Buongiorno a tutti and welcome to On Location Italian. It has been a busy old week here in Verona. To start off with there was the famous Carnevale di Venezia (“Carnival of Venice”), an annual festival held in Venice that attracts visitors from all over. I was fortunate enough to spend the day there, taking in the electric atmosphere and witnessing all the weird and wonderful masks at the contest for “La Maschera più bella” (“the most beautiful mask”) held in Venice’s main square, Piazza San Marco. The effort and detail that went into these masks was incredible! Verona also held its own Carnevale, not quite on the grand scale of the one taking place in Venice but one nonetheless impressive.
The period of the Carnevale ended on Martedi Grasso (literally “Fat Tuesday” but best translated as “Shrove Tuesday” (or “Pancake Tuesday”), another holiday that I very much enjoyed as you can see from my photo!). The celebrations for some, however, are set to continue today as couples will be declaring their love for one another on St. Valentine’s Day (San Valentino). Given that Verona is famous for inspiring Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it is difficult to escape the loved up couples enjoying a romantic getaway at the best of times, however I am anticipating the romantic atmosphere to be heightened today. Not only is Verona renowned for being a romantic city, but Italians themselves have a reputation for being somewhat the hopeless romantics. This morning I have reflected on the stereotypical passionate Italian male who loves all women, including his mamma (there is a term known as “mammoni” to describe mamma’s little boy, even if he is in his 30s). I have had a good giggle thinking back to some of the cheesy chat up lines my friends and I have overheard in the bars on a Friday night. There have been the more run of the mill chat up lines such as hai degli occhi belli (“you have beautiful eyes”) and sei bella (“you are beautiful”). However, my friends have also told me a few gems that they have been subjected to such as fa caldo qui, o è perchè ci sei tu? (“is it hot in here, or is it because you are here?”) and a particular favourite of mine ti sei fatta male quando sei caduta dal cielo? sei un angelo! (“did you hurt yourself when you fell from the sky? You are an angel”).
I am sure those users of the dodgy chat up lines are, like their counterparts in Scotland who try to be the next Casanova, in the minority. In any case, who knows maybe on this romantic day Cupid will strike with his arrow turning them into less hopeless romantic and more sophisticated/stylish romantic. I hope you have enjoyed On Location Italian this week. A presto!