On Location Italian – 1 Nov 2012

121101-nicoleBoungiorno a tutti and welcome again to my On Location Italian blog. This is Nicole writing from Verona, Italy. I have been here for just over a month now and I am really starting to get settled in well. I have met so many other Erasmus students, and I’ve also made good friends with other Italians in my law class. I am also fortunate to have four lovely Italian students living across from me and spend much of my free time socialising with them.

This week I wanted to tell you about an experience I had as I enjoyed a spritz with my new Italian friends. The spritz is a type of aperitif (or aperitivo) commonly enjoyed in northern Italy, particularly in the Veneto region. It consists of Prosecco wine, a dash of a bitter liqueur such as Aperol or Campari and some sparkling mineral water. It is also usually served with a small dish of nibbles such as crisps or nuts. It doesn’t matter the time of day, you will always see someone drinking a spritz outside a bar or café here in Verona. As my friends and I sat around a table outside a café enjoying our spritz, we began discussing German films that we knew. During our conversation one of the girls used the term non so un cavolo. I of course knew that so comes from the verb sapere (“to know”) but it was the use of the word cavolo that struck me. Cavolo usually means a cabbage in Italian but she explained to me that in this case the expression could be translated as “I don’t know a thing”. The conversation proved to be particularly useful as I learned another handy expression. Non me ne importa niente. Importa comes from the verb importare meaning “to import”, or as I understood here “to matter”, with the expression being translated as “I couldn’t care less!”. Both these expressions used amongst my young Italian friends seem to me to be quite colloquial and informal, and perhaps not ones to be used in a more formal situation.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog post for this week and I will be back soon with some more On Location Italian. A presto!

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