Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Classic

Io vagabondo is from 1972 and is by Nomadi. The band formed in 1963 and are still recording and performing today.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Word of The Week

La temperatura – temperature

This week the maximum temperature in Milan has dropped by about 10 degrees compared to last week. This morning when I left the house it was a cool 16 degrees. I've been able to wear a long sleeved top, jeans, and a cardigan all day. Amazing! And last night I slept with my duvet with the windows closed all night. The strange summer continues!

Oh, FYI, if you're a person and you have a temperature then it's a febbre, a fever. If you're Italian that's the absolute worse thing you can have when you're ill. Seriously.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Classic

One of the most memorable performances from the X Factor auditions that I attended this week was of Voglio vederti danzare. It's a beautiful song by Franco Battiato, and was released in 1982. He also re-wrote the lyrics in both English and Spanish.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Welshie at the X Factor Auditions

Noooo, I wasn't a contestant!

This week I had the pleasure of attending the X Factor auditions, which were held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the Teatro dal Verme in the centre of Milan. Some might know that I'm a fan of Mika, who is the new judge on the panel this year. For all three days (yup, three whole days) I went along with a group of friends who had come from all over Italy to witness judge Mika in action, girls who also did a great job of organising the tickets for the auditions.

In true Italian style the auditions were very long, and always started late. After five hours in a hot and stuffy theatre (Air con? Where??) on Monday and Tuesday, filming ended around 1am and 12.15am respectively. There was also an afternoon session on Tuesday, which started two hours late. That gap was filled up by a warm-up man who I very quickly lost patience with on Monday for the party games more suited to a six-year-old's birthday party. Call it cultural differences...

Italians have a passion for music which is on a whole other level to us Brits. I've seen it during concerts, on social media, and I saw it this week at the auditions. I think it might be down to how Italians are more open with their feelings and are much more willing to show emotion. There's a passion for it here that I just never saw at home. It's hard to describe, you have to see it for yourself.

I don't want to spoil too much from the auditions, but for those who will be watching X Factor when it starts on tv in the Autumn look out for Elisabetta, a young mother of five; Diletta from Prato singing Mina's Brava, and girl group Dynamo. There were some fantastic singers, and obviously some who weren't so great!

Being a fan of Mika who had also learned Italian I was extremely curious to see how he would get on with the language. He'd been studying Italian intensively for a couple of months but he was at roughly the same level I was around half way through my Erasmus year, which was my second year of university. His mistakes generated more than a few laughs from both the other judges and audience, but he got on very well. It's tiring when you're at that level, constantly having to translate everything in your head first before speaking; and I knew exactly what it was like.

So in Autumn if you happen to see a ghostly white bespectacled blonde girl sat behind the judges in the audience during the auditions on tv, that'll be me!

Word of The Week

La nuvola - cloud

Every so often during the summer we get a break from the heat and humidity. This afternoon the temperature in Milan is a pleasant 27 degrees, there's a slight breeze, and some fluffy white nuvole in the sky.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Classic

On this day 25 years ago Jovanotti was No.1 with his second single Gimme Five. 25 years down the line and he's in the middle of a stadium tour, this week he's playing San Siro on Wednesday and Thursday.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Word of The Week

L'abbronzatura (feminine noun) - tan

It's only mid-June but there are already people walking around Milan with a ridiculous tan. Whether this is from the beach/park/sitting on the balcony all day, or one they've paid for in a tanning salon is a mystery, though after the only rare sightings of that yellow ball in the sky this year I'm tempted to go for the second option. Today was the first real chance I had to start working on my abbronzatura after all the bad weather we've had. The only problem is being a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Celt, I don't tan - I freckle.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Takeaway menus from Milan

Every few days a new take-away pizza menu shows up in my letterbox. I'm not a massive pizza eater, but I always through them to see what's on offer, and I'm always amused at the imaginative names given to pizzas and paninis!

How about this? There's a pizza for nearly the whole family, mamma, nonna (grandmother), nonno (grandfather) and papà (dad).

Places are always a big favourite.

This is probably the cutest name I've seen, primo amore, first love. The toppings are mozzarella and fresh tomato.

But this wins the prize for best name. Oh My God! A panini made with sausage, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Classic

Patty Pravo was born Nicoletta Strambelli in Venice in 1948. La bambola is one of her most well-known songs, it was released in 1968 and was No.1 for nine weeks.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Word of The Week

I vestiti - clothes

With the weather's finally warming up I went into Milan city centre this morning in search of some vestiti for the summer. I have to admit that I don't like buying or wearing summer clothes, and I much prefer the cold, so it's not a task that I enjoy very much! I did however find a couple of tops (one was reduced as well yay!) and a skirt, so it's a start! In the foto there are a few of my dresses, and even though the word vestiti is used for clothes, the singular form vestito is one of the words in Italian for 'dress'.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Song of The Week

Baciami e portami a ballare (Kiss me and take me dancing) is the new single from Roman singer-songwriter Alex Britti. It's the first single to be taken from his new album Bene così, which will be his seventh studio album.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Classic

Little Tony passed away on Thursday at the age of 72. He was born Antonio Ciacci on the 7th of February 1941 and was one of the first singers to bring rock and roll to Italy, after having achieved success in Britain in the late 50s and 60s with his brothers Alberto and Enrico. One of his biggest hits was Cuore matto in 1967, when it was No.1 for nine consecutive weeks.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Word of The Week

Il libro - book

Since reading Murakami's 1984 a few weeks ago I've reverted back to the nerdy bookworm I was for most of my time at school. This is a part of my growing library, and at the moment it feels like libri are slowly taking over my house!