Powerful Gestures

Dear Blog Readers —  I have had a difficult couple of weeks for various personal reasons that I am sure all of you would understand, but I will spare you the details, I am sure you all have enough of your own.  Of course, you can imagine that writing blog posts gets quickly shoved aside […]

Ciao Amore….

I would like to dedicate this blog post to my Italian husband, Gustavo Piga.  When I saw the above cartoon in the International Herald Tribune I immediately thought of my husband and myself, the ultimate social media parents.  I showed the cartoon to my male colleagues today at AP Television in Rome, announcing, “Hey guys, […]

Swallowing Toads and Seeing Green Rats

November 30, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 6 Comments

The other day I saw my neighbor, another working Mamma. She is the manager of a popular bookstore in the center of Rome. I asked her how work was going and she said, “Don’t ask, it is exhausting, and as we head towards Christmas it is going to get even worse. “Devo mandare giu’ un […]

Nico’s Traffic Rules

October 19, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 10 Comments

Verbal eruptions are a common occurrence in Italian traffic.  For starters, lots of Italians drive like maniacs.  All traffic regulations are optional and negotiable depending on the situation.  When Gustavo gave me my first ‘driving lesson’ in Rome, he explained a few simple rules.  “You might as well just toss out the rear-view mirror.  No […]

“I am going to kill HER!!!!”

October 11, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 6 Comments

As with many languages, Italian nouns are either masculine or feminine which occasionally has caused me confusion.  Perhaps the most alarming example was one summer shortly after we were married. In the middle of the night, Gustavo snapped on the light, grabbed a magazine, rolled it up, jumped up on the bed and started repeating, […]

From Brats to Pimples and Peas, Italian Language for Moms

One of my favorite aspects of the Italian language are the endings ‘ino’, ‘one’, and ‘accio’. You can change the nature of a word just by adding one of those three endings. ‘Ino’ (pronounced eee-no) makes the subject small, ’one’ (pronounced oh-nay) makes it big, and ‘accio’ (pronounced ah-choh) makes it bad.  So a door, […]

What does it mean to “have horns” in Italy?

September 20, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 16 Comments

Italy is the country where instead of giving someone the traditional finger in the car, you can really insult them by giving them the ‘corne’ or horns.  That is the index finger and the pinkie raised to look like horns.  If you say in Italian that someone has corne, it means that his or her […]

Madonna and Eve

September 17, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 11 Comments

According an Italian, whose name is preferable for an exclamation, Madonna or Eve’s? My adolescent daughters have adopted an Italian teenage expression. They pepper their conversations with the exclamation: “‘Maaaa – ddonnnnn– aaaa”. That would be “Madonna”. My Italian, and Catholic husband, Gustavo, does not like this one bit and every time he hears it he […]