One-Pot Italian Chicken in Marsala Wine

One Pot Italian Chicken in Marsala Wine

The perfect chicken dinner for those trapped indoors in the snowstorm that’s hit the country this weekend, or anytime! This is one of my family’s favorite suppers, and it is oh-so-easy to make.

The method for making Italian chicken in Marsala wine was originally posted on February 26, 2017, on the Learn Italian! blog for Stella Lucente, LLC, and Below is an excerpt.

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

One-Pot Italian Chicken in Marsala Wine

The recipe title, “One-Pot Italian Chicken in Marsala Wine” sounds rich… and it is! But it is also so easy to make! I am told that for many years in Italy, only relatively wealthy families had ovens (in the day of my great grandparents). As a result, many wonderful Italian meals were developed that could be made entirely on the stove top. This actually fits perfectly with the lifestyle we live today.

In this chicken in Marsala wine recipe, a whole cut chicken is cooked in one large skillet along with the wine and few other ingredients until a silky gravy forms. This hearty and fulfilling dish can be made during the week or served when friends are over on the weekend. Hearty, crusty Italian bread makes a perfect accompaniment. Add a salad or vegetable side dish (contorno) if you like.

So get out the largest skillet you have, and try our chicken in Marsala wine dish for your family tonight. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! —Kathryn Occhipinti

Click on the Learn Italian! link for the recipe!

Buona Festa della Donna 2017

Today’s Italian saying is about a truly Italian holiday, the Festa della Donna, which was celebrated on March 8 this year. It is a simple holiday started by Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei after World War II (dopoguerra)during which men give the mimosa flower to all the women in their lives as a show of appreciation and love.

The saying below is a tribute to Sicilian women that was written by my favorite, and world-renowned Sicilian author, Andrea Camilleri. His mystery series has been made into the hugely successful BBC television series Inspector Montalbano, segments of which I watch almost every day to keep up on my “local” Italian.

Buona Festa della Donna!

Il 8 di Marzo

Festa della Donna 2017
Buona Festa della Donna! A tribute to Sicilian women from renown Sicilian author Andrea Camilleri.

Featured image photo by Dénes Emőke – London, CC BY-SA 2.5,

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

Burano in Venice, Italy
Kathryn for
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel

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 and Learn Travel

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


 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
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel

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 and Learn Travel

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 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

First Glimpse of Carnevale in Viareggio

Carnivale float in Vaireggio Italy, 2017

If you think of Italy and carnevale, chances are the elegant masks of Venice come to mind. But anyone who has spent any amount of time in Tuscany will have heard of the famous Viareggio Carnevale, with its procession of massive floats dedicated to world politics. There’s no question that 2016 has given the papier-maché…

via I Finally Went to the Viareggio Carnevale! — ArtTrav