Tag Archives: italian music

“Piove” — An Italian song about rain


(Note: English translation follows.)

Per festeggiare la pioggia inaspettata questo weekend a San Diego (ne abbiamo molto bisogno) propongo la canzone “Piove” di Jovanotti.  Jovanotti, per chi non lo sapesse, è uno dei miei cantautori italiani preferiti. “Piove” è una canzone d’amore, che si tratta di una persona che aveva deciso di non inamorarsi mai più ma che poi si innamora di nuovo… paragonando in questo caso l’amore alla pioggia in un posto (il cuore) dove non piove da molto tempo.

TRANSLATION

To celebrate the unexpected rain this weekend in San Diego (we really need it), I propose the song “Piove”/Rain, by Jovanotti.  Jovanotti, for anyone who didn’t know, is one of my favorite Italian singer-songwriters. “Piove” is a love song about a person who’d decided never to fall in love again, but then does fall in love again… comparing in this case love with rain in a place (the heart) where it hasn’t rained for a long time.]

For Rainy Day words (Parole Piovose) see this earlier blog post.


SONG VIDEO

LYRICS IN ITALIANO

Ritornello:

Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!

Verso 1
Hai visto che piove? Senti come viene giù!
Tu che dicevi che non pioveva più!
Che ormai non ti saresti mai più innamorata!
E adesso guardati sei tutta bagnata!
E piove! Madonna come piove
sulla tua testa e l’aria si rinfresca,
e pioverà fin quando la terra non sarà di nuovo piena
e poi si rasserena!

Ritornello

Verso 2

Senti le gocce che battono sul tetto!
Senti il rumore girandoti nel letto!
Uhm, rinascerà sta già nascendo ora!
Senti che piove e il grano si matura,
e tu diventi grande e ti fai forte,
e quelle foglie che ti sembravan morte,
uhm, ripopolano i rami un’altra volta
è la primavera che bussa alla tua porta!
E piove! Madonna come piove
prima che il sole ritorni a farci festa!
Uhm senti! Senti come piove!
Senti le gocce battere sulla tua testa!

Ritornello x  2

Verso 3

Tu che credevi che oramai le tue piantine
si eran seccate e non sarebbero cresciute più!
Hai aspettato un po’, ma senti come piove
sulla tua testa! Senti come viene giù!
Non eri tu che ormai ti eri rassegnata
e che dicevi che non ti saresti più innamorata?
La terra a volte va innaffiata con il pianto,
ma poi vedrai la pioggia tornerà!

Ritornello x 2

LYRICS IN ENLGLISH

Refrain:

It’s raining! Listen to* how it’s raining! Madonna** how it’s raining! Hear how it’s coming down!

It’s raining!

Listen to* how it’s raining! Madonna** how it’s raining! Hear how it’s coming down!

Verse 1
Have you seen that it’s raining? Listen to how it’s coming down!
You said it wouldn’t rain anymore!
That by this point you would never fall in love again!
And now look at yourself, you’re all wet!
And it’s raining! Madonna how it’s raining
on your head and the air is refreshed,
and it will rain until the earth is full again
and then it will clear up!

Refrain

Verse 2
Hear the drops that beat on the roof!
Hear the noise as you roll over in bed!
Uhm, it will be reborn, it’s being born now!
Listen as it rains and the grain matures,
and you will become great and regain your strength,
and those leaves that to you seemed dead
uhm, they will repopulate (rebloom on) the branches again
It’s Spring knocking at your door!
And it’s raining! Madonna how it will rain
Before the sun comes back to make a party for us!
Uhm listen! Hear how it’s raining!
Feel the drops beating on your head!

Refrain x 2

Verse 3
You who believed that by now your little seedlings
had dried up and would never grow again!
You waited a while, but feel how it’s raining
on your head! Listen to how it’s coming down!
Wasn’t it you who by now had resigned yourself
And who said you would never fall in love again?
The earth is sometimes watered with tears,
but then you will see the rain come back!

Refrain x 2

(*Sentire is the ‘sensory’ verb and can mean hear, feel, listen.)

(**Madonna is the Virgin Mary and is often used as an exclamation, like saying Oh my God!)

Ahh, la pioggia, a volte triste, in altri momenti romantica.  A volte nutre, ad altre destrugge. Come ti fa sentire TU la pioggia?

[Ah, the rain, sometimes sad, other times romantic. Sometimes it nourishes, and other times it destroys.  How does the rain make YOU feel?]  Comments welcome below!

Posted in Italian Music, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

La Madonnina, La Befana & Babbo Natale

~ The holy trinity of present bringers ~

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limoncello and biscotti

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     As I sit here sipping on limoncello and nibbling biscotti, I am thinking to myself that it’s time for another blog post. So why not tell you about la Madonnina, la Befana and Babbo Natale?… this time of year in Italy you’d hear quite a few people name-dropping these illustrious personages… but just who are these three characters, and what do they have to do with an Italian Christmas?

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While they certainly are not the holy trinity, we could perhaps group them together as a trinity of Christmas gift bringers — that’s at least one thing that they do all have in common.

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statue of la madonnina on milan's duomo rooftop
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     La Madonnina, meaning little Madonna, is the nickname of the Virgin Mary, especially common in Milan. La Madonnina is also the name of the golden statue of the Virgin Mary that adorns the top of Milan’s majestic Duomo cathedral, both characteristic symbols of the city.

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La Madonnina, or the Virgin Mary, has her own special national holiday — L’Immacolata Concezione (the Immacolate Conception) — on December 8th, observed throughout Italy. Though this day is not actually associated with Christmas, it ushers in the holiday season, much like Thanksgiving does in the U.S.

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la befana riding on a broomstick

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     La Befana is a character of a much less saintly appearance. A much-loved icon of Italian folklore, she is depicted as a grandmotherly figure riding a broom, wearing a shawl and covered in soot. Lore has it that la Befana zips in and out of chimneys on the eve of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) delivering little presents (candy, fruit, etc) to good children and coal to the naughty ones.

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     The advent of  Babbo Natale in Italy, known as Santa Claus in English (and translating literally to Daddy Christmas), was likely inspired by American GIs dressed up as Santa in Italy during WWII. This makes Babbo Natale a relatively new player on the Italian Christmas scene. Prior to Babbo Natale, the main bringer of presents in Italy was la Befana, and the goodies were delivered after Christmas, on January 6th*. Many older Italians in fact, only recall presents being brought on Epiphany, when they would hang up their calze (stockings) for the old lady to fill during the night.

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(Epiphany is when the three wise men are to have arrived in Bethlehem. This holiday ushers out the Christmas season in Italy.)

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italian santa claus on vespa scooter

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     Babbo Natale therefore is somewhat of an interloper… and while the tradition of la Befana is alive and well in Italy, the Babbo has certainly supplanted her in many homes, where only Babbo Natale comes on the night between the 24th and 25th. Though some lucky kids get regali (gifts) from both Santa and la Befana… kind of  the way some kids in the U.S. hang up a stocking for St. Nicholas on the 6th or 7th of December and also get presents from Santa.

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     And there you have the three Italian Christmas gift bringers: La Befana brings the sweets and the treats, Babbo Natale brings the regali, and la Madonnina brings perhaps the most important gift of all — il Gesu Bambino (the Baby Jesus).

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     Oh, and I almost forgot … another really cool thing that they all have in common is that they all have songs dedicated to them!

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Oh Mia Bella Madunina

(Video with nice pictures of Milano, subtitles in Milanese)

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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town“, Michael Bublé
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La Befana Vien di Notte is nursery rhyme Italian children  learn.

(Lyrics below.)

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La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!

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The English translation is:

The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long live the Befana!

~

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     I wasn’t able to find a video of the Befana song, but I did find this entertaining storyteller recounting the “Befana’s Italian Christmas Story,” filmed at Epcot in Disney World.

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Had you heard of la Befana before? Got any good Befana stories? Who’s più simpatico (more charming), la Befana or Babbo Natale? Love, love, love your comments!

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Buone feste e buon Natale! (Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!)

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Posted in Expressions, Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, Italian Music, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Sayings, Vocaboli Italiai | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

L’amore è nell’aria>>

Italian love phrases, proverbs & music

love is in the air -- heart-shaped hot air balloons in the sky

L'amore è nell'aria (Love is in the air)

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In onore della stagione d’amore e il giorno di San Valentino (in honor of the season of love and Valentine’s Day), dedico questa puntata del blog ad alcuni proverbi, frasi e una canzone d’amore italiani (I dedicate this blog post to a few Italian love proverbs, phrases and a song).

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To all my readers, romanticoni e non (‘big romantics’ and not), this Valentine is for you!

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Con affetto,

Jodina

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heart in cappuccino coffee

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Proverbi & Citazioni (Proverbs & Quotes)

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Listen & Practice Your Pronunciation


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  1. L’amore non conosce misura. (Love does not know measure. Similar to ‘love knows no limits.’)
  2. Il cuore è una ricchezza che non si vende e non si compra, ma si regala. (The heart is a ‘wealth’/treasure that is not sold or bought, but that is given.)
  3. Di tutte le arti maestro è l’amore. (Of all the arts, love is the master.)
  4. Amare significa correre con il cuore verso l’oggetto amato. Giovanni Paolo I (Love means to run with your heart toward the object of love.)
  5. L’amore è cieco, ma vede lontano. (Love is blind, but it sees far.)

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“L‘amore è nell’aria” (Love is in the Air) by Zucchero

I Testi (The Lyrics)

Non va’ via
Questa mia
Azzurra poesia
Non va’ via
In un mondo che non c’e’
Resta mia
Dentro giorni misteriosi…….
Non va’ via
L’amore e’ nell’aria
Sta con me
L’estate x te
Non va via
E’ l’amore che torna
In mia e tua sola compagnia!
Sta con me
Questa mia
Decente melodia
Sta con me
Dentro cattedrali di luce
Non va via
L’amore e’ nell’aria
Sta con te
Sorella d’estate
Non va’ via
E’ l’amore che torna
X me, x te, a farci compagnia!
She’s coming
She’s coming
Yeah she’s coming
Se ti ascolti capirai…che
Non va via
L’amore e’ nell’aria
Sta con me
L’estate x te
Non va’ via
E’ l’amore che torna
Non va’ + via
L’amore e’ nell’aria
X me, x te, a farci compagnia
Sta con me
Non va’ via…non va’ via!.


valentine's day card.


And now, some Frasi d’amore italiane (Italian Love phrases) you can use to woo your valentine…

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  1. • Buon San Valentino (Happy Valentine’s Day)
  2. • Ti amo. (I love you. Used only for romantic love.)
  3. • Ti adoro. (I adore you.)
  4. • Amore mio (My love, my beloved)
  5. • Tesoro mio (My treasure)
  6. • Ti voglio bene. (I love/care about you. Used for all types of relationships: family, friends, lovers.)
  7. I tuoi occhi brillano come le stelle. (Your eyes shine like stars.)
  8. • Sei bella come una rosa. (You are as beautiful as a rose.)
  9. • Per sempre (Forever)
  10. • Per sempre tua/o (Forever yours)
  11. • Sono pazza/o di te. (I’m crazy for you.)
  12. • Anima mia (My soul)
  13. • Sei incredibile. (You’re incredible.)
  14. • Sei bellissima/o. (You’re beautiful.)
  15. • Sei un dono. (You are a gift.)
  16. • Sei stupenda/o. (You’re fantastic.)

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Now that you know what to say, send an Italian card from Kisseo online Italian cards, but before you go, show me some love, and leave a comment below letting me know you liked this post.

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Grazie, siete fantastici!  Buon San Valentino!

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happy valentines day!
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Posted in Expressions, Italian Holidays, Italian Music, Italian Proverbs, Italian Vocabulary, Sayings, Uncategorized, Vocaboli Italiai | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

“PIOVE”

–Italian Music–Musica italiana


(Note: English translation follows.)

Anche stamattina è piovuto da queste parti.  In onore di tutta la pioggia inaspettata che abbiamo avuto in queste ultime due settimane (per chi non lo sa, San Diego è un semideserto) propongo la canzone “Piove” di Jovanotti.  Jovanotti, per chi non lo sapesse, è uno dei miei cantautori italiani preferiti. “Piove” è una canzone d’amore, che tratta di una persona che aveva deciso di non inamorarsi mai più ma che poi si innamora di nuovo… paragonando in questo caso l’amore alla pioggia in un posto (il cuore) dove non piove da molto tempo.

TRANSLATION

[Again today it rained in this area.  In honor of all the unexpected rain that we’ve had in these last two weeks (for anyone who doesn’t know, San Diego is semi-desert), I propose the song “Piove”, or Rain, by Jovanotti.  Jovanotti (aka Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini) for anyone who didn’t know, is one of my favorite Italian singer-songwriters. “Piove” is a love song about a person who’d decided never to fall in love again, but then does fall in love again… comparing in this case love with rain in a place (the heart) where it hasn’t rained for a long time.]

For Rainy Day words (Parole Piovose) see the earlier blog post.


SONG VIDEO

LYRICS IN ITALIANO

Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Hai visto che piove? Senti come viene giù!
Tu che dicevi che non pioveva più!
Che ormai non ti saresti mai più innamorata!
E adesso guardati sei tutta bagnata!
E piove! Madonna come piove
sulla tua testa e l’aria si rinfresca,
e pioverà fin quando la terra non sarà di nuovo piena
e poi si rasserena!

Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Senti le gocce che battono sul tetto!
Senti il rumore girandoti nel letto!
Uhm, rinascerà sta già nascendo ora!
Senti che piove e il grano si matura,
e tu diventi grande e ti fai forte,
e quelle foglie che ti sembravan morte,
uhm, ripopolano i rami un’altra volta
è la primavera che bussa alla tua porta!
E piove! Madonna come piove
prima che il sole ritorni a farci festa!
Uhm senti! Senti come piove!
Senti le gocce battere sulla tua testa!

Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!

Tu che credevi che oramai le tue piantine
si eran seccate e non sarebbero cresciute più!
Hai aspettato un po’, ma senti come piove
sulla tua testa! Senti come viene giù!
Non eri tu che ormai ti eri rassegnata
e che dicevi che non ti saresti più innamorata?
La terra a volte va innaffiata con il pianto,
ma poi vedrai la pioggia tornerà!

Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!
Piove! Senti come piove! Madonna come piove! Senti come viene giù!

LYRICS IN ENLGLISH

It’s raining! Feel* how it rains! Madonna** how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
Have you seen that it’s raining? Feel how it’s coming down!
You said it didn’t/wouldn’t rain anymore!
That by now you would never fall in love again!
And now look at yourself, you’re all wet!
And it’s rains! Madonna how it’s raining
on your head and the air is refreshed,
and it will rain until the earth is full again
and then it will clear up!

It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
Hear the drops that beat on the roof!
Hear the noise as you turn/roll around in bed!
Uhm, it will be reborn, it’s being born now!
Hear as it rains and the grain matures,
and you become big and it makes you strong,
and those leaves that to you seemed dead
uhm, they repopulate the branches another time
And Spring is knocking at your door!
And it’s raining! Madonna how it rains!
Before the sun comes back lets have a party!
Uhm listen! Hear how it rains!
Feel the beat drops on your head!

It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
You who believed that by now your little seedlings
had dried up and would never grow again!
You waited a while, but feel how it’s raining
on your head! Feel how it’s coming down!
Wasn’t it you who had by now resigned yourself
And who said you would never fall in love again?
The earth is sometimes watered with tears,
but then you will see the rain come back!

It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!
It’s raining! Feel how it rains! Madonna how it rains! Feel how it’s coming down!

(*Sentire can mean hear, feel, listen)

(**Madonna is the Virgin Mary. It’s often used as an exclamation, like saying My God/my gosh/my goodness!)

Ahh, la pioggia, a volte triste, in altri momenti romantica.  A volte nutre, ad altre destrugge. Come ti fa sentire TU la pioggia?

[Ah, the rain, sometimes sad, other times romantic. Sometimes it nourishes, and other times it destroys.  How does the rain make YOU feel?]  Comments welcome below!

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Italian Music:

Musica del mercoledì:

“Santa Lucia”

Since this week started out with la Festa di San Gennaro (The Feast & Celebration of Saint Gennaro), patron saint of Napoli aka Naples, what better song for this installment of Musica del Mercoledì (Music Wednesday) than the traditional canzone napoletana (Neapolitan song) “Santa Lucia.”

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Borgo Santo Lucia, Baia di Napoli, in earlier days

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Dating back to 1849 and originally titled “Barcarolla,” the song became “Santa Lucia” when it was the first Neapolitan song to be translated into Italian during  il Risorgimento (the political and social movement that gathered different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy).

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Santa Lucia Naples Italy

Borgo Santo Lucia, Baia di Napoli, today

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The lyrics of “Santa Lucia,” which celebrate Borgo Santa Lucia, the picturesque waterfront district in the Bay of Naples, are the invitation of a boatman to take a turn in his boat, to better enjoy the cool of the evening.

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“Santa Lucia” has been covered by many artists over the years, but the 1916 recording  by Enrico Caruso, the great Neapolitan opera singer, is by many considered the definitive 20th century recording of the song. Other singers who’ve lent their voci (voices) to “Santa Lucia” include, Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, and even Elvis!

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Digitally remastered Enrico Caruso recording from 1916. Video also features remastered historical film clips of Caruso.

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Elvis sings “Santa Lucia.”  Video features scenes of beautiful Borgo Santa Lucia.

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Luciano Pavarrotti sings Santa Lucia.

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How about you?

Do you have a favorite canzone napoletana? Which of these three versions of “Santa Lucia” do you like best? Is there another one you like more?

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I’d love to hear from you — leave a comment below!

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More info on Santa Lucia here.

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Italian Music: Concerto di Jovanotti: Una tribu’ che balla

Jovanotti — che e’ uno dei miei cantautori italiani preferiti  — e’ stato recentemente a San Francisco  ed ho avuto la buonissima fortuna di essere tra le migliaia di persone che c’erano al concerto. (Jovanotti, one of my favorite Italian singer-songwriters, was recently in San Francisco and I had the very good fortune to be among the thousands of people at the concert.) Era una bellissima domenica, con i tifosi di Jovanotti faccendo dei picnic sotto agli alberi e ballando (una tribu’ che balla) a cielo aperto nello spettacolare parco di Stern Grove. (It was a beautiful Sunday, with Jovanotti fans picnicking under the trees and dancing under the open sky.)

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~Jovanotti @ Stern Grove in San Francisco~

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Di sicuro quello che per me ha reso il concerto ancora piu’ speciale e memorabile era la possibilita’ di conoscere di piu’ Jovanotti sia come artista che persona durante un’intervista tenuta prima del concerto in un ambiente intimo con solamente una centina di persone presente. Dopo sono riuscita anche a parlargli di persona ed anche a fare una fotografia insieme a lui. Ho potuto communicare a Jovanotti non solo quanto mi piace la sua musica ma anche il fatto che la utilizzo nelle mie classi d’italiano. (Surely what for me made the concert even more special and memorable was the possibility to get to know Jovanotti more, as an artist and a person, during an interview held before the concert in an intimate setting with only about a hundred people present. After this I also managed to talk to him in person and to have my picture taken with him. I was able to communicate to Jovanotti not only how much I like his music but also the fact that I use it in my Italian classes.)

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~Jodina, Jovanotti, Maria(una mia amica di cuore)~

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Jovanotti aka Lorenzo Cherubini categorizes himself as an Italian funk rap artist. But before you get turned off by the term rap, know that outside of the U.S. most rap is NOT preoccupied with a gangster lifestyle and peppered with obscenities. Rather it usually tends toward melodic, upbeat, and danceable. His music can also be categorized as ‘world beat’ – foreign language music with a groove. Jovanotti, who has been performing now for over a decade, started as a pop rapper and DJ and has matured over the years from more simple danceable themes to an artist whose clever and well-turned lyrics have deeper meaning and a universal human appeal. He delivers his lyrics in a half-sung, half-spoken style reminiscent of a downtown beat poet with catchy, melodic beats accessible to an international audience.

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This is not Jovanotti’s first visit to the US – he spent the summer of 2009 in the village in New York City and had a string of sold-out tours on the East Coast. The summer 2010 concerts mark his first performances on the West Coast. The artist has spent more than a decade collaborating with internationally acclaimed musicians from around the globe, including Bono, Michael Franti, Sergio Mendes, Ben Harper, and The Beastie Boys.

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Video/Song: “Una tribu’che balla” (“A Tribe That Dances)

Gist of song: We are all one tribe regardless of differences.

Each is unique but all can dance together to the music.

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Jovanotti lives in Cortona with his wife and daughter Teresa, to whom the song Per Te is dedicated.  Cortona is the same town where Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun lives – her house is in fact just around the corner, and the two are good neighbors.

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E’ veramente un mondo piccolo. (It is truly a small world.) And speaking of neighbors and small worlds, another perk to this wonderful day was meeting up with fellow Italian blogger and Facebook friend in person, Melissa Muldoon. Check out her delightful blog at Diario di una Studentessa Matta.

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~Jodina & Melissa aka 'una studentessa matta'~

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And then, when I thought it couldn’t get any better, by chance, I ran right into dear old friends Bunny and Wolfgang from my days back in the Bay Area. Turns out they’d been a stone’s throw the entire concert and were only in town briefly visiting from Germany (!), where they now live – what are the odds?  Truly, I think, we are all part of una tribu’ che balla, e la vita e’ bella.

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~Bunny, Wolfgang, Jodina~

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For more pictures of the concert, visit my Italiano With Jodina Facebook Page.

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