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...

Celebrating Italian American Heritage

Every October the United States celebrates Italy’s heritage—with good reason.  More than a mere country, Italy embodies a culture that has  transformed art and architecture, language and music, food and fashion. Western civilization would surely have sprouted...

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,...

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...

Summer in Italian: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

il dolce far niente by Jody Paglia Goode This guest blog by  an Italophile in Des Moines is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever run. I’m re-publishing it to savor as the end of summer approaches.   Buona lettura!  (Enjoy the read!) A few years ago...