Italian word of the day: Mangiare

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Every once in a while I thought it would be fun to feature a single Italian word of the day and list associated phrases and vocabulary in a sort of themed Italian language post.

There are many language blogs which will give you heaps of Italian verbs and words to study but the idea of grouping things together into a theme seems so interesting.

Since I’ve been talking so much about food and drink lately I’ll start with the verb Mangiare [man-già-re] or to eat which is actually associated with many colourful words and popular sayings and colloquial phrases of the Italian lexicon.

Food and eating are probably the two most important things in Italy as they are at the centre of everyday life, socialising, traditions and culture.

Some associated words with eating are:

Masticare [ma-sti-cà-re]: to chew
Digerire [di-ge-rì-re]: to digest
Deglutire [de-glu-tì-re]: to swallow
Inghiottire [in-ghiot-tì-re]: to gulp
Consumare [con-su-mà-re]: to consume

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The most used phrases to feature the word mangiare include:

Mangiare in bianco: literally to eat in white. If someone is on a diet or has had some kind of ailment of the digestive system they will eat lightly and simply with no salt or other condiments. Someone who is eating ‘in bianco’ will usually eat something like pastina or pasta with oil until they feel better.

Mangiare pesante: in contrast to eating in white, eating heavy is about overindulging. Usually eating too much or heavily includes consuming too much deep fried or fatty meals and leads to having to eat ‘in bianco’ for a while!

Mangiare la foglia: literally it reads to eat a leaf. But figuratively it means to become aware of a trick or a scam.

Mangiarsi il fegato: to eat your own kidney is to be consumed by anger.

Mangiarsi le mani: eating your hands means to regete something you did.

Mangiarsi la parola: is literally to eat your own word or to break a promise or change your opinion or point of view in a contradictory way.

Mangiarsi le parole: turning part of the phrase into a plural changes the meaning completely. Someone who eats their words is someone who doesn’t annunciate their words or speak clearly and is considered a major speech impediment.

I’ve been trying out a few different kinds of post styles to see what people are interested in seeing on SI&O so let me know if you like this kind of post by hitting the like button below or writing me a comment.

Five Random Italian Words

I’ve been compiling a list of my fave Italian words on my phone for a while with a half-baked idea for a post, and I am grateful to this months Dolce Vita Bloggers theme of ‘five Italian words’, which has jogged my memory and allowed me to finally sit down and write about the Italian language. So hats off to Kelly from italianatheart.com, Jasmine from questadolcevita.com and Kristie of mammaprada.com  for starting a fascinating conversation.

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For more on how to join in on the fun click here.

This is my sixteenth year living in Italy and at last I am feeling at ease with the language.
Italian has always been a challenge for me, I loved studying it as a hobby but when you jump into full immersion living in a foreign country without an expat safety net, your understanding really takes off, while the challenges with learning a second language can be frustrating.
I’m still confused by Italian grammar, I always joke with my students that I am stuck in the basic present, past and future tenses, with an inability to express my opinions in the conditional or study the past in the complex historical past tense academics tend to use.
Italian newspapers are a wonderful exercise in Italian language learning. Italian journalists have little in common with Anglo-Saxon ones, there is no emphasis on quick, clear and easy to understand language, reading a newspaper here in Italy is a journey into the Italian Baroque, filled with flowery intellectual prose, all quite beautiful but guaranteed to give you a headache.

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Click here if you want to read the other #dolcevitabloggers posts.

I’m constantly being reminded by condescending Italians of my quaint, adorable Australian accent. While there is no class system in Italy, I think there is most certainly an intellectual snobbery which defines itself as being superior because of the ability to speak, act and sometimes even dress ‘properly’.
I really haven’t studied Italian since moving here full-time. The basic grammar I have has been gained through my university studies and a few short courses during my long-lost twenties. So I have gathered this accumulation of mostly conversational Italian through years of living, working, socializing and interacting with Italians. I often challenge myself by reading a newspaper or a book and this year I am attempting to translate my blog posts into Italian but it still is a long and laboured process, which I am enjoying.

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I love words so when I hear something I write it down. I have loads of random lists on tiny pieces of paper, lists both in English and Italian.

The Italian words are heavier, more exotic like the pebbles on rocky Italian beaches, I always pick them up, feel their strange texture, hold them up to the light, listen to their musicality and admire them.

I’m going to share the first five words on my very long list of strange yet beautiful Italian words which have been created to describe quirky or ugly elements of Italian culture, words which only exist in Italian. Wonderfully onomatopoeic sounding words, who roll off the tongue, make me belly laugh out loud and leave me speechless with their aptness. The Italian language is filled with expressive words which reflect the flamboyant and poetical nature of Italy.

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FUNNULLONE (fan | nul | ló | ne) : the English translation of this word simply doesn’t do it justice. A slacker, bum or lay about is so much weaker than a fa (from fare or do) nulla (niente or nothing) literally someone who does nothing. Commonly used to describe and complain about government office workers in Italy.

FIGURACCIA (fi-gu-ràc-cia): Italians always talk about making a good impression or a ‘bella figura,’ either by presenting themselves well in front of new acquaintances, professionally or before the general community. A figuraccia is when you make the worst possible impression, totally bombing at a job interview or burning all bridges for a promotion, you have totally ruined your reputation forever which is probably the worst thing ever for an Italian.

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MAMMONE (mam | mó | ne) : literally a mammone refers to a large mothers breast, a wonderful image which describes the typical Italian mummy’s boy. A word of advice, if you ever meet a mammone, don’t ever get involved with him, it always gets too Oedipal.

IMBROGLIONE (im-bro-glió-ne): the English translation into ‘trickster’ waters down the meaning of this term. An imbroglione can be a nasty corrupt politician, a sly con man or an oversexed Don Juan, someone who lies and deceives for their own personal benefit, but its more than that, they are absorbed by their own deceit and are one hundred percent consumed by their own lies.

GATTOPARDISMO (gat-to-par-dì-smo): a simple gattopardo is an ocelet or wild cat but after the publication of the Sicilian historical novel of the same title by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in the 1960’s, Italian journalists invented the word gattopardismo to describe a nasty trait of the historical Italian political, aristocratic and business class. It refers to the period of Italy’s unification where basically the royalists and the upcoming middle class took advantage of political change to grab onto the power and wealth left behind after the formation of the new Italian republic. Today it refers to a certain social, political and economic class who will do anything to hold onto their power or wealth and is a synonym for the corruption and nepotism which mars Italy today.

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The Italian language is beautiful, even when describing the lesser attractive elements of human nature and above all it always has an honest and down to earth approach to interpreting the world. Honestly, it is this what makes me fall more in love with Italian every day.

To read all the other posts about Italian words for May 2018 click here.

Past #DolceVitaBlogger Link-Ups:
​#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #5 April 2018 – The Perfect Day in Italy
​#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #4 March 2018 – International Women’s Day
​#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #3 February 2018 – A Love Letter to Italy
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #2 January 2018 – Favourite Italian City
​#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #1 December 2017 – ‘The Italian Connection

Flamboyant Italians: Platinette

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In contrast to the apparent ditziness of Cicciolina and Vladimir Luxuria I come to Mauro Coruzzi alias Platinette who has done so much more for LGBT rights, with a more sober approach.

Mauro Coruzzi has gradually worked his way up the ranks after many years of work as a journalist, broadcaster and t.v personality. He has never had any desire to go into politics but instead has created a larger than life drag Queen character.

Platinette is a no-nonsense, satirical, light-hearted and comic persona who isn’t afraid of stating her own honest and straightforward opinion. And Italian’s love her.

Recently Coruzzi performed a song together with Grazia Di Michele at the 2015 San Remo Italian Song Festival (both in drag and as himself). The song is an eloquent protest against discrimination and is about seeing the truth about people, it was an ambitious and beautiful project. Coruzzi not claiming to be a singer performed with great honesty and got his point across, even if the song finished dead last.

The song titled ‘Io sono una finestra’ (I am a window) is an eloquent piece of poetry which seeks to encourage people to be more tolerant and accepting of differences.

This is what LGBT activists in Italy should be striving for.

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Io sono una finestra (I am a window) – by Grazia Di Michele and Mauro Coruzzi (Platinette) – English translation by Rochelle Del Borrello- with apologies to any professional translators who may be offended by my awkward attempt!

Io sono una finestra velata di vapore/ I am a window covered with vapor
In questa notte gelida deserta ed incolore/ on this colourless,cold deserted night
Rispecchia la finestra la carne e le emotion/ the window reflects the emotions and the flesh
Di me che sono specchio delle contraddizioni/for me it is a mirror of contradictions
Difficile vedere se il vapore non evanesce/ it is difficult to see if the vapor doesn’t dissipate
L’appiccicosa errore di chi non capisce/ the sticky error of who doesn’t understand
Eppure su riflette un’ombra che è la mia/ and even so it reflects a shadow which is mine
Un’ombra di rossetto contro l’ipocrisia/ the reflection of lipstick against the hypocrasy
Io non so mai chi sono eppure sono io/I never know who I am and yet I am myself
Anche se oltre il vetro per me/ even if on the other side of the glass for me
Non c’è mai un Dio/ there is never a God
Ma questo qui è il mio corpo benché cangiante e strano/ but this here is my body even if it is shimmering and strange
Di donna dentro un uomo eppure essere…umano/ Of a woman inside a man or even a human being
Sfogliando le parole di questa età corriva/ Reading the words of this fast age
Divento moralismo e fantasia lasciva/ I become moralistic and leave behind fantasy
Crisalide perenne costretta in mezzo al guado/ forced to be an eternal crysalis while forging against the current
Mi specchio alla finestra e sono mio malgrado/ I am my reflection in the window despite myself
Io non so mai chi sono io per la gente/I never know who I am for other people
Coscienza iconoclasta volgare irriverente / Iconoclastic conscience vulgar and irreverent
Ma questo è solo un corpo il riflesso grossolano/ but this is only a body with a big reflection
Di donna o forse uomo comunque essere umano/ Of a woman or perhaps man either way human being
Io non so mai chi sono eppure sono e vivo/I never know who I am and yet I am and I live
Più del pregiudizio che scortica captive/ with prejudice as my sordid prison
Ma quando spio il mio corpo che si riflette piano/ but when I spy my body which reflects a level
Non c’è una donna o un uomo, solo un essere umano/ there is no woman or man only a human being
Io non so mai chi sono eppure sono e vivo/I never know who I am and yet I am and I live
Più del pregiudizio che scortica captive/ with prejudice as my sordid prison
Ma quando spio il mio corpo che si riflette piano/but when I spy my body which reflects a level
Non c’è donna o uomo solo un essere… Umano/ there is no woman or man only a human being

Io sono una finestra che aspetta che il vapore/ I am a window who waits for the vapor
svanisca come un sogno./ to vanish like a dream.

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Flamboyant Italians: Vladimir Luxuria

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Vladimir Luxuria came into the popular Italian mainstream after she was elected into the European parliament in 2006 as a member of the Communist Refoundation Party.

Luxuria lives her life as a female and she has not undergone sex change surgery, she perceives herself to be neither male nor female.

Vladimir has been active in the Gay and Lesbian community as a cabaret performer and activist for many years.

Vladimir Luxuria

After failing to be re-elected in 2008 Luxury participated and won the Italian reality program ‘L’isola dei Famosi’ (which is a celebrity version of Survivor) she donated the €200,000 prize money to charity.

As a politician she was about as effective as Cicciolina, as she had no political experience whatsoever, but she was much more about breaking down barriers, a more subtle political approach.

However Luxuria loses credibility as she seems to suffer from the desire to be famous. She sits firmly in the Gay Pride movement which is perfectly fine but loses respect with all the reality t.v and cluelessness. Luxuria would have been more credible if only she could concentrate more on her writing career and not chasing the limelight. Alas she too has succumbed to the ‘Velina’ dancing girl dream, so many Italian women want.

Stupid publicity stunts like parading loud and proud with her I ❤ Trans t-shirt in Putin’s Russia during the 2014 summer Olympics, nearly got her thrown into prison without achieving much for gay and trans rights.

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Flamboyant Italians: Cicciolina

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I had wonderful fun introducing everyone to Vittorio Sgarbi as my first Flamboyant Italian in this series of articles of fascinating personalities from Italy and now I have three more to share with you. This is a substantial achievement for me given the many distractions I’ve had this month (everything from a Sicilian wedding, to a feverish five-year old, solar flares interfering with my internet connection and convincing an emotive Sicilian husband it’s time for a visit to his in-laws in Australia, it’s been grueling but I’ve survived!)

If there is anyone else you think I should feature be sure to let me know.

Flamboyant

I originally thought I’d title this post: A porno star, a transvestite and a drag queen: how mainstream Italy handles sex and transgender personalities. This sounded like it should be in an academic journal not a blog. So I’m going to simply break it down into three parts to do justice to each of these characters.

Italy has a history which encapsulates may elements of the Roman Catholic church, Rome is at the center of its origins and development and is the point where the religion began to establish and disperse itself through the world. So it is only natural to assume Italy is a staunchly Catholic country. Right?

But as with many other elements of life in Italy, Italians have their own unique way of interpreting religion and culture which means this country is always in a state of constant flux and change.

For example Italy has been seen as the last bastion of masochistic behavior, giving the vote to women as late as 1945 (1925 for local elections) and legalizing divorce in 1970.

In recent years the country has been running fast trying to catch up with the rest of Europe, quickly inserting women into a ‘pink’ quota in parliament and trying to liberate women while still maintaining dancing-girls on their t.v programs. While there is always an exception to the rampant P.C, female role models are still few and far between.

Modernizing an ancient culture is always going to be a problem and yet observing Italy’s metamorphosis I’m fascinated to see shining examples of public figures which seem to be at odds with the traditions dictated by a once stringently moralistic and closed society that Italy once was.

Now if women’s rights have been so backwards, you can imagine how gay and lesbian rights are in Italy. Yet I can think of three wonderfully popular figures who have managed to become popular despite any sexism or homophobia.

I imagine they had to combat against the haters but their names are as well-known as any other famous Italian politician or T.V personality and that is something positively amazing in a country like Italy.

So let me introduce you to Cicciolina, Vladimir Luxuria and Platinette.

Proud activists who have shined and continue to be popular.

Cicciolina

Italians have a soft spot for porn (no really!) many popular movies from the 1970’s/80’s have some form of mild female nudity and there are many comic movies where gags include the accidental removal of clothing to reveal voluptuous boobs or a backside and many more near mute female roles were the women giggles and poses in front of a camera.

So perhaps it was inevitable to see Cicciolina a well-known porn star and playboy model take to the political stage in Italy?

The anomaly of a porno star in politics perhaps isn’t so strange in the context of the rampantly politically active landscape that was Italy in the 1980’s/90’s which gave birth to Senator Cicciolina. In this period there were hundreds of political parties who divvied up the Italian’s votes. A famous song from Italian poet and performer Georgio Gaber jokes, if one Italian agrees with another they form a political party, as you only need one vote to be in the majority.

Cicciolina was elected into Italian parliament in 1987 as a senator for the Radical Party with only 20,000 votes. Cicciolina M.P’s career highlights included being a dedicated environmentalist, offering to have sex with Saddam Hussein and later Bin Laden in return for peace, delivering speeches while exposing her breasts and promptly accepting an annual parliamentary pension of €39,000 a month at the age of 60 after a total of 4 years in parliament.

For a moment Italy’s Cicciolina was famous, but this episode caused great embarrassment and nothing similar has occurred since. Even to this day Cicciolina is a sensational moment on Italian politics, as if the parliament had become a living breathing porno movie.

Everyone loved Cicciolina, she was controversial, confronting and for that reason alone she was a revolutionary symbol even if she wasn’t a productive politician.

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Multicultural Sicily (whether they like it or not)

The concept of ‘multiculturalism’ is a source of debate throughout the world, whether it is possible for a country to become truly multicultural and if different cultures really can exist peacefully side by side or is it simply a utopia.

Italy in particular resists other cultures mixing with the domineering Italian one.

 

Minister Cécile Kyenge from thegardian.com
Minister Cécile Kyenge
from thegardian.com

Minister of Integration, Cécile Kyenge has been criticized by the ultra right ‘Lega Nord’, who was founded with the initial desire to separate Northern Italy from the ‘lazy south’ and now tends to worry about migrant issues, how the economic crisis is closing down industry in the North and how to get out of the Euro currency.

Italians are being forced to deal with the issues of refugees, immigration, a low birth rate and the arrival of Asian and African migrants and cultures into Italy at unprecedented levels.

Sicilians are particularly insular people, they are proud and defensive when confronted with newcomers, it is an unattractive trait left over from a history of being dominated by invaders their history tells of thirteen major foreign dominations which have left scars and impressions on the island’s culture.

Even on the level of language Italy is a very much a monolingual country with a resistance to English which is leaving them behind in Europe.

The irony behind of all this fear, racism and resistance to other cultures is that the rich Sicilian traditions have come about by living with these other dominations and inadvertently taking elements from them.

Some periods in Sicilian history have been long, peaceful and fruitful collaborations, for example the early Greek colonies were productive and cooperative, creating developments in agriculture and industry (such as olive oil production and ceramics).

In the Norman period of the middle ages, the court of Frederick II, we saw Roman Catholics and Muslims living together in harmony, each religion was practiced side by side and the court brought together many of the greatest schools of thought creating many developments in the areas of science, agriculture, industry and culture. The historic Sicilian school of poetry is regarded as one of the finest and anticipated the Florentine school of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio.

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Sicilian food, language and culture is dotted with Spanish, French, German, Greek, African, Asian and Middle Eastern influences. Sicilians have always been multicultural whether they believe it or not.

Perhaps I am an idealist but I can see many connections between different cultures and anthropologists see many more similarities than differences. It’s easy to see links between Sicily and Greece, Sicily and the middle east. I suspect Sicilian families and Indian families have many similarities in their approach to family life and respect for the elderly as in other Asian cultures. The literary journal Feile Festa edited by Frank Polizzi is dedicated to the connections between Ireland and Sicily.

The world is becoming a smaller, thanks to the connections between the cultures, if only everyone has the openness to remember we are all human beings with the desire to be connected to a community.

 

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For more reading about minister Cécile Kyenge and the hard time she’s been having see this article from The Guardian.

Italian festivals and theaters for opera lovers

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Image from Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/michalo/16159457245/sizes/l

Apart from the history, architecture and historical sights to see in Italy there are endless opportunities to experience the products of its thriving culture. So many people travel to Italy and simply tick off the main tourist sites off the bucket list. Colosseum, check, Ponte Vecchio, Check, Leaning tower of Pisa, Check,

Instead of being overwhelmed by the blur of a whirlwind tour of Italy why not visit some exceptional arts festivals and theaters which show off the best Italy has to offer?

To be honest this list of suggestions is very much biased towards the world of classical music but to be honest that’s what Italy does best (and also Sicily as Unwilling Expat is a Sicilian based blog.)

Visiting an Italian festival will give you the best of an Italian city, from a stunning setting, access to fine local products and above all performances which will stay in your heart forever.

 

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Photo Credit: gnuckx via Compfight cc

Taormina (Greek Theatre), Sicilia

 There are events throughout the year in Taormina, Sicily from art exhibitions, classical music concerts, opera, contemporary music and opera performances which are hosted either in the open air Greek amphitheater in the summer or the Cine Theatre San Giorgio in the centre of this mecca of tourism in Sicily.

This year the Taorminafest has been the victim of funding cuts which has resulted in the cancellation of some contemporary music concerts but the core events are held safe by locals and private sponsors.

Taormina is a tourist mecca and your visit will be enriched by the experience of an opera set in one of the most iconic open air theaters in the world.

Soundscape: composition and performance exchange, Lombardia

 A unique festival that combines elements of new music, composition, collaborations, workshops, master classes, composers in residence, students ,conferences and workshops to create a vibrant festival filled with creativity.

All in the setting of Maccagno on Lago Maggiore, south of the Swiss border in the Italian Alps, every summer since 2005.

Arena di Verona

 The Arena di Verona Opera Festival,is a focal point for opera lovers all over the world. From June to September every year the best opera singers from Italy and all over the world perform sumptuous productions by the best international artists and living legends like Franco Zafarelli, in the unforgettable ancient amphitheater of Verona.

The program usually includes many of Verdi’s most famous operas. In 2014 for example the opera going public enjoyed grand productions of Verdi’s Un ballo in Maschera, Aida, Bizet’s Carmen, Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Orff’s Carmine Burana, Puccini’s Turandot and Madama Butterfly.

Verona is a breathtaking experience and there are tickets available online for all budgets. Be sure to avoid scalpers as you can’t see the shows with fake tickets. And for those sitting on the stone steps be sure to take a blow up air cushion to sit on, to avoid having to rent one during the night, as opera’s are long affairs and you need to be comfortable.

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Classical Greek theatre at Syracuse, Sicily

 The International institute of Ancient Drama hosts a season of classics from ancient Greek theatre in the suggestive ruins of the natural amphitheater of Syracuse in Sicily.

The works are presented are from the classical Greek canon and are presented in the original languages or in Italian with traditional Greek masks and choruses and which attract the best actors in Italy.

A trip to the classical Greek theatre at Syracuse is like stepping back through time and the setting springtime sun is a true spectacle.

Be sure to pack a warm coat for the evening, a trusty comfy blow up cushion, sunscreen and a big bottle of water as the early spring (May-July) at Syracuse can be harsh.

Spoleto Festival, Umbria

The Spoleto Festival (festival di due mondi) is a mega arts gathering which happens every year around June/July in Umbria northern Italy. It has an amazing range of events from dance, theatre, classical and light music, jazz, visual arts, international and Italian performing arts groups and a literature festival. Spoleto Festival hosts the best of the Italian and European arts industry in a cavalcade of every possible type of creative expression.

Torre del Lago, Toscana

The Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago in Tuscany in the province of Lucca is the birth place of composer Giacomo Puccini and the inspiration behind this event.

Every July and August in the places in which Puccini grew up in, lived and spent his vacations, hosts a series of opera productions.

The operas are staged in an amazing open aired 3,400 seat theatre along the lake in front of the summer house of the composer which has now been turned into a museum.

Puccini composed his most famous operas at Torre del Lago including Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), La Fanciulla del West (1910), La Rondine (1917) and Il Trittico (1918).

Every year the performance program celebrates the best known works of the Italian opera composer and is dedicated to creating new productions of his work.

Verdi Festival, Emilia Romagna

 The Verdi Festival is another one for lover’s of Italian opera, dedicated to possibly the greatest and most prolific Italian composer of all time. The festival is hosted in the medieval city of Parma in the heart of Emilia Romagna.

Inspired by the music and art of Giuseppe Verdi the event includes full productions of his works as well as concert performances, chamber music, special talks, masterclasses, concert performances dedicated to Verdi’s arias and the inspiration behind him.

The Festival occurs in early Autumn (October) which gives the city of Parma a chance to show off its Autumnal colours amongst the creations of Verdi’s immortal genius.

Jazz Festival in Umbria

Umbria Jazz is a must for lovers of contemporary Jazz music.

Hosted by the University city of Perugia in Umbria it is one of the longest running festivals in Italy and attracts musicians from all around the world. The program is easily downloaded every year and there are many free concerts held in the beautiful historical centre of this beautiful City in early July every year.

The Berkley college of music also hosts a summer school as part of the Umbria Jazz Clinic. The festival combines fine music, food and wine to create a carnival like atmosphere.

Local restaurants, performance venues and theaters host intimate concerts with artists from Italy and around the world.

There is a vibrant series of outdoor concerts from R&B, jazz piano, big bands and singers.

In recent years Umbria Jazz has begun to host events in the winter too, so the music continues throughout the year.

Teatro Massimo, Sicily

 Teatro Massimo, Palermo is known as the ‘la Scala’ of the South and is the premier historical theatre of Sicily.

A visit to Palermo is never complete without a tour of the architectural splendor of this building. The performance season begins in early February and includes a mouthwatering array of orchestral concerts, operas and ballet.

While the opera performances includes a wide variety from the classical opera canon, Teatro Massimo also hosts new interpretations and works from contemporary composers, ballet, new theatrical works, concerts, workshops and chamber music.

Teatro Massimo Bellini, Sicily

 Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania was opened in Catania on the 31st of May 1890. The event was celebrated by a debut performance of Bellini’s Norma, a masterpiece from the great Catania composer who gives the theatre its name.

This splendid baroque theatre is a true work of art, visiting it on a day tour is wonderful, while seeing it during a performance is unforgettable.

The opera season is usually reserved for the autumn/winter months but there are generally ballet and classical music concerts throughout the year.

There is a particular dedication to Bellini opera for obvious reasons, located in the centre of Catania it reserves a special place at the heart of the Sicilian capital.

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La Scala, Milano

 La Scala, Milan is the most famous Italian theatre in the world.

Destroyed during world war two it was lovingly rebuilt and has never been out of action since. It hosts the creme della creme of Italian and international opera, ballet, classical music and even works dedicated to children.

The opera season begins in February and usually closes for the summer, to reopen towards the end of the year. The performance season is filled with lavish productions of the world’s most famou operas featuring the best talent from all around the world. La scala offers special priced tickets for under 30’s, children and evening performances with half price tickets.

If you find yourself in Milan during the summer without a live performance to see be sure to tour the theater and the most extensive museum dedicated to the world of classical music. Often during the summer La Scala hosts a season of cinema dedicated to legendary performances which are projected inside the theater itself, even if it isn’t the live thing at least you can say you’ve seen opera at La Scala!

San Carlo Theater, Naples

San Carlo, Naples The San Carlo opera house is one of the busiest in Europe and produces endless new opera productions which are often toured through Italy and the continent.

Together with a varied symphonic program and ballet performances it is simply irresistible for anyone who loves theater. For lovers of ballet the San Carlo school of dance has a rich succession of new interpretations. The opera season usually runs throughout the year.

  La Fenice, Venice

The final and by no means the least significant is Venice’s La Fenice which was tragically burnt down in a fire and has been painstakingly rebuilt to its former glory.

Even if you don’t get a moment or manage to find tickets to a performance as they can be hard to get, a tour through this baroque masterpiece will no doubt form a part of your fondest memories of Italy.

It is easy to make a booking for a tour through of La Fenice’s Baroque, gilded beauty.

The Theatre is generally open for tours every day from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, though variations in the schedule may occur for artistic or technical reasons.

For an added cost you can choose to take the deluxe version of the tour with a personal guide which takes you through the entire theatre and its spaces from the Foyer, behind the scenes in the theatre, the Royal Box and the magnificent Sale Apollinee.

Happy travelling and enjoy creating the memories.

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Postcards from Sicily: Bomboniere

Friday Photo: Bomboniere

Italian’s have a mania for giving sugared almond filled bomboniere for every occasion.
There are little colourful packages for births,baptisms,weddings etc.
I got this cute one recently all in red for a Laurea … or a university degree!
Yes just when you thought there couldn’t be any other excuses for a bomboniere …

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