For years we sailed San Francisco Bay in a boat called Canto del Mare (Song of the Sea). When we started sailing in Italy, we had to master a new maritime vocabulary, starting with the names for various Italian boats (imbarcazioni italiane):
The beaches on the northern California coast where I live are beautiful, dramatic — and usually windy, foggy and cold in the summer months. As much as I love walking and running on them, none can compare with una spiaggia italiana. If I could, I’d spend the entire summer on one.
Italians sometimes describe themselves as “solari” (sunny, cheerful, radiant). Il sole italiano (the Italian sun) certainly has inspired il culto del sole (sun worship) throughout the peninsula. Could anyone other than Italians have written a love song to the sun?
I swam my way through the pandemic. As soon as Covid restrictions eased, our community pool reopened—with social distancing, which meant no more than two swimmers at a time. By coming late in the day I almost always have had the pool to myself. Lovely as it is to be in the water—any water—it’s not the same as swimming in Italy.
The country of Italy, with its culture and iconic lifestyle, beckons to be understood. Speaking its language can help. Obviously you can study Italian as a foreign language in a school abroad or online, but nothing and no one will be able to enrich and involve you like an Italian school in Italy! As Italy opens its doors to the world, here are seven excellent reasons to come and study Italian in its native land:
On Father’s Day—and many others—I cherish a special memory: the last time I danced with my Dad, at an Italian-American banquet in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My mother had died a few months before, and I decided to bring my broken-hearted Dad along with me on a book tour that would take me to our home town of Scranton, Pa. Together we navigated the swirls of the New Jersey Turnpike. We stayed at roadside motels and a residence hall of a leafy campus. We ate at the first Mexican restaurant my 90-something Dad had ever visited. One of his hearing aids konkd out. I lost a contact lens. “We better hope Mom is in heaven looking after us,” I said.