Although I passed the CILS (C2 level) when I lived in Rome back in the early Noughties, lack of use, especially spoken, has made me infuriatingly rusty, so I'm attempting to retrieve that fluency I worked so hard to achieve! Here's how:
I always start by trying to catch up on the week's episodes of:
Corriere Daily. This month's themes, other than Putin, were; Spanish Constitutional Court ruling allowing parents to choose which surname to give their children (only father's, only mother's or both); the Russian Orthodox church's reaction to the invasion of Ukraine; concentration camps in Ukraine for captured Ukrainians and their forced deportation to Russia; Moldavia's fear of war; commentary on Italian TV; a glimmer of hope for rural depopulation in Italy; historical vote in northern Ireland and the dream of reunification; Germany and the war in Ukraine; Ukraine and Afghanistan comparisons; Eurovision and Italy; harassment claims against Italy's elite mountain troops the 'Alpini'; Texas shooting and buying guns (frightening easily); menstrual leave in Spain and beyond; Finland, Sweden and Nato; US Supreme Court and abortion rights; the assassination of Judge Falcone by the Mafia in 1992: Covid in North Korea; Italy's stance on the war in Ukraine; Uvalde massacre and fake news; Italian kids failing at school, and more.
Song/Artist of the Month
Dentro me, by La Crus. I saw the indie rock band La Crus live when I lived in Rome and instantly liked their style and music. Dentro me from their 2009 album of the same name, is a cover of the 1986 song by the band Detonazione (I know which one I prefer...). I love lead singer Mauro Ermanno Giovanardi's sultry voice and the song (and album) just has an indefinable quality that appeals, plus I've always loved that muted trumpet (or is it sax?) sound. Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhzdU3JzHcI
I'm still watching and loving L'amica geniale/My Brilliant Friend and sadly coming to the end of Season 3. Not sure about the release date for Season 4, but some sources say around February 2023...
I'm about halfway through L'Intruso, by Carla Cerati but I'm also revisiting a non-fiction book I read decades ago:
Inglesi, by Beppe Severgnini
As I've been listening to 'Severgnini risponde ai vostri vocali’ on the Corriere Daily podcast, I vaguely remembered that I had one of his books, so dug it out and dipped in. Severgnini writes about the 'bizzarrie britanniche' (he loves us really) and it's always fascinating to read a foreigner's point of view about us Brits! I'll comment on his observations in next month's post.
I regretfully didn't have the time to scan the Italian press online, but these are my go-tos:
Working out, language exchange, qualsiasi cosa...
Some of this month's selection:
Il Lato Positivo. 10 Esercizi per tonificare le cosce in 10 minuti al giorno. Instructional video rather than follow-along session, but you can pause to do each exercise.
Cocoiris. Esercizi intensi per Glutei. 2 sets of 4 exercises for each leg, 30 seconds each. Quite intense as the title states, but if you're struggling you could always stop after the first set...
Yoga con Celeste. Defaticamento muscolare spalle braccia & collo. 18-minute session, great for alleviating aching muscles, which I definitely had from hours of pulling up weeds in the garden. Slow stretches for shoulders, wrists, spine (thread the needle is my absolute favourite pose for upper body relief).
Yoga con Celeste. Yoga 15 minuti | Dolce Flow Radicante Sprigiona la Primavera. 15-minute slow and easy flow to open the whole body. My session all'aria aperta was interrupted by a certain hound, as you can see in the pic above...
After a pleasant session last month with Maria from Mylanguageexchange, we haven't been in touch since, but I've been swamped with work and personal commitments, and I know that she works long hours, so perhaps we will chat again in the future.
I read about another possible exchange opportunity on LinkedIn, with Giulia Lucania (https://www.linkedin.com/in/giulia-lucania-translator/), who runs an Italian conversation club that meets online every week (at a cost of 40 euros per month), so I'm hoping to join at some point soon.
Word/phrase of the month
Primo Maggio Sù Coraggio
I heard this on one of the Corriere Daily podcast episodes and decided to investigate. From what I can gather, it's from Umberto Tozzi's 1977 song 'Ti Amo' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyTz-KBXkYY), which has been translated into several languages and covered to death (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ti_amo). There's even an Italian-English version with Anastacia released in 2017 to mark the song's 40-year anniversary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaZxVkmN25o). However, with the first of May being La Festa del Lavoro (International Worker's Day, or Labour Day), could the saying have originated earlier? Any history buffs out there know the answer?
Let me know what you've been doing in Italian and please share this post with anyone you think would enjoy it. A presto!