Our first trip to Italy was without the benefit of any knowledge on my part of Italian. My wife with he Sicilian parents had a knowledge of some words and phrases. I realized this was a disadvantage but not the end of the world. So much English is spoken in Italy most people can get along. Most restaurants in the tourist areas have dual or triple language menus. English, German, and Italian are prevalent.
I want to go further and speak to people and know what the road signs say. Not having access to an Italian teacher, I took another route. Pimsleur had a CD course in Italian. I bought the course and ripped the CD’s to my iPod. That was the beginning. It is a good way to learn conversational Italian. Eventually I progressed from levels 1 through 5 which encompasses about 48 hours of lessons. I did enjoy it as I was able to listen while driving or riding my bicycle.
PIMSLEUR ITALIAN LEVELS 1-5 UNLIMITED SOFTWARE
Pimsleur. The Art of Conversation. Down to a Science.
- Format: Download
- Lessons: 150
- ISBN: 9781442396180
- Availability: In Stock: Available for immediate download
- List Price: $575.00
Learn a new language while commuting, while cleaning the house, or working out. Like millions before you, discover the power of the scientifically sequenced and portable Pimsleur Method.
As you can see, it is not cheap. Try the audio only from Audible for a more reasonable price.
Exercises progress from basic to upper intermediate. It is easy and I have been using if for about 6 months now. You can progress at your own pace and go back to. From time to time you may be asked to donate, but this is minimal. An excellent program for iPhone, tablets, and Android products. You must have WiFi or cellular data connected.
Next there is Rosetta Stone. This is my least favorite method. The program has five levels and retails for about $200-250 on Amazon. It is available for PC and MAC. It does a good job of teaching vocabulary and grammar, but I find it painful obtuse. In many cases you have to decipher a photograph and answer questions based upon your interpretation of the picture.
Some times the photos are not clear and you may give a wrong answer.
It is your choice on Rosetta Stone, I just find it slow. But the content is good. It has voice recognition to help you with pronunciation.
. There is also a subscription version. Te computer version is copy protected to one PC or Ma and can not be used on another until it is deactivated.
There are other programs out there. Transparent Language as a program for phones and tablets. It is subscription based. Seems ok. They offer a free blog with the word of the day. Michelle Thomas has CDs for many language and they are priced reasonably.
Buona fortuna! or as they say: In bocca al lupo
Almost by accident we found the gem of Capo Milazzo and its natural piscina while looking for a place to stay before going to the Aeolian Islands just of the coast of Milazzo. It’s striking beauty and amazing terrain made it irrestiable. We continue to return here. Lodging can be limited to try Airbnb or make hotel reservations in advance. Great town to walk and eat.
CLICK THE BLUE LINK TO VIEW THE VIDEO
A slow day, bells ringing. A cool September morning.Video, Slow Day in Montepulciano
Testing links from my YouTube and Vimeo libraries.
Naples is a frenetic city with an amazing charm. I found this out the first time I drove in this city and did not speak any Italian. I jumped on the Tangenziale, Naples answer to the Long Island Expressway. Immediately I found I was in a war zone and in over my head. Slowing for an accident someone clipped my mirror and sped off.
As time went on I discovered Naples and it people are amazing. In a Fratelli Pellone I was invited to make pizza. In the markets we found bargains and amazing foods. Walking the streets we felt comfortable even at night. My wife and I have been back several times and always enjoyed our visits. Whether it was a musuem visit, or just talking to people we felt at home.
The novels of Elena Ferrante usually take place in the neighborhoods, the quartiere. Those are the streets we walked. The series of books tells the stories of Elena and Lila from their childhood to adulthood as they progress through the challenges the Neapolitan society and continual changes.
fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way
The Naples waterfront from a Hotel Paradiso high up on the hillside.Boats docked in the harbor.On the street heading to the market.
All kinds of seafood.Definitely not the A&P.Muscels, Cozze. These did not travel 3000 miles.It is not the wash, it is ART.
La Galleria Umberto
Evening at the harbor
At Pizzeria Pellone, they let me make a pizza. You don’t walk in to a pizza parlor in the US and have them invite you to help in the kitchen. That is what makes Naples great. The people. We were staying in a hotel in the business area of town. There were no open restarunts near us. I stopped and asked someone for advice on where to go. He brought me to a small alimentari, grocery store , and asked his boss. That kind man walked us halfway to the pizza place and made our evening special.
It goes in the oven and with the high heat from the wood fire, 5 minutes is all it takes.Here it is ready to eat. This was a tomato pie. My wife and I joined the crew. What a treat. Pizzeria Pellone, Via Nationale, 93 Napoli. It is great Pizza.
If you vist Naples, be sure to stop here.
A cat resting in an Amalfi store
Capri, Faraglioni, the rocks that make the viewSeafood vendor in NapoliFruta in AmalfiVerona, the opera with the lighting of the candels prior to the performance
Performance the the Opera House of VeronaSome locals having lunch in San Giovane in Fiore ( Calabria)
Caserta, royal palace gardensSan Gorgio Maggiore, Vence Island from the bell tower Cheese (formaggio ) at the market in Napoli Some boats in Messina Sicly
From Sicily to the lakes. From Venice to Vernazza, the doors of Italy are always interesting. Some ornate, others plain. Run down. Beautiful. Always they catch my eye.
A door in Verona.
This was the door and an agritourisimo in Apulia.
She was putting out the laundry in Sicily and gave me a wave.
Our Airbnb in Montepulciano.
Harmony BnB in Palermo. Great place. Free parking and we just walked and walked.Jewlery Store in Pienza
Art Galery in Cortona. Under The Tuscan Sun land.
Thats it for today, more door in the coming days. The photo avove shows the Cinema Salamandra in Siracusa. I had been closed, then reopened, and closed again. Could only look through the doors and think what it must have been like.
Greg’s Italy the web site
I read a book several years back that described this ancient villiage high up on the coast overlooking Trapani and the salt flats. I was intrgued by the description of the fog rollsing in on a reguar basis. I did ot have to wait long. It flowed through the town and then left as the sun came back out. It is well worth the visit.
Link to Wikipedia description of Erice
Google and YouTube are my greatest allies in finding incredibly good videos for travel.
On Youtube search for Rick Steves travel videos. Over 100 are there.
Many video Vlogs are also found. Some are excellent, so well not so good. It is worth the effort to search. I found many of markets in Rome had videos of excellent qualtiy which I enjoyed with my wife.
You can see soe of the variety of the Vlogs.
It is always good to get a planning map. You can get some great city are country maps for free by going to Frommers web site. The link below will take you to a list of all of their maps.
They ahave published some great guide books. Most are also available in the kindle format. I encourage you to take a look at their web site.
This map is available in the Frommers Rome and Italy guide books.
It is possible to view many of the Italian TV shows for free. Although RAI blocks direct views on most channels, you can get an amazing number on line from the following web site:
FreeIntgerTV dot com is easy to use.
Go to the web site and choose the types of shows you would like to search for. It can mover many countries, not just italy.
I had no problems using the web site, and it is free.
ONE OTHER ITEM. Fine Living is the international equivalent of HGTV House Hunters Internatikonal. You can find many episodes on YouTube. Search for Fine Living.
Enjoy, RAI and many other channels on the web. What a great way to learn Italian and view some great shows.