Italy’s Other Languages

For centuries the Italian peninsula was a patchwork of hundreds of dialects, often as different from one another as French from Spanish or English from Italian. Sailors from Genoa couldn’t understand—or be understood by—merchants from Venice or farmers from Friuli. ...

Honoring Dante during the Week of the Italian Language in the World

This year the Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (week of the Italian language in the world), from October 18 to 23, celebrates “Dante, l’Italiano.“ It is a fitting tribute during the 700th commemoration of  the poet’s death in 1321. Born in Florence in...

A Harvest of Italian Words

\ In Italy every season— la primavera (spring), l’estate (summer), l’autunno (autumn), l’inverno (winter) — has a different feel and focus. L’autunno is when farmers reap what they have sown. The harvest (il raccolto or la messe) has already passed for many fruits,...

The Joys of Italy’s Food

  A guest post by Andrea Gelfoso Eating Italian food in Italy made me cry. The first time I had pizza during our year in Modena, tears ran onto the perfectly crisp crust. I’m a vegetarian, so vegetables rule. Pizza offered toppings from all over the produce...

September in Italian

In the ancient Roman calendar, the year began in March. September, the seventh month, took its name from the Latin septem. During this pivotal month, the hours of sunlight diminish and those of darkness increase. As an Italian proverb puts it, in settembre, la notte...

Summer in Italian: The Moon

One summer night on the island of Capri some friends told us to meet them at a popular restaurant at precisely 9:35 p.m. When we arrived at the bustling eatery, they escorted us away from the crowded main dining room to a quiet alcove and insisted that Bob and I take...