Learn Italian Words: al mercato – la frutta e la verdura

We at Kappa Language School always encourage healthy diet, and this is why we designed this infographic for all you fellas who like to eat green! Here you find all the Italian words for fruits and vegetables and, of course, their weight and quantity.
Have fun, go veg and learn Italian!

Learn Italian words: fruits and vegetables
Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

Infografica: parole in cucina!

We all know italian cuisine is a world recognized excellence… but to efficiently cook italian dishes you also need the proper italian words!

Here’s a quick help from our team: an infographic containing most of the italian vocabulary you can find in your kitchen. Enjoy and share!

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

Italian food haikus

This one is definitely a new one. When the idea was first suggested to me, I laughed my butt off until I realized that my editor was serious. He wanted me to write what? You read the title right folks; these are haikus about Italian food. I apologize to any of my readers who are poetry lovers, because I cannot claim to be even remotely good at poetry. My strength lies in storytelling, not poetry. But with that said, read on at your own risk. Please blame my editor for whatever damage these poems may do to your mind.

Olive taggiasche

olive_taggiascheOlives are a great snack food that I love getting from the fresh market. In Italy they come in these huge barrels and you just fish them out. They are extremely healthy for you. The oil they produce is a staple of Italian cooking, and is present in every Italian kitchen in large quantities. So here is a little poem for our ever-present friend, the olive!

“A great midday snack
Nature’s chewy vitamin
But beware the pit!”

Penne all’arrabbiata

arrabbiataNext up is my personal favorite, penne all’arrabbiata. This dish is akin to the ramen noodles of the Italian culture. Every college student knows how to make it and its relatively simple to make. I personally love this dish, and for those of you who don’t know what it is, its simply tomato sauce but with hot pepper flakes.

“Oh my god, my mouth!
I think I just ate the sun!
Waiter? Please bring more!”

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

The next is Pizza Margherita. Now this is what I assume the Italian version of chicken nuggets are in America. If you have absolutely no idea what to get, or you are an extremely picky eater, this pizza is always a safe choice. Its pretty hard to screw up and its almost always amazing. This was the only thing I ate when I first came to Italy.

“It makes mouths water,
Eatable display of the flag,
a chefs masterpiece!”

Tiramisù

tiramisu-bimbyThe last poem is about one of the most classic Italian desserts there is: Tiramisù. I love this dish, and though I have yet to perfect it in my own kitchen, I am not about to give up. In this great dish, the Italians have combined coffee, pastry, chocolate, and cream into one great mix of perfection. I applaud whoever came up with this dish.

“A sweet aroma,
And a delicate coffee taste.
Creamy perfection!”

Ok, now you don’t really have to comment the poems themselves, do you? Just post your thoughts on these fantastic dishes in the comment section! 😉

5 annoying types of people you will (almost) always find at an Italian Aperitif

Italy is the worldwide known homeland of Aperitivo, although this cultural institution substiantially changes if you scroll  from southern to northern Italy.

Now, if you’re in love with Italy and Italian Lifestyle you might have attended to more than one aperitif in your life, even in Italy. And surely you have been able to identify these 5 particular kinds of attendees which are infesting every aperitif or happy hour in the world:

  1. 48802873Mr. Know-It-All – Are you talking about your late holiday in that far away island located in the middle of the Pacific? He probably had been there before you even knew of its existance. Are your friends discussing about a very obscure czech novelist that they have just discovered? He spent the past five years writing essays about his works. In few words, there’s no subject in which this charmless mr. Know-It-All cannot put his long nose. And believe me when I say that alcohol can only make thing worse, giving the guy an amount of self-confidence which is frankly unmanageable by a regular human being. Anyway, as our saint patron Morrissey used to say, “there’s gonna be someone somewhere, with a big(ger) nose who knows, and shuts you up and laughs when you fall”. Just wait and see.
  2. 57242257The Wine Expert – Italian aperitif is a magnificent occasion to taste good wine and wine-based drinks such as the spritz, but this wonderful opportunity has its scary downside: it attracts hordes of self-proclaimed wine experts which will make your head explode with neverending descriptions of the wine they (or you) are tasting. Letting alone the fact that adjectives such as “laser-like” or “intellectually satisfying” should be banished from any conversation, the truth is that if you blindfold the poor Wine Expert you will find out he’s not able to recognize a carton of Tavernello from a bottle of Amarone.
  3. futurama-fry-meme-generator-not-sure-if-tipsy-or-just-drunk-d0043aThe Always Tipsy – Hold on: aperitif is not for getting drunk. It is a social occasion, a mean to converse and take a pleasant break after a working day or before a long night. This is why the Always Tipsy type looks particulary ridiculous in this specific context. He\she gets to the bar usually suited up after having worked behind a desk for the whole day, and right after the first sip of prosecco is already giggling like a teenager. This type of person usually starts to lose his\her dignity (i.e. loosened tie, heeled shoes off etc.) at the end of the first drink and becomes actually unbearable at the second one, which usually coincides with a collective “sorry, I need to go home, tomorrow I have to work” pronounced in unison by his mates, leaving the poor guy alone with his (fake) hangover.
  4. The Gourmet Guy – Every respectable aperitif offers a good selection of food to99a2c39d89c66b56c651057cfffab1628311b763f002331681b59933b15d47f7 accompany your drink. But bear in mind that the meal you will get during an aperitif in Italy won’t always be as good as you might expect. Italians tend to be aware of this, and although we are traditionally picky about our food, we usually turn a blind eye on the lack of quality of some buffets. This is not always the case though, especially if you live the unpleasant experience of meeting the infamous Gourmet Guy: constantly bitching about the texture of his tartine, the freshness of his caponatina or the real origin of his olive taggiasche, this type is a real nightmare. If you want to enjoy your not-so-wonderful meal without feeling like you’re eating at the soup kitchen, just stay away.
  5. whenever-i-get-called-anti-social-for-being-quiet-28192The Silent One – As we said, aperitif is a mean to socialize. Nevertheless, you will always find a guy who joins your group and doesn’t utter a word for the entire evening. Is he too tired to have a chat? Doesn’t he like your company? Is he dumb? Nobody knows. The only thing you know is the embarassing feeling of sharing your table with the cardboard cutout of a person.

Not in the mood of joining an aperitif after reading this? Well, not all aperitifs are the same. For instance, you can join our Linguistic Aperitif, every Tuesday in Trastevere and every first Thursday of the month in Monti, and meet new, international friends while practicing your Italian. And if you’re not in Rome just don’t panic: there’s still the chance to have a radio-aperitif offered by our Italian Language School. Just invite your friends, play one of our podcasts and practice some Italian with us: this will surely save you from the embarassing silence of a struggling conversation…

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

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.

10 Italian deliciousnesses in one video

We just found this interesting (and very well made) video on youtube, made by The Perennial Plate, an amazing blog about sustainable eating.

It is not easy to find articles or videos (especially made by foreigners) about Italian food that are not completely stereotyped and/or presenting an image of Italian cuisine which is completely distorted. This one, though, made us smile and hungry, which is a good sign. 😀

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

Come il cacio sui maccheroni

When we think about Spring, we usually think about rebirth, blossoming flowers and growing plants. But during the Spring months we usually expect also a changeable and unpredictable weather. That’s why it’s advisable to wear several layers of clothing – that is to say vestirsi a cipolla (“dress like an onion”) – and to take an umbrella before going out.

We don't have the umbrella... cavolo!

We don’t have the umbrella… cavolo!

I’m warning you: if you will be caught out in a sudden downpour and will go back home with a bad cold, non piangete sul latte versato! (“don’t cry over spilled milk!”). And if also an Italian friend will be caught out in the same sudden downpour, certainly you will hear he/she screaming: Cavolo! (literally “cabbage”, but actually it means “damn!”).

Onion, milk, cabbage… Italians used to be known for having a great passion for food and that’s why Italian language is full of food-centric idioms .

Take a look at the most common food sayings:

essere buono come il pane: to be as good as bread. This is a really useful expression when you are talking about a good person but don’t have no more words to describe him/her:)

essere una pentola di fagioli: to be a grumbler. Have you ever cooked beans (“fagioli”)? Usually Italian grandmothers put them in a crock pot, covered with water, and cook them at low temperature for several hours. Close your eyes and listen to the continuous sound coming from the pot… it doesn’t seem like someone muttering?:)

Pay attention to the sound of beans:)

Pay attention to the sound of beans:)

essere in mezzo come il prezzemolo: to be always in the way like parsley, referring to the wide use of parsley in Italian cuisine, especially with seafood and vegetable sauces. You can use this idiom talking about someone who stick his/her nose in other people’s business. I’m sure you know someone like this:)

essere alla frutta: the party is over. When the fruit appears on the table, all Italian people know that the meal has come to an end. Well, when you are fed up with a situation and can’t do nothing to make things better, you are at the bottom of the barrel…

essere pieno come un uovo: to be as full as en egg. An Italian friend has invited you to dinner and his/her mother has cooked for you. After the second course, you can’t eat anymore, but she fills your plate again and again… Dont’ you feel full just like an egg?:)

And I could go on for a long time… So, if you are planning to come to Italy, I higly recommend you to learn some of these idioms. The right expression at the right moment will be like il cacio sui maccheroni… don’t you agree?:)

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