Margherita di Savoia

An original article about Italian words, places or things connected to the queen Margherita of Savoy.
Read it and discover some interesting Margherita connections:)

Un po' di pepe

Queen_Margharitha_di_SavoiaA few nights ago I was at my favourite pizzeria having a pizza Margherita. This made me think about Margherita di Savoia, and all the random connections to her name.  Margherita di Savoia (Mar·gehr∙EE∙tah dee Sah∙VOH∙yah) lived from 1851-1926.  She became the first Queen of Italia when her husband, Umberto I di Savoia became King.  They had one son born in 1870, and he became King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1900 after the assassination of Umberto by an anarchist.

Regina Margherita was a great supporter of the arts and ‘opere di beneficenza’ – charitable works. She encouraged artists and writers and was involved with the Red Cross. During the war, she turned her house in Roma into a hospital. Margherita loved hiking and driving.  The Royal garage was filled with cars named after birds.  After her death, the cars were auctioned off for charity. In 1893, she climbed the peak of Monte Rosa in…

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Let it snow! 5 must-visit winter landmarks in Latium

Brace yourselves, winter is coming! Or, we should say, it’s already here. Temperatures dropped so dramatically during last week that Romans are experiencing somenthing very unusual: a real winter!

Although the idea of the Colosseum covered in snow might be fascinating for many, people in Rome consider the possibility of a snowfall as a real disaster: at the first sight of a snowflake public transportation freaks out (you don’t say?), people just get confused not knowing what to wear and all the streets become an indistinct cluster of dirty snow, ice and mud.
Anyway you should fear not, Latium is stuffed with wonderful places to visit… especially in winter time.

  1. Soratte Mountain. Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte wrote Horace in one of hisveduta_del_mte_soratte odes, and he had a reason to, since he used to own a villa at the slopes of this solitary mountain. Due to its unmistakable shape and its proximity to Rome, the mount Soratte has been through the years a sacred site (dedicated to the god Soranus), a holiday destination for noble Romans, a place of pilgrimage (it hosts a paleo-christian hermitage), a palce of interest for foreign intellectuals (“Soratte stands out by itself in magnificent solitude. This mountain is probably made of limestone and belongs to the Apennines” wrote Goethe) and, finally, a miltary base complete with an enormous bunker during the II World War. Despite legends that that this mountain was host to the gate of hell, or that it had particular esoteric properties, this fascinating place is definetly something you’ll want to visit while its beautifully frosted with snow. You may even revive the emotions experienced by Horace during his quiet winter holidays.
  2. Civita di Bagnoregio. A Few kilometers north from the Soratte Mountain you will find this medieval town, which is known worldwide for its suggestive position and for the fact that it is only accessible through a long bridge that hangs over a deep ditch. Being relatively close to Rome and to other (literally) magical places such as Bomarzo, Civita di Bagnoregio is the perfect location for a magical winter tour: amazing food (the area, the Tuscia, is renowned for its tasty cold cuts and bodied red wines), breathtaking landscapes and an occasion for a detour in the less know history of central Italy, made of small hamlets, old gentry and popular religion.
  3. The Monti della Laga National Park. Placed in between Latium, Marche and Abruzzo, this national park, adjacent to the more popular Abruzzo National Park hosts a variety of landscapes and places of interest that are particulary enjoyable during the winter. 2014-11-20-10-56-15.jpg.1920x810_defaultFrom the exotic view of the Giano Mountain with its colossal (and controversial) tribute to Mussolini to the frozen Campotosto Lake, offering a breathtaking view of the Gran Sasso, this park stretches from the ski resort of the Terminillo Mountain, just near Rieti, to the lovely town of Amatrice, place of birth of the famous bucatini all’amatriciana, and is surrounded by charming mountain villages all along its valley. If you need a break from all the hustle and bustle of city life, you won’t find a better place to go.
  4. Lepini Mountains. A one hour trip by car from Rome will take you to this astounding place, where sea views and mountain sceneries blend in a unique and picturesque territory that is seeping with history and traditions. 4356139063_c16963a733_bAnciently inhabited by the pre-roman population called Volsci, this area is now full of small villages, abbeys, monasteries and places of interest such as the house of Aldo Manuzio (the guy who basically invented books as we know them today) and the necropolis of Caracupa. If you head toward the sea, past the city of Latina, you can also find enchanting coastal lake, which are excellent of bird watching… even in winter.
  5. Mount Guadagnolo. Just few kilometers from Rome, in the comune of Capranica Prenestina, this peak soars, offering a priviledged view on the metropolitan city and its suburbs. Famous for its handamade fettuccine, the nearby village of Capranica is a lovely town which has preserved the charm of the medieval suburban territory.

Have any suggestion? Did we miss something? Leave a comment, we would love to hear your suggestions!

Special thanks to our student Andrea Schorn for her help editing this article!

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

When in Rome, Quote Those Church Fathers . . . and Then Do That Roman Thing

Why do we say “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”?

Clearing Customs

It could be the mantra of cultural chameleons:

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

It’s so well known that all you have to do is say, “When in Rome . . .” and we fill in the rest. But where did the phrase come from? Why Rome? And what is it that we should do when we’re there? To find that out, we have to go all the way back to the fourth century—and delve into the practices of the early church.

When Casulanus wrote a letter to Augustine asking “whether it is lawful to fast on the seventh day of the week,” the early church father replied with his “Letter 36,” written in 396 AD. The passage below is Chapter 14 of that letter:

Since, therefore (as I have said above), we do not find in the Gospels or in the apostolical writings, belonging properly to the revelation of…

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7 Reasons to Love Italian

7 reasons are more than enough to come to Italy and start studying 😀

Prayers and Piazzas


We study Italian because we want to, not because we need to. Because the music of the language moves us to learn it, to engage in this “impracticality”, to throw some of our precious time to the wind and do something simple for the pleasure of being able to pronounce words like piacere.

–From “Why Study Italian?” on Not Just Another Dolce Vita

When I first began studying Italian five years ago, I did so in secret. My husband and kids knew, but outside of the fortress of my family, I kept the studying to myself.

Why would I do this? I was proud of my Italian heritage, and excited about a long-awaited trip to Italy that was finally on the books. But being a mom of three younger kids at the time, learning Italian felt so…unnecessary. Quirky. Indulgent.

“But is it such a bad thing to live like…

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