Alla Ricerca Della Freschezza – Part 1 Posted by Geoff on Aug 6, 2018 in Vocabulary
In autumn, winter, or spring I’m always pleased to see him …
But now, in August, when he creeps round onto my patio, I don’t want him there. I wish he’d leave me in peace, and I retreat indoors to close him out.
‘He’ (‘Lui‘) is the sun (il sole), and right now he’s not my friend.
Of course, everything is either a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ in Italian, it’s a quality that renders Latin languages both poetic and infuriatingly complex for English speakers.
Often, the given gender of objects makes no sense to us. Other times, you can’t imagine it being any other way: la luna (the moon), and le stelle (the stars) are feminine, whereas il sole (the sun) is masculine.
As with every occasion, we have a specific vocabulary for this relentless blinding heat:
che caldo! = it’s so hot (literally: what heat!) or che caldo che fa! (literally: what heat it makes!)
non sopporto più questo caldo! = I can’t stand this heat anymore!
che caldo, non ce la faccio più! = it’s so hot, I can’t stand it anymore!
che afa! = it’s so stuffy! (literally: what stuffiness!)
non sopporto quest’afa! = I can’t stand this stuffiness!
scotta il sole! = the sun is burning hot! or come scotta il sole! = how hot the sun is!
picchia il sole! = the sun beats/hits you! or come picchia il sole! = how the sun beats/hits you!
oggi c’è un caldo da morire! = today it’s hot enough to make you die
questo caldo mi uccide! = this heat is killing me!
cavolo, sudo come una bestia! = cabbage (euphemism for cazzo) I’m sweating like a beast!
What we do when the heat gets unbearable (quando non ce la facciamo più):
teniamo aperte tutte le finestre di notte = we keep all the windows open at night
ci alziamo alla mattina presto = we get up early in the morning
di giorno chiudiamo le persiane = we close the shutters during the day
teniamo una bottiglia di acqua freschissima in frigo = we keep a bottle of very cool water in the fridge
accendiamo il ventilatore = we turn the fan on
cerchiamo di parcheggiare sempre la macchina all’ombra = we always try to park the car in the shade
andiamo alla gelateria a prendere un buon gelato = we go to the ice cream parlour for a nice ice cream
… e sudiamo come bestie! = … and sweat like beasts!
Or … we drive up over the mountain pass behind our village and head for Lago Santo, a beautiful mountain lake at 1,507 metres above sea level in the Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco-Emiliano.
I’ll take you there in part 2.
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