Dreaming In Italian

A little Americana

Monday, July 10th, 2017

I’m doing this post for my Italian friends.

Vicino dove vivo c’è un piccolo (e ricco) paese si chiama Piedmont. Si’ come la regione in Italia. Anche se sia ricca quel paese, ogni 4 luglio la comunità organizza una parata. E’ simile ad una parate in molti piccoli paese qui. Niente molto speciale ma e’ certamente un po’ di “americana”.

Inizia con i vigili del fuoco

Una banda “dixieland”

Poi passano le vecchie automobili

Un altra banda

Un’altra vecchia

vengano i “marinai” – detto la Pattuglia Palloncina. (Rima in inglese – Baloon Platoon)


Gli “alberi di natale di tip tap”

oh dio mio – le cornamuse

i cane locale con i loro essere umani

Un cane con il suo costume da bruco

E’ tutto. Spero vi sia piaciuto!

  • Share/Bookmark

TV in Bologna

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Whenever I’ve been here I’ve watched some TV. I rarely do so at home because not only do I dislike most of the programming but I absolutely hate all of the commercials on broadcast TV. Here I watch it to try to improve my Italian and at least the commercials are often easier to understand than the programming. I discovered something new this spring. They show some American TV programs and movies in the original language – and without subtitles. I was told that many films and non-italian language TV series have been available  in the  original language since the TV broadcasts went digital and added a lot of channels. I really prefer the dubbed ones since I will watch even the worst B grade movies (well, I do have my limitations) if they are dubbed to try to pick up little bits of Italian.

I’ve also stumbled across a very interesting program called LOL that comes out of Canada. It consists of a bunch of short sketches that are basically language free. Some are indeed hilarious and of course with no language they can be shown worldwide. In fact, searching for YouTube I first found a Vietnamese version. I’d like to see it come to the US. I might even watch it.

  • Share/Bookmark

Trip to Comacchio

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

During this stay I haven’t gone anywhere except to the rugby game at Parma and that really doesn’t count since I only saw the autostrada and stadium. I had wanted to go to Sardegna for a long weekend but decided that I really didn’t want to do that alone. One of my conversation partners at Scioglilingua (I did a post about this that you can find HERE) was talking about having gone to Comacchio which is on the Adriatic coast east of Ferrara. So I talked to my friends, the Palmieri sisters Liu’ and Monica. It turns out that neither of them had ever gone there either so we planned a day trip.

First go to near Ferrara and then to Comacchio

It takes about 1½ hours to get to this little town. The terrain is mostly very flat since this area, the Pianura Padana, is very flat and fertile, much like the central valley in California. As such it is also wall-to-wall farms, as is the central valley. Unlike the central valley it is an alluvial plain, having been formed by rivers rather than a sea and therefore has lots of water – rivers, streams and canals.

Comaccio, like Venice, was originally built on a number (13 to be precise) islands and so canals and bridges still exist. There is a large marshy lagoon next to it and apparently, until a bit over 100 years ago, the marsh surrounded the town. The marsh is a favorable environment for eels and they are both an economic benefit and a characteristic food there. For lunch I opted for a mixed seafood plate but found the eel so delicious that should I visit again I’ll go for all eel – which is served with polenta.. Very good!

The Trepponti (three bridges) bridge. A symbol of the city.

One of several canals that we crossed on the way to the restaurant

The street and canal where our restaurant was located.

Monica left (looking very serious for some reason) and Liu’. Note that we are seated at a table in a boat on the canal.

Interesting translation . from “scaletta” to ladder. Should be “flight”. Also note that there must be a lot of german speaking tourists.

Now how they got “nipples ” as translation for “little sepie (cuttlefish)” is a mystery.

Monica’s pasta with scampi (the real thing) and pomodorini (little tomatoes).

My fish plate. The eel (anguilla) as at bottom left.



  • Share/Bookmark

La B.V. di San Luca

Friday, May 26th, 2017

I was looking at a Bologna website about what was happening in Bologna and I found the item below so I used part of it for the title.

The headline

B.V. stands for Beata Virgine. So it translates to “The Blessed Virgin of San Luca “goes down” into the city: the celebrations. This is a very old tradition. The first time was 5th of July 1433. But let’s go back even further – back to about 1150 when a Greek Hermit from a church in Constantinople, according to legend, had a vision of the Madonna telling him to take this icon, supposedly painted by Saint Luke. So, he essentially stole it and wondered around until he ultimately deposited it in a chapel atop the hill where it now rests for 51 weeks of the year.

The basic icon

The fancy version – guess some gold is needed to make it more dramatic

Now returning to 1433, Bologna had experienced continued rain which threatened to ruin crops and bring on a famine. Town elders decided that maybe the icon could help out so they decided to give it a shot and brought her down from the San Luca chapel into the duomo of the city, San Pietro. Miraculously the rains stopped. So, they’ve brought her down every year since. She comes from the current chapel along the longest portico in the world; 3796 meters long with 666 arches and 15 chapels along the way. According to legend it always rains on that day but I can absolutely testify that it did not rain yesterday, May 20th, when they brought her down. But hey, legends are legends and let’s not be picky. If they quit bringing her down God knows what devastation might befall the city.

The sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca



The start of the procession

And here comes the Madonna carried by 4 priests plus others carrying the canopy

As they are passing.

A large crowd following the Madonna procession.

You can make the 2.3 mile trek yourself if you come to Bologna. Some people do it regularly as exercise. It’s a nice view from the top and an interesting walk. Just don’t do it when the B.V. is coming down or returning.



  • Share/Bookmark