La Bella lingua, or how I learn Italian.

IMG 0050

Learning Italian is an ongoing project of mine, The first time we visited Italy was in the mid 1980’s.  My wife and I spoke little of no Italian. My mother inlaw spoke well, but with a Sicilian dialect which some Romans resented and preceded not to understand, These days my wife and I can manage fairly well. I am better than she, by choice and hard work. She can grasp the language more quickly than I, but has many other interests that keep here occupied.  That said I have used several different methods  to learn Italian.

 

Pimlseur is one of the best methods if you commute or do not have time to sit down and practice writing and reading.  

https://offers.pimsleur.com/free-trial-1401-brand?utm_source=google&utm_term=pimsleur%20italian&utm_campaign=G_Pim_Brand_Italian_Tier%201_Exact&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=Cj0KCQjwov3nBRDFARIsANgsdoEmamrfEcunNu16hAzWBRkNogmzOpMUg9l32B92XosiZ-PvYLZptP8aAj3ZEALw_wcB

Now it is an online subscription, but you can still find lessons as MP3 or audio book on Amazon, Ebay, or Audible.  Levels go from 1 to 5 and do a good job on basic conversation.   Problem with the recordings is that you get no spelling exercises  and that does not help reading comprehension. Their accompanying booklets do not use vocabulary from the lessons. 

 

 

Rosetta Stone never did it for me  I tried and now my DVD is out of date for the next operating systems.  My feeling is do not waste your  money. They are also on a subscription program.

 

DuoLingo is a great way to learn using your tablet, phone, or PC.  It is free, but there are options to learn  without ads or being interrupted because you made too may errors and the program will not allow you to continue (with the exception of practice sessions) until the next day. You learn with written and audible lessons. One listens and is asked to translate as well as read and translate English to Italian and Italian to English.   There is a lot of repetition and that helps learning. Here are some examples from various lessons, 

 

 

https://www.duolingo.com/

 

        

NewImage

IMG 1398

IMG 1399

IMG 1436 IMG 0018

Yes, I really love DuoLingo.  But there is no one on one with a teacher.  I always have questions and Googling does not always get the correct one,

 

 

Italian Pod 101 has extensive resources for learning.  Hundreds of lessons from beginner to advanced.  It has good grammar instruction and various resources.  Those include Video, Audio, flash cards etc.   

https://www.italianpod101.com/index.php

The differentiating factor is the you can get your own teacher.  I find this very helpful and it has made me renew my membership for another year.

 

IMG 2251

IMG 2237

 

Sample screen shots

The one on one instructions read like a book, You send a message back and forth and it continues so you always have a record of your instruction. You are able to send audio clips, photos, 

 

 

My teacher, Valentina, is very helpful and instructive. She is what makes Italian Pod 101 so effective.

 

Sample correspondence:

NewImage

SAT, JUN 01

Teacher
Ciao Greg, come stai? Spero bene! Ecco un nuovo esercizio per te. (Fammi sapere se questo l’hai già fatto in passato, non mi ricordo) youtube.com/watch?v=_hnPAciqG_U&list=PL71wtqaYwBCJXAzxWhq44UQzlHhvw0-Ru&index=3 La casa Feng Shui 1. Perché Laura è stupita quando torna a casa? 2. Cos’è il Feng Shui? Qual è il suo scopo? 3. Fai un elenco dei cambiamenti che ha fatto Marcello, facendo un confronto prima/dopo. Divano: Prima il divano era… Adesso è… Parete: Comodino: Tavolino: Mobile con giradischi: Poltrona della nonna:
01:49
4. Scrivi tutti i commenti positivi che ricordi di Laura sul nuovo arredamento. 5. Perché Laura preferiva il tavolino di plastica? 6. Completa le regole del Feng Shui che spiega Marcello. (1 o più parole) “Il divano deve favorire la ……… e dare un …….. di ………. Per questo non deve trovarsi vicino ad ……… come porte e finestre e deve ……….. a una parete.” “La parete del divano deve essere libera: niente …… , …….. o …….” “I mobili e gli oggetti di plastica bloccano il ……. …. …….. I materiali migliori sono quelli ……. : legno, …… e ……. 7. Secondo te, qual è la vera ragione per cui Marcello ha tolto la poltrona della nonna?
01:49
SUN, JUN 02 My answer to questions 

Ho riso. Lui è come mia moglia]
EDIT
04:12
TUE, JUN 04

Teacher 
Davvero? Ahah
02:22
WED, JUN 05 My answers to questions 
1 1 Laura è stupita quando torna a casa perchè lui ha cambiato I mobili, i quadri, i colori. Niente è lo stesso.
EDIT
02:53
2 Feng Shui è un modo di organizare una stanza e una casa. Il suo obiettivo è massimizzare la vita, l’energia, e il fluso della casa.
EDIT
03:01
La lista di cose cambiati: Il divano era vicino della finestra. Adesso è accanto la parete. la parete era gianca e adesso è roso le mensole mancano anche i libri Adesso sono spostati. Perchè il divano dovrebbe libera. il tavalo di camera da letto è in in sogiorno adesso. Gli incensi è sopra il tavolo (il comodino) il tavolo era plastica adesso é fatto di legno I mobolie con grandischi da il toco vintage. Non sono certo che era li prima. La sedia della nonna no è qui, Sembra che era molto grande. Ma adesso ćè una sedia moderna, senza le bracia

 

 

To sum up, no one method will suit everyone.  I am able to hold a reasonable conversation when in Italy, ask directions and order a pizza without anchovies vorrei una pizza senza acciughe

 

Buona fortuna a tutti. 

The Language Of Love Italian Style San Valentino e Amore | ITALY Magazine

 

I saw this in Italy magazine, and it is appropriate for the coming week. Italy Magazine is free and always has good content. 

Enjoy.

 

NewImage

 

https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/san-valentino-e-amore?utm_source=ITALY+Magazine+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e5cd089dd2-ITALY+Newsletter+-+January+12th+2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7e828ebed3-e5cd089dd2-433445:

 

Content copyright Italy Magazine 2019

 

google-site-verification: google1482e637de4bc209.html

 

Vincenza, Veneto, Italy

VincenzaI came upon VIncenza during bike tour in October.   A beautiful city in north east Italy. This photo is of Ponte San Paolo

 

IMG 1716

 

DSC05738

 

Porticos as we walked to the centro for dinner.

IMG 1719

 

The civic Bissara Tower was built in the late 12th century and overlooks Piazza dei Signori, alongside the famous Basilica Palladiana.
The tower was raised in the mid-15th century to it present height og 82 meters ans is still one of the tallest buildings in Vicenza.

 

IMG 1720

The centro or downtown area is great for dining or shopping.

IMG 1721

 

IMG 1724

 

 

IMG 1726

 

IMG 1725

 

IMG 1723

Upscale Pricing Here

IMG 1727

My bike tour group heads for dinner in VIncenza

Venice, Sometimes the Best Things ARE Free

Venice can be expensive. The view from the Campanile is amazing. High up with no obstructions. But you have to pay 8 Euros.  Yes that is not much for such a great view.DSC05036The Campanile of St. Marks Basilica, Venice

 

San Goorgio Maggiore

The Island fo San Giorgio Maggiore from the Campanile

 

But for free you can visit the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and take the lifts to the top of this amazing retail complex. The literal translation is the warehouse of the Germans. Goods came in from the Gand Canal and could be stored in the building. The entrance is free, and here is a link and you can reserve you time from the web site.DFS group has over 400 stores on 4 continents. . 

https://www.dfs.com/en/venice/t-fondaco-rooftop-terrace

Below are some of the photos taken from the terrace.  
Some photos have a watercolor filter.

IMG 1889

 

IMG 1889

IMG 1891

IMG 1893

IMG 1896

IMG 1897

VIEWS OF THE RETAIL AREA

 

DSC05777

 

DSC05778

DSC05773

 

 

SIX DAYS OF CYCLING FROM THE DOLOMITES TO VENICE IN 6 MINUTES

Iin six days we biked about 240 miles from Bolzano to just outside of Venice (Mestre). Almost perfect weather and the most beautiful paths for viewing and cycling.  This tour was with Exodus, a UK based company. I highly recommend this tour. 

IMG 1525

IMG 1523

The Dolomites along side the Adige river make this such a wonderful location.  On this day we were riding from Bolzano back to Trento. The scenery was breathtaking. 

IMG 1555

This bridge is in   Nomi , Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol , Italy. What is difficult to see is the spokes that come down from the arc. This is meant to resemble a bicycle tire, and is adjacent to the bike path.

DSC05690

The Arena in Verona, Operas and Concerts take place here.

IMG 1654Giulietta making an appearance on the balcony.

IMG 1683IMG 1684

We arrived in the Soave region of Italy. Famous for its grapes.

Here is the link to a aerial video of our 6 days of riding.  It was an amazing trip. The video was recorded from Relive The RIde, a great website for cycling. 

Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

IMG 1187

The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

IMG 1242

Milano

Milan is about many things. It is a modern city with historical routes and contemporary styles.  Saldi, sales are key to visiting Milan. There are designer outlets, and seasonal sales.   I am going back to Milan in 3 weeks and will do a complete update on he city, the museums, and shopping districts.  These photos are from a 2008 vist to the city.

 

ON SALE IN MILAN

 

Window in Milan center.

 

 

Milan La Galleria

The bull in La Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II, Milano

 

Legend has it that if you put your heel on the testicles of the bull and turn around three times, it will bring good luck.  Did not do much for the bull. It is also said that if a woman touches the genitals it will bring fertility.

 

 

DUOMO MILANO

 

The duomo is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Milan. 

DSC 2401

 

DUOMO MILANO

 

It is worth taking the elevators to the top to get a view of the city and admire the construction of the Duomo.

 Milano Tram

 

I enjoyed taking the tram in Milano. It is a slower and more enjoyable way to see this city. Of course avoid morning and afternoon rush hours. 

 

Here is a link to a youtube video of the street cars of Milano

 

NewImage

 

We are not in Venice. These are the Canals of Milano. Photo from Walks of Italy. The Navigli. 

 

NewImage

The canals were built to transport goods to the city from nearby lakes. It is no longer used for transport, but is a tourist destination.  This has ushered in an arts district with restaurants and bars and is worth the visit.

Here is a link to Walks of Italy for tour information. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/milan/canal-in-milan

 

I am returning to Milano in September for three days. Will be going to the Navigli district ( canal district) the Duomo, and possibly return to view the last supper again. Here is a link to the web site to purchase tickets to visit the Last Upper. It is advisable to book as early as possible. If you can not get through this site, check Viator, Walks of Italy or other resellers.   I advise three months in advance. Link below to official site. 

https://cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it/?qubsq=716f61bb-85f0-4c5f-8a0b-fe0054980b10&qubsp=42a99ae9-969c-4fd0-894f-0b918799a95b&qubsts=1535228478&qubsc=bestunion&qubse=vivaticketserver&qubsrt=Safetynet&qubsh=fd2fc046714c5951348e9fb15cde1595

 

NewImage

 

 

 

CIMG4737

 

Some photos of the area near La Scala Opera HouseCIMG4754

CIMG4746

 

DSC 2384

Amalfi A Gem On The Seacoast

Amalfi is a beautiful and busy town. On the coast is has a history of being a maritime power, and paper making. It is a town with many festivals.  You will enjoy your stay. DSC 4018

Today it still has a very busy harbor.

AMALFI

We happened upon the Festival of San Andreas by accident.  This was one of the highlights of our trip. Each year on the 27th of June, “This date is remembered for a miracle of Sant’ Andrea that occurred in 1544, when the people of Amalfi prayed to their saint to protect them from an attack of the feared Barbarossa pirates. When the town was saved from the attack by a sudden and terrible sea storm, the Amalfitans celebrated it as a miracle of Sant’ Andrea.” (From Charming Italy, bu Laura Thayer. http://www.charmngitaly.com

CIMG1347

Little did we know hen we sat down that we would be in the middle of the festa.  In Italy it is normal for one of have the table for as long as you want it.  Our views were amazing. 

CIMG1355

Soon it became quite crowded and as the sun began to set, the procession began,CIMG1357

CIMG1373

The parade went through most all of the town.

CIMG1380

 

CIMG1384

Below you see people heading out on to the pier to watch the fireworks as darkness came.

CIMG1388  Version 2

 

 

CIMG1414

 

A fisherman brings in his catch below.

DSC 4035

A tall ship came in for the celebration.

P1030881

The duomo the next morning.

CIMG1325

The paper museum makes a nice stop on the way to the hill trails that take you to Ravello and other towns.

CIMG1277CIMG1278

CIMG1267

Sample of the paper available at the museum. 

CIMG1268

And do not forget lemons, limone è importate !! Limoncello right? 

P1030869

 

Walking up the hills in Amalfi. 

DSC 4089

 

DSC 4132

A great site for more info on Amalfi is.  http://www.ciaoamalfi.com.   Laura Thayer writes a blog on the town and surrounding  area.  Well worth checking it out. 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: