Italian Language Blog

Archive for February, 2011

I Promessi Sposi Posted by on Feb 28, 2011

This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, and as part of these celebrations I recently went to the Teatro della Rosa here in Pontremoli to watch "I Promessi Sposi alla Prova", a play based on the famous Italian novel "I Promessi Sposi" (‘The Betrothed’). There are several reasons why…

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La famiglia ‘Acqua’ Posted by on Feb 26, 2011

The group of letters ‘-cqu-‘ are used by many words in Italian, the majority of which belong to the ‘acqua’ family. Here is a list of the most common: Acqua Water l’acquaio the kitchen sink, more commonly known as il lavello l’acquedotto the aqueduct acquatico aquatic, e.g. pianta acquatica (aquatic plant) l’acquolina only used in…

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101 uses for an orange! Posted by on Feb 24, 2011

In my last blog I mentioned that I recently bought a twenty six kilo crate of arance rosse di Sicilia (Sicilian red oranges). Even after I had made ten jars of marmalade, I still had una marea di arance (a mass of oranges, literally ‘a tide of oranges’) to dispose of. So I decided to…

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L’Arancia Rossa di Sicilia Posted by on Feb 20, 2011

My husband Geoff is mad at me at the moment simply because I ordered a box of oranges! Well, I must admit that I went slightly over the top. It’s a twenty six kilo crate that, luckily, I’m sharing with my friend Annalisa. So, yes, we have oranges everywhere, both in the kitchen and the…

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Mimì La Gatta – La Mia Storia – Part 4 Posted by on Feb 17, 2011

Sono trascorsi tre giorni e tre notti. Il passare del tempo ha un ritmo calmante. Gli uccelli si svegliano con l’alba e cominciano subito i loro canti di benvenuto al sole. Sento lo strascicare di zoccoli mentre le mucche escono dalla stalla per tornare ai loro pascoli. Si muovono al rallentatore, perch√© affrettarsi quando c’√®…

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San Valentino Posted by on Feb 14, 2011

Today is the 14th of February and, as in many other countries, here in Italy we celebrate San Valentino, protettore degli innamorati (Saint Valentine’s Day – St. Valentine is the patron Saint of those in love). But who exactly was San Valentino, and why is his name so indelibly linked to those in love? San…

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Grazie – Prego Posted by on Feb 11, 2011

Grazie: Thank you. This, along with the corresponding reply ‘prego’, is one of the first words learnt by students of Italian. Let’s take a closer look at these words and some of the many colloquial variations that you will hear: Grazie, plural of grazia, meaning ‘essere riconoscente’ (to be grateful), comes from the verb ringraziare…

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