Five Special Wineries from “Timeless Italy”

Mastroberadino wines in Campania Italy

Among my very favorite things to do while in bella Italia is to visit the wineries. As one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, some of the very best come from Italy. Italy supplies nearly one-third of the global wine production. In fact, Italy is now the world’s largest wine producer by volume, closely followed by France. […]

via My 5 Favorite Italian Wineries — Timeless Italy

Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! What I Saw…

Burano in Venice, Italy
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post is the fourth in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Another of our “commonly used phrases,” that will help us talk more easily is
 “What I saw…”
leading into “I saw him,” “I saw her,” or “I saw it.”

 See below for how this works.

As we all master these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook and reference book Just the Grammar on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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What I Saw…

in Italian

The past tense for “I saw,” a one-time event, uses the passato prossimo past tense form, which is “ho visto.” This Italian past tense verb also translates into the less commonly used English form “I have seen.”  

Because the phrase “I saw” is frequently used in everyday conversation, we should commit the Italian verb “ho visto” to memory. We can then “build” on this simple, easy-to-remember verb to help us remember other more complex phrases.

A very common question/answer situation arises around “whom” we “have seen.” How many times in a family situation does one ask, Did you see/Have you seen…?” The subject in the question is now the familiar “you,” so the Italian phrase will change to “Hai visto…?”

Ho visto… I saw/I have seen…
Hai visto…? Did you see/Have you seen…?

The simple answer to the question “Did you see Peter?” is, of course, “I saw Peter.” But in conversation, we don’t like to repeat the same word over and over again. To make our conversation more interesting and flow more smoothly, we would more likely respond “I saw him” instead. We could also ask, “Did you see the movie?” and answer, “Yes, I saw it.”

In Italian, “lo” is the word for him or masculine it, and “la” is the word for her or feminine it. These direct object pronouns are placed before the verb in Italian, instead of after the verb, as we do in English, to make the sentences, “I saw him,” “I saw her,” or “I saw it.”

 

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Grammar alert!*

(If you don’t like grammar rules, just skip to the end of the blog post, where we will summarize the important phrases to remember.)

To follow, I will show how to combine the Italian past tense verbs using avere with a direct object pronoun when we are talking about other people. There are three rules of grammar to follow that I have listed here from our Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Grammar book.

(1) The direct object pronoun is placed before the passato prossimo compound verb.
(2) The third person singular direct object pronouns (lo and la)
usually drop their vowel before the letter h in conversation.
(3) The last vowel of the past participle must agree in gender and number
with the object that it refers to when using the third person singular and plural.

 

So to ask and answer the question, “Have you seen Peter?” “Yes, I’ve seen him,” just follow rules (1) and (2) below.

Hai visto Pietro?   Have (you) seen Peter?
Lo ho visto. Rule (1) I saw him.
Lho visto. Rule (2) I saw him.

 

So far, so good. The words “L’ho” flow easily together and are spoken as one word, short and sweet. However, if we were looking for Caterina, we would need to also change the ending of the past participle of the verb to agree with the feminine direct object pronoun ending, which we have just dropped! So our phrase would instead be “L’ho vista” for “I saw her.” We have to follow rules (1), (2), and (3) to make one short sentence!

Hai visto Caterina?   Have (you) seen Kathy?
La ho vista. Rules (1) and (3) I saw her.
Lho vista. Rule (2) I saw her.

 

And, finally, for the plural forms, when referring to two males or a male and a female, we need to use the direct object li and the letter i for the past participle. If we should see two females, we would use the direct object le and the letter e for the past participle. These examples below follow rules (1) and (3).

Hai visto Pietro e Michele?   Have (you) seen Peter and Michael?
Li ho visti. Rules (1) and (3) I saw them.

 

Hai visto Caterina e Francesca?   Have you seen Kathy and Frances?
Le ho viste. Rules (1) and (3) I saw them.

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Not a fan of grammar?

You don’t have to be! Let’s summarize the phrases used most often to describe what I saw.

Ho visto… I saw/I have seen…  
Hai visto…? Did you see/Have you seen…?  
     
L’ho visto. I saw him. I saw it.
L’ha vista. I saw her. I saw it.
Li ho visti. I saw them. (all male or male+female group)  
Le ho viste. I saw them. (all female group)  

 

Remember these phrases, and I guarantee you will use them every day!

 

*For those who like grammar, this passato prossimo verb is derived from
 avere (to have) + the past participle of the action verb vedere (to see).

Learn Italian and Describe Your Needs!

Italian town of Stresa on Lago Maggiore, Italy

In the last few weeks in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been practicing how to use the phrase “Ho bisogno di,” which means “I need…” in Italian. This phrase is very useful in some situations, but in others, it is necessary to use the word “voglio” instead to express the same meaning.

Special thanks to Facebook group members Grace, Sandro, Rita, and Andu for providing some excellent examples and for reminding me that the phrase “Mi serve…” also means “I need…” This last phrase is very often used in Italy, and I have just heard this phrase twice on the latest Detective Montalbano episode I watched.

It is amazing how easy it is to hear phrases in Italian during normal conversation once we know them! Try it yourself and see how often you can hear these common phrases in Italian movies, TV series, or RAI.

Read on below from this excerpt published on July 17, 2016, on the LearnTravelItalian.com blog to find out how to talk about what you need in Italian! Read the entire post for more on the subjunctive mode. Listen for the examples and try some from our group. Join our group if you like at Conversational Italian!

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How to Use the Phrase “Avere bisogno di…” in Italian

Before we go on to discuss more complex uses of the phrases in the table below, here are a few words about the very popular phrase “ho bisogno di…,” which means “I need…” Any student of Italian no doubt has come across this phrase many times in general conversation and has needed to use it themselves to express what they want.

While I was learning how to use the subjunctive mode properly, I took the opportunity to learn how to use “ho bisogno di” properly as well. After many question-and-answer sessions with native Italian speakers, here is what I’ve found out about the different uses of this phrase in English and Italian.

First, use of the phrase “ho bisogno di” is limited to describing a need one has for a person, a thing, something, or a physical need. Remember to conjugate the verb avere used in this phrase (“ho” is the io form of avere) if someone else besides you needs something, of course! Leave out the word “di,” which means “of” in this phrase if it is used at the end of the sentence.

The phrases “Mi serve…” and “Mi servono…” can also mean, “I need…” and are often used in the negative sense. (This verb conjugates similar to piacere – see below.)

If a person needs to do something, but it is also necessary that he does it—if he has to do it—then the verb dovere is used. See some examples in the table below:

avere bisogno di… to have need of…  
   
…a person Ho bisogno di… te.
   
…a thing/ something Ho bisogno di… una macchina nuova.
  Ho bisogno di… prendere una vacanza.
   
…a physical need Ho bisogno di… riposare.
   
Mi serve…

Mi servono….

I need… Mi serve 1 millione di euro.

Mi servono tante cose.

   
   
dovere for what you have to do

(and need to do)

Devo cucinare il pranzo ogni sera.

 

When we come to more complex sentences and now must express what the subject would like another person to do, the phrase “ho bisogno di” is not used. In other words, if I want someone to do something, I must use the verb voglio with the subjunctive, as in “Voglio che tu…”  This was an important point for me to learn, because in English I am constantly asking my children or family to do things by saying, “I need you to…”

For instance, take the sentence “I need you to take care of the cats when I am on vacation.” I am not sure if the phrase “I need you to…” is used commonly in other parts of the America, but it has become habitually used in the Northeast and Midwest. The Italian translation would be “Voglio che tu ti prenda cura dei gatti quando io sono in vacanza.” So to use the phrase “ho bisogno di,” we must really learn how to think in Italian!

Enjoy some more examples for how to use our phrases to express a need or want in Italian, and then create your own!

 

Ho bisogno di un grande abbraccio! I need a big hug!
Abbracci e baci sono due cose che ho bisogno! Hugs and kisses are two things that I need!
Non mi serve niente. I don’t need anything.
Non mi serve nient’altro. I don’t need anything else.
Mi serve di più caffè. I need more coffee.
Devo andare al mercato. I need to/have to go to the (outdoor) market.

Non abbiamo  bisogno di giorni migliori,

ma di persone che rendono migliori i nostri giorni!

We don’t need to have better days; instead, we need people who make our days better!

Italian Past Tense Verbs to Use EVERY Day! (Part 3)

Burano in Venice, Italy
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post is the third in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Our third blog post in this series on “commonly used phrases” will help us talk more easily and will build on the phrase structure used at the conclusion of our first two blog posts.

“Mi ha…” meaning “He/she… to me.”
What other past tense verbs can we use in this way every day?

As we all master these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, Just the Important Phrases, on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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 What he/she… (to) me

in Italian

As usual, let’s start with a recap of our previous blog posts:

The past tense for “I said,” a one-time event, uses the passato prossimo past tense form, which is “ho detto.” This Italian past tense verb also translates into the less commonly used English form “I have said.”  

Using this past tense verb, the phrase I use most often regarding what someone said to someone else is:

Mi ha detto… He said to me…/He told me
  She said to me…/She told me
  You (polite) said to me…/You told me

Memorize this first phrase, “mi ha detto,” then substitute a different past tense verb, as we did in our second blog post, with “mi ha chiesto.”  

The phrase I use most often regarding what someone asked of someone else is:

Mi ha chiesto… He asked (to) me…
  She asked (to) me…
  You (polite) asked (to) me…

For this third blog post, we will substitute even more Italian past tense verbs into the original phrase.

Soon all of these phrases will just roll off your tongue! See the tables below for how this works, and try to think of some phrases of your own!

Mi ha chiamato He/She/You (polite) called me
Mi ha telefonato He/She/You (polite) called me on the telephone
Mi ha spiegato He/She/You (polite) explained to me
Mi ha informato di He/She/You (polite) informed/updated/told me
Mi ha portato He/She/You (polite) took me
Mi ha invitato He/She/You (polite) invited me

 

Mi ha disturbato He/She/You/(polite) bothered me
Mi ha seccato He/She/You/(polite) annoyed me
Mi ha mentito He/She/You (polite) lied to me
Mi ha giurato He/She/You (polite) vowed to me
Mi ha promesso He/She/You (polite) promised me

 

Mi ha fatto contento(a)

(Mi ha fatto piacere.)

He/She/You(polite)/It made me happy

(I was pleased/happy.)

Mi ha fatto triste He/She/You (polite)/It made me sad
Mi ha fatto ridere He/She/You (polite)/It made me laugh
Mi ha fatto sorridere He/She/You (polite)/It made me smile

 

Finally, below are two important sentences to use when leaving someone’s company.

Mi ha fatto piacere vederti. It was nice to see you.
Mi ha fatto piacere sentirti. It was nice to hear from you.

 

Italian Terms of Endearment

Italian Terms of Endearment
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

According to one legend, St. Valentine’s Day started after the Italian saint of the same name left a note to his beloved. The note was written from prison just before he died, and it is not known if she ever received this note or even knew of his love. Such is the stuff of legends! But the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world today is truly an American invention.  

In our Conversational Italian! group on Facebook, we took this opportunity to discover the ways Italians tell their romantic love that they really care. I have copied over some tried and true phrases and pet names and even learned a few new ones myself! Special thanks to my Italian friend Atanasio in this group for keeping me current on this important topic!

 

How many more ways can you think of to say you care about your romantic love? Please reply. I’d love to hear! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, Just the Important Phrases, on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Italian Terms of Endearment

 

Tried and true…

amore (mio) my love, or simply “love”  
dolcezza sweetie
gioia mia my joy
pucci sweetie (also refers to a person who is tender or affectionate*)
tesoro mio my treasure

 

References to cute animals and…

cricetino little hamster 
cucciolo puppy
gattina kitten
patatina little potato (Yes, apparently this is really a pet name!)

 

Some phrases to use every day to let the one you know you care…

Sei tutto per me. You are everything to me.
Tu sei il mio amore. You are my love.
Per sempre tua. Forever yours.

 

*Stai attento! (Be careful!) This word is also part of the phrase “Facciamo pucci pucci,” which means, “Let’s have sex.”

To revisit the important phrases Ti vogio bene and Ti amo, see my first blog post on this topic from February 2016: How to Say “I Love You”… in Italian!

Conversational Italian Author Profile

Conversational Italian pocket travel book with important Italian phrases

Author name: Kathryn Occhipinti, M.D. Genre: Adult Italian Language (for travel) Books: Conversational Italian for Travelers series: Textbook and…pocket book “Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions)…reference books, “Just the Verbs” and “Just the Grammar” Bio: Dr. Kathryn Occhipinti is a radiologist of Italian-American descent who has been leading Italian language groups in […]

via Who’s That Indie Author? Kathryn Occhipinti, M.D. — Book Club Mom

Everyday Italian Phrases: What I Asked (Part 2)

Burano in Venice, Italy
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post is the second in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Our second “commonly used phrases,” that will help us talk more easily will focus on  What I asked…”
leading into “I asked (to) you, (to) her, (to) him…” and so on. See below for how this works.

As we all master these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, Just the Important Phrases, on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

************************************************

What I Asked…

in Italian

Let’s review for a second before we go on to our topic for today. In our last blog post in this series, we learned the Italian past tense verb for “I said,” which is, “Ho detto.”

Let’s build on this! Besides saying or stating a fact, we often relay that we have asked a question of/to someone. And if we travel to Italy, we will certainly be asking many questions about all the wonderful places we visit!

In this second blog post in our series, we will use the same tables from our first blog post but substitute, “I asked,” which is, “ho chiesto,” for the passato prossimo form of the past tense. This Italian past tense verb also translates into the less commonly used English form “I have asked.”*  

Because the phrase “I asked” is frequently used in everyday conversation, we should commit the Italian verb “ho chiesto” to memory. We can then “build” on this simple, easy-to-remember verb to help us remember other, more complex phrases. Memorize one phrase and the others should be easy to remember as well. Soon all of these phrases will just roll off your tongue! See the following table for how this works.

Ho chiesto I asked
Ti ho chiesto I asked… (to) you 
Gli ho chiesto I asked… (to) him 
Le ho chiesto I asked… (to) her 

If you want to ask for something directly, think of the verb chiesto as meaning asked for,” because there is no need to use the Italian preposition per with this verb in this type of situation. An indirect or direct object (a/an or the) is used with the noun that follows, though.

If you want to add that you’ve already asked someone something, put the word “già,” which means “already,” between the two verbs we use for the passato prossimo past tense.

Notice that informazione is feminine and singular in Italian. It is used when you want only one answer to one question. Use the feminine plural informazioni if you’d like a more detailed explanation. In English, of course, the translation does not change.

Ho chiesto un’informazione. I asked for (some) information.
Ho chiesto il signor Rossi dov’è la piazza. I asked Mr. Rossi where the piazza is.
Ti ho già chiesto . I already asked you.
Gli ho chiesto. I asked him.
Le ho chiesto. I asked her.

Finally, I would say that the phrase I use most often regarding what someone asked of someone else, and the phrase that actually started this thread in my mind, is:

Mi ha chiesto… He asked (to) me…
  She asked (to) me…
  You (polite) asked (to) me…

Remember this last phrase, and I guarantee that you will use it every day!

*A quick note here: 

For conversational reasons, I’ve chosen the verb chiedere, with its irregular past participle, chiesto, to use in the past tense. But it should be noted that the verb domandare also means to ask/to inquire, and the noun domanda means question.

If you have a question to ask of someone, you might say, “Ho una domanda,” which means, “I have a question.”  

An investigator inquiring about something might say,

“Posso fare qualche domanda?” meaning, “May I ask some questions?” 

Or “L’ho fatto qualche domanda,” meaning, “I asked him some questions.”

(Notice how qualche is always followed by a singular noun.)

Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! What I Said…

Burano in Venice, Italy
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post will be the first in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Our very first “commonly used phrases,” that will help us talk more easily will focus  on, “What I said…”
leading into “I said to you, to her, to him… etc. See below for how this works.

As we all master these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, “Just the Important Phrases,” on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

************************************************

What I Said…

in Italian

The past tense for “I said,” a one-time event, uses the passato prossimo past tense form, which is “ho detto.” This Italian past tense verb also translates into the less commonly used English form “I have said.” * 

Because the phrase “I said” is frequently used in everyday conversation, we should commit the Italian verb “ho detto” to memory. We can then “build” on this simple, easy-to-remember verb to help us remember other more complex phrases. Memorize one phrase and the others should be easy to remember as well. Soon all of these phrases will just roll off your tongue! See the table below for how this works.

Ho detto I said
Ti ho detto I said… to you/I told you
Gli ho detto I said… to him/I told him
Le ho detto I said… to her/I told her

 To complete the sentences above, use “che if the next phrase has a different subject: This rule will be used again and again in Italian. Here are some sentences:

Ho detto,“si.” I said, “yes.”
Ho detto che il film era bello. I said… that the film was good.
Ti ho detto che il film era bello. I told you… that the film was good.
Gli ho detto che il film era bello. I told him… that the film was good.
Le ho detto che il film era bello. I told her… that the film was good.

Finally, I would say that the phrase I use most often regarding what someone said to someone else and the phrase that actually started this thread in my mind is:

Mi ha detto… He said to me…/He told me
  She said to me…/She told me
  You (polite) said to me…/You told me

Remember this last phrase and I guarantee you will use it every day!

*{For those who like grammar, this passato prossimo verb is derived from:
 avere (to have) + the past participle of the action verb dire (to say).}

Piacere: How Italians Say “I like it!”

Rome's via dei Fori Imperiali
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

“Piacere” is a very important verb for the Italian traveler to know because there are so many people, places, and things “to like” in Italy! We have been focusing on the verb piacere this December holiday season in our Conversational Italian! group on Facebook.

At first glance, it may seem difficult for English speakers to use the verb piacere, which literally means “to be pleasing to” when translated into English. But this verb is actually the way Italians express the idea that they like something. Once we tap into the Italian way of thinking and learn a few simple examples, it becomes easy to express how much we like things in Italian! Read below to see how this works.  

How many more ways can you think of to use the verb piacere? Please reply. I’d love to hear! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, “Just the Important Phrases,” on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Use the Italian Verb Piacere to Say…

“I Like It!”

The irregular verb piacere literally means to like, as in “to be pleasing to.” Italians use this verb when they want to express the idea that they like something. In English, when we say we like something, we mention two things: what thing is being liked and by whom. So in English, we would say, I like the car and fulfill these two requirements with the subject pronoun “I” and the direct object “car.”

But in Italian, the indirect object is used instead of the direct object, to describe to whom the thing is liked or pleasing to. If we wanted to change up this same English phrase into the Italian way of thinking, we could say, “The car is pleasing to me.” You will hopefully find the mixed Italianized-English phrase “is pleasing to” to be very helpful to understand how piacere really works!

The tricky thing about this type of phrase in Italian is that the conjugation of piacere will have to agree with the number of things that are being liked.

So, if one thing is liked, or an infinitive verb follows, piace is used.

If many things are liked, piacciono is used.

Italians then put the indirect object pronoun (mi, ti, Le, le, gli, ci, vi, or gli) before the verb, at the beginning of the sentence, to denote to whom the thing is pleasing to.

 

Piace — to be pleasing to
Use these phrases if one thing is liked/before infinitive verbs

 

Mi piace il vestito. The dress is pleasing to me. I like the dress.
Ti piace il vestito. The dress is pleasing to you. (fam.) You like the dress.
Le piace il vestito.

Gli/le piace il vestito.

The dress is pleasing to you. (pol.)

The dress is pleasing to him/her.

You like the dress.

He/she likes the dress.

     
Ci piace il vestito. The dress is pleasing to us. We like the dress.
Vi piace il vestito. The dress is pleasing to you all. You all like the dress.
Gli piace il vestito. The dress is pleasing to them. They like the dress.

 

Piacciono — to be pleasing to
Use these phrases 
if more than one thing is liked

 

Mi piacciono i vestiti. The dresses are pleasing to me. I like the dresses.
Ti piacciono i vestiti. The dresses are pleasing to you. (fam.) You like the dresses.
Le piacciono i vestiti.

Gli/le piacciono i vestiti.

The dresses are pleasing to you. (pol.)

The dresses are pleasing to him/her.

You like the dresses.

He/she likes the dresses.

     
Ci piacciono i vestiti. The dresses are pleasing to us. We like the dresses.
Vi piacciono i vestiti. The dresses are pleasing to you all. You all like the dresses.
Gli piacciono i vestiti. The dresses are pleasing to them. They like the dresses.

Let’s Email in Italian! Part 2: Italian Salutations

Conversational Italian for Travelers Books, 2015

Here is some information about how to write an email that will help with our latest discussion in the Conversational Italian! Facebook group.

We are talking this week about how to conclude an email or letter. Read below and join the conversation on our Facebook group. I’d love to hear from you!

For more complete details, visit our sister blog, blog.learntravelitalian.com, from which this excerpt was taken. All material is courtesy of Stella Lucente, LLC, and www.learntravelitalian.com.

Italian Salutations for Emails, Texts, and Letters

After we’ve written our email, text, or formal letter, how should we sign off? As you can imagine, this is very different depending on how close the two correspondents are. For two friends, the typical spoken salutations, “Ciao” and “Ci vediamo,” are commonly used for emails and texts, as are the many idiomatic expressions such as “A presto” or “A dopo.”

For those who are close friends or family, one may send kisses as “baci” and sometimes hugs, “abbracci,” as we do in English. You can imagine that there are many variations on this theme, such as “un bacione” for “a big kiss.” “Un bacio” or “tanti baci” are other variations and mean “a kiss” and “many kisses.” There is one big difference between salutations in English and Italian, though: Italians normally do not sign off with the word “love,” as in “Love, Kathy.”

For business, the word “Saluti” is generally used in closing to mean “Regards.” One can also give “Un Saluto” or “Tanti Saluti.” “Cordalimente” means “Yours Truly.” “Cordali Saluti” or Distinti Saluti” are particularly polite, meaning “Kind Regards” and “Best Regards.” “Sinceramente” means “Sincerely” but is not as often used in closing an email or letter.

Commonly Used Familiar Italian Salutations

Ciao Bye
Ci vediamo Good-bye
(Until we see each other again.)
A presto! See you soon!
A dopo! See you later!
Baci Kisses
Un bacio A kiss
Un bacione A big kiss
Tanti baci Lots of kisses
Baci e Abbracci Kisses and hugs

Commonly Used Formal Italian Salutations

Saluti Regards
Un Saluto Regards
Cordialmente Yours truly
Cordali Saluti Kind regards
Distinti Saluti Best regards
Tanti Saluti Many regards
Sinceramente Sincerely

Let’s Email in Italian! Part 1: Italian Greetings

Venice: The Grand Canal

Here is some information about how to write an email that will help with our latest discussion in the Conversational Italian! Facebook group.

We have started to talk about how to start an email or letter. Read below and join the conversation on our Facebook group. I’d love to hear from you!

For more complete details, visit our sister blog, blog.learntravelitalian.com, from which this excerpt was taken. All material is courtesy of Stella Lucente, LLC, and www.learntravelitalian.com.

Italian Greetings for Family Emails, Texts, and Letters

Now that email has become an essential way to communicate, it is important to know how to address family, friends, and work colleagues in writing. In effect, that old-fashioned way of communicating—the letter—has been resurrected in electronic form! Here are some suggestions for greetings and salutations in Italian, depending on the formality of the situation.

For family and friends, most Italian emails will begin with “Cara” for females or “Caro” for males, meaning “Dear.” This greeting is, of course, followed by the first name of the person to whom the email is addressed. Because caro is an adjective, the ending can be modified to match the gender and number of the person it refers to, just as other adjectives are. So cara(e) is used before a female singular/plural person(s) and caro(i) before male singular/plural person(s). Carissimo(a,i,e) is a common variation and means “Dearest.” Many times, no greeting at all is used for close family and friends who communicate frequently.

A note about texting, which is even more informal than email, because texts are usually made only to friends: there is much more variation if a greeting is used, and there are many creative ways to greet someone by text in Italian. One of the most common text greetings is probably “Ciao” for “Hi” or “Bye.” There are many common variations, such as “Ciao bella” for a female, “Ciao bello” for a male, or simply “Bella” or “Bellezza” for a female, all meaning “Hello beautiful/handsome.” If texting in the day or evening, “Buon giorno” or “Buona sera” may be used as well, meaning, “Good morning/Good day” or “Good evening.”

A text is still not acceptable in most situations for a first or a formal communication, although email is now often the preferred way of establishing an initial contact in business.


You Will Need to Know…
Italian Greetings for  Formal Emails and Letters

Letters are still frequently used in Italy. Several common salutations are used when writing a formal email in Italian. These salutations have been established over many centuries of formal communication.

A formal Italian letter will commonly begin with the Italian word for “Gentle,” which is “Gentile,” followed by a title, such as Mr., Mrs., or Miss, and then a surname. For example: Gentile Signor* Verde or Gentilissima Signora Russo. The Italian word “Egregio,” which used to mean “Esquire,” is still commonly used in very formal business communications, but in these instances, it is translated as “Dear.” “Pregiatissimo” is the most formal type of greeting and is similar to the English phrase “Dear Sir.” This greeting is only rarely used in Italy today.

This all seems simple enough, although a typical formal Italian greeting is often abbreviated and can seem a bit off-putting unless one is fluent in the abbreviations as well. Our salutations above are often written as follows: Gentile Sig. Verde and Gen.ma Sig.na Russo. The table in the next section lists the most commonly used abbreviations.

Also, in Italian, even more than in English, if one holds a professional title, such as “doctor” or “lawyer,” this title is always used as the form of address when speaking and in writing. In fact, those who have attended an Italian university or have an important job title are usually addressed by other Italians as “Dottore” or “Dottoressa.” A medical doctor is addressed the same way but is known specifically as “un medico” (used for men and women).


You Will Need to Know…
Commonly Used Italian Abbreviations for Business Greetings

Avv. Avvocato Lawyer
Dott. Dottore Doctor (male or female)
Dott.ssa Dottoressa Female Doctor
Egr. Egregio Dear (Esquire)
  Ingegnere Engineer
Gent.mi Gentilissimi(e) Dear (plural) Very Kind
Gent.mo Gentilissimo(a) Dear (singular) Very Kind
Preg. Pregiatissimo Dear
Sig. Signor Mister (Mr.)
Sig.na Signorina Miss
Sig.ra Signora Misses (Mrs.)
Sig.ri Signori Mr. and Mrs./Messers
Spett. Spettabile Messers

*When signore is followed by someone’s first or last name, in writing and when addressing someone directly, the “e” from signore is dropped to form signor.

Italian Pocket Pal for Travelers

Conversational Italian pocket travel book with important Italian phrases

Grazie mille Fra Noi magazine for your review of Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions) in the September 2016 edition of your magazine!

 

Conversational Italian pocket travel book with important Italian phrases

Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases pocket travel book

Pocket pal: Don’t speak Italian? Planning your dream vacation to Italy? Kathryn Occhipinti’s pocket travel book may be just what you’re looking for. The full title says it all. “Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions)” is accessible and humorous while offering a tried-and-true method for understanding and remembering important Italian phrases. Small and lightweight, it slips easily into a pocket or purse. The book covers pronunciation, basic vocabulary and communication, meetings and greetings, how to be polite, changing money, taking the train, asking for help, shopping, making friends, talking on the telephone, dealing with hotels, reading menus, ordering at restaurants and much more.  Available on Amazon.com

 

 

Shopping for Italian Fashion!

Italian dresses for sale

 

 

“Saldi” means “sale” in Italian! When visiting Italy, one encounters wonderful shops that sell everything imaginable. In most cities, beautiful, stylish clothing made by well-known designers hangs in the shop windows of the grand boulevards and larger piazzas. Think Via Monte Napoleone in Milan or the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Now that the fall season is upon us, the cooler weather will bring with it the exciting new Italian fashions of the season.

But one must be prepared to shop Italian. Sizes in Italy are different from those in the United States and from those in other European countries. How does one know what size clothing to bring to the dressing room? Also, when talking about Italian style, it should be mentioned that there are still dedicated craftsmen who make high-quality leather goods. There is such a dazzling variety of shoes in the shop windows that it is always tempting to buy a pair to bring home. But what size to tell the shopkeeper to get?

If you are like me and can’t resist shopping when you visit Italy, click on the Learn Italian! link for Italian size charts and for some important shopping tips. I’ve reprinted shoe sizes here again because this is a priority for me—I can’t resist bringing at least one or two pairs home every trip!

This blog post was originally published on September 27, 2016, on Learn Italian! for Stella Lucente, LLC, and www.learntravelitalian.com.

Leave a comment and share about YOUR favorite Italian city or place to go shopping! 

 

The tables that follow list European and Italian sizes and how they (roughly) correspond to the sizes in the United States.

Please note that this is only a general guide, and it is best to always try on any item of clothing before making a purchase!

Women’s and Men’s Shoe Sizes*

American Shoe Sizes (inches) 5 ½ 6 6 ½ 7 7 ½ 8 8 ½ 9 9 ½ 10 10 ½
European/Italian Women’s Shoe Sizes 35 ½ 36 36 ½ 37 37 ½ 38 38 ½ 39
European/Italian Men’s Shoe Sizes 37 37 ½ 38 38 ½ 39 40 41 41 ½ 42 42 ½ 43

*Hint: Subtract 30 from European shoe sizes to get the equivalent of the American size for women’s shoe sizes 5 to 9.

Use the Italian Verb “Può” to Ask for… Everything!

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy © Stella Lucente, LLC for www.learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

“Può” is a little Italian word that means a lot! We have been focusing on the verb può this August at the Osher Center for Lifelong Learning in Peoria, Illinois, where I was the moderator for a conversational Italian study group called “Italian for Fun and Travel.”

We can use the handy verb può, which means “could you?” to politely ask for whatever we need in Italy. With this trick, there is no need to conjugate! Read below to see how this works and for some examples.  

How many more ways can you think of to use the verb può? Please reply. I’d love to hear! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, “Just the Important Phrases,” on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Use the Italian Verb Può to Ask for… Everything!

Most Italians are quite friendly and helpful to tourists, especially if a polite phrase is used to initiate the conversation, such as “Mi scusi…” or “Per favore…” Once you have someone’s attention, the word, “Può?” (“Could you?” from the verb potere), when followed by an infinitive verb,* will enable you to ask politely for whatever you need.

Some examples we learned in Chapters 5 and 6 of Conversational Italian for Travelers include the phrases, Mi può dire?” (“Could you tell me?”) and “Mi può portare?” (“Could you take me?”) “Puo chiamare…?” means “Could you call…?” a taxi, for instance, or a person. And, of course, a nice way to end the conversation would be to say, “Mille grazie!”

*Remember, our Italian infinitive verbs end in -are, -ere, -ire and translate as “to be, to do,” and so on.

Può parlare… Can you speak…
…più lentamente?

…più piano?**

…more slowly?
…più forte? …more loudly?
…in inglese? …in English?
   
Può chiamare…? Can you call?
   
Può fare… Can you make…
…una prenotazione? …a reservation?
   
Può controllare… Can you check… (for a car)
…l’olio? …the oil?
…le gomme? …the tires?
…l’acqua? …the water?
Può cambiare la gomma? Can you change the tire?
Può fare il pieno?
Il pieno, per favore!
Can you fill it up?
Fill it up, please!

**The word piano also means softly in Italian.

Mi può dire… Can you tell me…
…dov’è …where is
…la metro?*** …the subway?
…la stazione dei treni? …the train station?
…la fermata dell’autobus? …the bus stop?
…il duomo? …the cathedral?
…la piazza? …the town square?
…il museo? …the museum?
…la banca? ….the bank?
   
Mi può portare… Can you take me…
…in via Verde 23? …to 23 Green Street?
   
Mi può aiutare con… Can you help me with…
…le valigie? …the suitcases?
   

***The word metro is an abbreviation from the feminine metropolitana. 

For Italians: How Much Time Will It Take?

The Grand Canal and the Piazza San Marco
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Last week on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we talked about how to use the phrase ci vuole,” which means, “it takes time.”

This is a complicated Italian phrase for an English speaker to learn how to use, because in this case, volere is conjugated like the verb piacere. But of course, it is a very important phrase to know if one truly wants to converse in Italian, because we commonly talk about how much time something takes us to do!

Below is an excerpt from my blog for advanced students of Italian that contains materials Italian teachers may want to use as well. I am hoping to soon compile these blog posts into an Italian course, but for now, stay tuned to blog.learntravelitalian.com for an essay each month on important topics we all need to learn to become more fluent in Italian.

If you want to read more about beginning and intermediate Italian, of course, my textbook is available for delivery from Amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com. The rights to purchase the book in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be purchased at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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How to Conjugate Volere for Phrases Describing Time

To describe the general passage of time that it takes to do something, an English speaker will often say, “It takes time.” Here is the method that must be followed to translate this phrase into Italian: in Italian, the impersonal adverb “ci” is always used to begin the phrase, and the verb “volere” is then conjugated to reflect the amount of time taken, in either the third person singular or plural. This is the same way we conjugate the verb piacere, only with piacere, the reference is to what we like, rather than to how much time something takes.

So when saying, “It takes time,” the word “time” is considered one segment of time, and the third person singular form of volere, which is “vuole,” is used.

If the time “it” takes is one minute, one hour, one month, or one year—that is, if the reference is to one time segment, again, use “vuole.”

If the time “it” takes is more than one of each time segment (plural), the third person plural form of volere, which is “vogliono,” is used.

Ci vuole tempo. It takes time.
     
Ci vuole un minuto. Ci vogliono due minuti. It takes one minute/two minutes.
Ci vuole un’ora. Ci vogliono due ore. It takes one hour/two hours.
Ci vuole un giorno. Ci vogliono due giorni. It takes one day/two days.
Ci vuole un mese. Ci vogliono due mesi. It takes one month/two months.
Ci vuole un anno. Ci vogliono due anni. It takes one year/two years.

Book Review: 5 Reasons ‘Conversational Italian For Travelers’ is Your Best Bet

Grazie mille for this review of my pocket travel book out today!

Timeless Italy

Although I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of traveling through Italy many times, I firmly believe that the Italian language will be an eternal challenge to adequately grasp and understand. Everyone learns differently, but for me I need total immersion and that means living among the Italians. However, with each new experience conversing with them while I’m in Italy, I learn a little more. They are so encouraging with my efforts to communicate and they make me feel good for putting my best efforts into it. It is such a rewarding experience to say the right words in Italian and to join in the conversation while making good sense.

I always make it a rule to travel extremely light. That means just one small pull-bag and a knapsack. As most of us, I had to learn the hard way. So when Dr. Kathryn Occhipinti, author of “Conversational Italian for Travelers ~…

View original post 379 more words

Reading Italian Menus: Il Secondo (cont’d)

Roman restaurant
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

As I mentioned in the last blog post on this topic, when I first traveled to Italy as a college student, I had difficulty at first when I tried to read and order at an Italian restaurant. I thought back to how many lessons I had had in Italian through high school and college and then realized that the reason was simple: Italian courses in school did not focus on the vocabulary I needed as a traveler.

Years later, when members of the Italian-American Society of Peoria asked me if I could help them with Italian before a trip to Italy they had planned—for vacation or to visit long-lost Italian relatives—I remembered my own difficulties, and I created the Conversational Italian for Travelers series of books. These books focus on the vocabulary and phrases we all need to know to enjoy our trip to Italy!

Along these lines, members of the Conversational Italian! Facebook group have been discussing their favorite main course dishes and, of course, these include fish dishes. The Italians know many wonderful ways to prepare fish—as you would expect, because they are surrounded by the sea and fresh fish are in abundance. They also import fish from their Scandinavian neighbors.

Fish is also important as an appetizer in Italy. One of my favorites is called “fritto misto,” fresh fish and shellfish fried in a light batter and presented beautifully on a large platter for all to share.

I’d love to hear about more Italian favorites! Continue the conversation on this blog, and join us on our Facebook group if you like!

Read the list below of common fish and shellfish that are served as a delicious main course or appetizer in Italy, taken from Chapter 17 of Conversational Italian for Travelers. See if this list reminds you of one of your favorite Italian dishes!

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Fish and Shellfish in Italian

 

la sogliola filet of sole
la trota trout
il merluzzo cod
il baccalà cod (dried)
 il pesce spada swordfish
il branzino sea bass
il tonno tuna
il salmone salmon
i calamari squid
la seppia cuttlefish (like squid)
i gamberi shrimp
gli scampi large, shrimp-like crustacean from the
Mediterranean Sea
le capesante scallops
l’aragosta lobster
le cozze mussels 
le vongole clams
le ostriche oysters
le acciughe anchovies
le sardine sardines
l’anguilla eel
i granchi clams
le lumache snails
il polpo octopus
l’aringa affumicata smoked herring

 

The Italian Subjunctive Mode Part 2: Easy to Conjugate but Tricky to Use!

Conversational Italian for Travelers Book Display

This blog on the subjunctive mode, or il congiuntivo, is the second in a series on this topic that I’ve created for advanced students and teachers of Italian. Each blog post will focus on real-life situations and give examples of when the subjunctive mode should be used. Below is an excerpt from the original post.

Visit the Learn Italian! blog post from June 5, 2016, to read the entire article and get started with learning how to express yourself more naturally and fluently in Italian!

Can you speak Italian? By now, many of you have passed the beginning stages of learning how to speak Italian and can read and comprehend quite a bit of the language. Meraviglioso!

But have you tried to take the next step to speak Italian fluently? Can you use the subjunctive mode in the correct situations? To express complex feelings in Italian correctly, it is important to use the Italian subjunctive mode. Using the subjunctive mode is difficult for English speakers, as we only rarely use this tense in English, and it’s something that I am always working on!

To take that giant step from simple beginning sentences to more complex and fluid sentences in Italian using the subjunctive, in this segment, we will discuss phrases that take the subjunctive mode and use the verbs volere, desiderare, piacere, and dispiacere. We will also learn the conjugation of the subjunctive mode for the -are, -ere, and -ire verbs and the commonly used verbs andare, fare, and sapere. Example sentences will follow! 

In each blog post in the “Speak Italian” series about the subjunctive mode (“il congiuntivo”), phrases that take the Italian subjunctive mode will be presented. Then we will review the Italian conjugation for the subjunctive mode in the present and past tenses. Finally, examples of common phrases used in daily life with the subjunctive mode will be presented. Remember these examples as “anchors” in your knowledge for when you must speak Italian, and try out the subjunctive mode in your next Italian conversation!

Enjoy the second blog post in this series: “Speak Italian: How to Use the Italian Subjunctive Mode (Part 2)!”
—Kathryn Occhipinti

Some of this material is adapted from our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, found on www.learntravelitalian.com. Special thanks to Italian instructors Simona Giuggioli and Maria Vanessa Colapinto.

Speaking with the Waiter in Italy

Italian Restaurant at the Grand Hotel Isles des Borromees, Italy

Two summers ago, I had the pleasure of staying at the lovely hotel pictured here on Lago Maggiore, Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees, in the town of Stresa, in the lake region just north of Milan. I’ll never forget how wonderfully relaxing dining “al fresco” every morning in the hotel’s beautiful restaurant was.

In this photograph, the waiter is in the background, waiting for the lunch service to begin. Enjoying daily meals here made me think of how knowing just a few Italian phrases really helps interactions flow smoothly when dining in Italy. The waiters appreciate it, and it makes the meal that much more memorable.

This blog with useful Italian phrases to speak to the waiter was just posted on May 31, 2016, on the Learn Italian! blog for Stella Lucente, LLC, and www.learntravelitalian.com. Below is an excerpt. Click on the link to read the entire blog post if you like.

If you like what you are reading, our pocket book, Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrasesis available to take with you overseas on your next Italian vacation!    

After Caterina arrives in Italy, she stays with her Italian cousin Pietro and his family in Milan for a while and adapts to Italian life and the Italian language. Then, in the last unit of the book, they all go on a summer vacation together. Caterina and the family stay at a typical northern Italian lake resort in the town of Stresa on Lago Maggiore.

For those travelers who are adventurous enough to try out their Italian on their own visit to Italy, read on for some phrases that will come in handy when ordering at an Italian restaurant. Get started by speaking with the waiter. A delicious meal is soon to follow!

To listen to the dialogue from Chapter 16, when Caterina and her Italian family arrive at an Italian restaurant and begin their wonderful meal together, go to the interactive audio dialogues on our website at learntravelitalian.com/interactive.html.
—Kathryn Occhipinti

Reading Italian Menus: Il Secondo

Roman restaurant
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

When I first traveled to Italy as a college student, I had difficulty at first when I tried to read and order at an Italian restaurant. I thought back to how many lessons I had had in Italian through high school and college and then realized that the reason was simple: Italian courses in school did not focus on the vocabulary I needed as a traveler.

Years later, when members of the Italian-American Society of Peoria would ask me if I could help them with Italian before a trip to Italy they had planned—for vacation or to visit long-lost Italian relatives—I remembered my own difficulties, and I created the Conversational Italian for Travelers series of books. These books focus on the vocabulary and phrases we all need to know to enjoy our trip to Italy!

Along these lines, last week, I asked the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, “What is your favorite Italian dish for Il Secondo, or the second course?” I posted about one of my favorite dishes my mother would make when I was growing up as a child, called braciole, and the family tomato sauce recipe she would cook this rolled-up meat in.

I’d love to hear about more Italian favorites! Continue the conversation on this blog, and join us on our Facebook group if you like!

Read the list below of cooking methods and types of meats found on menus in Italian restaurants, taken from Chapter 17 of Conversational Italian for Travelers and see if it reminds you of your favorite Italian dish!

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Cooking Methods in Italian

fritto fried
bollito boiled
arrostito roasted
brasato/stufato braised/stewed
affumicato smoked
farcito(a)/ripieno(a) stuffed
al forno baked (lit. from the oven)
alla brace broiled
alla griglia/ai ferri grilled
alla cacciatora stewed in a pot (as a hunter would make)

 

Meat Dishes in Italian

 

la cotoletta cutlet (meat without bone)
la scaloppina very thin cutlet
la costoletta chop/rib (bone in meat)
l’arrosto the roast (to be sliced)
la bistecca* steak*
bistecca alla fiorentina steak florentine style
al sangue rare meat
ben cotto well-done meat
cotto a puntino cooked just right
il sugo di carne gravy
le polpette meatballs
il vitello veal
il pollo chicken
il petto di pollo chicken breast fillet
il tacchino turkey
l’anatra duck
la quaglia quail
il fagiano pheasant
il coniglio rabbit
il maiale pork
la pancetta bacon
il guanciale bacon from pig cheeks
l’agnello lamb
l’abbacchio young lamb
la capra/il capretto goat/kid
il fegato liver

*When ordering a steak in Italy (wonderful grilled steaks, called bistecca alla fiorentina, can be found in Tuscany, for example), it is not really possible to order how the steak should be cooked. Instead, it is usually left for the chef to decide, based on the cut of meat and the style of the dish.

Conversational Italian Numbers Tips!

Italy, Florence's Piazza Signoria photo by Conversational Italian for Travelers
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

For the last few weeks on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been discussing how to count in Italian. Most people are familiar with how to count from 1 to 10.

With a simple tip, even the larger Italian numbers are easy to master! The following blog post contains material from the “Numbers” sections at the ends of Chapters 1 and 2 in the Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook.

Here is how it works: When counting from 20 to 99 in Italian, simply take your tens number—venti, trenta, and so on, and add on your number from 1 to 9, as in English!

But remember this simple rule: “For ones and eights, take away a! This just means that the last letter of each tens word must be removed before adding on “uno” for “one” or “otto” for “eight.”

Flash cards that children use when learning addition or multiplication can be an entertaining way to practice numbers in a group. Each student can take turns picking a card, any card, out of the pile, and saying the number in Italian! Happy counting! Join us on our open Conversational Italian! Facebook group for more tips if you like!

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Counting from 1 to 10

zero (Note: The Italian word zero will change to the plural zeri when describing more than one of this number [i.e., 100 has two zeros, or due zeri].)

1 uno  2 due  3 tre  4 quattro  5 cinque
6 sei  7 sette  8 otto  9 nove  10 dieci

 

Counting by Tens

20

venti

30

trenta

40

quaranta

50

cinquanta

60

sessanta

70

settanta

80 ottanta
90

novanta

                             

Here are the 20s and 30s in full:

20 – venti 30 – trenta
21 – ventuno 31 – trentuno
22 – ventidue 32 – trentadue
23 – ventitre 33 – trentatre
24 – ventiquattro 34 – trentaquattro
25 – venticinque 35 – trentacinque
26 – ventisei 36 – trentasei
27 – ventisette 37 – trentasette
28 – ventotto 38 – trentotto
29 – ventinove 39 – trentanove

***For our readers: To purchase the right to download the Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook onto one computer and one electronic device OR to get a discounted price on the loose-leaf binder sheets, visit our website at www.Learn Travel Italian.com.

Italian Language… Read All About “Ema”

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Interesting fact I found out recently: Italian words that end in “ema” like “problema” are masculine even though they end in the letter “a” and therefore should be feminine in Italian. The reason is because they originally come from the Greek language.

So today I have solved un problema”! The “un” I used is the masculine word for “a” and needs to precede all of these feminine-looking but actually masculine Italian words.

Remember to use “il,” which is the masculine word for “the” before masculine words that begin with a consonant and “l” for those that begin with a vowel.

Last week, I asked the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, “How many more commonly used Italian words that end in “ema” can everyone think of?” Below are some replies. I’d love to hear more! Continue the conversation on this blog, and join us on our Facebook group if you like!

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Italian Words That End in “EMA”

“You can say, “Ho un problema.” (I have a problem.) or “Ho dei problemi.” (I have some problems.) 😉 (wink emoticon) Now you have no more problems! =D (grin emoticon)”
C’è un dilemma.   
This is a dilemma/predicament.
“Un po’ di crema se si screma non crea patema e non c’è problema, cara Kathryn!”
A little bit of cream if you skim it doesn’t create worries, and there is no problem, dear Kathryn!
Non c’è problema!  
There is no problem!

 

 

 il tema  the subject, topic, theme
il sistema the system
l’anatema the anathema
il teorema  the theorem, theory, hypothesis
il cinema the film, films, movies, movie theater, film industry
il schema the tactic, method, strategy, outline
il poema the epic, epic poem
il clima the climate
il fantasma  the ghost

 

Italian Appetizers, Anyone?

Antipasto Misto
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Last week on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we talked about what appetizers, or “antipasto” we like to serve for Easter and other holidays.

Antipasto simply means “before the meal” in Italian and refers to small dishes served before “Il Primo” or “the first course” of pasta, an Italian rice dish of risotto, or  Italian potato dumplings called gnocchi.

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, which lists our favorite “antipasti” served in Italy.

Notice, by the way, the pronunciation of a very common Italian appetizer served here in America— bruschetta slices of toasted bread with various toppings, most commonly tomato and basil. The Italians pronounce it very differently than most Americans! What is your family’s favorite antipasto dish? Write and let us know!

If you want to read more about this topic, the textbook is available for delivery from Amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com. The rights to purchase the book in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be purchased at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Antipasto

il pane bread
una fetta
di pane
slice of bread
la bruschetta toasted bread slices rubbed with garlic; can be topped with chopped tomatoes or chopped liver, and so on. (It’s pronounced br/oo/ske/ta because “che” is pronounced like the English word “key.”)
l’olio (d’oliva) olive oil
l’aceto vinegar (balsamic; aged vinegar from Modena/red wine vinegar)
l’antipasto misto assorted appetizers
l’insalata verde/mista mixed lettuce greens and vegetables
i calamari fritti fried squid
la panzanella tomato and bread salad, usually made with leftover bread cubes
la caprese  fresh tomato slices, basil, and mozzarella sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil (from Capri)
le olive olives
le verdure (sottaceto) assorted vegetables (pickled)
i peperoni (sottaceto) peppers (pickled)
i funghi (sottaceto) mushrooms (pickled)
i carciofi (sott’olio) artichoke hearts (preserved in olive oil)
la caponata Sicilian eggplant and olive appetizer, cooked and then served cold
le acciughe anchovies
la bagna cauda warm olive oil, garlic, and anchovy dip for fresh or boiled vegetables, from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy
le sardine sardines
la mortadella  special type of bologna, from the city of Bologna
il salame
i salumi
salami—a variety of dried/smoke-cured meats that vary by region
il fritto misto assorted batter-fried vegetables, assorted fish and seafood, or a combination of both vegetables and seafood
il prosciutto special air-dried/cured ham from the city of Parma
prosciutto
e melone
special cured ham served on top of a cantaloupe slice, often drizzled with balsamic vinegar
lo speck special smoked ham from the region of Tyrol in Austria
il formaggio cheese—made from cow, sheep, or goat milk in Italy (See Chapter 18 of Conversational Italian for Travelers for a chart of the most common Italian cheeses and their region of origin.)

 

 

 

 

)

Learn Italian: “How much does it cost?”

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Last week on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we learned how to ask, “How much does it cost?” in Italian.

Do you like to barter? Did you know that the merchants in the piazzas of Italy (and some stores) actually expect you to barter with them? Don’t pay full price for your Italian treasure if you don’t have to! And the sellers always appreciate it if you pepper your English with a few friendly Italian phrases to help the deal go through!

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, on the topic of how to barter in Italy. If you want to read more about this topic, the textbook is available for delivery from Amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com. The rights to purchase the book in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be purchased at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Quanto Costa?

When asking a shopkeeper in Italy how much one thing costs, you can point to the item and ask:

Quanto costa? =  How much does (it ) cost?

When asking a shopkeeper in Italy how much more than one thing costs, you can point to the items and ask:

Quanto costano? = How much do these things cost?

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Start a conversation with a shopkeeper by asking:

Quanto costa… How much is…
(literally: How much costs…)

 

Of course, the listed price will be:

troppo caro too expensive
costoso  expensive, costly
proprio costoso  really expensive
Costa un occhio della testa! Costs an arm and a leg!
(lit. Costs an eye out of the head!)

 

Unless the article happens to be:

in vendita/in saldo, saldi on sale/on sale for a reduced price
in svendita  in a closeout sale
sconto/scontato  discount/discounted
a prezzo basso at low/lowered price

 

And here we go with bartering… If you’ve tried this in Italy, leave a comment describing your method and let us know how it worked! 

Quanto costa? How much (does it) cost?
Venti euro. (It costs) 20 euro.
Troppo caro! Quindici euro, invece! (That is) too expensive! 15 euros instead!
Non è in saldo… ma, diciannove va bene. (It) is not on sale… but 19 is good.
No, è costoso! Forse diciassette? No, (it) is expensive! Perhaps 17?
Diciotto. Non posso fare più sconto! 18. (I) can’t discount it any more! (lit. I can’t make it (any) more discounted!)
D’accordo. Agreed.

How to say “I love you”… in Italian!

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.comThere are many phrases in Italian for those relationships that are friendship or more… and, of course, many ways to say to that special someone, “I love you,” in Italian! Here are a few phrases from Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook and the Just the Important Phrases travel pocket book on Amazon.com to help you out!

*Featured photo from thereadables.tumblr.com

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All About Italian Love

l’amicizia friendship
l’amico the friend (male)
gli amici the friends (male group or male + female group)
l’amica the friend
le amiche the girlfriends

 

Tu sei… You are…
il mio amico del cuore.
la mia amica del cuore.
my close friend.
(Italians call many their close friends!)
il mio migliore amico.
la mia migliore amica.
my best friend. 
(There is only one best friend!)

 

Mi vuoi bene?  Do you love me/care for me?
(for family and friends, and also your true love)
Ti voglio bene.  I love you/care for you/wish you well.

 

amare to love in a romantic way
l’amore romantic love
innamorato(a)  in love
Mi ami? Do you love me?
Ti amo!  I love you!

 

 

 

Italian style… Let’s talk about it!

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

For the last week on our Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been discussing how to talk about what we are wearing. With so many shops that carry beautiful clothing in Italy, you will probably want to talk about what you are wearing in Italian! It seems tricky at first, but just follow our method, and you will have it down in no time!

Here is a summary of this topic, adapted from the “Important Phrases” section in Chapter 10 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC,  available on Learn Travel Italian.com.

Here are some important verbs to know and how to use them when talking about Italian clothing. Look for the shop signs that say saldi for “sale” and get started buying some fabulous clothes in Italy!

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How to Wear Italian Clothes

Vestirsi = to get dressed. Notice that getting dressed is reflexive in Italian. Remember that with reflexive verbs, we drop the subject pronoun (io, tu, lei, lui, noi, voi, loro) and understand who is getting dressed from the reflexive pronoun and verb ending.

Mi vesto.  (I) get dressed.
Ti vesti. (You) get dressed.
Si veste. (She/He) gets dressed.

Don’t confuse the verb vestirsi with the noun vestito, which means dress!

 

Mettersi = to put on. Notice the many English phrases that are simply spoken with short Italian phrases using mettersi.

Mi metto il vestito. (I) put on the dress.
(I) put the dress on.
(I) put on my dress.
Ti metti l’anello. (You) put on the ring.
Si mette le scarpe. (She/He) puts on the shoes.

 

If you want to say “I am wearing…” or “I take the size…” use the regularly conjugated verb portare, which in other situations means “to bring” or “to carry.”

Porto il mio vestito preferito.     (I) am wearing my favorite dress.

Porto la taglia quarantotto.        (I) take size 48.

 

If you really want to be a part of Italian culture, use this idiomatic expression, which refers to shoes and means something fits perfectly. It is the equivalent of the English saying, “It fits me like a glove,” or, “It fits me to a T”!

Mi calza a pennello!      It fits me perfectly!… Like a glove! …To a “T”!

Parla italiano?

The Old Market, Rome, Italy
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

For the last week on our Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been discussing how to answer the question, “Parla italiano?” “Do you speak Italian?” Of course, this will be an important phrase to know how to answer when in Italy! Have an answer handy that works for you. Even more importantly, learn the phrases listed below just in case you have difficulty following the Italian spoken to you once you start up your Italian conversation!

Here is a summary of this topic, adapted from the “Important Phrases” section of Chapter 2 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, now available at a discounted price on Learn Travel Italian.com.

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Do You Speak Italian?

If you are asked:
Parla italiano?                     (Do) you (polite) speak Italian?

You may reply:

Si, un po’. Yes, a little.
Si, molto bene. Yes, very well.
No, mi dispiace!  No, I am sorry!
 Parla inglese? (Do) you (polite) speak English?

 

An Italian may say:
No, parlo soltanto italiano.      No, (I) only speak Italian.

You may want to ask:
Dov’è un interprete?                 Where is an interpreter?

 

If you are having difficulty understanding fluent Italian, you may want to say:

Che cosa? What?
Non capisco. (I) don’t understand.
Non capisco che cosa ha detto. (I) didn’t understand what you (polite) said.
Non ho sentito. (I) didn’t hear (you).
Lei parla troppo veloce (per me)! You (polite) speak too fast (for me)!

 

To ask for help you could try:

Per favore, può… Please, could you (polite)…
…parlare più lentamente …speak more slowly?
…parlare più piano?  …speak more slowly?
…parlare più forte? …speak more loudly?
…parlare in inglese? …speak in English?
Non parlare troppo veloce. Don’t speak too quickly.
Può ripetere? Could you (polite) repeat (that)?

 

Come si dice…?  How (do) you (polite) say…?
(literally: How does one say?)
Come si dice in italiano? How (do) you (polite) say (it) in Italian?
Cosa significa?  What does (it) mean?
Come si chiama in italiano? What is it called in Italian?

 

 

 

How to ask and answer the question, “Where are you from?” in Italian

The Grand Canal and the Piazza San Marco

 

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

For the last couple of weeks on our Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been discussing how to ask and answer the question, “Where are you from?” in Italian. It is a bit complicated, but what I always recommend is just to remember how the question will be asked and the answer in Italian as it applies to you!

Here is a summary of this topic, adapted from the “Grammar Note” in Chapter 2 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers ©2012,  discounted on Learn Travel Italian.com.

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 Describing Where You Are From

One of the questions most frequently asked of travelers during polite conversation is, “Where are you from?” Two phrases can be used to ask this question in Italian. There are subtle differences in the meaning of these two questions, and in the reply for each.

The first phrase uses the combination:

di + dove + essere = from + where + to be

This phrase is most often used to inquire about an individual’s place of birth. In Italian, when the verb to be (essere) is used, the idea of “from” is expressed with di, as in, “From where are you?” In proper English, of course, we would say, “Where are you from?” The answer in Italian will also use di and will be followed by the town of one’s birth. Notice that the subject pronoun io (I) is usually left out of the answer, as it is understood from the ending of the verb.

Di dov’è Lei? Where are you (polite) from?
Di dove sei? Where are you (familiar) from?
Sono di Chicago. (I) am from Chicago.

 

 

The second phrase uses the combination:

Da + dove + venire = from + where + to come

This phrase uses the action verb venire and is usually used in conversation when someone is visiting or has moved to a new place. The reply will use the io form of venire, which is vengo, and da for “from,” followed by a city, town, region/state, or country.

Also, remember that when speaking of a region, state, or country, the Italian definite article (il, lo, la, l’, gli) must be used. The preposition da is then combined with the definite article to make dal, dallo, dall’, dalla, or dagli, which means “from the.”

For now, don’t worry about these rules. Just look up and remember the correct way to say where you are living in case you are asked!

Da dove viene?

Da dove vieni?

Where do you come from? (polite)

Where do you come from? (familiar)

Vengo dall’America. (I) come from America./I am from America.
Vengo dagli Stati Uniti.  (I) come from the United States.
Vengo dall’Illinois.  (I) come from Illinois.
Vengo dalla California. (I) come from California.
Vengo dal New Jersey. (I) come from New Jersey.
Vengo da Chicago. (I) come from Chicago.

 

Conversational-Italian-for-Travelers-Textbook-232x300

 

“Prego” is Italian for “You’re welcome” and so much more!

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Most everyone who is familiar enough with Italian culture to want to visit Italy will know a few basic Italian words, like grazie” for “thank you,” for instance. But what is the proper reply?  Why, it is the word “prego,” of course! Anyone who visits Italy, even for a short time, will certainly hear the Italian word prego, and in more situations than they might expect at first!

Here is a summary, adapted from our pocket book Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases © 2014, of the many ways the word prego is used in Italian,  which was shared with our Conversational Italian! Facebook group this month.

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How to Use “Prego”

Prego is the direct response to grazie and means, “You’re welcome.” It is derived from the verb of politeness pregare, which has several meanings.

Pregare can be translated as “to pray,” which lends itself to the connotation of asking or requesting something. English phrases like, “I pray of you,” “I beg of you,” or “Pray tell,” carry the same idea, although these are no longer commonly used.

In a similar way, a simple, “Prego…” can also be used, usually with a gesture,* to address someone when on line in a crowded place, as in, “Go ahead of me, I beg you, if you please…”

“Sono pregati di” is a polite expression derived from pregare that may also be heard when someone in charge, such as a flight attendant or tour guide, for instance, is directing a group of people.

Finally, if an Italian waiter comes to your table at a restaurant with a wonderful dish for you to try, he may put it in front of you with a flourish and say, “Prego!” as in “There you go!”

Below is a summary of all the uses of that short, simple Italian word with many uses: “Prego!”

Prego. You’re welcome.
Prego…  If (you) please…
Sono pregati di…  Are requested/asked/begged to…
Prego! There you go!

*To really learn Italian, one must also learn the gestures that are a part of the language!

 

The many ways to say “hello” and “good bye” in Italian

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

For our first few weeks on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we have been talking about the many different ways to say “hello” and “good bye” in Italian, and in which situation to use which greeting. Read below and give it a try!

Here is a summary, adapted from our pocket book Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases © 2014 of the many ways to say “hello” and “good bye” in Italian, which was shared with our Facebook group.

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Meeting and Greeting in Italian

As in English, in Italian there are many ways to greet people, and different expressions will be used depending on the situation and how well the individuals know one another. Italian society has become overall less formal. Many easygoing, familiar, and slang expressions are now commonly used, not only between friends and family, but even between acquaintances, although polite forms of address are still important to know.

Listed below are some of the most common ways to say, “hello.” “Buon giorno can be used to mean “Good morning, when greeting family members at home and shop owners at the piazza; this phrase can also be used in more formal situations as its literal translation: “Good day.It is a phrase used so often that in fact, one often hears the reply shortened to simply “Giorno.  There are at least as many ways to say “good bye” as there are to say “hello,” as noted below.

Notice that the word ciao is unique because it can be used as an informal “hi” and a quick way to say “good bye.” Ciao is used frequently throughout Italy today, but only with family and friends.  So, don’t get stuck on the word ciao  – step out into town you are visiting in Italy, take a walk (like the Italians love to do) and practice all of these greetings with the new people you meet at the shops, restaurants, and in the piazza!

Buon giorno.* Good morning. (lit. Good day.)
used all day into the evening
Buona sera.* Good evening.
early nighttime greeting
Buona notte.* Good night.
used when leaving/bedtime
Buona giornata. (Have a) good day.
wish someone a nice (entire) day
Ciao. Hi./Bye.
informal greeting for family/friends
Ci vediamo! (Until) we see each other (again)!
for family or for a friend you hope to see again soon
Arrivederci. Good bye. (familiar polite)
Arrivederla. Good bye. (polite, with respect)
ArrivederLa. Good bye. (formal written form)
Salve. Hello. (old greeting/formal and informal)
Come va? How (is it) go(ing)? (a slang greeting used often)
Ciao bella!

Ciao bello!

Hey, beautiful girl!

Hey, handsome!

for someone you know (well)
A dopo! (See you) later! (good bye between friends)
A più tardi! (See you) later! (good bye between friends)
A presto! (See you) soon!
(good bye between friends)

*Can be written as one word, as in buongiorno, buonasera, or buonanotte.

Use these phrases to agree with what someone is saying:

Si. Yes.
Certo.  Of course.
D’accordo. (I) agree.
Penso di si. (I) think so.

 

 

 

 

 


Conversational Italian for Travelers

Conversational Italian for Travelers
Just the Important Phrases

(with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions)


Don’t you just love a small book with a long title?

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blogMy name is Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, and I am the author of the book we will be featuring on this blog. I am also the moderator of the Conversational Italian! Facebook group.

Join us each week as we discuss how to use the phrases that will allow YOU to get around Italy and feel comfortable there to really enjoy your dream vacation. My pocket book of Italian is easy to take along on your trip and has questions you will want to ask and the answers you will hear—and in the back, there’s a guide to the Italian dishes found on restaurant menus. It is all presented in a friendly, easy-to-read way, with lots of real-life examples that are not found in textbooks.

Let’s have fun together conversing about Italian language and culture as we learn Italian! Go to the sidebar and check out the Italian proverbs and Italian phrases we have been discussing on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group.

All About Italian Movies and… Love

Italy, the town of Stresa
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

As the title suggests… this blog post is about how to speak in Italian about two of everyone’s favorite topics—movies and love! The idea for this post came to me after I finally watched an old Italian DVD that I’ve had in my collection for some time. I realized that this movie has many phrases about love and relationships that we don’t usually learn in textbooks, spoken in clear and (fairly) slow Italian.

The movie is called Violent Summer because it takes place at the end of World War II, but it is really a love story. The actors were famous at the time, and the movie has a lovely, lyrical feel to it. If you want to watch it, I have a spoiler alert—there is really not any violence in this movie because it is mostly about the privileged few who were able to escape the violence of war… until the end.

Visit the Learn Italian! blog post from April 18, 2017, to read the entire dialogue and get started with learning how to talk about movies… and love! Following is an excerpt:

 

Speak Italian: About Italian Movies and Love 

In the dialogue to follow,  we listen in on a telephone call between two good Italian friends who are sharing thoughts about a famous Italian movie. The movie is about a love story that takes place during World War II. Common idiomatic expressions used when talking with a friend, vocabulary related to the movies, and phrases about love have been underlined.

Listening to foreign films is a wonderful way to learn another language. The movie described contains short sentences spoken in clear Italian and is a good place to start to build a vocabulary about relationships and love. Spoiler alert: The only real violence is at the very end of the movie, although its title is Violent Summer.

 

Speak Italian: About Italian Movies and Love

Una sera, il telefono di Maria ha squillato. Era Francesca, la migliore amica di Maria.
One evening, Maria’s telephone rang. It was Francesca, Maria’s best friend.

 

“Maria! Sono io! Come stai? Puoi parlare per un attimo?”
“Maria! It’s me! How are you? Can you talk for a bit?”

 

“Ma, certo Maria. Che è successo?”
“But of course, Maria. What happened?”    Read more…

Some of this material is adapted from our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, found on www.learntravelitalian.com. Special thanks to Italian instructors Simona Giuggioli and Maria Vanessa Colapinto.

Traditional Sicilian Easter Cheesecake

Italian Easter Cheesecake from Ragusa, Sicily
Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Easter is a very special time for celebration in Italy, as most Italians are Catholics or Christians.

The Easter season begins with Carnevale, which technically starts in January the day after Epifania, followed by Ash Wednesday (Mercoledi delle Cenere) and Lent (la Qauresima).

The week before Easter is called Holy Week in the Catholic Church. During this week, processions are held in the streets, often re-enacting the story of Jesus Christ, and special Masses are held.  This culminates in Good Friday, or Venerdì Santo.  The national holiday is officially Easter Sunday or Pasqua, followed by Easter Monday, or Pasquetta.

The week before Easter, Italians will say their “good byes” when leaving a group with the phrase, “Buona Pasqua!”

The Italian Easter Sunday is a day for the family to gather and attend church, followed by a special meal that is rich in the eggs and dairy that families in the past centuries were obligated to “give up” during the Lenten period.

The method for making traditional Sicilian Easter cheesecake given here is made in my family hometown of Ragusa, Sicily, and was passed on from my grandmother to my mother here in America. It is a very rich dessert and is still a family favorite on Easter.

The recipe was originally posted on March 21, 2016, on the Learn Italian! blog for Stella Lucente, LLC, and www.learntravelitalian.com. Below is an excerpt.

I’d love to hear from you after your family has tried this recipe!  

 

Easter Cheesecake Recipe:
Traditional Sicilian Sweet Farro Wheat Pie

Italian Easter traditions are unique to each region of the country and have been lovingly handed down within families through the generations. Ricotta cheesecake, a version of which was first served by the Romans centuries ago, has come to play a part in the Easter celebration in Sicily as well.

The recipe given below is for a Sicilian Easter cheesecake—actually a “ricotta pie,” made with a sweet Italian pie crust and sweet ricotta and farro wheat filling.  It has been passed down through the years within my father’s family from the town of Ragusa in Sicily. If you would like to see how the lattice pie crust top is assembled, visit the Stella Lucente Italian Pinterest site.

Farro wheat is one of the oldest forms of natural wheat grown in southern Italy and has been enjoyed by Italians for centuries. This whole-wheat grain is added to the ricotta filling as a symbol of renewal, along with dried fruit left over from winter stores and traditional Sicilian flavorings, in order to create a rich texture and a perfectly balanced sweet citrus and cinnamon flavor. Try it this Easter for a taste of Italian tradition! —Kathryn Occhipinti

Click on the link here for the recipe: Traditional Sicilian Sweet Farro Wheat Pie    Buon apetito!