Buongiorno a tutti and welcome once again to On Location Italian. Being a language student means that I have many friends from back home who, like me, are currently undertaking their year abroad in some great European city and I have spent the past week taking full advantage of this!
First stop was a trip to Bologna to stay with my friend who is studying there. Bologna is situated in the Northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and is definitely worth a visit even for the food alone. The city is famous for its tortellini (a type of pasta usually filled with cheese, or sometimes meat) and is of course home to the world famous Bolognese sauce, known as ragù in Italy. The tagliatelle al ragù I tried whilst in Bologna is up there with one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had (this is a bold statement for someone brought up in an Italian household of food lovers). The city also has a great student atmosphere, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088,being the oldest existing university in the world. Whilst I was there my friend invited me to a student party. It was a good opportunity to practice some Italian and I managed to pick up a handy new expression: braccino corto. Braccio is the Italian word for “arm” and corto means “short”, however the colloquial expression is used to describe a person who is “tight fisted” or “stingy”.
For the second half of the week, it was the turn of my friends studying in Rome to visit me and we took a short trip to Milan, Italy’s second biggest city and one of the fashion capitals of the world. In addition to visiting the breath-taking Cathedral, we browsed around some of the city’s most prestigious shopping streets, visiting the shops of such major brands as Prada, Armani and Gucci. Amongst some incredible pieces of fashion, there was a rather distasteful dress with a very steep price tag to match. This made me think back to an expression used by a friend back in Verona: chi ha i denti non ha il pane. This is an idiomatic expression meaning “to have the means but not the know-how” and was used by my friend to describe a person with lots of money but no taste.
This week has yet again demonstrated to me the vast number of incredible Italian cities and I am so glad my friends are enjoying living la vita bella (“the good life”) just as much as I am. I have you have enjoyed On Location Italian for this week and I will be back soon. A presto!