Tag Archives: Italian culture

Education in Italy: One Foreign Parent’s Views & Experiences

Caveat: The articles in this section are based on my family’s experience of the Italian education system in a specific time and place: Milan, and later Lecco, from 1991 to 2007. I haven’t lived in Italy all my life, nor ever attended any Italian educational institution myself, so my views may be biased, and your mileage may Read More…

Caveat: The articles in this section are based on my family’s experience of the Italian education system in a specific time and place: Milan, and later Lecco, from 1991 to 2007. I haven’t lived in Italy all my life, nor ever attended any Italian educational institution myself, so my views may be biased, and your mileage may vary based on your location, specific school, and specific child.

Homeschooling in Italy

Yes, it is possible. I don’t know much about it, though I investigated briefly a few years ago.

Adult Continuing Education

One option for distance learning: the Open University (I did my MBA with them).

Learn Italian in Song: Stessa Spiaggia, Stesso Mare

Piero Focaccia There’s not much to this song: apparently, the singer wants to relive last year’s summer fling. But it’s also a profound statement of traditional Italian vacation habits: the same sea, the same beach, practically the same ombrellone (beach umbrella – which you rent, along with the lounge chairs and a patch of sand Read More…

Piero Focaccia

There’s not much to this song: apparently, the singer wants to relive last year’s summer fling. But it’s also a profound statement of traditional Italian vacation habits: the same sea, the same beach, practically the same ombrellone (beach umbrella – which you rent, along with the lounge chairs and a patch of sand to call your own, by the day, week, or month), year after year after year.

Stessa Spiaggia, Stesso Mare

Same Beach, Same Sea

Per quest’anno non cambiare For this year, don’t change
stessa spiaggia stesso mare same beach, same sea
per poterti rivedere To be able to see you again
per tornare per restare insieme a te to come back to stay together with you
e come l’anno scorso And like last year
sul mare col pattino* on the sea with the boat
vedremo gli ombrelloni We’ll see the umbrellas
lontano lontano far, far away
nessuno ci vedra’ vedra’ vedra’ no one will see us, see, see
* A pattino is a double-hulled rowboat you can rent on most beaches. Nice for going some distance from the shore for privacy, tanning, and swimming, and easy for an amateur to manage – you don’t have to worry about them tipping over. Traditionally they were made of wood (above).

…but these days they tend to made of be fiberglass:

pattino

The one shown above is used by the lifeguard if he needs to reach somebody far from the beach in a hurry. (Sometimes they row around warning swimmers if the weather is changing and people need to get out of the water.)

Italian beach umbrellas

Learn Italian in Song: L’Emozione non ha Voce

Emotion has No Voice Adriano Celentano. The video above comes from Rockpolitik, a variety show hosted by Celentano in 2006. Io non so parlar d’amore l’emozione non ha voce E mi manca un po il respiro se ci sei c’e troppa luce La mia anima si spande come musica d’estate poi la voglia sai mi Read More…

Emotion has No Voice

Adriano Celentano. The video above comes from Rockpolitik, a variety show hosted by Celentano in 2006.

Io non so parlar d’amore

l’emozione non ha voce

E mi manca un po il respiro

se ci sei c’e troppa luce

La mia anima si spande

come musica d’estate

poi la voglia sai mi prende

e mi accende con i baci tuoi

Io con te saro sincero

restero quel che sono

disonesto mai lo giuro

ma se tradisci non perdono

Ti saro per sempre amico

pur geloso come sai

io lo so mi contraddico

ma preziosa sei tu per me

Tra le mie braccia dormirai

serena..mente

ed e importante questo sai

per sentirci pienamente noi

Un’altra vita mi darai

che io non conosco

la mia compagna tu sarai

fino a quando so che lo vorrai

Due caratteri diversi

prendon fuoco facilmente

ma divisi siamo persi

ci sentiamo quasi niente

Siamo due legati dentro

da un amore che ci da

la profonda convinzione

che nessuno ci dividera

Tra le mie braccia dormirai

serena mente

ed e importante questo sai

per sentirci pienamente noi

Un’altra vita mi darai

che io non conosco

la mia compagna tu sarai

fino a quando lo vorrai

poi vivremo come sai

solo di sincerita

di amore e di fiducia

poi sara quel che sara

I don’t know how to speak of love

Emotion has no voice

And I’m a bit short of breath

If you’re here there’s too much light.

My soul expands

like music in summer

then desire takes me you know

and lights me up with your kisses.

I’ll be honest with you

I’ll remain what I am

dishonest but I swear

if you betray me I won’t forgive

I’ll always be your friend

though jealous as you know

I know that I contradict myself

But you are precious to me.

You’ll sleep in my arms

Serenely

and this is important you know

for us to feel completely us.

You’ll give me another life

that I don’t know

you’ll be my companion

As long as I know that you want it.

Two different characters

who catch fire easily

but divided we are lost

We feel we are almost nothing

We are two united inside

by a love which gives us

the profound conviction

that no one will divide us.

You’ll sleep in my arms

Serenely

and this is important you know

for us to feel completely us.

You’ll give me another life

that I don’t know

you’ll be my companion

As long as I know that you want it.

Then we’ll live as you know

only by honesty

by love and by trust

then it will be what it will be.

Learn Italian in Song: E la Barca Torno’ Sola

And the Ship Returned Alone Renato Carosone (1960) Erano tre fratelli pescatori,con una mamma bianca, con una barca nera e con tre cuori ancora da creatura… Il mare urlava cupo quella sera e il legno della incognita straniera cercava aiuto in tutto quell’orrore. “Chi rischierà la vita per salvare la bionda forestiera, chi sarà?” Ritornello: Read More…

And the Ship Returned Alone

Renato Carosone (1960)

Erano tre fratelli pescatori,con una mamma bianca,

con una barca nera
e con tre cuori ancora da creatura…

Il mare urlava cupo quella sera

e il legno della incognita straniera

cercava aiuto in tutto quell’orrore.

“Chi rischierà la vita per salvare

la bionda forestiera, chi sarà?”

Ritornello:

Mare!

Mare crudele!

Come puoi cantare

nelli notti scure

quando piange il cuore?

Mare,

se di un amore

soffocasti in gola

l’ultima speranza,

l’ultima parola…

Coro:

Mare crudele!

Mare crudele!

Mare crudele!

…e la barca tornò sola!…

Della leggenda dei tre pescatori,

resta una mamma bianca

ed una barca nera

che in fondo al molo a tutti fa paura!

Le vele si raccontano fra loro

che una sirena dai capelli d’oro

serba il segreto dei tre pescatori…

Ma quel segreto chi potrà svelare

se l’onda indifferente viene e va!…

They were three brothers, fishermen,with a white mother,

with a black boat

and three hearts still young…

The sea cried darkly that evening

and the ship of that unknown stranger

sought help in all that horror.

“Who will risk his life to save

the blonde stranger, who will it be?”

Refrain:

Sea!

Cruel sea!

How can you sing

in the dark nights

when the heart weeps?

Sea,

if you suffocated in the throat

the last hope of a love,

the last word…

Chorus:

Cruel sea!

Cruel sea!

Cruel sea!

…and the ship returned alone!…

From the legend of the three fishermen

remains a white mother

and a black boat

which frightens everybody at the end of the pier!

The sailing ships tell each other the tale

that a mermaid with golden hair

holds the secret of the three fishermen…

But who can reveal that secret

if the indifferent waves come and go!

Learn Italian in Song: Due su Due

Song by Articolo 31. Once again, the theme of family and mamma. Two on Two ritornello: refrain: io non so cosa pensavi quelle notti con papà I don’t know what you were thinking those nights with Dad ma grazie mamma ne hai fatti due su due Thanks, Mom, you made two on two [two alike?] Read More…

Song by Articolo 31. Once again, the theme of family and mamma.

Two on Two

ritornello: refrain:
io non so cosa pensavi quelle notti con papà I don’t know what you were thinking those nights with Dad
ma grazie mamma ne hai fatti due su due Thanks, Mom, you made two on two [two alike?]
in famiglia eri il primo nato You were the firstborn in the family
il bambino aspettato coccolato the child desired, cuddled
e a tratti persino viziato and sometimes even spoiled
coccolato e pacchi su pacchi Cuddled and presents upon presents
di ricchi natali of rich Christmases
parenti sorridenti intenti a lasciare regali Smiling relatives intent on leaving gifts
e poi arriva il piccolo scassando ogni giocattolo then comes the little one, breaking every toy
diventa lui la star mettendo te in un angolo he becomes the star, putting you in the corner [in the shade]
e la cagnara incombe fanfara e tromba and the pack overwhelms with fanfares and trumpets
lui mangia caga e piange he eats, shits, and cries
a te le colpe per tutto ciò che rompe and you get the blame for everything he breaks
con quel sorriso a quattro denti farabutto that smile with four teeth – sly one
già dicevo tutto I already said everything
dormo da angioletto I sleep like an angel
e poi di notte non sto zitto then at night I never shut up
botte dal soffitto blows from the ceiling
mami e papi svegli fino a prima mattina negli occhi lo stesso svarione di sette anni prima Mom and Dad awake until dawn with the same stoned look in their eyes from seven years ago
ogni vicina sentiva e diceva che sfiga Every neighbor woman heard and said “what bad luck”
mamma coglieva la sfida con noi rideva e capiva Mom took up the challenge, she laughed with us and understood
che la congrega prendeva una nuova piega that the conspiracy was changing
non ci si credeva It was unbelievable
al bordello che già si faceva the mess that we already made
la casa a ferro e fuoco nel gioco di litigare the house put to iron and fire in our game of fighting
cane e gatto ma lo stesso modo di camminare cat and dog, but the same way of walking
ritornello: refrain:
non so cosa pensavi quelle notti con papà I don’t know what you were thinking those nights with Dad
ma grazie mamma ne hai fatti due su due e due su due Thanks, Mom, you made two on two [two alike?]
che comunque vada And however it goes
mio fratello ci sarà my brother will be there
grazie mamma grazie pà Thanks Mom, thanks Dad.
urlare a squarciagola* Yelling at the top of our lungs
fantasmi sotto le lenzuola ghosts under the sheets
bambini non fate casino “Kids, don’t make a racket,
domani c’è scuola tomorrow you have school”
ma mamma non c’è verso di fermare “But Mom, there’s no way to stop
i gosthbusters the Ghostbusters!”
la cameretta è l’universo our room is the universe
e noi siamo i masters and we are the Masters
la fuori siamo soli ma non lo diamo a vedere Out there we’re alone but we don’t show it.
abbiamo il vestito più strano di tutto il quartiere We’re the strangest-dressed in the whole neighborhood
gli zarri che ridevano in cortile the [?] who laughed in the courtyard
ma era stile but it was style
ricordi come si giravano le ragazzine? remember how the little girls turned around [to watch us pass]?
quando si girava in coppia When we went around together
la stiloseria era doppia The “stylishness” was doubled
l’andatura zoppa The limping gait
e un’armatura dava forza per affrontare ogni sventura and armor gave [us] strength to confront every misfortune
con la stessa frase in bocca with the same phrase in our mouths:
questo è mio fratello bello sarà dura per chi me lo tocca “This is my brother, dude, and it’ll go hard on anyone who touches him.”
abbiamo il codice dei cavalieri We have the knights’ code
non vedi don’t you see
piuttosto scleri rather, you go crazy
ma ci trovi sempre sinceri milady But you’ll find us always sincere, Milady
per la città sfidando il proprio futuro Around the city, challenging our own futures
uno lo cantava sicuro One sang it with certainty
l’altro lo scriveva su ogni muro the other wrote it on every wall
e la mia rivoluzione partiva da li And my revolution started there
cane e gatto ma lo stesso sguardi di chi non ci sta Cat and dog by the same glares of someone who won’t stand for it
(ritornello) (refrain)
lo sai che ora la si vive così ancora You know that now we still live the same way
e funziona and it works
si è smesso di bigiare solo perché non si va più a scuola we’ve stopped cutting school only because we don’t go to school anymore
un pò più pigri di allora we’re a bit lazier now than then
ma le energie sono le stesse but our energy is the same
non più una famiglia sola It’s no longer a single family
adesso in più c’è l’esseffe Now there’s also SF
ci si protegge come sempre nelle lotte We protect each other in fights as before
eternamente adolescenti meno che nei boxer Eternally adolescent except in our boxers
insieme per vedere il mondo capovolto Together to see the world turned upside down
questo mondo per rollarsi la vita e fumarsela fino in fondo This world to roll up life and smoke it down to the bottom
giro tondo Turn around
un altro tiro e sono cionco Another drag and I’m [stoned]
ma calpesteremo l’uva but we’ll stomp the grapes
fino a quando until
il vino è pronto the wine is ready
e in piedi a picchiare i bicchieri con le posate and on our feet we’ll beat the glasses with the silverware
salute a mio frate “Health to my brother”
brindate a due vite mai separate drink to two lives never separated
lite dopo lite e partite finite a mazzate fight after fight and games ended in clubbings
quando non c’era grano passavamo a milano l’estate when there wasn’t any money we spent the summer in Milan
era uno spasso lo stesso and it was fun anyway
se la memoria non mi inganna If memory doesn’t fool me
e successo o non successo with or without success
tutta la gloria va a mamma all the glory goes to Mom
c’hai messo al mondo hai dato vita ad ogni sogno che ho You brought us into the world and gave ilfe to every dream I have
una volta può essere fortuna la seconda volta no Once can be luck, but the second time, no.
(ritornello) (refrain)
* literally “ripping the throat”