Archive for General

Italian Soul Meet-Up Group

Rialto Bridge Venice

A new Italian Meet Up group everyone wants to join!

Italian Soul is the newest Italian meet up group in the greater Seattle area! Meeting in both Seattle and on the Eastside you will be able to find events you want to attend.

This group is for anyone who is interested in Italy – culture, language, travel, food, movies, wine or anything else. Whether you have lived there or never been there in your life, this group is for you.  You don’t have to speak the language, you only have to like the country and culture.

Join our Meet Up community to attend these free Italian cultural events – including:

  • Wine, Olive Oil, Coffee Tastings
  • Potlucks and Cooking Lessons
  • Movie Nights
  • Language Classes
  • Travel Seminars
  • And much more

To join for free go to http://www.meetup.com/Italian-Soul/

See you there!!

Free Italian Language Class

coffee in Venice

It was Federico Fellini who said, “A different language is a different vision of life”.

Adventure On Italy is now partnering with Anima Italiana to offer my readers and fellow travelers a great opportunity to learn italian for a vacation or for a lifetime. Anima Italiana is a Seattle based italian school that embodies immersion language study right here in the Greater Seattle area.

The instructor, Dario, is a native Sicilian who has been in Seattle 6 years. His passion for teaching italian is infectious and his approach to the lessons are the opposite of the boring classroom setting. Dario cultivates an environment that fosters learning the way you would as a child, not using textbooks, but by using and building a vocabulary the way it is spoken in Italy, even if you don’t know a single word of italian when you start.

With small groups (4-6 people) you will learn quickly how to start having simple meaningful conversations “over coffee with a friend.” Most classes take place in the comfortable setting of coffee shop meeting rooms around Seattle and the Eastside. The classes are 2 hours, one day a week for 8-weeks.

Dario and I are offering a new Eastside beginner class in the Houghton Neighborhood of Kirkland starting the second Wednesday of June. If you would like to check out the first class you can join us for FREE! Simply let me know you are interested and I will get you all the details.

 

Check out Dario and his classes at www.AnimaItalianaSeattle.com

Rome Random Facts

Rome, the Eternal City, is a city unlike any other in the world. Here are a few random facts about this amazing city!  Enjoy and Share!

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy

  • Decorated by 4,000 deceased monks The Capuchin Crypt in Rome consists of five chapels and a corridor 60 meters long. c
  • The abbreviation SPQR can be found on many Roman statues, buildings, and military standards. It stands for “senatus populusque romanus.” meaning “The senate and people of Rome.”
  • Togas were unique to Rome and were worn by free-born Roman men as a mark of distinction. Ironically, the only women who wore togas were prostitutes because they were not allowed to wear stolas, the traditional garment of Roman women. d
  • On the day the Colosseum officially opened, it remained open for 3 full days and 5,000 animals were killed. During its history, it has been estimated that over 500,000 people (men and women) and over a million animals from all over the world were killed. e
  • Because Romans were highly superstitious and feared anything to do with the left, they based their words for “left” and “left-handed” on the modern meaning of sinister. They words are  sinistra and sinister, respectively. a
  • The Pantheon, “Temple of the Gods,” was built by the emperor Hadrian (118-125). It is remarkable for a couple of reasons: 1) its massive dome has withstood the test of time and elements for almost 2000 years and I made solely of concret with no reinforcing steel and 2) The oculus in the center of the dome is open air. Until the nineteenth century The Pantheon was the largest concrete curved dome that existed. a
  • If you have ever seen the film Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, then you are familiar with the Mouth of Truth or “La bocca della Verita.” Legend says that if you tell a lie andyou’re your hand in the mouth it will cut off your hand. At one point priest in the Middle ages actually put scorpions in the mouth to perpetuate the myth. The Mouth of Truth is now thought to be an ancient Roman manhole cover or part of a first-century statuec
  • Blessing of the Throats – Every year in the middle of winter, February 3rd, after the mass at the church of the Madonna del Divino Amore in Campo Marzio, the priest gives a blessing to people’s throats to help get them through the winter. To bless the throats the priest holds two lit candles in the form of a cross and touches the people on the throat repeating the phrase: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” b
  • Mass in Aramaic – Every Sunday at 10:30am in the church of Santa Maria in Campo Marzio you can be a part of a mass in Jesus’ language, Aramaic, as well as Arabic and Italian. b
  • The Most Holy Crucifix – One night in 1519 the church of San Marcello al Corso burnt to the ground in a fire. Everything was destroyed except a wooden crucifix from the main alter. This crucifix later put an end to a plague and became known as the Most Holy Crucifix. There is a legend that the sculptor of this particular crucifix actually killed a man in his sleep so that he could create a more realistic representation of Christ on the Cross.b
  • The Trevi Fountain took 30 years to build. It was originally started because of a competition that Pope Clement XII organized. In 1732 the work began and was designed of Niccolo Salvi, which was influenced by Bernini. It remained unfinished until after Niccolo died in 1751, and was finally finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Panini.b
  • Invito a Palazzo – “Invitation to the Palace.” One day each year there are several banks open to the public for tours. The reason is because many of the palaces in Rome are now occupied by banks. These palaces have amazing frescoes and sculptures you can see on the first Saturday in October for free.b
  • The giant and famous obelisk in St. Peter’s Square is also a meridian (one of the largest in the world).b
  • Of all the many many basilicas in the world, there are only 4 in all of Christendom that possess a holy door and they are located in Rome. The four churches are: Saint Peter in the Vatican, Saint Mary Major, Saint John Lateran, and Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Why is a holy door a holy door? Because they are only opened every 25 years during Jubilees. b
  • Blessings in Rome – There are many different things in Rome you can get blessed on specific dates. Some include, blessing of the throats, blessings of expectant mothers, blessing of the animals, blessing of motorists and many more.b

 

References

a Burgan, Michael. 2005. Empire of Ancient Rome. New York, NY: Facts on File Books.

bLovatelli, Ginevra. 2012. Secret Rome. France: Jonglez

c The Sydney Morning Herald. “Rome—Places to See.” November 28, 2008.

d Wolf, Greg, ed. 2003. Cambridge Illustrated History: Roman World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

e Kerrigan, Michael. 2001. Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. London, UK: BBC WorldWide Ltd.

Brown Bears Protected in Italy

Brown bears being protected in Italy may sound strange, but it is true. Here’s what happened… Several years ago brown bears were attacking animals on farms and being killed. Because of the human presence, there are now no more than 70 individuals. These few brown bears are protected by strong laws.

Learn Italian on Your iPad or iPhone

The various Apple products on the market right now, including and especially the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, have revolutionized the way that people interact the world, and they have also had an enormous impact on learning, especially language learning. If you need to learn Italian, consider trying one of these apps offered through the App Store to get you off on the right track.

Beginner Italian for iPad
This app, designed especially for Apple’s iPad, is one of the best apps out there for learning Italian. The app comes designed with 25 lessons that guide the beginning Italian speaker through the language, making the learning experience immersive and enjoyable. The app also includes a number of other features, including multiple tones of voice so you can see how the language sounds when spoken by different people, a vocabulary list, and many other features that help you learn the grammar of the Italian language.

uTalk HD Italian
This handy little app, which is designed to teach you only the basics of the language, is especially useful if you’re going to be making a trip to Italy and need to learn the basics very quickly. The lessons in the app are designed to help you master the language as quickly as possible, and include such things as images (to help you match a word with what it represents,) quizzes (to help you keep track of your learning process,) and a speech recorder that allows you to compare your accent with that of native Italian speakers.

Basic Italian Audio Flashcards Lessons
This little app, which is one of the most affordable available through the app store, is also a great app for learning Italian. This particular app uses a number of lessons to teach you various crucial parts of the language, including greetings, food, members of the family, occupations, and many more. Quizzes are also included in this app for learning Italian, so you can keep track of your own learning.

Italian Audio Flashcards for iPad
This app, while a little more expensive than some of the others out there, is nevertheless a great investment for those planning on learning Italian. This app teaches you over 5,000 different Italian words, so you’ll never be at a loss whenever you need to learn the language. In addition to the flashcards (which are a great way to learn the language,) this app also includes an audio recording of a native speaker using the word, as well as numerous exercises to help you see how it is used.

Italian Verb Conjugation Reference Quiz
This handy little app is one of the best out there for helping you to learn one of the most basic elements of grammar, the conjugation of verbs. This app also works without an internet connection, so you can continue learning Italian even when your iPad isn’t connected to the internet.

AccelaStudy Italian
This app, designed especially for the iPhone (although it can also be used on the iPad,) is an excellent choice for those who would like to learn Italian in a quick period of time. This app has a number of features that make it a good buy (besides the fact that it’s reasonably priced at around $10,) including a complete dictionary, statistics to help you keep track of your learning, and much more. This is definitely a good buy for the money.

24/7 Tutor-Italian 101
This app, also designed for the iPhone, is a little more advanced than some of the other apps, and includes a number of features that make Italian both enjoyable and easy. These include a puzzle that is engaging, native speaker audio for all words, and a number of quizzes that help you to apple what you’ve learned. At a price of just under $8, this is definitely a good bargain.

WordPower Italian
This little app, although it will not prepare you for advanced Italian, is nevertheless an excellent choice for those who want to gain the basics of the language. With its emphasis on 2,000 of the most commonly used words and phrases, it ensures that your ability to interact with native speakers and your reading proficiency in Italian will be greatly enhanced.

Learn a Language with Michel Thomas
This app, which offers language learning in a number of languages (including, of course, Italian,) is an all-audio learning opportunity that is an excellent way to learn Italian. The advantage of this particular app is that you pay for lessons as you can, so you can learn as much or as little Italian as you like.

Learn Italian
This app, designed for the iPhone, uses a flashcard method to teach you the basics of the Italian language. This particular app for learning Italian is divided into three sections, so it walks you through the various stages of learning the language.

Whichever app you decide on, you can be sure that each of these will be able to teach you the skills you need to read or speak Italian. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking Italian like a native.

Olive Oil: a Biography

Montefalco: the Olive Oil Alchemy

words by Nicola Ferlei-Brown in Italy Magazine

 

Alchemy and extra virgin olive oil just so go together. The sacred serum has not only been used to anoint leaders in history, but the affordable star potion has been hailed as a modern day preventative for cancer.

Galen, an ancient Roman physician and surgeon, is credited with using olive oil in the 2nd century AD as a moisturizer. No wonder Homer called it liquid gold.Roman women used olive oil to treat their hair and skin. It was used as an exfoliater, and for moisturizing after the sun. To heal dry brittle nails, and to make the skin shine. They were aware of its many beneficial qualities, both for our skin and for the body. It was even used as fuel for oil lamps, and a pre-fight application to protect the skin from blows. ‘Ornatrices’ (Roman slave hairdressers) had a handy little jar of olive oil with them at all times when in the streets, to touch up the decorative hairstyles of their mistresses. Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans all deemed it handy for bathing, make up, and of course, cooking.  Read More by clicking here

Politics in Italy

As politics is on many of our minds, here is a look at one side of politics going on in Italy right now!

 

Excerpt from Italy Magazine words by Carol King

As a comedian and blogger, Beppe Grillo is not what comes to mind when thinking of the leader of an Italian political party. Yet polls indicate his party, MoVimento 5 Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S), is now the second most popular in Italy. The current regional election in Sicily is an opportunity to for M5S to prove that it can turn the support indicated in the polls to votes. The election in Sicily indicates how people may vote in the general election next year…… Read the rest of this article by clicking here.

 

Witches in Sardinia? – Random Fact #4

Not only are there still witches, there are witches in Italy!

The Sardinian islands are famous for their “witches” who make health potions for local people. The “witches” are usually women and they use a secret language that they pass on to their daughters.

Source: Blashfield, Jean F. 2009. Italy: Enchantment of the World. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Louvre Denies Mona Lisa’s Return to Florence

Louvre snubs Italian Request to Return Mona Lisa to Florence

 

excerpt from Italy Magazine

words by Carol King

Paris’ Louvre museum has rebuffed a request to allow the Mona Lisa to be displayed in Italy next year.

Italian campaigners have collected more than 150,000 signatures asking for the Mona Lisa to be returned to its “home city” of Florence. The petition asks Paris’ Louvre museum to hand over Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, in a move that could be the start of a battle similar to the Greeks’ struggle to have the UK give back… (read more)

Francesco Vini – An Amazing Restaurant in Florence

Just around the corner from Santa Croce and the Uffizi in the heart of Florence  is an amazing restaurant called Francesco Vini!  With amazing food and amazing service this place is not to be missed on any trip to Florence Italy.

FrancescoVini offers the best quality of food for our customers and typical Tuscan dishes made famous in Florence and refined by our talented chefs.

Check it out at www.francescovini.com