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INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN WORDS

Published November 3, 2014 by Tony

 

Italian Loanwords in English

Loanwords are words adopted by the speakers of one language from a different language. To indicate the use of English words in common Italian language we say “inglesismo”, to mean Englishism or Anglicism.
The heavy penetration of “English words” in the Italian language, especially in the workplace, gives no sign of stopping. A recent study on the use of English words used by Italian companies found that the use of Anglo-Saxon’s terms has increased almost 800% over the past 8 years.
But I have wondered, what about the opposite?
After a brief search, I noticed that there are indeed a lot of Italian words used in English. Given that the Italian language is not as widespread as English, we need to take a step back in time to better understand the intrusion of these terms in English/American vocabulary.

At the end of the sixteenth century among the Queen Elizabeth Tudor’s subjects some compatriots were blamed those not for only study and made a display of their Italian knowledge, but because posing as imitators of the Italian model in behavior and  fashion, literature and painting, business  and in the art of the sword…… mindset that thereafter characterized the Anglo-Saxon way of looking at Italy and towards Italian things: admiration and contempt, acceptance and rejection, prejudice and amazement at the same time. We find a wide track of all this through the history of Anglo-Italian relations, which is made up of businesses, books, and travel.
At that time, we already find some Italian words used in English and that, over the centuries, have become common in their language, enriching their vocabulary and expressive possibilities. BANK, BANKRUPT, CASH, and RISK were terms that ultimately came from the Italian words “banca”, “banco”, “bancarotta”, “cassa” and “rischio”. Nowadays, the weight of this new dictionary may not be able to redress the balance which lately, on the other side, has a large number of Anglicism in Italian. However, I realize that we are not only  “debtors” because in any contact between different languages (as well as between human beings) the “giving” is always accompanied by the “having”, and vice versa.
The first Italian lexical borrowings in the English language belong to the economic and financial entourage, as the term DUCAT, with reference to the first golden “ducato” created by the Doge of Venice in 1284, as well as the term MANAGER derived from “maneggio” which in Italian means to train the horses.
The situation changes radically – for quantity and quality of Italianisms – when in the second half of the sixteenth century the Italian Renaissance reached England. Through the study of the Italian language gentlemen and British courtiers intended to approach a superior civilization and achieve the perfect ideal of the Renaissance man, so that the influence of language was closely related to the literary and cultural heritage, and it is easy to illustrate the presence of English Italianisms in areas where Italy is a Renaissance model of excellence:
• arts and architecture, GESSO, STUCCO, CUPOLA, DUOMO, BELVEDERE and PIAZZA;
• poetry, song and music, CANTO, MADRIGAL, SONETTO, STANZA, DUO and VIOLIN;
• military and fortifications, IMBOSCATA and TO IMBOSK, ARSENAL and RIPARE;
• mathematics and geometry, ALGEBRA, SQUADRANT and SQUADRATURE;
• trade and finance, BAZAAR, TO SALD (from “saldare”), TARIFF and TO INVEST.

Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries some contingencies bring the English’s world to turn its back to Italy: Charles I (1625-1649) married a French princess, as the interlude Puritan Commonwealth (1649-1660) could not bring Englishmen to look at Italy with favor, abut as an abhorred focus centre of a Catholic cradle and immoral Machiavellianism…. so, during the seventeenth century the Italian loanwords only involve some specific areas – such as botany and natural sciences, mathematics, geometry, and fortifications.
•    PISTOLETTO, STILETTO, CAPITANO;
•    AMOROSO, BECCO, CANAGLIA, CAPRICCIO, ESTRO, FURIOSO, GENIO, INCOGNITO, RUFFIANO, VOLPONE; CATSO!
(from cazzo), CRIMINE;
•    BERGAMOT, GRANITO, GROTTO, LIBECCIO, SCIROCCO,  VOLCANO;
•    GUGLIO, OVOLO, PILASTREL, ANTICAMERA, BALCONY, CAMPANILE, PALAZZO, PORTICO, STANZA, VILLA; BUSTO, CHIAROSCURO, INTAGLIO, MEZZOTINT, MINIATURE, MORBIDEZZA, PIETA’, PROFILE, PUTTO, SCHIZZO;
•    BURRATINE
(from “burattino”), ENTRATA, LITERATI and LETTERATO, PUNCHINELLO, ROMANZA, ROMANZO; ALLEGRO, BARITONE, CANTO, CAPRICCIO, LARGO, PIANO, PRESTO, RECITATIVE, RITORNELLO, SONATA, TRILL, VIOLINIST, VIVACE;
•    CAMBIO, TO DISCOUNT
(da “scontare”), ENTRATE, MONTE DI PIETA’, PREMIO (to mean insurance premium, from “premio di assicurazione”), LIRA, PAOLO, SCUDO;
•    GRECO, LIATICO, BRENDICE (from “brindisi”), BROCCOLI, FRITTADO
(from frittata), MORTADELLA, PASTA, POLENTA, VERMICELLI;
•    BULLETIN, CONSULTO, GIUNTA, INTRIGO, MANIFESTO, PAPESS, QUIETISM
and QUIETIST, RISGO(E) (from “risigo” or “risico”), SBIRRO, SCALDABANCO (to mean a ‘fiery preacher’), SPIRITATO ( to mean ‘driven by excessive religious zeal’).

Many of these Italianisms are now archaic or obsolete, but on that period they had their influence; if it is true that during the seventeenth century the British looked at France and not Italy as a cultural model,  it is equally true that in this century the French language acted as a mediator to spread in English other Italian loanwords, like TO ATTACK, BAGATELLE, BARRACK, CARTOON, CHARLATAN, GAZETTE, MUSKETOON, RISK, SPINET, VALISE  and VEDETTE.
This tendency vanishes in the eighteenth century, when British were by now aware to have acquired a certain cultural independence from foreign models. In regard of Italian world, this independence gradually develops thru various attitudes: an initial total denial, as if the British were ashamed of having taken Italy as model. Then the attention increases because they tried – as English travelers on the Grand Tour made –  to find
the vestiges of a glorious past thru the actual ruins.  Finally, a renewed interest for the work in Italian music and picturesque landscapes of Italian artists comes.
•     ADAGIO, ALLEGRETTO, ANDANTE, ARIA, BALLATA, CASTRATO, CONCERTO GROSSO, CONTRAPUNTIST, CRESCENDO, DUET, FAGOTTO, FALSETTO, FANTASIA, FORTE, FORTE-PIANO, FORTISSIMO, LIBRETTO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, OPERETTA, PIANISSIMO, PRIMA DONNA, SERENATA, SINFONIA, SOLFEGGIO, SOPRANO, STACCATO, TENORE, TERZETTO, TOCCATA, TUTTI, VIOLA, VIOLONCELLO, ZAMPOGNA and ZUFOLO;
•     TERRENO, TONDINO, STACCATURE (from “stuccatura”), ALFRESCO, BAMBINO, CINQUECENTO, CONTORNO, GUAZZO, TO IMPASTE, IMPASTO, PASTICCIO, PORTFOLIO, RITRATTO, SMALTO and TORSO;
•     BRIO, CICISBEO, CONVERSAZIONE, CON AMORE, IMBROGLIO, LAZZARONE, SOTTO VOCE
and VILLEGGIATURA;
•      BRECCIA, LAVA, SOLFATARA, TERRA SIENNA (from “terra di Siena”), TUFA
(from “tufo”), and VULCANIC;
•      FINOCHIO
(from “finocchio”), MARASCHINO, MINESTRA, SEMOLINA, and STAFATA (from “stufato”).

And what about the nineteenth century? Ugo Foscolo, who took refuge in London,  about Italian in England he wrote, “A lot of them study it, a few learn it, everybody presume to know it”. The interest in Italian literature is an elitist thing, for Romantic poets and Victorians….. more effective is the interests of some British who are passionate about Italian opera, or to orient themselves at least a little while traveling and living in Italy, a lifestyle that represent itself again after the collapse of the Napoleonic empire. The fact is that in the nineteenth century the Italianisms welcomed by the English language  are really a lot and more than in the past:
•    ACCELERANDO, AGITATO, A CAPPELLA, ANDANTINO, BASSET-HORN, BATTUTA, BEL CANTO, CADENZA, CANTATRICE, CAVATINA, CEMBALO, CONCERTINO, CORNETTO, CORNO, DIVA, DUETTINO, FLAUTIST, FLAUTATO, FUGATO, FURIOSO, LAMENTOSO, LEGATO, MARCATO, MARTELLATO, MOSSO, MUSICO, OBOE D’AMORE, OBOE DA CACCIA, OCARINA, ORGANETTO, PIANIST, PIZZICATO, RALLENTANDO, ROMANZA, SCHERZO, SESTET, SFORZANDO, SFORZATO, SMORZANDO, SMORZATO, VIBRATO, VIOLA DA BRACCIO, VILLOTTA;
•    ABBOZZO, AMORINO, BAROCCO, CORTILE, GRADINO, GRAFFITO, INTARSIA, INTONACO, LUNETTA, MANDORLA, REPLICA, SCENARIO, SCUOLA, SEICENTISMO, SEICENTIST, SFUMATO, STUDIO, TEMPERA, TEMPIETTO, TENEBROSO, TERRIBILITA’, TONDO, TRECENTO;
•    AGRODOLCE, CANNELLONI, GNOCCHI, GRISSINO, LASAGNE, MARASCA, RAVIOLI, RICOTTA, RISOTTO, SALAMI, SEMOLA, SEMOLETTA, SPAGHETTI, STRACCHINO, TAGLIATELLE, ZABAGLIONE, ZUCCA; ALEATICO, CHIANTI, GRAPPA, GRIGNOLINO, MALVASIA, ROSOLIO, VERNACCIA;
•    BECCACCIA, BOCCA
(referring to  volcano), BORA, FATA MORGANA, FIUMARA, LAPILLO, MACIGNO, MAREMMA, OVER-MOUNTS, RIVA, TERRA ROSSA, VOLCANELLO;
•    JETTATURA, MAESTRIA, MATTOID, REFASHIONMENT
(from “rifacimento”), SIMPATICO, VENDETTA;
•    BERSAGLIERE, CARABINIERE, CARBONARI, IMBROGLIO, IRRENDENTIST, MAFIA
and MAFIOSO, MUNICIPIO, QUIRINAL, RISORGIMENTO, SANFEDIST, SINDACO, TRIPLICE; ABBATE, CAPPA, MANTELLETTA, TRIDUO, ZUCCHETTO;
•    STORNELLO, TERZINA, FESTA, CONFETTI, DOLCE FAR NIENTE, CREDENZA, FIASCO, PADELLA, COMMENDATORE, CONTESSA, DONZELLA, RAGAZZO.

Passing from the nineteenth century to the century just ended, it is first evident that the dynamics of Anglo-Italian relations are conditioned by the increasing opportunities and ways of contacts: trade and international relations, leisure travel and migration, means transport, and mass media make easier any linguistic, literary and cultural exchange. Although the Italian spoken by immigrants and the one taught in schools in English-speaking countries have set up, in the course of the twentieth century, an opportunity for contact interlingua for hundreds of thousands of speakers, it is reasonable to conclude that a genuine Italian influence on British and American English has exerted primarily by other means and other ways, as the following list of Italianisms shows:
•    music, songs and dance: CODA, LAMENTO, SINFONIA CONCERTANTE, SINFONIETTA, SOPRANINO, SPINTO, STAGIONE (often as STAGIONE LIRICA), STILE ANTICO, STILE CONCITATO;
•   
art and architecture: BOTTEGA, BOZZETTO, FUTURISM, GIOCONDA, MODELLO, PALIOTTO, PENTIMENTO, RICORDO, SEICENTO, SETTECENTO, STUDIOLO, VEDUTA, VEDUTISTA, VERISMO; PIANO NOBILE, SALONE, SALOTTO, SOTTOPORTICO, TRAVATED (from “travata”), TRULLO;
•    natural sciences and geophysics: MAESTRALE, PONENTE (or PONENTE WIND), SALITA, SPINONE;
•    scientific and technical terms: CHROMOCENTRE, EQUICONTINUOUS, FANGO and FANGOTHERAPY, FAVISM, GIORGI (or GIORGI SYSTEM), HOLOGENESIS, ISOTACTIC, OLIGOPOD, ORTICANT, RICCI (or RICCI TENSOR), ROSASITE, SECCHI (or SECCHI’S DISC), UREOTELIC, YOTTA (from prefix y- before the number “otto”,  to mean ‘10/24’);
•     technical-industrial
terminology: FERRO-CEMENT, IMPASTO, PUNTA, TERITAL, TERRAZZO;
•    religion: AGGIORNAMENTO, PAPABILE, QUARESIMAL, ROMANITA’;
•    economics and Politics: BABY PENSIONS (from “pensioni baby”), BLACK JOB, BLACKSHIRT, BOSSISMO, DESISTENZA, DUCE, EUROTAX or TAX FOR EUROPE (from “Eurotassa”), FASCI, FASCISM, GIOVANI IMPRENDITORI, GOVERNISSIMO, GOVERNTMENT OF NATIONAL UNIT, GREENSHIRTS, HISTORIC COMPROMISE (from “compromesso storico”), LOTTIZZAZIONE, MANI PULITE/SPORCHE,   or meanings like CLEAN/DIRTY HANDS, NORD-NAZIONE, PADANIA and PADANIANS, PADRONI, PARTITOCRAZIA, POTERI FORTI, RED BRIGADES (from “Brigate Rosse”), SACRO EGOISMO, SALOTTO BUONO, SCALA MOBILE, SQUADRA, SQUADRIST, TANGENTI, TANGENTOPOLI, BRIBE CITY, BRIBESVILLE e KICKBACK CITY, TRASFORMISMO, WHITE SEMESTER, UOMO DELLA PROVVIDENZA;
•    society: AGRITURISMO, ANIMALISTA, ANTI-MAFIA, BIENNALE, CAPO (or MAFIOSO), CAPO DEI CAPI, BOSS OF BOSSES, CADAVERI ECCELLENTI, CLOSED HOUSES (from “case chiuse”), COSA NOSTRA or OUR THING, CRAVATTARI, DOLCE VITA, DON, FERRAGOSTO, GOOMBAH (to mean a ‘mafioso’), MAFIAIST e MAFIAISM, MAFIA-BUSTING, MAFIA-FIGHTERS, MAFIA-LINKED, MAFIA-RIDDEN and MAFIA-STYLE, MAXI TRIAL (from “maxi processo”), MEN OF HONOUR), OMERTA’, PAPARAZZO, PASSEGGIATA, PASTICCERIA, PENSIONE, PIZZERIA, PRINCIPE, REPENTED (to mean informer), RISTORANTE, SACRA CORONA UNITA, SCUGNIZZO, SETTIMANALI ROSA, SOVRINTENDENZA, TIFOSI, TOMBAROLO, VENTETTIST;
•    roles, behaviors, individual and social attitudes: BIMBO, FURORE, JETTATORE, MAMMISMO, NOIA, NUMERO UNO, VITA NUOVA, VITELLONI;
•    food and beverage: ABBACCHIO, AGNOLOTTI, AL DENTE, ANTIPASTO, ARAGULA (from “RUCOLA”), BEL PAESE, BRUSCHETTA, CACIUCCO, CALABRESE, CALAMARI, CALZONE, CANNOLI, CAPRETTO, CARBONE DOLCE, CARPACCIO, CASSATA, CIABATTA, CORNETTO, COSTATA ALLA FIORENTINA, CROSTINI, FETTUCCINE, FRITTATA, FRITTO DI MARE o FRITTO MISTO, FRITTURA, FUSILLI, GUANCIALE, LINGUINE, MACEDONIA DI FRUTTA, MANICOTTI, MARINARA, MASCARPONE o MASCHERPONE, MOZZARELLA, MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA, OSSO BUCO, PANCETTA, PANETTONE, PANFORTE, PARMIGIANO, PECORINO, PENNE, PESTO, PEPPERONI (or PEPERONI), PINZIMONIO, PIZZA, PORCHETTA, PROSCIUTTO (or PROSCIUTTO HAM), PROVOLONE, RADICCHIO, RIGATONI, ROMANO (or ROMANO CHEESE), SALTIMBOCCA, SANGUINACCIO, SCALLOPINI (or SCALOPPINE), SCAMPI, SCUNGILLE (from Neapolitan “scunciglio”), SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA and ALLA CARBONARA, SPAGHETTINI, SPUMONI (from “spumone”), STELLINE, STRACCIATELLA, TALEGGIO, TIRAMISU, TORTELLINI, VITELLO TONNATO, ZABAGLIONE, ZEPPOLE, ZITONI, ZUCCHINI, ZUPPA, ZUPPA INGLESE, and the saying MMEDITERRANEAN DIET; AMARETTO, BERBERA, BAROLO, CAPPUCCINO, DOLCETTO D’ALBA, ESPRESSO, FRASCATI, LAMBRUSCO, LUNGO e MACCHIATO (referring to the coffee), MOSCATO, NEGRONI, MARTINI, PROSECCO, PUNT E MES, RICCADONNA, SAMBUCA, SASSELLA, SOAVE, SPUMANTE, STREGA, VERDICCHIO, VIN SANTO, VINO DA TAVOLA, and the saying DENOMINATION OF PROTECTED ORIGIN;
•    various words ARRIVEDERCI, AUTOSTRADA, AZZURRI, BALLERINA (or BALLERINA SHOE), CANTINA, CIAO, FATTORIA, FRECCE TRICOLORI, GALLERIA (to mean a place with many shops, “galleria di negozi”), GROSSO MODO, LIBERO  (from soccer technique), MANCIA, MEZZOGIORNO, MILLE MIGLIA, PICCOLO, PINOCCHIO, RIONE, SALUMERIA, SCOPA, SCUDETTO, SCUOLA MEDIA, SCUSI, (LA) SERENISSIMA, SPAGHETTI WESTERN, SPREZZATURA, STRAMBOTTO, SUFFIXOID,  TELEFONINO, VESPA, CINEMA.

  This is a partial list of known or supposed Italian loanwords in English, but if you wanna know more take a look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Italian_origin
But, if we take as reference the ancestor of the Italian language, the LATIN, and old widespread language, then the loanwords increase dramatically, especially in medicine, religion and art (as the sayings: posteriori, a priori, ad infinitum, carpe diem, casus belli, de facto, de jure, et cetera, ex parte, habitat, in camera, in medias res, ipse dixit, lingua franca, memento, non plus ultra, pax, persona (non) grata, per capita,  post partum, pro forma, sine die, sine qua non, sui generis, summa cum laude, tabula rasa.) Read this page to know more: http://www.liceovittorioemanuele.it/download/accardo/accardo.htm

 

 

Reference:www.treccani.it/magazine/lingua_italiana/speciali/nazioni/iamartino.html.

NEAPOLITAN CHRISTMAS GAME

Published December 16, 2013 by Tony

THE TOMBOLA

Let’s put aside Baseball or Playstation and take the opportunity that relatives and friends are at home to play all together with a board game.

The board  games are a phenomenon quite common in Western countries as a moment of aggregation, although their importance in social life also depends on national traditions. In Germany and the German-speaking countries, for example, the culture of the table game is much more widespread than in Italy. This kind of games is important as entertainment for family, especially for those suitable for all ages.
Christmas, being a celebration that usually unites the whole family, also becomes an opportunity to play together, a way to spend a happy afternoon or evening with a board game.

And in Naples, the oldest and widespread game played during the holiday season is the ” TOMBOLA“.
It is a traditional board game just created in Naples in the eighteenth century. A home game as an alternative to the game of the LOTTO (lot), and often accompanied by a system of association between numbers and their meanings, usually humorous, deriving from “The SMORFIA“.
The Smorfia is like the dream book, used to obtain the corresponding numbers from the various dreams to play the “Lotto”, along the lines of the Jewish Kabbalistic tradition (Kabbalah). For the Smorfia, a word, an event, a person, or an object, is transformed into one or more numbers, even through a fairly accurate coding that provides a different number depending on the context. For example, the verb (action) “to play” is represented by the number 79, but it changes if you meant to play football (50), cards (17), chess (22), and so on. For The Smorfia, the number 1 represents “Italy”, while the last number, 90, represents the “fear”, as well as the number five the “hands” and 18 the “blood”.

smorfia

For the uninitiated, the Lotto is a gambling game (like lottery), the most popular game in Italy managed by the State. The word “lotto” is derived from the French ” lot ,” which means both ” portion” and “fate.” The term, arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, is documented as “lote” in Spanish and “loto” in Portuguese. The French verb “lotir ” also means “to divide the lot” or “assign the lot”. But similar term can be found in the old English “hlot” (“a thing allotted”), which correspond to “Los” in modern German.

The game consists of three weekly draws, conducted in eleven cities called “ruote” (wheels), in which are drawn 5 numbers between 1 and 90 without replacement, meaning that a number once selected is not put back in the urn. The game is to bet on one or more numbers (double, triplet, quadruplet, quintet), in the hope that they are selected in the “wheels” you had gambled. In fact, you can bet in a single wheel, multi-wheel or all-wheel.
Neapolitans are very superstitious and often bet the numbers (arising from Smorfia) corresponding to particular events or situations, or resulting from some dream. Even the numbers that are part of a just bought car’s license plate, are among those that a Neapolitan can play to The Lotto.

Lotto: extracted numbers

According to tradition, the Tombola game would be created in 1734 by a discussion between King Charles of Bourbon and father Gregorio Maria Rocco about the lottery. The first wanted it under public control, as the second considered it immoral on religious grounds. The compromise was found by banning the game during the holiday season, during which families organized themselves with a home version of the game, which soon became a custom in those days of the year.

Basically the game of Bingo is similar to Tombola, in which participants are required to pay a sum of money which is then redistributed as prizes to the winners.
The players have one or more rectangular “cards” previously “bought”, consisting of 3 lines, each with five numbers, from 1 to 90, printed on. Each time one number is drawn and it is present on one or more of the player’s cards, the player gotta cover it. In the traditional version of Tombola, the cards are simple paper cards and the numbers are can be covered with beans, chickpeas, lentils, pasta, or other materials available after the Christmas dinners, like hazelnuts’ shells. The Tombola’s cards are made in groups of six, so that in each group the numbers from 1 to 90 are present once only. A collecting box is part of the game, typically a small cone-shaped basket, filled with 90 numbers of wood. In turn, each player draws, at random, one number a time from the container, and go on until one of the players has covered all the numbers marked on one of his card. In such cases it is said that he made “Tombola”, and is the winner. Once put back in place the numbers and emptied the cards, the game resumes and another player can extract the numbers from the bowl. Depending on the amount of the prize money, players can decide to put at stake the double, the triplet, the quadruplet and the quintet, although it is the one who gets tombola to earn the top prize.

Tombola

Since Neapolitan tombola is normally played in a familiar context (as mentioned it is the traditional Christmas game), the amounts committed and won are usually small, and often have a purely symbolic value (you can “buy” three folders for 1 euro, for example). I like to buy 6 cards and to tell the truth, I’m not very lucky in this game, and although I only pay 2 Euros per session, after a couple of hours I could lose 15-20 euro! But as we say, more to comfort than anything else, “unlucky in the game, lucky in love”?
As mentioned, it is mainly a way to get together and have fun, which children may also take part, who know the numbers, at least from 1 to 90!

tombola

Average family lifestyle

Published April 2, 2013 by Tony

How is the life of an average middle-class family here in Naples?
And that of a pensioner?

I think this is one of the curiosities that arises in people interested in Italian culture and living in other countries.
To realize that the answer cannot be exhaustive, ask yourself the same question, how is an usual family’s life in your country?
As you can see, at this question we can only give a very general answer, because there would be too many cases to be taken into account, varying from family to family and even according to the area they are living in.
Keeping me very general, I will consider two average family, the first consisting of a father and a mother, both workers, with two teenage children, and the second formed by two grandparents already retired.

For us, the “peak hours”, to indicate the hours of the day when there is more traffic and more people in the street, are the ones in the morning from 8.30 to 14, which roughly corresponds to the entry and exit from schools and shops and offices opening hours; then with another rush hour at about 14 (shops re-opening hour), and between 19 to 20, the closing time for factories and shops.
Of course, moving and traveling in urban centers during these hours is more difficult and takes more time giving more stress. No problem, however, for those who have schools and shops close at hand, and that, therefore, can easily move on foot.

Usually, students must leave home in time to be in their high school at 8.10 – 8.20 am, and except in special cases, most adolescents reach the school either by foot (if the school is nearby) or by public transport, and in this case they must be in the street at least one hour before. At that time, the majority of the public transport are crowded with students who move to the city and suburbs for going to school. Therefore, you can well realize the confusion and noise that you will be subjected if traveling on one of these buses.
In contrast, the majority of parents, who are employees or traders, move by car to reach their own workplace. Except in special cases, this means that between 7 and 8 in the morning they already have to leave home.

As I already have mentioned in a previous post, here most of the parents are quite tolerant towards their children. From what I know, compared to American families for example, here there is less worry and anxiety towards teenagers (from 14-15 up), who get enough freedom to go out alone and travel on their own.
With regard to working hours, I cannot generalize because depending of the work, some parents may be back home lunchtime, and then be able to eat together with their children who meantime are got out from school. Anyway, it’s a fact that are dads to be back home in the afternoon and so forced to have lunch for themselves.
During the afternoon, moms do housework and prepare dinner, and if the case go out for shopping. The youths, instead, do their homework, watch TV, spend time near computer/PlayStation alone or with some friends, and go out in case they have to go to a friend’s home, attend some gym or play some sport. Sometimes, it’s a parent to take them by the car.
Of course, in the late evening the whole family gathers for dinner, after which they all watch TV or teenagers can enjoy again computer or some game.
Generally, parents are not so strict about time to go to bed, and youngsters can stay up late evening, unless it is the whole family that goes to bed asking them to do the same.  They will pay at their own expense, having then to get up early to go to school, thing which will force them, in the future, not to stay awake up late at night.
On Sunday, if there are no commitments, boys and girls are free to do what they want, so, both in the morning and evening, they may go out to go to church or meet friends, while parents could take them to the cinema or a friend’s home if it is not so near their home.
On Sundays, parents take the opportunity to do some work at home, to engage in some hobby, meet friends or relatives, or relax by spending the whole day at home between a good meal and following football games on TV. Usually, the evening is also devoted to visit friends or relatives.

Undoubtedly, there is still a small-discrimination with regard to sex, with boys who are privileged in having more freedom to go out alone or invite both male and females friends at home. A girl who invites a male friend, would put parents in discomfort who, though agree, wouldn’t allow them to stay alone or with closed door, something that boys usually can do, instead!
Here, we are more concerned for daughters than for sons, in the sense that at the beginning of puberty girls already are thinking about a boyfriend and if they are gorgeous will also have many boys wooing them. In general, for some reason, girls are also more confident and precocious than most boys same age, and while good boys aged 14-15 still like to stay at home to play, others boys who are more rascal and untimely spend more time in the street together friends, often going around just with the intent to find a girl with whom make out.
Once the spark is struck, and the girl is in love with him, is quite certain that in the long run the boy gets its way, and unless you do not control your daughter 24 hours a day, sooner or later they will find the opportunity to be alone and even in 10 minutes do what us parents wouldn’t want our girl did at that age.
Under this point of view, from 14 to 17 is the age most critical and dangerous. A girl who is able to keep the virginity till her 18th birthday, probably will remain so until she’s sure of what is doing. Anyway, it is for this reason that unexpected and untimely pregnancies occur precisely in that age group, not so many here, fortunately. Of course, much depends on girl’s character and social context in which she’s living. Little can be done if she is a “siren” and surrounded by many tomcats or coxcombs. Although through no pregnancy (luckily phew!), I know girls who have had intercourse already at 13-14 years, and it is clear that this type of girl then will have no scruple to go ahead having sex with any guy dating her. On the contrary, at that age, many boys are still home to play with toys, watch cartoon and perhaps masturbating alone.
When children get older, over 18 years, it becomes much more difficult for parents to keep up. They want their freedom and cannot help but partying, go out on Saturday and Sunday evening, coming home very late at night. Sometimes you have to push them to devote more time to study or help them to find a job, where they have finished their studies. Nowadays, a child easily can stay with their parents even after his/her 30 years.

In Italy, every worker who has worked up to 65 years, receives a pension in proportion to the contributions. There are many so-called pensions “integrated to the minimum”, where the law has established that the amount of any pension cannot be less than 500 euro per month. So, if both spouses have a pension, life in retirement may be less difficult. Considering that in old age there are less expenses due to child support, personal expenses, partying or luxury. Here, the lives of pensioners is fairly quiet and monotonous. Grandchildren are often the only diversion that pushes grandparents to move and spend more. With crisis and unemployment are often grandparents, though their meager pensions, to help married son or daughter.
The grandmother is often full-time homemaker, spending free time between relatives, friends, church or some hobby. For him, however, things get a little harsher, because he often does not know how to pass the time and the days become all the same. Breakfast, newspaper, a stroll to meet friends around in the square, in a bar or in a social club. Someone pass the time playing cards, bocce, or doing errands for their married offspring who have little free time. If grandparents get the chance will join some organized trip by coach, and if they also are the lucky owner of a house at the sea or in mountains, bought during the long working life, on every holiday they will be there to spend a few days.
Grandparents are often the ones that invite their progeny to eat home (or vice versa), as well as become a sort of nursery for little grandchildren whose parents do not know where to leave them. Here, parents who have definitively broken any relation with their children or vice versa are very few. This can happen sometimes for economic reasons (inheritance), or because of some disagreement arose between the families. The family connection is never interrupted, unless sons have not been forced to leave their hometown. For this reason, concern and anxiety never end…. we start with babies after our wedding, and end up in sharing any issue that affect the family of our progeny.

Now it’s up to you, who live in another country, find the differences between these lifestyles and those belonging to your different culture.

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ITALIAN EASTER MEAL

Published March 31, 2013 by Tony

TRADITIONAL EASTER LUNCH

If you want to have an Easter lunch that reflects the Neapolitan or Italian tradition, you have to keep in mind that the main ingredients to be used in these days must be based on:

Fresh veggie, vegetables: preferably those that this season offers, such as artichokes, peas, cabbage, asparagus. [About artichokes, you can taste variety without thorns (as Romanesco variety), to eat boiled.]
Cold cuts: salami, capicolla, bacon.
Cheeses: ricotta, salt ricotta, provolone, caciotta.
Eggs: preferably boiled.
Meat: lamb, pork.
Pasta: fresh pasta, egg pasta, lasagne, cannelloni.
Pie: any rustic (salt) cake made with dough, eggs, salami, oil or lard.
Desserts: chocolate, any soft cake with candies fruits.

Here are some images to whet your imagination and appetite. Enjoy your meal!

  

       

 

 

 

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TEENAGERS WITHOUT REGARD

Published March 18, 2013 by Tony

BAD PREMISES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

I love young people, and everything related to youth, but cannot stand some thoughtless behaviors that are common to many teenagers.
It is true that at that age they still are immature, rude and instinctive, but to change their “unreasonable” mindset would be sufficient only less lightness and foolishness in the judgment.
Here’s the issues that teenagers often are without regard:
a)     old age;
b)     appearance;
c)     foods
;
Three issues on which most teenagers are prejudiced and blinkered. 

a)     For them, “old age” is something ugly, disgusting even, and that often leads them to make unpleasant judgments towards aged people. Whether it’s physical or mental decay or rather the unhurried elderly’s behaving, youngsters do not look at us kindly and consider us too pedantic.
b)     Their parameters of evaluation about beauty may sometimes be obscure to us. Speaking about their friends they are too critical, often using words like “ugly”, “unwatchable”, “clumsy”, etc..
These summary judgments are annoying, regardless of whether the subject is really cute or ugly, especially if the opinion comes by someone who, in all sincerity, isn’t then so cute.
Judging on the basis of physical appearance only, even if only in jest, is the worst thing that a person, young or not, can do.
c)     When it comes to food, how many times have you heard the expression “it sucks!” or “how disgusting!” – said by a boy or a girl?
For teenagers there are no half measures, there is no “practical test”, means food is lousy though judged only by its appearance or by one ostracized ingredient.  “Try it!” at least, we say … but often to no avail….. and to think that in the world every day, people are dying of hunger

I have mulled only on these three topics, but the discussion would be much more complex because the base is a lack of “values” that for one reason or another has affected young people today. Needless to say, in the presence of such behavior, parents also should try to make them think in a different way.

As the wise Woody Allen said, it perhaps would be appropriate for everybody to live first the old age and then the youth. In this case, young people could understand and appreciate better the life, while seniors could accept better the old age!
Or, as stated by the famous and terrible Horace’s judgment: “We are worth less than our fathers, and our sons will be worth less than us.”

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USUAL PRODUCTS NEAPOLITANS BUY

Published January 31, 2013 by Tony

SOME PRODUCT FAMILY BUY IN NAPLES

In supermarkets all of us always look at other’s carts to see which products have been chosen. It is a legitimate curiosity that increases towards people who live in other countries as we wonder what brands or types of products they usually are using. It certainly is interesting to see if in other countries on the shelves there are products of the same brands that we find here. This curiosity will be yours too, and I hope it will be satisfied by this short series of products that a common Neapolitan family usual buy in a supermarket in Naples.
Although many of the everyday products we buy, are manufactured by European or international brands, some are produced by Italian companies, probably unknown to you. Anyway, in typology order I’ll mention the most used/known articles. Needless to say, every family is looking for special offers and promotions, and here most supermarkets or malls periodically prepares advertising leaflets, publicizing prices and current offers that we then find in our postbox. It was to be expected that some American big brands, about foodstuff and healthcare, prevail, as French for cosmetics products and Italian for some specific product.  

BREAD/ROLL


Here, we all buy daily fresh bread produced by local bakeries

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CORN FLAKES

Kellogg’s (USA)

CHOCOLATE
Ferrero (Italy)
Perugina (Italy)
Novi (Italy)
Lindt (Swiss)
Kinder (Ferrero, Italy)
Milka (Kraft Foods, USA)


CHILDREN SNACK/NOSH
Mulino Bianco (Italy)
Kinder (Ferrero, Italy)
Mr Day (Parmalat, Italy)
Bistefani (Italy)
Ferrero (Italy)

COFFEE (for coffeemaker)
Kimbo (Italy)
Lavazza (Italy)
Illy (Italy)

DEODORANT
Nivea– (Beiersdorf, Germany)
Dove – (Unilever, Anglo-Dutch)
Malizia – (Mirato, Italy)
Roberts – (Manetti & Roberts, Italy)
Tesori d’Oriente  – (Conter, Italy)
Infasil – (Procter & Gamble, USA)


DIAPERS

Chicco (Artsana, Iyaly)
Pampers (Procter & Gamble, USA)
Huggies (Kimberly-Clark, USA)
Mister Baby (Reckitt Benckiser, UK)

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DRINKS /JUICES

Coke (Coca-Cola, USA)
Pepsi (USA)
Fanta (Italy)
San Pellegrino (Italy)
PFanner (Italy)
Santal (Parmalat, Italy)
Yoga (Italy)
Valfrutta (Italy)
Pago (BRAU UNION Group, Germany)
Zuegg (Italy)
San Benedetto (Italy)
Ferrero (Italy)

FLOUR
Barilla (Italy)
De Cecco (Italy)

MINERAL WATER
(All Italian brands, there’re a lot, and usually people choose the cheapest one in plastic bottles)
Ferrarelle
Vera
Uliveto
Rocchetta


LOTION/CREAM

Venus ( Venus, Algeria)
Nivea  (Beiersdorf, Germany)
Vichy (L’Oreal, France)
Garnier (L’Oreal, France)
Oreal (L’Oreal, France)
Lancome (France)

INFANT FOOD
Mellin (Italy)
Nestle (Swiss)
Plasmon (Italy)
Nipiol (Heinz, UK)
Humana (USA)


MOZZARELLA / DAIRY PRODUCTS

Here, we all buy daily fresh produced by local dairy factories

OIL
Cuore (Bonomelli, Italy)
Maya (Grupo SOS, Spain)
Bertolli (Grupo SOS, Spain)
Sasso (Italy)
Carapelli ()Italy)
De Santis (Italy)
Basso (Italy)

PASTA
(obviously they are all Italian brands)
De Cecco
Barilla
Garofalo
Russo
Voiello
Divella
Agnesi
Antonio Amato
La Molisana

FRESH/STUFFED PASTA
Rana (Italy)
Fini (Italy)
Buitoni (Italy)

SHAMPOO
Dimesnion – (Unilever, Anglo-Dutch)
Clear  (Unilever, Anglo-Dutch)
Fructis  (Garnier – Oreal, France)
Elvive (Garnier – Oreal, France)
Pantene (Procter & Gamble, USA)
Joshnson’s (Johnson & Jonhson, USA)
Vidal (Henkel, Germany)

TOAST /SANDWICH
Mulino Bianco (Italy)
San Carlo (Italy)

TOILET PAPER
Scottex  (Kimberly-Clark , USA)
Tenderly ( Tenderly, Italy)
Foxy  (ICT, Italy)
Regina (Italy)

TOOTHPASTE
Pasta Del Capitano  (Ciccarelli, Italy)
Benefit    (Procter & Gamble, USA)
Durban’s  (Bonomi group, Italy )
Pepsodent  (Unilever, Anglo-Dutch)
Colgate  (Colgate-Palmolive, USA)
Aquafresh  (GlaxoSmithKline, UK)
Mentadent  (Unilever, Anglo-Dutch)
AZ  (Procter & Gamble, USA)
Oral B  (Procter & Gamble, USA)

WINE
(Most of us buy wine produced by local farmers or winery)
Tavernello (Italy)
Ronco (Italy)

INVOLUNTARY GESTURES

Published January 31, 2013 by Tony

UNCONSCIOUS HABITS

Who has not common habits, tics, behavior or gestures among us?
Things that we unconsciously do every day, without even realizing it?!
I wonder why some gestures are so common to many of us, as if genetically encoded, and which everyone no longer pays attention. I am referring to usual gestures, like touching our forehead while we are pensive or doodling while chatting on the phone.
But I’ve noticed that we men have a particular attitudes when in the bathroom to piss.
Standing in front of the WC, while happily freeing our bladder, most of us, depending on the circumstances, are accustomed to:

a – be blankly, as to fully enjoying the act;
b – contemplate casually the wall tiles in front of us;
c – raise the head and look at the part of the ceiling that is above us
, as it happens to me.

I’d like to know if any of you have some different habit, strange, that is not one of those known and usual.

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