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.

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.

“Cosa ti ha colpito di più dell’Italia?”

E’ quello che abbiamo chiesto ai nostri studenti di Italiano di livello B2, sperando che loro notassero aspetti della cultura italiana che noi nativi, anestetizzati dalla routine culturale, non siamo più in grado di evidenziare. Le risposte, a volte, sono sorprendenti! 😀

Italian Language Class - B2 levelDell’Italia mi hanno colpito tante cose. Ho visto che la gente si salutava con i baci, anche fra maschi e fra femmine.

L’altra cosa è quando ho visto il traffico, le persone non sono gentili. Non hanno pazienza, suonano il clacson e sempre usano il cellulare quando guidano.

La terza cosa che mi ha colpito è il cibo. Prima di venire in Italia non avevo mai visto così tanti tipi di formaggi e affettati freschi. E’ proprio vero che il cibo italiano è buonissimo come si dice nel mondo.

Joanna (Malesia)

Una cosa che mi ha colpito durante il mio soggiorno in Italia è il suono “boh” che a quanto pare è veramente fondamentale nel discorso italiano. Ho cercato una definizione su internet e risulta che la traduzione più semplice all’italiano “ufficiale” sarebbe: “non lo so”. Mi sembra un’espressione divertentissima e unica.

Ben (Inghilterra)

A cena fuori per praticare l'italiano!Una cosa strana è quando l’inverno le donne italiane mettono sopra il cappotto pesante e sotto mettono le calze leggere. Per me questa abitudine è strana, perché se hai freddo dovresti mettere i vestiti pesanti sia sopra che sotto.

Un’altra cosa che mi ha colpito molto è il saluto, perché [gli italiani] si baciano per salutare, sia la donna che l’uomo. Questa abitudine per noi cinesi è un po’ strana: i cinesi si stringono la mano.

Jing Xing (Cina)

Una cosa che mi ha colpito quando sono venuta in Italia è vedere i belli campi di girasole in Toscane. Il bel paesaggio lì è veramente qualcosa di particolare e stupendo, mai visto.

Evelyn (Brasile)

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

Welcome back! A preview of what’s coming on this September

Aaaaand we’re back! It has been a long, hot and even troubled summer, but here we are back on track, with the intent, now more than ever, to share the beauty our language and culture carry.

Besides our standard learning programme, with Intensive, Extensive, Flexible and Standard Italian Language Courses, we are glad to present our cultural activities for September 2016:

il-museo-agostinelli-di-roma-4Friday 16th, from 3pm – Vist @ Museo Agostinelli with Veni Vidi Visit
Where: meeting point @ Piazzale Ostiense
Participation fee: free
One of the most peculiar museums in Rome, a collection of 60000 objects from all over the world. An original insight on popular cultures and folklore.

cena8Thursday 22nd, from 7pm – Summer Ending Rooftop Aperitif (meetup event here)
Where: Mille13 Bistrò, Via Dei Mille 13a
Participation fee: 10€
Our classic rooftop aperitif to practice Italian, make new friends and spend an evening together in a charming roman terrace!

dsc_0195m-678x381Saturday 24th, 10am-1pm – visit @ Parco delle Energie/Lago exSnia
Where: Parco delle Energie, Via Biordo Michelotti
Participation fee: free
A lake in the heart of one of the most suggestive neighbourhoods in Rome, Pigneto, sorrounded by flourishing nature and inhabited by an extraordinary variety of wild fauna. A fantastic chance to discover a hidden treasure of the Eternal City!

Infographic: Italian Gestures For Dummies

Summer has come, and it’s really getting too hot even to speak. In Rome concrete is boiling, you can find tourists lying on the side of the road begging for fresh water and the whole Colosseum is kinda turning orange. Having a conversation in such heat is the equivalent of  breathing deeply inside of a turkish bath: definitely not for everyone.

But Italians are always full of resources! As you might know, at least 30% of italian language is made of non-verbal communication… such as gestures. And, believe us, being able to ask for an ice tea or even to fight without raising your voice in a hot sunny day it’s just bliss.

Therefore here we are with another infographic about italian gestures: enjoy!

Infographic Italian gestures learn Italian Language with your hands!

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