Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Classic

I'm going to dedicate this week's post to a friend I who I saw for the first time this week after a few months. It's La vita è adesso (Life is now) by Roman singer-songwriter Claudio Baglioni. It's the title track of his 1985 album, which sold 2,400,000 copies.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Word of The Week

La valigia - suitcase

This week my mamma's been visiting, and she bought a valigia - not one of these two, both of which are mine... I know. - full of presents for my birthday and lots of lovely food to eat. One of the good things about having a birthday at the end of March is that she always brings over Easter eggs from back home!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Classic

Sì viaggiare is one of my favourite songs by Lucio Battisti. It was released in in March 1977 and was No.1 for eight weeks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Word of The Week

La primavera - Spring

This week's weather has been pretty crazy. We've had everything from snow, to wind, to rain... But Thursday was the first day of primavera, and the sole (sun) finally decided to put in an appearance. But jt's not due to last long, with pioggia (rain) forecast for this afternoon...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Song of The Week

Negramaro are celebrating 10 years since the release of their self-titled debut album. Una storia semplice is the title track of their greatest hits collection, which has been released to celebrate the anniversary.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where's Spring?

This has been my fifth winter in Milan, and this has been by far the winter I've seen the most snow here. This was the sight I was the sight I saw when I got out of bed this morning. On the 18th of March. Wasn't Spring was supposed to be just around the corner??

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Classic

Fourty years ago, on the 17th of March 1973, Lucio Battisti was number one in Italy with Il mio canto libero.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Word of The Week

Photo credits: Andrea Ferrante

Il gabbiano - seagull

The unlikely star of the Papal election was the gabbiano who decided to perch on the chimney above the Cappella Sistina. Some saw the seagull as a sign of who would be elected, pointing out that the seagull is a symbol of Milan's patron saint, Saint Ambrose. But once Cardinal Bergoglio was annouced as the new Pope, and that he was taking the name of Francesco (Francis in English), the same news channels were quick to remind people of Saint Francis's love of nature and of how he once preached to birds.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Adverts from Italy 3

Müller strikes again!

Oh, but for the record, the Marrakech one is delicious. The yogurt, I mean.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In The Mouth of The Wolf and Other Phrases

Do dogs really have such a bad life?

After reaching the point where you can claim to be fluent in a foreign language you can fully appreciate some of the particularities of the language that you've acquired. One of my favourite things about the Italian language are the phrases which involve various animals.

In bocca al lupo - literally this translates to 'in the mouth of the wolf'. This is the phrase that you would use when wishing someone good luck, such as for an exam. The correct response to this isn't grazie as you would imagine, but crepi, or the full phrase of crepi il lupo. Crepi, for grammar nerds, when used in this phrase is the imperative third person singular of the verb crepare, which means 'to die' (in modern Italian the verb crepare is only used in colloquial speech, morire is the more acceptable alternative). So basically, by saying crepi you want the wolf to die, so you can escape from his mouth! A more vulgar version of the same phrase is in culo alla balena, which translates to 'in the arse of the whale'.

Quattro gatti. For some reason, a small amount of people can be expressed as a specific number of cats -or gatti - namely four. Working in an office in Italy in August? More than likely you'll be one of the four cats who aren't on holiday.

Solo come un cane - lonely as a dog. For some reason or other in Italy man's best friend is lonely. Dogs are also related to other negative images, for example if you're heartbroken after the end of a relationship you could say that you are 'suffering like a dog', sto soffrendo come un cane. And one way of expressing that it's absolutely freezing is to say fa un freddo cane - it's a dog cold!

Conosco i miei polli - Literally 'I know my chickens'. It's the image of a farmer or a breeder knowing their animals and what their behaviour's like. It's a way of saying that you know what somebody, a friend, colleague, family member etc, is like and how they normally behave in certain situations. Somebody asks you if your lazy housemates will do the cleaning whilst you're away on holiday? Oh no no, you know your chickens...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Word of the Week

Le ballerine - ballet pumps

Even though we've had some rain this week it's starting to warm up, which means I can start wearing my ballerine again! The word ballerine is also the feminine form of the word 'dancers'; a male dancer is a ballerino and a female dancer is a ballerina. These can be any kind of dancers, not just ballet dancers. And what's the verb for what do ballerini do? Ballare! They dance! And I certainly love to ballare in my ballerine!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Classic

Tomorrow would have been Lucio Dalla's 70th birthday. He passed away on the 1st of March last year after suffering a heart attack. Here's one of my favourite songs of his, Disperato erotico stomp, taken from his 1977 album, Come è profondo il mare.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Word of The Week

Il dolce - dessert

The photo is from a very delicious dolce that I had in Piacenza (around 45 miles south-east of Milan) last Saturday. They're two beignets filled with cream and with chocolate sauce and almonds on the top. Gnam! as the Italians would say. Dolce can also be used as an adjective to mean sweet. A person can be dolce, or food can be dolce. And as I have a very sweet tooth the few dolce I cook often turn out to be too dolci!