indicate them to travelers)

bellringer atop clock tower

La Torre delll’orologio in Piazza Grande, nel punto più alto della città, con in cima Pulcinella che batte le ore sulla campana.  |  Clock tower in the main square, at the highest point of the city, with Punch on top hammering out the hours on the bell.

raggi di sole sulla panca in chiesa2

I raggi di sole su una panca nella Chiesa di Sant’Agostino in Piazza Grande | Sunbeams on a bench in Sant’Agostino Cathedral in the main square

candela per nonna

Ho acceso una candela per la mia nonnetta. | I lit a candle for my granny.

sdraiata su un muro

Il panorama vista dal muro antico su cui stavo riposando. Che cielo! | The view as I was resting on the ancient wall. What a sky!

via della fortuna

La via della Fortuna | Lucky Street (The Street of Fortune)

n. 10 via della foruna

n. 10 via della Fortuna | #10 Lucky Street

vicolo2

Un vicolo in salita | An alley in ascent

signore che passeggia2

Un signore che passeggia | A man out for a stroll

IMG_3160

Il Palazzo Cantucci con le sottostanti Cantine Cantucci, un tesoro “nascosto”   |  The Cantucci Building with its underlying Cantucci Wine Cellars, a “hidden” treasure

Wine cellar

Barili di vino nelle cantine sotteranee | Wine barrels in the underground cellars

teatro dei burattini

Il Meraviglioso Teatro dei burattini |  The Marvelous Puppet Theater

pinocchio

Alla fine della passeggiata ho incontrato un vecchio amico e il mio burattino preferito! |  At the end of my walk I met an old friend and my favorite puppet — Pinocchio!

[Grazie sentite al mio assistente redazione Enzo Heinz D’Albis]

Have you been to Montepulciano?  Which picture is your favorite? 

Leave a comment below!

Posted in italian travel, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Photo Foto Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Spooky Poveglia | Italy’s Island of the Dead

italy haunted poveglia view thru doorway room with graffiti

NOTE: This post is written in Italian, interspersed with the English translation (in Italics).

Si dice che Poveglia — un’isola abbandonata e situata a sole due miglia da Venezia — sia infestata da fantasmi. Secondo la leggenda questa piccolissima isola nella laguna di Venezia — alla quale e` pressoche’ impossibile arrivare tramite il trasporto pubblico — e` stata il luogo di ricovero di migliaia di persone malate e morenti della peste nel 500.

 .

It is said that Poveglia (pronounced poh-VEHL-yah) — an abandoned island situated only two miles from Venice — is haunted. According to legend, this tiny island in the Venetian lagoon — to which it is nearly impossible to arrive via public transport — was a shelter or holding area for thousands of people sick and dying of the plague in the 1500s.

.

italy haunted poveglia stairs and graffiti

.

Si dice inoltre che i fantasmi di tutte quelle povere anime i cui corpi erano stati bruciati e sepolti in delle fosse comuni ora infestano e tormentano l’isola di Poveglia. Che sia vera o no la storia dei fantasmi, e` comunque accertato` che a Poveglia si bandivano le persone infette dalla peste. E` anche vero che si trattava di un enorme numero di persone.

.

It is said moreover that the ghosts of all those poor souls whose bodies were burned and buried in mass graves now haunt and torment the island of Poveglia. Whether or not the story of the ghosts is true, it has, in any case, been established that people infected with the plague were banished to Poveglia. It is also true that it was an enormous number of people.

.

Un altro fatto verificabile e’ che prima ancora della peste, questa isola era anche usata come luogo di quarantena (la parola quarantena viene dal termine “quaranta giorni”, la durata della detenzione) di persone sospette portatori di malattie prima che potessero accedere a Venezia.

.

Another verifiable fact is that even before the plague, this island was also used as a place of quarantine (the word quarantine comes from the term “quanranta giorni/forty days’”, the length of the detention) for people suspected of carrying illnesses before they could enter Venice.

.

italy haunted poveglia collpased building

.

Piu` recentemente nell’ultimo secolo si dice che l’isola ospitava una casa di ricovero per persone matte — una specia di manicomio — dando cosi` un’ulteriore senso del macabro alle voci che circolano su Poveglia.

.

More recently, in the past century,  it is said that the island hosted a refuge for crazy people — a type of insane asylum — giving yet a greater sense of macabre to the rumors that circulate about Povelgia.

.

italy haunted poveglia

.

Dunque sara’ vero che Poveglia sia infestata dai fantasmi e dagli spiriti tormentati? Oppure che l’isola sia cosi` avvolta da un’atmosfera sinistra ed un tale stato di abbandono avanzato che nessuno osi piu` metterci piede?

.

So, could it be true that Poveglia is haunted by ghosts and tormented spirits? Or that the island is so enshrouded in a sinister atmosphere and in such an advanced state of neglect that no one dares set foot there anymore?

.

Facendo un po` di ricerca su internet ho scoperto il racconto di un uomo corraggioso che ha deciso di esplorarla da solo. Dopo aver fatto una grande fatica a trovare qualcuno che lo portasse all’isola ha scoperto che l’isola e veramente in grande abbandono con gli edifici che crollano per mancanza di uso e di manutenzione e la vegetazione che cresce sfrenatamente ricoprendo tutto.

.

Doing a bit of research on the internet I discovered the tale of a courageous man who decided to explore it on his own. After having made a great effort to find someone who would take him to the island, he discovered that the island really is in a great state of abandon, with buildings collapsing due to lack of use and maintenance and vegetation growing unchecked and  covering everything.

.

italy haunted poveglia spiral staircase

.

Nonostante le apparenze di abbandono, il Signor Riggs, l’esploratore in questione, ha trovato in Poveglia un’isola soleggiata, interessante da esplorare e priva dell’atmosfera macabra e da film orrore che uno si aspetterebbe. (Forse in una giornata di pioggia le sue impressioni sarebbero state diverse…) Lui ha colto l’occasione per fare tante fotografie, incluse alcune che evidenziano la presenza di altri esseri umani corraggiosi che vanno sull’isola — dai pescatori agli “artisti” dei graffiti — ma non ha trovato ne fossa ne ossa e comunque non ha trovato la prova dell’infestazione da fantasmi — un fatto che forse rendera` tristi i ghostbuster — scusate ragazzi!

.

Despite the appearance of neglect, Mr. Rigs, the explorer in question, found Poveglia to be sunny, interesting to explore, and lacking the macabre, horror-film atmosphere that one would expect. (Perhaps on a rainy day his impressions would have been different… ) He took the occasion to take lots of photographs, including some that reflect the presence of other brave humans who’ve frequented the island — from fishermen to graffiti “artists” — but he found neither grave nor bones, and in any case, he did non find proof of (the island being) haunted — a fact that might sadden the ghost busters — sorry guys!

.

italy haunted poveglia vegetation growing wild

.

Dunque perche’ allora si dice che Poveglia sia infestata da fantasmi? Forse perche’  essendo un’isola abbandonata da lungo tempo, non si sa molto di essa… e poi c’e` il fattore umano — infatti in mancanza di notizie concrete  c’e’ una tendenza umana ad attribuire caratteristiche misteriose e spaventose alle cose che non si conoscono… e cosi` nascono i grandi miti urbani… creati e propagati dalle persone stesse!

.

Then why do people say Poveglia is haunted? Perhaps because having been an abandoned island for so long, not much is known about it… and then there’s the human factor — in fact, in the absence of concrete news (or information) there is a human tendency to attribute mysterioius and scary characteristics to things that are unknown… and that’s how the great urban myths are born… created and propagated by people themselves!

.

Per sapere piu` dettagli sull’isola di Poveglia e vedere altre foto, leggi il blog di Ransom Riggs.

Ma prima, lascia un commento! Ci credi che Povelgia fosse infestata da fantasmi? Ci andresti a vedere l’isola se visitassi Venezia?

.

To learn more about the island and to see more photos, read the blog by Ransom Riggs.

But first, leave a comment! Do you believe that Poveglia is haunted? Would you go to see the island if you visited Venice?

.

All photos reproduced by permission of Ransom Riggs. Thanks!

Un grande grazie to my friend  Nicola Tarallo for his editorial assistance. Check out his Italian food blog.

 

Posted in italian travel, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Photo Foto Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments