An Italian movie to get you started

How long? | 1 minute

Are you an Erasmus student here in Italy? Or maybe you are here because you are fascinated by the Italian culture.

‘But where to begin?’ 🤔 I hear you ask. If you are interested in movies then I have something to suggest. Now, I’m going to take my chances and not mention the so-called classics (La Dolce Vita, An American in Rome etc) since those are fairly old movies.


In fact, I believe it’s best to start with movies that one can actually appreciate. 😃

So, not going too far back in time we have Carlo Verdone, a celebrated Italian actor and director, who brought laughter to many people on screen. If you’ve seen an American in Rome or know Alberto Sordi, whether Verdone is Sordi’s ‘successor’ is a topic that is still not agreed upon to this day.

The first movie I saw with Carlo Verdone is Borotalco (1982) which translates to ‘Talcum Powder’ in English. I have to say I do recall moments of laughter. Without giving too much away, it’s a story about a ‘shy’ man, Sergio Benvenuti, who seizes an opportunity to be somebody else who is literally caught up playing the role, though not an original storyline what I do find interesting in the movie is the location. There are scenes where you find yourself looking twice because it looks exactly like the Rome you see.

Another unique comedic effect is the character of Sergio’s fiancés father, Augusto. His role might be small but is far from being the least memorable. Augusto depicts a ‘typical Romano’ from the way he narrates with such exaggeration, it’s hard not to laugh.

To get an idea of Verdone’s ability to portray different roles I recommend seeing Viaggi di nozze (1995), in English: ‘Honeymoon’.

Let us know what you think of the movie! If you liked it, we can suggest the next movie to see 😃

Kappa’s Italian language courses are focused on communication and on the practice of language skills. Classes are held for small groups or individuals, with truly flexible schedules and exclusive learning programmes. Find out more here.

Originally published on www.kappalanguageschool.com.

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What I learned in Italy

To honor to my sixth month here in Rome (which sadly will be also my last) I would like to share with you today some VERY informal thoughts on what I learned in Italy. I will take you back to 11 August 2016, the day I arrived here in the beautiful Rome. The sun was shining and it was a summer day like all others in Italy so the streets of Rome were full of Romans (surprise! They don’t go on vacation that much: Rome is a really busy town), which brings us to the first thing you should learn in Italy:

  • it’s REALLY important to learn the language and make an effort to practice it on the streets and in stores with locals. Not everyone is able to speak English and, as you will figure out, a lot of things are only available in Italian, although, especially in the city center, you will find amusing examples of broken English. For that purpose, certain internet pages packed with Italian Language lessons and exercises are a blessing. Or you can always do it the old fashioned way and learn Italian by joining an Italian Language Course (as I did, and my Italian is so good that I am still writing articles in English! :P).

Being installed in my new home for this six months, I had to go out for grocery shopping, which I know is not the most fashionable shopping you can do but it has to be done. Anyway, this brings us to the second thing I learned:

  • when in Italy, you should get to know your local Italian cuisine – because no, there isn’t just ONE Italian cuisine. Not all of the food that you are familiar with in your home country will be available in the supermarkets, that’s why it is important to learn how to cook with the food that is available in Italy. The Italian cuisine is more than only pasta or pizza: make the best out of it and join an Italian Cooking Class where you will also be able to practice Italian and make new friends which share with you the disgrace of being totally incompetent in preparing a decent Italian dish.

Last but not last there is the thing that I enjoyed the most here:

  • learn how to appreciate Italian culture. It’s maybe quite different from yours and it the difference can be disorienting at first but, believe me, these people really know how to live. The culture of having an aperitivo after work with your friends, enjoying a good meal for (at least) a couple of hours, having a walk through the city center or just spending your afternoon while doing nothing and drinking espresso should be included in the world heritage list. The Italian culture is about the importance of family and friends in your life and that’s what will make your new Italian friends the unforgettable ones. Or, at least, this is what happened to me!

 

Arrivederci Roma, alla prossima avventura! xoxoxo

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

2017 is coming! New year’s resolutions for Italian language learners

Brace yourselves, Capodanno is coming!

The new year means 365 days of new experiences, with of course all chances to make your wishes come true and to finally do everything that you want to do… at least on paper! For instance, this year 2016 I wanted to learn Italian and I can tell you that, although I didn’t turn into Dante Alighieri, I manage to speak some Italian by now and I can proudly order my magnificent lasagna avoiding puzzled looks by the waiters. If learning a new language is also on your list for 2017, keep on reading! And if this isn’t the case, well, also continue reading, for maybe after this you will add “learning Italian” to your list too. 🙂

As you might know, the foundation of language learning is motivation, and that motivation you can get out of almost anything. For example: family, friends or maybe even this blog. Remember learning a language is not easy, but if you really want it you can do it! How to start with your language learning experience in the new year? First of all, you need a to-do-list. This will help you in the first steps of your journey, which usually are the hardest ones. But fear not, after those the rest will be easier.

Tips to start learning Italian

1. Download an application to approach basic Italian vocabulary. For example Duolingo, Memrise or Speak and Translate. Say to yourself this is the new year and I am going to do every day 20 minutes of practice or 10 exercises with this application. It’s easy to get this accomplished because you can use these applications everywhere. Besides, you don’t really need to focus on grammar when making acquaintance with a foreign vocabulary, but this will turn very useful later on, when things will get more serious.

2. Approach the grammar, and do it in the most casual and informal way you can: find yourself a penpal or, even better, a tandem friend through one of the many websites that offer such service. Start exposing yourself to the new language and try to practice, with the help of a native, fixed expressions and very simple idioms you will be able to use to “survive” speaking your target language. Beware, though: being part of a tandem means that you need to guide your new friend through the discovery of your own mother language. It’s a good way to get mutual benefits and increase your motivation while making new international friends.

3. Last but not least, travel to Italy and take a course at an Italian Language School. Following a course at a language school is a unique experience, that at least everyone should have done one time in their life. Learning a language in the country where the language is spoken gives you the opportunity to practice and get in contact with locals and their culture. This all makes a language school the perfect place to learn a language and finally get your goal in the new year.

The first two things you can do it home and are completely free. Follow a course at a language school can be expensive, but it’s totally worth it. That’s why Kappa Language School wants to give you all a present for the new year, hoping this will help you follow your dreams and plan your holiday in Rome. Click here book your discounted Italian language course in January 2017 now!

And that’s it, buone feste to you all! We hope to see you in the new year to keep on helping you in the discovery of Italian language and culture!

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

A shopaholic guide to the Eternal City

Italians are famous for their fashion, the most famous luxury brands in this world are born there. Brands as D&G, Versace, Giorgio Armani etc. are becoming the cultural heritage of this country. Of course, you already know streets like Via Condotti, Via Cola di Rienzo or Via del Corso. All these streets are famous for their luxury stores and are easy to find in every tourist guide to Rome.

Now that you know mostly all the Italian words you need for your shopping adventure, in this article you will find all information to “shop till you drop” in the best shopping areas of Rome.

1. Centro commerciale Porta di Roma

portediroma-1024x768So, let’s start with a low profile: Porta di Roma is the biggest shopping center of Rome, located outside the city center. It’s the perfect mix of luxury stores and middle segment stores. You can find Michael Kors and Massimo Dutti in this shopping center, but also Footlocker and Pull&Bear. This commercial center doesn’t only have clothes stores, it also includes a cinema, restaurants, bars and an arena for live shows. Also on rainy Sundays, you can enjoy this completely covered shopping dream, although locking yourself down in a shopping mall might not be your best option when in the Eternal City (even if it’s raining outside).

Website: http://it.club-onlyou.com/PORTA-DI-ROMA
How to reach: Bus line 80 from Piazza Venezia or Bus line 38 from Termini station

2. Monti area

lol_negozio_livelli_0006_a_mrf0197The Monti neighborhood is a young and dynamic (although proudly historic) area with all kind of shops in small and cozy streets. In Monti you will find second-hand stores, handmade clothes stores, vintage stores and alternative style stores. Also, you will be able to visit boutiques with the newest fashion for a reasonable price (or at least more reasonable than other areas of the city center!). Monti is also a good neighborhood to learn Italian: here you can find the best Italian Language School in Rome 8-), surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars to spend your pranzo time and practice Italian with locals.

How to reach: Bus line 64, 40 direction Termini (stop: Nazionale- Palazzo Esposizioni) or Metro Cavour (blue line)

3. Porta Portese Flea market

porta-portese-2A milestone for every respectable visit of Rome, this market takes place every Sunday morning in the neighborhood of Trastevere. Here you will find a nice and inspirational mix of second-hand clothing, handmade jewelry, makeup, food, antiques and all kind of souvenirs that you ever wanted to have and you won’t find in one of the many dreary traps for tourists scattered all over the city center. Take your time and browse all rows and stalls of this crowded market: here you will for sure find something unique that will make your day.

How to reach: Tram 8 Largo Argentina to Trastevere station from there you will reach the market in just a few minutes of walking

4. Via Condotti

natale-in-via-condottiYes I know, I was supposed to skip this part but… come on, it’s Via Condotti! This is the shopping area where you can find BVLGARI next to Prada with on the other side Gucci and Tiffany’s and co. There is a store of almost every kind of luxury brand that exists in this world. While have your shopping overdose, you can stop by for a coffee at the historic Caffé Greco or continue towards the magnificent Piazza di Spagna and have a tea at Babington’s, the oldest tea saloon in the city. Also all around the piazza you will find luxury brands like Nespresso and Aqua di Parma. Although this area is mainly occupied by renown brands, on a deeper look you will also find particular and elegant local stores. Prices aren’t properly affordable, but taking a look is completely free

How to reach: Metro A Spagna or by walking as a sidestreet of via del Corso.

These were just my own favorite places to go, but of course there is much more to discover in Rome. To me, as a shopaholic, Rome is really a heaven because there are all of my favorite brands. If you like shopping and the biggest brands of the world Rome is your place to be and of course if there will ever be an official Roma shopping route, I will let you guys know! For now, let’s grab your shopping bags and follow your heart (or your wallet). Divertitevi!

confessions-of-a-shopaholic-quotes-1_large

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

Learn Italian words: le parole dell’abbigliamento!

As a beginner in the Italian language, it can be hard to make conversations with locals. However, since I am a hopeless shopping addicted, I tried to speak to Italian shopkeepers as soon as I arrived in Rome. Guess what? They didn’t understand nothing! That’s why I decided to learn some useful Italian words and sentences about shopping that I wish to share with you today with a full article and an infographic… you will thank me later 🙂 Let’s start!

learn italian words for shopping in Rome and Italy

The Italian word for “store” is Negozio, it is used for every kind of store for example Negozio di scarpe (but also Calzature) which is the Italian translation for “shoe store”. When a store is open you will find the sign Aperto on the door, although when a store is closed you will find the sign Chiuso.
In some periods there are big sales in Italy, and this period is called Saldi.

Well, now that you got all the major signs, let’s take a look inside the shop for the most common Italian words for clothes and accessories.

La borsa = the bag
Il vestito = the dress
Le scarpe = the shoes
Il cappotto = the coat
La maglietta = the t-shirt
La cintura = the belt
Il maglione = the sweater
I pantaloni = the pants
La gonna = the skirt

Let’s make it a little bit more difficult with some useful phrases during shopping.

  • When you want to know where the city center is: “Dov’è il centro?”
  • When you want to say that you would like to have something you start your sentence with the polite form “Vorrei…”
  • When you want to try something on and take a look at yourself in the mirror: “Posso provare…?”
  • When you want to ask the price for something: “Quanto costa?”
  • When you want to know if you can pay by card: “Posso pagare con il bancomat?”

Practice your Italian in the stores of Rome now and don’t forget to join on of our Italian Language Courses to learn more practical words for shopping in Italy!

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

Archaeology in Rome: three not-to-be-missed experiences

For centuries Rome has been the capital of the Roman Empire, impressing people from all over the world with its magnificence and its stunning melting pot of cultures and artistic styles. When you visit Rome you should make sure to admire at least a spark of this art and make some time to travel back in history. There are so many archeological sites worthy to be seen in Rome, and some of them are so famous that they don’t really need any introduction. This is why we will try to advise you with three very peculiar landmarks in which archeology and modern technology work together in creating a unique and unforgettable experience.

1. Palazzo Valentini

Palazzo Valentini

Palazzo Valentini is the place where archaeologists found a miracle. Beneath this beautiful house, which you can see from the street,  archaeological remains of ancient Roman houses were found. These remains were discovered far under the street level, but the staff of Palazzo Valentini makes it now possible for you to visit this sheer piece of ancient beauty. Deep under the ground with a fully audio-visual light show you will see a complete reconstruction of all the remains underneath the Palazzo Valentini. It’s a fully guided tour in the dark, which can be taken in English, Italian (and this would be the best option, so start learning Italian!), German, Spanish and French.

Website: http://www.palazzovalentini.it/domus-romane/index.html#scavi
How to reach: By walk from Piazza Venezia

2. L’Ara com’era

L'Ara com'era - Interctive Ara Pacis

Every Friday and Saturday, after 8:30pm, you will be able to experience the solemn and breath-taking atmosphere of the Ara Pacis as it was in the period of its construction. With the help of augmented reality you will travel in time and see colors and images lost in the centuries and now recovered in this amazing interactive exhibition.

Website: http://en.arapacis.it/mostre_ed_eventi/eventi/l_ara_com_era
How to reach: By walk from Piazza Venezia

3. Viaggio nei Fori

Viaggio nei Fori foro di Augusto

Viaggio nei Fori is a fully audiovisual experience where you can see how the Roman Forum was at the time of the Roman Empire. The Forums are the same as you can see by day, but the dark and the audiovisual experience give you the chance to transcend the mere touristic point of view and experience shapes and colors of the Forum that once was. You have two options: going to the Forum of August, which can be only seen while seating on a big stand, or visiting the Forum of Caesar, which can be discovered by walking through it. Both of the Forums are very interesting and are perfectly animated so you get a realistic view on how they looked like in the time of the Roman Empire.

Website: http://www.viaggioneifori.it/en/
How to reach: By walk from Piazza Venezia

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

(Italian) boys, boys, boys

When I moved to Rome as an expat, everyone I knew was daydreaming about “the Italian boys”. Italian boys are more a category of spirit than an actual group of people: you know, those guys that know how to love and teach you how to be loved, that take their special one on romantic dates at least twice a week and are still frozen in time with all their gentlemen manners. Their black hair and clear brown eyes and their accents, if anything, can only make you fall in love even more. In my 4th month of living in Rome, I will give you my experiences with Italian boys in the city center of this wonderful city!

First of all, when in Rome you should get used to the Italian words bella or bellissima, since it is very common to get this kind of compliments, even from strangers. In Rome even on the worst hairday ever you will get compliments on your looks! And that, indeed, is one proof of the fact that #ITALIANSDOBETTER.

ruth-orkin-italian-men-stare

The acts of Italian boys are funny and sweet: they are always trying to get a smile on your face. I can give you more than hundred examples of this, but here are just the ones that I remember the most. Let’s start with some funny “icebreaking” sentences I heard like: “Do you have a passport to heaven, because you are an angel for sure” or “Your eyes are like the most beautiful Italian rivers, I used to be a sailor so let me sail you” or “I know you like Vespas and I have one, how about a ride right now”. Also, there are boys who show you acts instead of words like street musicians who serenade you on the street, waiters in restaurants that give you extra sweets and cakes by your coffee or taxi drivers who don’t let you pay the taxi ride.

nordstrom_mens_shop_daily_blog_anniversary_sale_expert_picks_andy_comer_marcello_mastroianni2Of course, these guys are just strangers, who mostly like to flirt with you. But since I happened to have an Italian boy as a flatmate, I can also tell you about how it is to have one as a friend and… well, Italian boys as friends are very friendly and aren’t different from the rest of the world (surprise!). The little difference for me was in the fact that they will make sure that you discover all wonderful experiences from their city/country and don’t make you miss Italian culture knowledge. Ask them about great restaurants, bars or activities etc. and they will be happy to advise you… and even if they speak English, their incredibly thick Italian accent turns every word they say in pure cuteness. When it comes to the famous “Italian hospitality“, I guess this is part of the package.

And what about you guys? If you want to share your experiences with Italy and Italian boys, feel free to comment (and share)!

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