Arrivederci, Italiano!

Penultimate Italiano la sera. *Thank you, Jason for my word of the day, that I USED in a sentence. See ——–> used in a sentence*

Penultimate – next to last class.

I had my penultimate Italian conversation class last night. It was bittersweet. What a wonderful adventure the last six weeks has been, I’d love to tell you all about it. I promise to speak mostly inglese. *deal with it spell checker* Sorry ENGLISH. Ahem.

Io amore Italia. I LOVE ITALY. If I didn’t know before, maybe I wasn’t sure, or maybe I was too scared to commit. Well, I am out of the closet now. I absolutely LOVE this country, this culture, this language. I sit in class, soaking it up. It settles into my bones. It tells me – I belong here – I am your heritage and where you originated from.

Il nonno – my grandfather – was raised in Italy. He grew up in Northern part. He came to the United States a young man. He married a French woman named Dorotha. They had my mom. Growing up I proudly pronounced, I am a quarter French and a quarter Italian. Named after my Uncle Angel. My Italian heritage is my birthright. It means everything to me. *my looks favor the French side*

My Papa Jimmy passed away when I was 16 yrs old. I have said – all my life – he is my guardian Angel. How do I know this? Well, during my party days, there were several many mornings when I woke up after drinking heavily and had no idea, how I drove from town to my mom’s house (8 miles away). No idea. Except that he was with me. He guided me safely home.

When I attempted my first garden, with my mom’s help, I had a variety of beautiful flowers. I had all kinds. The next spring what came up abundantly, Zinnias, which happen to be my Papa’s favorite flower. He used to throw Zinnia seeds all over his garden and they would come up everywhere. That is what happened to me, without planting a single one, they came up everywhere, all different colors. They grew as tall as my chest. It was incredible!


And now, as I finish six weeks of classes, two times a week, two hours at a session. It sinks in. My Papa. My Papa got me in Italiano. His heritage put in the desiderare. He is beaming and calling me to Italy. I yearn to go.

My favorite part of the class? The videos of Italy. The different cities, landscapes, history – oh my gosh, the history –Β  I was never interested in history until this class. The richness of this country is breathtaking. With it’s astounding contrasts, a Roman Empire that changed the world, crescent-shaped coastal cities, tarnished splendor filled with art.Β  Art and majesty that distinguish this country from many others. I am beyond impressed.

I took Italian because I was interested in where my Papa came from, because I wanted to know about our families culture. I ended up with more than I ever thought possible. A place in my heart filled by the love I have for this country. Did I learn to speak fluent Italian? HA. No. I could get by. My instructor was wonderful. He was native Italian, cute as a button, with an adorable accent. He had us doing a lot of Italian two conversations. He earnestly wanted us to learn as much as we could. Many of the students were actually going to Italy this spring. *GOING to Italy, whimper*

Alas, as much as I love all things Italia, I am NOT crazy about taking classes and studying. Blech. I knew there was a reason I didn’t go to college. *I applaud all of you that do it. You have my utmost respect, utmost*

I hope to take Italian two this Spring. I just need a class break, a looooong fall break, if you will. In the meantime, I will continue to study my book. I will keep trying to make my tongue say the words right. In my head and in my ear I understand, but when I speak out loud, it’s all wrong. *practice, practice*


Possibly, I will convince my mom she NEEDS to take me to Italy with her. I already know everything I need to travel with her.

“Quanto costa?” How much is it?

“Dov’e il bagno?” Where is the bathroom?

“Vorrei spaghetti.” I would like spaghetti. (oh wait, that’s for me, whoops)

Good-bye Italian! It was so nice to meet you, know you, revere you. I can’t wait to see you again. Piacere! Molto lieto!
Scan 093000000
Fall Italiano class 2009

39 thoughts on “Arrivederci, Italiano!

  1. Peggy Nolan

    Si, Si…but can you order four veal cutlets from the local butcher?

    Or communicate with the cabinari after they stop you for God knows what? (Seriously, I think they stopped me because my girlfriend [who I was traveling with] is so gosh darn cute)

    Other than that I did just fine in Italy πŸ˜‰


    1. Peggy,
      Carne di vitello per quattro per favore? Hmmmm, cute girlfriend = no need to translate. Ha! That’s too funny! Everyone tells me you don’t have to speak the language to visit. Universal hand signs work. πŸ™‚


  2. Wow.. this is the first time i read around the net someone enthusiastic about italian!!
    That’s encouragin’ since our country is in a such bad shape now.. due to politics and enviromental problems…

    Cosa ti piacerebbe visitare dell’Italia?
    > What would you like to visit here in Italy?

    Cosa ti piacerebbe mangiare?!
    > What would you love to eat?

    Don’t tell me only pizza, because we’re plenty of piatti buonissimi! (awesome dishes!)

    Anyway good luck for your study and your dream!!!
    Feel free to drop words if u ever need some help with that!


    1. Skuba,
      Molte Grazie!!

      I can’t decide where I want to visit most. Naples, Florence, Pisa, Roma, Sicily…..decisions, decisions!

      I live in a city of 6 1/2 millon, polution problems I get.

      As far as eating, HECK NO I’m not gonna eat PIZZA in Italy. My favorite dish of all time is spaghetti. You will have to tell me the primo spaghetti antipasto!

      Thanks for your comment. I will stop by for words. πŸ™‚


      1. Ah well… my personal fav is Firenze(Florence), city of arts talents and good wines!
        Second place is for Venice.

        Hate Roma and Milan… too big and confusing to me.
        The south is perfect for a sunny holiday and for biiig tasty fish based dishes.
        Toscana is for me la piΓΉ bella regione di tutte ^^

        You can’t say to have eaten spaghetti without even tried the CARBONARA!!!
        But every region has his own spaghetti recipe πŸ˜€

        There’s Bolognese with RagΓΉ near me, in Emilia Romagna.
        Puttanesca and Amatriciana in Lazio.
        Pesto alla Genovese in Liguria, and Arrabbiata everywhere ^^

        Paese che vai piatto che trovi, diciamo noi.
        Place you go, dish you find , we say ^^

        Damn, now i’m hungry πŸ˜€


  3. it’s great to know that there are people in the world who love italy so much!
    I am italian and I have your opposite problem, because I love english and i’m slowly learning it (very slowly xD)
    I agree with skuba for almost everything…
    pasta in general is awesome, but my favourite is lasagne *-*

    buona fortuna con l’italiano!
    good luck with italian!


    1. angiesss,

      Si! It is wonderful. Different languages and cultures are very interesting. I hope you enjoy English! I am sure it is difficult to learn.

      I will have to try Lasagne also!

      Grazie mille!


  4. Ciao Angelia!

    Anche io amo parlare ‘italiano! Ho studiato a Siena, Italia quindici anni fa. Mi piace moltisimo practicare questa lingua.

    Ma, non sonno italiana. La mia familia e da Colombia. (I speak English and Spanish as well.)



    1. Ciao HurleyBurleyGirl,

      Piacere di conoscerla! My roommate is from Coloumbia. In Texas, we have 70% Spanish speaking residents. I *should* take Espanol. Maybe next year.

      Molto Bene! Ciao!


  5. Well, let me just say: I will have to learn Italian before we visit Italy. I tried to learn French before we went to Paris last year…and I think I knew how to say hello, goodbye and coffee. Tim had to do the rest of the speaking (I mean, he was all, “I’ve been to Paris…I took a million years of French…blah blah”)

    It didn’t go over so well…hand signals only take you so far…but I think the Italians might be nicer to us…since Tim’s like 3/4 Italian.

    I’m 0% Italian…but I think Tim’s converted me. I’m actually simmering some marinara sauce right now.

    Maybe if you fit in the suitcase we can sneak you over…whenever it is we go. I had this two year plan, actually…because Tim promised we’d go within two years of getting married…since we didn’t go for our honeymoon. Well, that clock was up in September. Hmmmm….


    1. Jessica,
      You are still closer to going to Italy than I am! There is a 24/7 Italian tutor app for iPhone. I think it’s free to download. You’d know about the same amount of Italian as you do French.

      I visited France at 16. *Ugh* They are just not pleasant people. My mom says the Italians are wonderful!

      Fit in your suitcase? Let me work on losing the flab! HA.


  6. Beautiful post. I, too, had a Papa that I felt around me after he died. He collected pennies. And when he died, we found buckets upon buckets of pennies in his house. We would also find one single penny on the floor, on the bed, and by our shoes. We thought that was from him.


    1. Elizabeth,
      That is very moving, thank you for sharing that. I believe it was him too, what a great way to remember him every time you see a penny. I can’t see a Zinnia without thinking of Papa!


  7. Oh, I love the word Pappa, and I read it silently with an Italian accent, how gorgeous.
    You sure know how to let your heart speak and the love for your Pappa (here goes that Italian again picked up from movies) shines through.
    Glorious is all I can say, I only know Spanish, so muchas gracias, Wilma


    1. Wilma,
      Thank you! I *should* take Spanish but I just *love* all things Italian. Maybe when I *have* to, I will. A lot of words are similar. I can’t say Papa without an accent either, but he had an accent so maybe that’s why. Bless you, dear Wilma!


  8. Keep studying! I started taking classes 3 years ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Last year I went to Arezzo (in Tuscany) for a month and attended an Italian language school-no english for a month! My grandparents came from Campania and when I visited their town about 5 years ago, I couldn’t speak a word-that’s when I decided that when I returned, I would be able to communicate! I’ve written about it all on my blog if you ever have time to take a look. Buona fortuna!


    1. Janie,
      Wow! That’s incredible and very encouraging to me. Congrats to you! One of the films I watched featured Campania, which looked wonderful. I will definitely check out your blog post. Thank you for sharing that.


  9. warlock6

    Nice post! What i like as for Italia is its cuisine. yammy!!! nd rich culture of course. Italian people are very loud I must admit and they are very emotional. sometimes it is good but not all the time for me…


  10. animapunk2

    Hi! I’m italian and I live in Rome, and I absolutely agree with skuba… florence and venice are the best! happy you like italian, we have many problems but, yes, it’s a beautiful country. I think that reading books and magazines in italian would be very useful to you, you could learn more words…


    1. animapunk2,
      My mom’s least favorite place was Rome. πŸ™‚ Too many steps she said. Haha. Florence or Venice, got it! I will get some books from the library! That’s a great idea! Thank you for your comment.


  11. This post is a success, definitively! let’s bump it!

    It lacks just a thing… some tasty italian recipes!!! ^^

    Here’s my fav… in italian of course ^^

    There are some variotions in it.. but i prefer this version the nearest to the original one.

    Will it need lot of time to translate? Good, so u won’t excercise .. ehe.
    What’s the best way to learn a language if not cooking it?:D

    Need Help? you’r welcome.


    1. Skuba, I had my Italiano instructor translate some of it, is that cheating?

      I wasn’t sure if they eggs were cooked? He did not explain that well.

      I amore the story of the dish. Impressionante!


      1. eheh the important thing is to understand it.
        There’s not only a way to cook the carbonara.
        This is the nearest the original recipe.

        The eggs (only the yolk part), the cheese (Cacio or Pecorino) and the pepper sauce (Sugo) must be put cold on the pasta when this is ready and cooked.
        Directly in the dish if you want.

        If you warm/cook the egg the sauce will have an omelette effect.. wich not all like.

        does this help?
        sry my english is not well trained in cuisine πŸ˜›


  12. Ciao Angelia!

    How was your day? I read your comment and grazie per il complemento – you put me on your

    BLOG ROLL!!! YEA!!!! And you know? I am trying to do the same thing with you but I can’t figure out the buttons on the dashboard. 😦 Sad little me.

    Did you notice that I have a link to Corriere della Serra on my blog? It’s not the easiest to read but it’s a really great practice.

    Also, I listen to Italian Radio Stations from Florence online. It’s wonderful!

    I saw that people have mentioned Firenze. I lived for a summer in Siena (fuori de la porta Pispini) – en la contratta – Nicchio. I was there for the Palio (Medieval Horse Race -mind blowing!)

    I loved Firenze and was there on my 30th birthday and bought myself a cameo ring (that I wear to this day and never take off)

    So, how do I add your blog to my blog ’cause I don’t know what I’m doing. Help me Obi Wan. You’re my only hope!


  13. Pingback: Highlights of my Year – 2009 « Living, Loving, Laughing…..

  14. I love this post! You inspire me to get in touch with my heritage. Also, I love that you write about your guardian angel b/c I believe I also have one (my friend who passed away) but I have never known anyone else who feels and knows they have a loved one looking out for them.


    1. I am impressed! I don’t remember a *thing* from class now. But I do have the Italian app on my iPhone so I can translate and it pronounces the word for me. I still have BIG dreams of going to Italy one day. πŸ™‚


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