Primavalle Market

Our Life in the Boot

primavalle-2Neil was so sweet to let me have a morning to myself not that long ago. I knew exactly what was in order—a trip to my favorite mercatino usato, Portobello Rome, which is only a short walk from our home. But it was early, and caffe was calling. After the usual cornetto and cappuccino, I decided to explore  our neighborhood market that I had been wanting to explore for months. Primavalle is a simple area, but packed full with about 300,000 people and I’m pretty sure we might be the only American family living in this area as well.

You won’t find Primavalle marked off as a tourist destination either. There aren’t any major sites to see here. It’s a place where regular italians live everyday life. They are meeting in bars to kick back an espresso and catch up on the latest neighborhood news. They are stopping to say ciao to…

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Why you cannot forget ‘che’



Lately I’ve been reflecting on the effectiveness of how I teach myself Italian. I’m now into my tenth year of learning – there have been gaps along the way mind you, weeks, months where I haven’t studied. The longest gap was probably  a whole year following a holiday in Italy . During the trip I’d managed a few conversations in Italian and was thinking to myself I was making a bit of progress. We got back to the airport and I ordered a slice of pizza for lunch. The lady asked me if I wanted it heating up ( I think) and I completely failed to understand her. I was a bit frustrated, thinking the only way to get any better would be to stay there and practice….. The year later I got over myself and carried on!!!

So my approach is entirely scattered, and is not exactly following a…

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October, 23rd: OPEN DAY 2015!

On friday, October, 23rd Kappa Language School will host the Open Day 2015!

aula-boccaccio1 reception targa3 viadelboschetto

Visit our new headquarters in the heart on Rome and get the opportunity to:

  • Take a free entry test to check your proficiency level;
  • Meet our staff and get help finding the best learning experience for you;
  • Collect information about the PLIDA exam and learn how to certify your italian;
  • Enroll in one of our courses with a 10% discount on the regular fee;
  • Learn more about the School and its activities and events;
  • Attend a free conversation class and have a first taste of Italian.

alessia corsoA1b corsoA2p corsoA2w

Conversation classes will be held at the following times:

10.00-11.00: elementary level;
11.30-12.30: intermediate level;
14.00-15.00: elementary level;
15.30-16.30: intermediate level.

For further information:

Come and visit us in via del Boschetto, 32 from 10.00 am!

Miti Da Sfatare Sulla Cucina Italiana

Aggiungerei che in Italia esistono anche ricette che non prevedono l’uso del pomodoro:)

Learn Italian

Livello: principiante – beginner – débutant

Cosa facciamo noi italiani a tavola? Cosa ci piace? Cosa non ci piace? Spesso la cucina italiana, come le altre cucine del mondo, quando viene esportata subisce un po’ di modifiche. Leggete per sfatare alcune leggende sulla nostra cucina.

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1. Il cappuccino dopo cena non è da Italiani

Questo è, in realtà, da americani. A volte da inglesi. Raramente da francesi. Mai e poi mai da italiani. Sarà pure un’abitudine curiosa, ma per noi il latte è cosa da mattina. Possiamo spingerci a ordinare un cappuccino al bar fino alle 11, mezzogiorno al massimo, se proprio ci siamo alzati tardi. Insomma, fino all’ora che negli States è già giusta per un Bloody Mary.

In certe fredde giornate d’autunno o d’inverno, possiamo anche bercelo alle cinque del pomeriggio, invece del tè. Ma non è bevanda post prandiale. Del resto, gli anglosassoni fanno…

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Neapolitans are such stuff as dreams are made on, part 2

[Continues from the first part]

'A capa

‘A capa

'O puorco

‘O puorco



'O muorto che parla

‘O muorto che parla

'O chianto

‘O chianto

As we already said, under law, Tombola has to be considered a gaming. Nevertheless, it is universally acknowledged that it may not be the most exciting game in the world, except if you are planning to play it at home with your italian family during Christmas time…in this case it may be even worst. Is the coup of grace imposed by Christmas tradition after the blow-out meal and from which we can not escape. Tombola is technically a gamble because every participants shall be obliged to pay a significant sum of money which is then redistributed as prizes to the winners. The staggering figures ranging from 5 cents to figures much higher, infact some daredevils pay even 1 euro. Tombola is usually played in a family context. We are talking about biblical reunion with realtives until the seventh line of relatedness, most of whom you didn’t know they were relatives.
Let us get into the rules of procedure.

Ground rules


Traditional italian dish: cartella with rigatoni

One player is chosen for the role of croupier and has at his disposal a backboard on which there are all the numbers from 1 to 90 and a dice-box with pieces numbered similary. His hard task is to extract the pieces at random and announce to the other players the number rolled, sometimes with the quote of the Neapolitan Smorfia. For the difficult task you need the following features and abilities:

  1. Eyesight of a hawk
  2. Discerning 66 from 99
  3. Discerning 69 from 96
  4. Deciphering the dash under 6 and above 9

Players generally purchase one or more folders; every time a number is drawn, if it is present on one or more folders, the player has to cover the appropriate box.
In the homemade Tombola folders are simple cardstocks printed or written by the player himself and numbers are covered with beans, lentils, pasta, shredded paper, chickpeas or little pieces of tangerine peel.
Croupier has to extract numbers and announce them. Here’s a typicall scene:


On the first row from the right you can appreciate the infamous dash under the number 6.

Croupier: 68 ‘a zuppa cotta
Player 1: Cosa? 78?
Player 2: Asino cotto!
Croupier: No… 68, sei-otto
Player 1: Ma il 78 non è uscito?
Croupier: sì, è uscito 10 minuti fa
Player 2: Ma come? Allora ho fatto ambo!
Croupier: Siamo per la cinquina

Usually prizes are awarded to the following scores:
AMBO: 2 numbers on the same row of the folder
TERNO: 3 numbers on the same row of the folder
QUATERNA: 4 numbers on the same row of the folder
CINQUINA: 5 numbers on the same row of the folder
TOMBOLA: 15 numbers, in other words all the numbers of the folder
TOMBOLINO: the second TOMBOLA after the first

Croupier has to deal with players like…
Croupier: the first number is…48 “morto che parla
Player X: AMBO!
…or with impossible rhymes such as:
– 78 (spelled: settantotto) Asino cotto
– 50 (spelled: cinquanta) La gallina canta

The ultimate objective must be cover all the numbers on the folders before the other players, which usually requires a time ranging from 2 hours until + ∞.

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.