Tag Archives: italiano with jodina

Verona is for lovers… and graffiti artists + Valentine’s Love Phrases

Il balcone at Juliet’s House

A little while back, I had the chance to spend a little time in Verona, and of course one of the places I visited was the famed Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House). Though it’s not really her house, nor is there any proof that she ever existed outside the Bard’s play, it has become a pilgrimage for innamorati (lovers) and others who want to witness this fictional place and perhaps leave their mark as an ommaggio (homage) to love…

It’s pretty straightforward, and yet…

And there’s where it gets tricky – what some consider an amorous declaration others deem defacement of public property. If you’ve ever been to la Casa di Giulietta, you’ve probably seen what I mean. Despite visibly posted signs citing ordinances prohibiting attaching love letters or notes and writing on surfaces, at the penalty of steep fines and even possible jail time, the practice persists mostly unfettered.

Iron gates laden with lovers’ padlocks

Chewing gum, post-its, love letters and graffiti declaring love (and sometimes less noble slogans) adorn the entryway of the portico, walls and other surfaces in the courtyard; and padlocks hang from the iron gates. And though technically it’s not allowed and is frowned upon by many as a lack of decent manners and decorum, people, especially Italian high-schoolers on field trips,

More room at the top…

continue leaving their mark in broad daylight.

In relatively recent years these surfaces have been subject to major clean-up campaigns at least twice (2008, 2012), with new fines, and the police of Verona put on alert. But it seems they can’t stop love – in just a matter of time, love birds/graffiti artists/wall defacers win out, and the surroundings return to their previously graffiti-ized state. Apparently after the most recent scrubbing, temporary wall overlays were put up to protect some of the original surfaces – knowing that visitors would continue leaving their mark.

Graffiti overload

Trees + bricks + love notes gone wild

School kids congregate at the entrance

While I don’t condone the graffiti-ing of this location, I do find it fascinating that a place associated with a fictional story of star-crossed lovers holds such a powerful attraction for the collective imagination. La Casa di Giulietta seems to have become a sort of a participatory public art installation. Visitors are driven by the desire to bring good luck in love by leaving a note or rubbing the statue of Juliet. Maybe that’s why the police and even the shopkeepers [whose sales must no doubt benefit from these visitors] seem to tolerate the spectacle…  Maybe the true story is in people’s imaginations, and perhaps it’s true, perhaps you simply can’t fight love… or high-schoolers hyped up on hormones, gone wild with gum and sharpies…

This club receives letters from lovebirds wanting advice

Want to write or whisper some sweet nothings to your beloved this Valentine’s Day? Here are a few that will warm their heart…

  • Caro/a: Dear or darling
  • Tesoro: Treasure, sweetie
  • Amore, amore mio: Love, my love
  • Ti amo: I love you (for romantic loves)
  • Ti voglio bene: I care about you, I love you (for anyone)
  • Sei nel mio cuore: You are in my heart
  • Per sempre: Forever
  • Baci e abbracci: Kisses and hugs
  • Buon San Valentino! : Happy Valentine’s Day!

What do you think of all the love notes from visitors to la Casa di Giulietta? Should authorities crack down on love birds who leave their mark? What can or should be done? If you could, would you leave a love letter or declaration at Juliet’s House?

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, learn italian | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Buoni propositi per l’anno nuovo | New Year’s Resolutions

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

È giunto quel momento: un nuovo anno luccicante è iniziato! Un anno pieno di possibilità e buoni propositi, cioè tutti quegli atti e nobili intenzioni che vorremmo riuscire a mettere in pratica nei prossimi dodici mesi.

That moment has arrived: a shiny new year has begun! A year full of possibilities and resolutions, that is to say, all those actions and noble intentions  that we’d like to be able to put into practice in the next twelve months.

Ecco i miei, o perlomeno tre dei miei più importanti obiettivi:

Here are mine, or at least three of my most important goals:

– Rimettermi in forma… visto che l’anno scorso ho messo su peso e non mi vanno più i ginnasticajeans… uffa! Mi sono già iscritta ad un intenso programma di ginnastica.

– Get back in shape… seeing that last year I put on weight and can no longer get into my jeans… darn it! I have already signed up for an intensive exercise program.

– Imparare a gestire e investire intelligentemente i soldi… visto che ormai sono diventata responsabile con le finanze, è giunto il momento di procedere al prossimo traguardoinvestire soldi… Sono brava con le parole, ora voglio migliorare le capacità finanziarie.

– Learn to intelligently manage and invest money… seeing that by now I have become responsible with my finances, the moment has arrived to move to the next milestone… I’m good with words; now I want to improve my financial skills.

– Imparare a cantare e a usare bene la voce. È sempre stato il mio sogno poter cantar bene, o almeno decentemente (possibilmente evitando che i cani abbaino mentre intono una canzone). In più, visto che parlo per mestiere, apprendere l’uso corretto Jodina singing at Cicciotti's-editeddell’apparato vocale-respiratorio penso sia un buon investimento nella mia vita professionale.

– Learn to sing and use my voice well. It has always been my dream to be able to sing well, or at least decently (possibly avoiding that dogs howl when I sing a song). Moreover, seeing that I speak for a living, I believe that learning to correctly use my vocal-respiratory apparatus is a good investment in my professional life.

Questi sono i miei propositi per il 2015. Le aspirazioni e i sogni che punto a realizzare. Dichiararli agli altri è sempre difficile, ma fondamentale. Per questo vi chiedo di condividere anche i vostri. Che cosa farete nel nuovo anno? Come investirete il vostro tempo? Per quali obiettivi lotterete?

These are my resolutions for 2015. Aspirations and dreams that I aim to realize. Declaring them to others is always difficult but essential. For this reason, I’m asking you to share yours, too. What will you do in the new year? How will you invest your time? What goals will you strive for?

Auguro a tutti un anno  felice e pieno di creatività!

I wish everyone a happy new year full of creativity!

Posted in Italian Customs, Italian Holidays, learn italian, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Fave 3 Friday: Handling the Holidays – Calma, sangue freddo e un respiro profondo | Calm, cool and a deep breath

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

Le feste invernali sono alle porte e per molti di noi, il Natale può essere una ricorrenza tanto bella quanto stressante. Forse per l’ansia di trovare il regalo perfetto, partecipare a cene e ricevimenti, o per alcuni, sentire la mancanza di familiari lontani o assenti. Quello che ci serve è una boccata di aria fresca, con lo sfondo romantico della Costiera Amalfitana. Ecco tre immagini catturate la scorsa primavera che vi voglio regalare…

The winter holidays are upon us (literally, “at the doors”), and for many of us, Christmas can be an event that is as stressful as it is beautiful. Perhaps it’s the anxiety of finding the perfect gift, attending dinners and parties, or for some, feeling the absence of family who are far away or have passed. What we need is a breath of fresh air, with the romantic Amalfi Coastline as a backdrop. Here are three images captured last spring that I want to give you as a gift…

Sogno o realtà? Sulla strada per Ravello percorrendo la Costiera Amalfitana… / Dream or reality? On the road to Ravello traveling the Amalfi coastline.

Sogno o realtà? Sulla strada per Ravello percorrendo la Costiera Amalfitana…  |  Dream or reality? On the road to Ravello traveling the Amalfi Coastline…

VillaRuffolo + Sea.WM

Golfo di Salerno visto dai giardini di Villa Rufolo a Ravello.  |  The Gulf of Salerno seen from the gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello.


Cartolina da Positano: l’incantevole paese della Campania, con le sue case color pastello costruite direttamente sul precipizio.  |  Postcard from Positano: The enchanting town of Campania (region) with its pastel colored houses built right into the cliff.

Sono sicura che ora va meglio. A volte basta poco per rilassarsi e gestire lo stress. Voi come ci riuscite? E cosa fate per ritrovare il vostro equilibrio?

I’m sure that now you’re feeling better (lit. “it’s going better”). Sometimes it takes very little to relax and handle stress. How do you manage it? What do you do to regain your balance?

Auguri di stagione!  |  Seasons greetings!


[Grazie al mio collaboratore speciale, Lobsang Burzacchini]

Posted in Fave 3 blog posts, Italian Holidays, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Photo Foto Blog, travel with jodina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Guest Blog: Una studentessa a Firenze

A Student in Florence

     Una delle mie studentesse (one of my students), la simpaticissima Lisa DeLucchi, is living her sogno (dream) by spending sette settimane (seven weeks) a Firenze (in Florence), where she has affittato un’appartamento (rented an apartment) and si è iscritta (she has enrolled) a una scuola di lingua italiana (in an Italian language school).


     I’m pretty certain Lisa’s adventure is a dream shared by many of my students and readers. Che bello allora (how nice then) that Lisa has graciously agreed to share her experiences in a series of guest blogs that I will be featuring here on my website, completo con delle fotografie (complete with photos).


     Ecco il suo primo blog (here is her first blog post).  Auguri e grazie a Lisa! (Good wishes and thanks to Lisa!)  E a voi, buona lettura. (And to “y’all”, happy reading.)


Lisa's street in Florence, Italy - Firenze, Italia
Lisa’s street in Florence, Italy – Firenze, Italia


My dream journey has officially begun!  After a 13-hour flight from LA to Rome, a 5-hour layover to take a 20-minute flight to Florence and a wild taxi ride from the Vespucci airport to my apartment by a crotch-rearranging driver, I am safely nestled in my abode :). I am both  cross-eyed with exhaustion and wide-eyed with excitement.


My 3rd-story (4th in the US)  apartment is superbly located between the Duomo and Piazza Della Signoria, smack dab in the center of Firenze. It is within walking distance of every amazing sight this gorgeous city has to offer.  My first short stroll was to none other than the wine shop!  The owner was so friendly and we enjoyed a cheery conversation. I naturally left with 2 bottles of vino and some delectable snacks to enjoy while imbibing my first official “bicchiere di vino” in Italy!

I can already tell that I am most definitely an Italian by nature as well as by heritage.  I feel alive here with all of the bustling city noises and rather loud voices resonating up through my open windows.  Life really is more beautiful in Italia!


Good night and good-bye from Firenze!


Ecco some Italian vocabulary drawn from Lisa’s blog post:

  1. a 13-hour flight: un volo di tredici ore
  2. a 5-hour layover: uno scalo di cinque ore
  3. exhausted, dead tired: esausto(a), stanco(a) morto(a)
  4. excitement,  excited: emozione, emozionato(a)
  5. to take a stroll: fare una passeggiata, fare due passi
  6. a wine shop: un’enoteca
  7. a snack: una merenda, uno spuntino, un boccone
  8. a glass of wine: un bicchiere di vino


Do you dream of an adventure like Lisa’s? We welcome your comments below!


Posted in Expressions, Guest Blog, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian, Vocaboli Italiai | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments