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Archive for April, 2014

A Brief History of the Italian Railways Posted by on Apr 29, 2014

There are many ways to explore the beauties of the Italian landscape, but surely one of the most romantic and evocative must be by steam train. Treno Natura, a romantic journey through the heart of Tuscany by steam train I’ve just read a brief history of the Italian railways, which I raced through in un…

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Grammar and Vocabulary – Brain Fritters Posted by on Apr 28, 2014

As promised, here is the grammar and vocabulary analysis of last week’s (disgusting) Brain Fritters post. Quando ero bambina non ero vegetariana, tutt’altro ed anzi la carne mi piaceva molto, con l’eccezione del pollo, che detestavo perché lo trovavo troppo stopposo. A casa mia non mangiavamo solo fettine di filetto e bistecche, ma tutto quanto…

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Brain Fritters Posted by on Apr 25, 2014

In my last blog I mentioned my mother’s famous fried brains recipe. Well today, not only am I going to share her culinary secrets but I’m also going to really fry your brains by writing in Italian … without an English translation. If you find yourself struggling, or I use vocabulary and grammatical constructions that…

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Fried Brains – How to use Italian Reflexive Verbs in the Past Tense Posted by on Apr 24, 2014

Knowing how to use double pronouns in Italian is a task that makes you suffer from cervelli fritti (fried brains), as one of our readers so nicely put it. Therefore, it’s important to keep revisiting the topic. Suppose you wanted to reply to the question: “Ti sei ricordato di comperare il pane?” (‘Did you remember…

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Dave the Sniper Posted by on Apr 22, 2014

It’s not the first time that a great work of art has been used, or abused, in order to sell a product, but the transformation of Michelangelo’s celebrated sculpture of David into a gun toting sniper seems to be ruffling a lot of feathers … Left: Michelangelo’s celebrated sculpture of David. Right: ArmaLite’s version. Is…

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Tears of the Virgin Mary Posted by on Apr 18, 2014

Pianto della Madonna (Tears of the Virgin Mary) is a dramatic poem written by the Umbrian poet Jacopone da Todi (1236-1306). The poem narrates Jesus’ Passion using the dramatic form of a dialogue between four characters: il nunzio (the herald), la Madonna (the Virgin Mary), il popolo ebraico (the Jewish people), and Gesù (Jesus). Pianto…

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The Italian Tattoo Tax Posted by on Apr 16, 2014

Not long ago, in my blog The Pursuit of Happiness – Part 1., I wrote: “I’m not generally a big tattoo fan”. Well according to an article in the Giornale del Corriere it seems that I’m not the only one: Scade il 30 Giugno il pagamento dell’ISE (Imposta Sanitaria Estetica), al quale si dovranno adeguare…

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