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NUTELLA STORY

Published February 16, 2015 by Tony

THE FERRERO’S BRAND CREATOR IS DIED

Michele Ferrero (1925 – 2015) was one of the most important Italian businessmen, owner of the eponymous Ferrero Group.
Son of peasants, after the second big war, together his wife he opened a pastry shop in Alba (Cuneo). In 1946 Michele was the man behind the company’s development, creating many new products purchased today by millions of consumers around the world, opening factories and representation in Germany and France, and then exporting his articles  overseas, from Australia to Ecuador.
At that time the Italian giants brands were Motta and Alemagna that predicted: “Ferrero goes for broke, it will fail.”
Michele is the inventor of the most famous Ferrero products: Nutella (1964), Mon Cheri (1956), Tic Tac (1969), Ferrero Rocher (1982), up to the Kinder line that now represents about 50% of the Ferrero turnover.
Thanks to the continuous territorial expansion, and production lines, today Ferrero is one of the leading confectionery worldwide, with over 34,000 employees in 53 countries, 20 production facilities, 3 of which are operating in the field of social enterprises in Africa, and Asia and 9 farms.

By Michele Ferrero’s will,  in 1983 was born the Ferrero Foundation, based in Alba, which has the dual objective of taking care of ex-employees Ferrero and to promote cultural and artistic initiatives. Indeed,  in its logo appear the three verbs that characterize his phylosophy : “Work, Create, Donate”.
In 2005 he created the Social Enterprises, already active in India, South Africa and Cameroon, not only based on a purely Conception entrepreneurial, but acting with a “social” spirit, as they are aimed on the one hand to create jobs in disadvantaged areas emerging countries, and to also carry out projects and initiatives to promote children’s education and health in the areas where the establishments are located.

Perhaps the best-known product in most of the world is “Nutella”, trade name of an Italian hazelnut cream made from sugar and vegetable oils to flavor cocoa and hazelnuts. It was created in 1964 by the confectionery Ferrero in Alba, from a previous cream called Giandujot and then Supercrema. The name comes from the noun “nut,”  and the Italian suffix “ella” to get a catchy name.
Today Nutella is probably the most widespread “chocolate spread” in the world, whose main ingredient is the hazelnut, once taken from the local hazelnut plantation where he was born. Mr. Michele, as his collaborators always called him, had the idea of planting trees hazelnuts in the South, so that he could have at disposal fresh hazelnuts at any season. From that visionary project was born  8,000 hectares of crops in Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia, where have been planted 6.6 million of trees. The latest reports claim that sales have been of 350 thousand tons produced each year.

Since the beginning Ferrero adopted reusable glass containers as a form of incentive to buy the product. Once emptied of its contents, the container can be used as a container. The glass jars were soon embellished with multi-color images and a characteristic shape.
During the feast of St. Peter and Paul, Michele had a habit of visiting his Ferrero Foundation in Alba. Here he greeted older workers and talked with other workers, and maybe tasted his products too, keeping the air conditioners to the maximum so that the chocolate did not “suffer” the heat “.
Frequently he went to various
supermarket to buy its products and those of other brands to verify freshness and differences. In each factory Michele asked to put a statue of the Lady of Lourdes, but not to offend Muslims, the designers did not put it in the factory in Manisa, Turkey. Michele Ferrero did not like to waste money, except for his favorite cake that he commissioned for some event to a trusted confectioner, and then carried by a helicopter to Alba.   Dwelling in Monaco where he lived in recent years, next to the villas of his son John and Louise, and the widow of his son Peter (who died in 2011), his last joy was being with his five grandchildren ((Michele, Bernardo, Michael, Marie Elder e John). He wrote for them a affectionate letter, during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Nutella, celebrated in May 2014.  He ideally passed the baton to the fourth Ferrero family’s generation.

DISPERSION OF THE ITALIAN ARTISTIC HERITAGE

Published November 18, 2014 by Tony

ITALIAN WORKS OF ART AROUND THE WORLD

The question of the Italian artistic heritage’s dispersion is very complex.
The reason why a so large number of Italian works of art is still in many foreign countries, is due to several factors.
Primarily, because of the misappropriation of the artworks due to foreigners regnant countries, that have made the history of Italy and that have succeeded over the centuries. Then, because of the phenomenon of collecting that has existed in a systematic way for over five centuries, and especially by the fact that from the unification of Italy onwards, the dispersion of the Italian artistic heritage came in succession thru hallucinating procedures and criteria, with the complicity of shrewd antique dealers, officials government, and by compliant and inappropriate laws and rules. Last but not least, the undue subtraction and thefts that constantly have been perpetrated against the Italian artistic heritage.

Rightly, the Napoleonic plunder and the failure in giving back so many masterpieces, is always remembered in this regard, but if such dispossession make us indignant, we must also ask ourselves why in Italy came many other works that were not part of that looting (excluding those that definitely were already out of Italy before the nineteenth century). For the uninitiated, the Napoleonic thefts refer to a number of subtractions of goods, in particular works of art, made during the military conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte. The subsequent peace treaties were the legal instrument used by Napoleon to legitimize these divestitures: between the clauses he considered the artworks as a tribute to war.
In 1799, in the Kingdom of Naples, the General Jean Etienne Championnet put into effect the same policy, as shown by a letter sent to the directorate in the windy year VII (25 February 1799):
« I announce you with pleasure that we have found riches that we thought to have lost. In addition to the arts in chalk of Herculaneum, there are two equestrian statues in marble by Nonius, father and son; Callipygian Venus will not go alone to Paris, because we found in the Porcelain Factory, the superb Agrippina awaiting death; the full-size marble statues of Caligula and Marcus Aurelius, a nice Mercury in bronze, and marble busts of the greatest value, including that of Homer. The convoy will leave in a few days. »


The works stolen by the Nazis and their allies before and during the Second World War, have been millions across Europe, including books and valuable documents. In this regard, we should remember the work done by Rodolfo Siviero, a non-commissioned Carabinieri’s officer, in charge of directing a diplomatic mission to the Allied Military Government in Germany, with the aim to establish the principle of restitution of stolen works to Italy. Since the fifties, and on behalf of the Italian Government, he has dealt systematically a search of all the works of art that were stolen and exported from Italy. This intense activity, which earned him the nickname “art’s 007”, lasts until his death in 1983. During this period Siviero often denounced the lack of attention that government institutions devoted to the problem of the recovery of our artistic heritage.
Berlin 1945-1946, the Second World War is over and the Red Army occupied the city. And here begins the odyssey of many masterpieces  which were secretly taken away by the Russians. According to the calculations of some German experts, the number of works of art disappeared from Germany, at the hands of the Russians, would be about one million of pieces. But we cannot know how many of them came from Italy occupied by the Germans, when Hermann Goering ordered the depredation.

In the past, other artistic commissioners were instructed to “negotiate” the return of looted works but, among compensation, sales and prescriptions, many are no longer returned in Italy. Despite everything, I am consoled by the thought that Italian art would not enjoy such a universal reputation, if its works were not present in some of the greatest museums in the world. Louvre, British Museum, National Gallery in Washington, Metropolitan in New York, Hermitage in Petersburg, Alte Pinakotheke in Monaco of Bavaria, Prado in Madrid and the Kunst Historisches Museum in Vienna, which are visited each year by millions of people from every continent. And in each of those museums the visitor finds ‘Italy’. This “mutual advantage” is perhaps the only reason that heals our consciences.

As mentioned at the beginning, there is no country in the world that has no  Italian historical relic or masterwork on display in their museums, and albeit the largest number can be found in French and English museums, America is no exception.
Although the United States have not their own art history (being officially founded only in 1776), following an optimal and targeted plan of purchase, persisted over the centuries, they hold great examples of classical art, medieval and modern, kept in so egregious way in their museums; the legitimacy of the housing is obviously questionable, despite the sensitivity of the issue: just think of one in all,  to the Chariot of Monteleone di Spoleto now in the Metropolitan museum, illegally transported in New York from the Umbrian city  in 1902, in the same years in which Italy was formulating a law to protect the assets belonging to its National Artistic Heritage.


For Americans who read me, I would like to give a complete listing of all our works that are scattered on their territory, but a systematic and comprehensive research is impossible, and  it will give back an endless list.

I can tell you that about Michelangelo you can see the “Young Archer,” a marble sculpture of 1491, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and “The Torment of Saint Anthony” a tempera of 1487, at Fort Worth in Texas.
About Caravaggio you can see, “Marta e Maria Maddalena “, olio su tela  del 1598 all’ Institute of Arts a Detroit. “Sacrificio di Isacco”, olio su tela del 1603 al Princeton,  Barbara Piasecka-Johnson Collection. “San Giovanni Battista”, olio su tela del 1604 al  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,  Kansas. “Crocifissione di Sant’Andrea”, olio su tela del 1607 a  Cleveland Museum of Art. “Negazione di San Pietro”, olio su tela del 1609 al Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York e il “San Francesco in Estasi”, al Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art di Hartford.

The Wadsworth Atheneum has other wonderful works of Italian medieval and modern art: sifting in the section relating to his collection on the official website, it is apparent the presence of historically important paintings by Italian artists, such as Ritrovamento di Vulcano, painted  by Piero di Cosimo in 1505; the Ritratto di un uomo in armatura,  1512 by Sebastiano del Piombo; Giuditta e la serva con la testa di Oloferne, 1624, by Orazio Gentileschi; the  Veduta di Piazza San Marco, 1750 by Canaletto;  the Trojan Horse, 1773 painting by Giandomenico Tiepolo.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.,  has one of the finest art collections in the world.
The strongest collection is the Italian Renaissance collection, which includes two panels from Duccio’s Maesta, the great tondo of the Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi, a Botticelli on the same subject, Giorgione’s Allendale Nativity, Giovanni Bellini’s The Feast of the Gods, the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Americas, Ginevra de’ Benci; and significant groups of works by Titian and Raphael.

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art you can admire works of Francesco Bartolozzi, Stefano della Bella,  Bartolommeo Bonghi , Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri),  Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco M. Mazzola), Francesco Piranesi,  Giovanni Battista Piranesi,  Marcantonio Raimondi,  Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio Santi), Giovanni Giacomo De Rossi,  Antonio Tempesta,  Enea Vico, Francesco Allegrini, Piedmontese, Giuseppe Galli Bibiena,  Giovanni Battista Foggini,  Giovanni Battista Tiepolo,  The Triumph of Fame; (reverse) Impresa of the Medici Family and Arms of the Medici and Tornabuoni Families, Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi (called Scheggia),  San Giovanni Valdarno, Alessandro Longhi (Italian, Venice 1733–1813 Venice).
Also, you can see, The Adoration of the Shepherds by Andrea Mantegna, The Birth of the Virgin, Fra Carnevale, Bartolomeo di Giovanni Corradini,  Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement, Fra Filippo Lippi, Saints Peter, Martha, Mary Magdalen, and Leonard, Correggio, Madonna and Child with Angels by Pietro di Domenico da Montepulciano, Madonna and Child with Saints by Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia,  The Entombment and Christ in the Wilderness by Moretto da Brescia, Saint Andrew by Simone, Paradise by Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia, The Adoration of the Magi by Giotto di Bondone, Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Pietro Lorenzetti, The Agony in the Garden and  Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints by Raffaello Sanzio, Christ Crowned with Thorns by Antonello da Messina, Portrait of a Young Man by Cosimo di Domenico di Bonaventura, Madonna and Child by Vincenzo Foppa, The Flight into Egypt by Cosmè Tura, The Journey of the Magi by Stefano di Giovanni, Portrait of a Young Woman by Lorenzo di Credi, The Resurrection by Perugino, and many others anonymous Italian masterworks.

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.

George Clooney’s marriage

Published October 2, 2014 by Tony

George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin: a fairytale wedding

Three days of celebration, several changes of clothes, star chefs, historic locations and hundreds of guests. All this magnificence has its cost, and the account that bride & groom paid is rather pricey. Only a royal wedding can outclass to luxury and sumptuousness it. The total cost of this romantic weekend is nearly 13 million dollars (just over € 10 million.) The premise that it was something great came up when the pretty UN’s representative received a beautiful lonely seven carat worth about 600,000 euro, and that the wedding would have took place in Venice.
Mrs. Clooney has worn in order: a 50s style striped dress by Dolce & Gabbana for her arrival in the lagoon, a long asymmetrical bright red dress by Alexander McQueen, and a clutch by Oscar de la Renta for the bachelorette party. A wedding dress in American style by Oscar de la Renta, and after the wedding,  a balloon skirt in a macramé by Giambattista Valli. Finally, women can’t forget the cream pantsuit by Stella McCartney for the civil wedding in the municipal office.
After her arriving in Venice, the lawyer of Lebanese origin has nearly stole the show to her future husband, embodying the myth of Mrs. Kennedy. If in the previous hours she had been spotted at the airport in Milan with a sporty outfit, with jeans and sneakers, after the arrival in the lagoon she has unlined all her charm with a look from the fifties: a lounguette dress white-blacks inlaid, blacks big glasses like her long flowing hair, and court pointy shoes.
After many false leads and rumors circulated on purpose to confuse the curious, after arriving in Venice George and his girlfriend have materialized in Tronchetto, the car terminal, preceded by a van that unloaded the couple’s bulky baggage, including a trunk by Giorgio Armani containing the dress that the groom had to wear on Monday morning for the civil marriage. Nothing was left to chance, including the name of the gondola-taxi number 256, with the auspicious name “Love”, driven by the loyal Sandro Greco, the man-shadow to each Clooney Venice Film Festival partecipation.
Amal like Cinderella, when getting off of the taxi ‘Love’ to go to the hotel Cipriani, she held in the hand one of her shoes with the big stiletto heel.
Stumbling upon a typical star’s affectation, Clooney took exception to the bedroom’s furniture in the luxurious Aman Grand Canal Hotel, where the couple had to stay, asking to change it.
To manage the wedding of the year, the City even issued an order to prohibit the passage of persons and boats, by land and water, in front of the municipal building that housed the ironclad celebration. And that’s not all! Until Thursday, outside the building next to the hotel, there were some scaffolding installed for the restoration. To have a better sight of the Grand Canal, Clooney decided to shell out a substantial amount to disassemble it in a jiffy. Also, restyling maneuvers for the city, that for the occasion has been dressed up by authorities, without leaving even a gondola out of place.
A weekend in Venice has been enough for Mr. Clooney to infringe upon his past lived as much as possible away from gossip.
About sixty guests arrived at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the day before the wedding, for a pre-wedding dinner party. The day after, the wedding banquet at Aman Grand Canal Hotel, a seven-star where a room’s price ranges from one thousand to 3000 euro per night.
George Clooney and his wife chose the singer Andrea Bocelli to spread music in such a magical day.  Amal’s bridesmaid has been her sister, while George chose the dear friend Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s husband.
To understand the extent to which George and Amal have refined palates, we gotta give a look at the banquet, that among other things included: lobster, lemon risotto and polenta with fried mushrooms. To accomplish this menu there was the chef of the famous Hotel Dolada to Plois, Riccardo De Pra. He has been supported by two teams of outside cooks, one in Pisa and the other in Paris.
In this riot of colors and flavors, a particular dessert could not miss , the favorite of the Hollywood star: the Pasticcciotto of Puglia. A typical Salento one made of sweet pastry, filled with custard and shaped as a mini plumcake.
Not being able to give up this delight, for the wedding George Clooney ordered 2000 of them directly from Otranto, the origin country of these sweet.
I wonder if, as some say, this marriage is only meant to support Cloney’s political activity.

  

  

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FAMOUS ITALIAN WRITERS

Published September 19, 2014 by Tony

 

ITALIAN BOOKS TO READ

Italy is worldwide well known for many things, and in a cultural context we can’t forget writers and poets. In a hypothetical list of places to see and things to eat, those who love Italy should not forget to also note some “work” to be read.
Lately, there are some Italian writers who have become famous abroad, apart from high-sounding names with their famous classics, undisputed masterpieces of literature, such as Dante Alighieri, Alessandro Manzoni, Luigi Pirandello, Giovanni Verga, etc.
Among the Italian authors who in recent decades have become known abroad, with millions of copies sold, international awards, translations in many languages and, in some cases, even film adaptations of their books, I can mention:

Umberto Eco. A long list of Italian and foreign honors for him. “The Name of the Rose” (1980), translated into 47 languages and sold over thirty million copies, then transposed to the movies. The satirical novel “Foucault’s Pendulum” (1988).
Alberto Bevilacqua (deceased in 2013). “Caliph” (1964), “This kind of love” (1972).
Oriana Fallaci. Successful author with books of fiction, she sold all over the world more than twenty million copies. “Letter to a Child Never Born” (1975) and “A Man” (1979) are probably her most famous books.
Claudio Magris. “Danube” (1986), is perhaps his masterpiece that established him as one of the greatest contemporary Italian writers.
Roberto Saviano. Author of “Gomorrah” (2006) and “Zerozerozero” (2013), collaborates with the New York Times, Time, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Times, El Pais.
Giorgio Faletti (deceased in 2014). Author of bestsellers such as “I kill” (2002) and “The Killer In My Eyes” (2004), translated into thirty languages.
Susanna Tamaro.  “Follow your Heart” (2006)

If you want a longer list of recommended international authors, I recommend you the ranking published by Peter Boxall and Peter Acroyd in their book “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.”
But, back to the initial speech, among the most famous Italian authors who have made history (masterpieces of Italian literature that are even academic subjects in schools), cutting down to the bone I can quote:

DIVINE COMEDY  (Dante Alighieri, 1265–1321)
THE BETROTHED (Alessandro Manzoni, 1785–1873)
THE LEOPARD (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, 1896–1957)

But I also would add others authors like Giovanni Verga, Giovanni Pascolo, Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, Ugo Foscolo, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Italo Svevo, Carlo Levi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cesare Pavese, Edmondo De Amicis (with his children’s novel “Heart”),  or masterworks like:

The Adventures of Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi, 1826–1890)
One, No one and One Hundred Thousand  (Luigi Pirandello, 1867–1936)
Decameron  (Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313–1375)

Works that, in addition to being undisputed masterpieces, reflect different historical moments and/or areas of our country, giving a meaningful picture.

I hope these books make enjoyable reading.

MARE D’INVERNO

Published February 22, 2014 by Tony

Il mare d’inverno”  (Winter sea)  is a song brought to success by Loredana Berte, an Italian singer. Song written by Enrico Ruggeri in 1983.

Like other Italian songs that I have proposed and tried to translate, this also seems to be a poem, a passage of a theatrical monologue. To make you better appreciate the Italian text, I add a video of the song. Hope you like it.

The winter sea is only a movie in black and white seen on TV
and inwards a few cloud from heaven is thrown down
wet sand, a letter that the wind is taking away
invisible points chased by dogs, tired parables of old seagulls
and I who am only here to look for a coffee
the winter sea is a concept that the thought doesn’t consider,
it’s not modern, something that nobody ever want
Hotels closed, posters advertising already faded,
vehicles draw furrows on roads where the summer rain does not fall
and I who can’t even talk to myself
Sea sea here is never anyone to drag me away
Sea sea here nobody ever comes to keep us company
Sea sea I can’t see you so because this wind also stirs me….
this wind also stirs me …

The cold will pass and the beach will slowly color itself
radio and newspapers and a banal music will spread
new adventures, lit nightclubs full of lies
but towards evening a strange concert and an umbrella that stays open
I dive puzzled at the moments we spent already
Sea sea here is never anyone to drag me away
Sea sea here nobody ever comes to keep us company
Sea sea I can’t see you so because this wind stirs me too …
Sea sea….

SANREMO FESTIVAL

Published February 21, 2014 by Tony

– 2014 ITALIAN SONG FESTIVAL –

New year, another Festival of Sanremo, what should be the festival of Italian song, and that has started this Wednesday.
This year very few novelties, the same presenters and in the same way: two songs proposed by each singer (big category), which are voted by the jury, and after a few seconds you already know which of the two songs continues the race. After them, some emerging singers sing on stage (new proposals category) , they sing one song only, and at the end of transmission, voting says those who must leave the race. The race lasts four days, interspersed with national and international guests.
As always, after the first installment, the audience share has fallen. And as always, each race starts a bit before nine in the evening and inevitably ends after midnight, and apart from the last installment on Saturday evening, not everyone can afford to stay in front of the TV until late at night, and for more than three hours. Each year, the usual criticisms, but nothing ever changes. Nothing against Fazio and Littizzetto, the present conductors, but the choice could involve other young artists who would give an edge to the event, that as usually sometimes become boring and repetitive. Again, only a few singers in vogue who participate. Luckily this year there are a couple of songs that, at least from the early plays, are pleasant to listen to and introduce some innovation.
At the beginning of the first installment, the scoop!
Two Neapolitans workers had climbed on scaffolding that holds the spotlight, and loudly called for the attention, threatening to throw themselves down. The company at which they work (a cooperative), is in crisis and are sixteen months all the workers have not been paid. In order for them to come down, to be taken away by security guards, Fazio has promised that he would read their letter on stage, letter in which the workers ask the help of politicians.

fabio fazio and luciana littizzetto

SINGERS

BIG
Arisa
Noemi
Giusy Ferreri
Raphel Gualazzi con i Bloody Beetroots
Cristiano De André
Frankie Hi-Nrg
Giuliano Palma
Francesco Renga
Francesco Sarcina
Renzo Rubino
Ron
Riccardo Sinigallia
Antonella Ruggiero
Perturbazione

NEW PROPOSAL
Bianca
Vadim
Veronica De Simone
Filippo Graziani
Rocco Hunt
The Niro
Zibba
Diodato

GUESTS
Letitia Casta, Yusuf, Cat Stevens, Claudio Baglioni, Raffaella Carrà, Renzo Arbore, Gino Paoli, Paolo Nutini, Franca Valeri, Enrico Brignano, Luca Parmitano, Damine Rice, Rufus Wainwright, Stromae, Luciano Ligabue.

laetitia casta

rufus wainwright

Damine Rice