MY PRIVATE ITALY: 10 ITALIAN SAYINGS IT'S BETTER TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO ITALY

Thursday, 29 December 2016 13:45 Written by
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Why should you go on a private tour to Italy? There are several reasons, and one of the most important is the language. A private tour gives you the possibility to learn some italian with your Tour Leader, and to understand Italy better through its language! Italy is wonderful because its language is. And its language reflects its history and its traditions, so don’t be surprised we use water, priests and devils in some popular sayings. So, let’s discover some of them, people will identify you as an Italian, or at least will compliment you!

Starsene con le mani in mano (Stay with one hand into the other)

It is not a cliché: we Italians gesticulate like madmen, and often we can summarize an entire speech with a slight waving of hands and fingers.

So, telling an Italian who stands "with hands at rest" is how to strip him of one of his hallmarks.

The expression is used against a person who is not working while all those around him are busy ( "Non startene con le mani in mano….. help me with this suitcase!"). Or against a "careless" (or lazy or stingy) host who did not bring the gift to a birthday party and presents with ... empty hands, in fact.

Non ci piove (No rain there)

This expression of popular origin - as most of expressions involving atmospheric phenomena and disasters - describes perfectly the idea of security and inevitability of what is expressed.

If "Non ci piove", it means that you are in a secure place and out of reach of any doubt, aren’t you?

Piove sul bagnato (it’s raining on wet)

This proverb expresses so perfectly all the indignation when something really unfair happens to those who do not deserve it at all.

If, for example, a billionaire wins the lottery, or one who has just been dumped by his girlfriend also loses his wallet ... behold, in those cases "piove sul bagnato!"

Acqua in bocca (Keep water in your mouth)

Legend has it that a very devout but at the same time particularly gossipy woman had asked for help to his confessor.

"What should I do" asked "not to speak ill of people and stop committing this sin?"

The priest, very wisely, suggested a miraculous liquid which, according to him, would have curbed the desire to speak ill of others and reveal the secrets.

"Take a few drops and keep them in your mouth," he said, "see that it is miraculous!"

Well, the expedient of the pastor was effective!

Pietro torna indietro (Peter's back)

This sentence, which because of the rhyme looks more like a nursery rhyme, in itself makes absolutely no sense. Who is this Peter? And where did he go? No one knows. It seems certain, anyway, that he will come back. We want to trust? Let's trust.

That's why we mention him so many times when we lend something: “Pietro torna indietro!”

Chiodo scaccia chiodo (One nail drives another one out)

To overcome some "drama of the past" (a relationship gone bad or a dismissal, just to name a few), the best solution is usually to replace it with something beautiful and exciting.

“Chiodo scaccia chiodo”, that is that old and rusty nail that makes you feel bad must give way to a new and glittering nail.

Non avere peli sulla lingua (No hair on your tongue)

Do you have a friend who tells you things as they plainly are, without filters between brain and mouth and with no regard for your feelings? Of course, we all agree that maybe he could show more sensitivity in tell things, but what do you prefer? One who lies to you with a smile, or one that hurts you in the name of truth?

Avere un diavolo per capello (Having one devil for each hair)

Is there a more appropriate phrase to describe a furious person? Devils by the thousands are jumping all over the head and pull your hair like crazy. Quite scary.

Da che pulpito (From which pulpit…)

Once, when pulpits were used in churches, priests liked to launch anathemas from the pulpit.

Today, "preach from the pulpit" has become a metaphor referring to those who give advice and recommendations to someone who, presumably, is at fault. However, if the person speaking is not exactly without sin ... his sermon becomes hypocritical and the position of superiority - the pulpit - is definitely not credible.

E’ il mio cavallo di battaglia (It's my battle horse)

Nothing to do with bloody medieval duels and terrible galloping towards the enemy. The poor horse is just a metaphor for the best of the best, the cutting edge or the ultimate of our repertoire.

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Read 4698 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 08:34
Marcello Cordovani

Marcello Cordovani is the founder and co-owner of VITORITALY. He is also the Tour Manager of the private tour of Italy

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