February marks the beginning of the carnival season in many Italian cities. But which city offers the best events?
The Carnival in Venice is one of the most beautiful carnivals in the world, a spectacular tourist event offering a unique atmosphere and unusual masks.
The festival began in 1162, in celebration of Venice’s victory over Aquileia. In a city with such a rigid social system, Carnival provided an outlet and release as the costumes and masks guaranteed anonimity allowing citizens to mock authority. For some weeks of the year, anyone could be who they wanted to be!
Masks were made with simple materials such as clay and paper mache.
When Napoleon invaded Venice, the Carnival was banned for fear of the citizens conspiring against the French troops. The festival was not to come back officially until the Italian government decided to promote the Venetian culture and history in 1979.
"Carnevale" is celebrated 40 days before Easter, just before the start of Lent. In fact, the word "Carnevale" comes from the Latin words "carne" and "vale" meaning "farewell to meat".
The 2019 Venice Carnival will be held between February 19th and March 5th.
To ask "what is the weather like today?" you would say "che tempo fa oggi?" As "il tempo" means "the weather".
Read below to find some common expressions used to speak about the weather!
The green box shows you how to speak about the weather in the future; "sarà" means "it will be" and "ci sarà" means "there will be"!
If in doubt, the third picture on the top row illustrates the word "windy".
So...How would you say "it will be windy?
Castagne, mondine, caldarroste, marroni, ballocci, bruciate, mosciarelle... Who would have ever known that Italians refer to chestnuts in so many different ways? Yes, caldarroste are roasted chestnuts, mosciarelle are dried chestnuts, mondine are peeled and boiled whilst ballocci are boiled whole, bruciate are cooked in a frying pan with large holes. Well, "le Castagne" are clearly part of Italian tradition and October is the month when they are celebrated the most! If you happen to visit Italy in October, don't miss out on one of the many local "Sagre" that celebrate this Autumnal offering with dancing and traditional products.
The Italian language is full of colourful sayings. These may sound bizarre when translated literally but they represent an integral part of Italy’s culture.
“La gatta frettolosa ha fatto i gattini ciechi”. Literally, “The hasty cat gave birth to blind kittens”. This is probably not the most refined way of saying that things done in haste tend to turn out badly. An English equivalent might be “haste makes waste”.