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Keepy-uppy in italiano - giugno 2022

Continuing my series of posts on keeping up the languages I speak, this one is dedicated to all things Italian. Here's what I listened to, watched, read and did this month in italiano.

Italian Thursdays



My Thursday morning staple:

Corriere Daily. 15-minute podcast every day on people, places and events. This month's included: Turkey and the war in Ukraine; Depp/Heard trial - why Heard was destined to lose; the Queen's Jubilee; rave in Lake Garda descends into violence; Pacific islands object of China/USA power contest; Italy-Russia tensions; 5-part referendum on the Italian judicial system; EU minimum wage deal - repercussions for Italy; mad about Padel in Italy; waste incineration plant proposal for Rome; assisted suicide in Italy; France and the war in Ukraine; EU new universal charger policy; Macron majority loss in French elections; drought in Italy; Omicron 5; grain silos in Ukraine blocked; how the digital revolution is changing sporting events; cancelled flights and holiday chaos; will Ukraine join the EU and when?; the excesses of Donald Trump; changes in Hong Kong since the handover to China; and more.

Song/Artist of the Month

Canti di Scena, by Vincenzo Cerami and Nicola Piovani. What a collab! Cerami: Italian screenwriter, novelist and poet, writer of over 40 screenplays, including co-writer (with Roberto Benigni) of La Vita è Bella (for which he was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay); and Piovani: Italian composer with 130 music scores under his belt, and who won the Oscar for Best Original Score for La Vita è Bella. Canti di Scena is a theatrical piece, described by Cerami on the book that accompanies the CD as 'una drammaturgia orizzontale, giocata su contrasti emotivi e anticlimax' and by Piovani as 'un piccolo cammino teatrale... con tanto di ricordi, emozioni e poetiche personali'. The songs on here are pure originality: dramatic and comedic lyricism and melodies through duets, couplets, serenades, ballads, sketches, rants, plays on words and more. Choosing a favourite is a tough call but this time I'll go for: Quanto t'ho amato, beautifully sung by Donatella Pandimiglio, which makes me sad and nostalgic each time I hear it, but I keep coming back for more! Listen to it here:



Having sadly come to the end of My Brilliant Friend/L'amica geniale, I trawled through my Netflix list to find a substitute. I came across the film:

My Brother, My Sister/Mio Fratello, Mia Sorella (2021, 1hr 50 mins)

Drama dealing with issues such as family conflict, schizophrenia and the journey towards forgiveness, acceptance and letting go. I'm halfway through so will reserve final judgement until the end, ma fin qui tutto bene!



Reading has sadly taken a back seat this month, but I've almost reached the end of L'Intruso, by Carla Cerati. I haven't done it justice with the fragmented nature of my reading and that's probably one of the cons of my one-day-per-language-per-week approach. Perhaps I should consider dedicating a week to each to ensure consistency and coherence...


Working out, language exchange, qualsiasi cosa...


This month I did a mix of callisthenics and general fitness workouts, followed by yoga:

Umberto Miletto - CalisthenicsIPrimi Esercizi di Avvicinamento ( Instructional video showing the techniques for crow, hanging from bar (which I don't have, yet) with both hands and knees up to chest, and one-handed hang preparing for the 'human flag'. There's more talking than doing in this vid, but it's all in italian, allora va bene!

Project inVictus - Calisthenics: esercizi per principianti

Push-ups, pull-ups, high bar and ring pull-ups, tricep dips on parallel bars (which I do have), pike, plank (on knees or not), box jumps (left this one out - scary!), single leg squat (hard, but in the beginning it helps to sit back on a chair). If this is for beginners, I dread to think what higher levels are like...

Cocoiris - Interno Coscia: Esercizi Efficaci per Tonificare

15-minute intense workout to tone and sculpt those inner thighs - feel the burn!

Marti Fitness - Esercizi per dimagrire, a casa, senza attrezzi. No ripetizioni. Total body workout

18-min workout with 4-minute warm-up followed by 3-part exercises: gambe e glutei, braccia e spalle, abdominali. 30-sec reps of: affondo avanti e dietro (lunges); sumo squat; affondo laterale (side lunges); glutei in quadrupedia a ginocchio flesso (quadruped leg lifts); alzate laterali (side lying leg lifts); adduttori in decupito laterale (side lying inner thigh leg lifts); tricipiti in posizione granchio (crab dips); push-up variazione con ginocchia (knee push-ups with arm variation); gomiti 90 gradi apertura e chiusura (standing chest fly); pugni frontali (front punches); crunch laterale in piedi (standing side crunches); crunch cross (standing cross crunches); crunch a bicicletta (bicycle crunches); crunch gambe 90 gradi (90 degree crunches); plank. And Marti's final words: 'mi raccomando - fai un po' di stretching'!

Yoga con Celeste - Apana Mudra Flow Per Rilasciare Stress ed Emozioni Negative (

20-minute gentle, grounding session, including stretches, heart-openers, twists and balances to release everything that no longer serves.

Daniele Leggio - Via mal di testa - 30 minuti di Yoga per una mente fresca

I woke with a headache this morning so sought out a targeted yoga session (oh the wonders of the Internet!). Slow, gentle yoga with lots of deep breathing to oxygenate the body and mind: single nostril breath (Surya Bhedana) at the start and 3-part breath at the end. Easy, relaxing poses mostly with pressure on the forehead to ease pain: cat cow; cow face with eagle arms; seated wide-legged forward bend; legs up the wall. My headache did actually dissipate - causation or correlation...?!

Yoga con Celeste - 20 Min. Yoga Flow|Esplora Le Tue Sensazioni|Lezione Completa ( Gentle flow 'per fare spazio'.

Yoga con Celeste - 15 Minuti di Yoga - Connetti Respiro a Movimento

Both static poses and dynamic flow with stretches and twists to open up the side body and chest.

Speaking Italian

I've signed up for Giulia Lucania's Italian conversation club 'Parla Come Mangi' for next month (you can find her on LinkedIn, if you're interested), so I wonder who else will join us and whether I'll last the whole session without unknowingly inserting the odd Spanish word...!

Word/phrase of the month

Not technically a word or phrase, but many 'pesky' Italian words that are hard to translate. Thanks to Miriam Hurley and other Italian to English translators, there is a huge and hugely useful collection of 'peskies' and their translations on her website - I have no doubt I will be consulting this the next time I'm scratching my head trying to figure out the right word for the right context. Grazie!

Let me know what you've been doing in Italian and please share this post with anyone you think would enjoy it. I will be changing format and medium from next month, so keep an eye out on LinkedIn. A presto!

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