Listen, Watch & Read Italian

Ci scusiamo. Al momento non è disponibile alcuna traduzione italiana per questa pagina.

Radio Arlecchino

Learn Italian by listening to podcasts featuring Arecchino (Harlequin) & Pulcinella (Punch) and other masks of Commedia dell’ arte. Radio Arlecchino will help you learn past, present and future, one episode at a time. You can download PDF files and read along. It’s learning made easy and fun for the whole family. 

L’Italo-Americano Newspaper:

The Italian American Community newspaper for over 100 years. Covering Italian culture, history, traditions, language, travel, cinema, arts, sports etc. Articles in English and Italian!!! Subscribe now at

Italian Expressions and Poetry About Food

Ci scusiamo. Al momento non è disponibile alcuna traduzione italiana per questa pagina.

Enjoy the following regional sayings and poems which illustrate the Italians’ love for food

Quote Meaning
Quando un contadino mangia un pollo, o è ammalato l’uno o è ammalato l’altro When a peasant eats a chicken, either one or the other is sick (since chickens produce eggs, killing one to eat it only makes sense if the chicken is sick, or if it is needed to make a sick person well.)
 Insalata, ben salata,  poco aceto, molto oliata,  mille volte rivoltata.  Greens, well salted,  little vinegar, well-oiled,  tossed one thousand times!

An old expression describing the best way to prepare a salad. Notice ben salata  – the Romans liked to use a lot of salt, since salt was money and it showed that they had wealth. Both the word insalata  and our Englishword ‘salary’ come from the Italian word for salt: sale

 Il magnar non vale un’acca se alla fine non sa di vacca.  A meal is worthless if it doesn’t taste of milk at the conclusion

Lombardo expression, denoting their love for cheese at the end of a meal

 El vin bon,  l’omo bravo,  e la dona bela,  dura poco Good wine, the trustworthy man, and the beautiful woman don’t last long

–Old Proverb from Friuli

Painting With Stone

Ci scusiamo. Al momento non è disponibile alcuna traduzione italiana per questa pagina.

Florence, Tuscany – Take time to visit this tiny jewel in Florence: the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.Literally meaning “Factory of Hard Stones”, this lovely museum is an excellent antidote to “compulsory tourist sites” overload. The subject of its collection is semiprecious stone and its use in intarsio (inlay) for the production of all sorts of decoration.

The craft of inlay work goes back to antiquity, but it was revived on a grand scale by Ferdinando I de’ Medici for the decoration of the furnishings, artworks, and architecture seen today all over Florence. In fact this Grand Ducal workshop was established to carry out the elaborate stone inlay work found in the Cappella dei Principi (Basilica ofSan Lorenzo). The art of assembling stone fragments to cover large or small surfaces, including objects, furniture or whole walls, was studied and perfected by skillful and carefully chosen artisans.

The thin layers of stone veneer were selected for color, brilliance, and opacity or translucence to create refined pictorial effects.

The museum is dedicated to the display of intarsio work, its history, and its many uses. Also on view are work benches and tools used in antiquity to create the pieces, as well as wall displays containing countless specimens of the stones (and their origins) used. Today the Opificio is a renowned institution for training and restoration of all kinds.

Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Via Alfani, 78, Firenze
Many thanks to Rebecca Dominguez and Bradley Griffin for the use of their beautiful photos. Truly appreciated!

Buon Onomastico

Ci scusiamo. Al momento non è disponibile alcuna traduzione italiana per questa pagina.

In Italy, as well as in many other countries in Europe and Latin America, people celebrate the day of the year associated with one’s given name.Italians call it onomastico.

The custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers named after a particular saint would celebrate that saint’s feast day. In Italy, one’s onomastico is seen to be almost as important as one’s birthday – often people receive small gifts on their Onomastico.

Ninety percent of Italians are named after saints for varying reasons. Many are named this way simply due to being born on a particular saint’s day, while others because of patron saint of their town. Still others are given their name because their parents have a special connection or received a grace from a specific saint.