Learning Italian

I have been trying to learn Italian for several years. Pimsleur, Italianpod101, CD’s, and Duolingo. They all have helped me improve. Duolingo is one of the best products I have used. The free version is an excellent introduction to learning any language. Premium is a better way to speed up learning, no adds, nor stops after making several mistakes.

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This has worked well and I have used Duolingo for many years with both Spanish and Italian .

 

It has worked well, and I have used it daily for over two years. I realized on our trip last year to Cortina d’Ampezzo that speaking to Italians in their language was fun and made our trip so much more enjoyable. One night we had the owners of our Airbnb over for dinner. The conversation was 95% in Italian as Renato, and his wife spoke little English.

 

OUR LIVING ROOM IN CORTINA
At this point, I had reached the limit of my conversational abilities. It was a good conversation, but I wanted to go farther. One year later, I have started to take Italian lessons. Online Italian courses seemed to be the way to go in the ane of Coronavirus.

I searched several websites and looked closely at two of them. Lingoci appeared to be the best for me.

Lingoci 1

 

From the photo, you can see there are several languages to choose from.
Once you choose a language to learn, you see a list of instructors from whom you can choose.

Lucrezia from Milano

 

I chose a sample lesson with Lucrezia, who comes from Milano and now lives in Barcelona. She is fluent in several languages. I was a little nervous about the class, but she put me at ease quickly.

MY LESSON WITH LUCREZIA

Here is a screenshot of my introductory lesson in Italian.

She is very accomplished with all levels of Italian, and I felt very relaxed learning with her. I purchased a package of 10 lessons for $22.90 US dollars (each).  Each lesson lasts for 55 minutes. That is a bargain for a one on one learning experience.

LESSON PRICE LIST

 

Here is a link to the web site 

https://lingoci.com

 

I do not get any payment from Lingoci, and I do this because I enjoy languages and this had made my learning so much more enjoyable. I have scheduled my lessons for consecutive weeks and at the same time. I highly recommend Lingoci and will continue with my studies for the year.

Most lessons are on Skype which enables a student to get vocabulary and downloads of assignments and documents. This is very helpful. 

SKYPE SCREENSHOT

 

Give it a try. One on one is the best way to learn an language, and Lincoci makes it easy and affordable. 

 

Venezia

 

 

https://lingoci.com/italian-lessons-skype#tutors

 

Thie above like will open up the Italian tutors section for Lingoci. Take a look. 

 

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San Pietro at night

Ischia an Island Off The Coast of Naples

I came across and article on Ischia today that appeared in Forbes Magazine a while back. 

I remember it for its beauty and ease of transportation via the city busses.  The food was excellent and thermal baths abound in this little volcanic island. Take the ferry from Napoli and enjoy your stay. 

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It is just s short ferry ride from Naples to Ischia. On the way uou pass the equally enchanting island of Procida. 

CIMG0715The island  of Pricida

A 2018 article in Forbes magazine said “Ischia may be one of Italy’s best kept secrets”. It is certainly a relaxing and interesting place to visit. It is affordable with excellent restaurants. It is more casual than Capri and much less hectic. Thermal hot [springs feed pools for a relaxing warm swim. Parts of the movie “The Talented Mister Ripley” were filmed here. Great seafood abounds on this 18 square mile island

 

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On the ferry  from Napoli to Ischia. We brought our car on the ferry, is was a reasonable price.

CIMG0471 The Castello Aragones  is a medieval castle next to Ischia (one of the Phlegraean Islands), at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects to the larger island of Ischia by a causeway (Ponte Aragonese).

CIMG0473Insalata Caprese for our lunch

 

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Lava formations from past eruptions on this volcanic island.

 

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Getting ready to jump. 

CIMG0499Diving into the sea brings relief from the warm summer day.

 

 

CIMG0501Each day the pool is emptied and refilled from the thermal spring. The water is warm, and if filled with minerals.

We took a bus to get to Lo Scoglio, in Sant Angelo. It was s short ten minute drive to an amazing treat. 

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The entrance to Lo Scoglio

 

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Frutti di Mare

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My wife Angela was thrilled with all this fresh seafood.

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A cruise ship passes by.

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Outside dining makes for an enjoyable evening. .

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Samt Angelo, Ischia. Check out the fumarole beaches with steam jets rise up  through the sands.  Food is cooked by burying it in the sand and letting the volcanic steam do its thing.

 

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A salumaria or delicatessen has the real bufala mozzarella. This is best served at room temperature and best kept only on day. It is different from the fresh mozzarella which we find in American supermarkets.

 

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More views 

 

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It is well worth the trip.Stay for a few days to enjoy the shops, dining, and the swimming. You can bring your car over on the ferry. Busses run to many of the attractions.

 

 

https://maps.apple.com/?address=Ischia,%20Naples,%20Italy&auid=12476986191221287559&ll=40.732341,13.944971&lsp=6489&q=Ischia&_ext=Ch8KBQgEEJABCgQIBRADCgQIBhADCgQIChAJCgQIVRAHEiYpt/GC441aREAxdM70t6naK0A5eWwVDs5fREBBwAZEiCvvK0BQDA%3D%3D

 

 

 

 

Non vedo l’ora. I can’t wait.

The best cheese comes from Italy. Visiting this year is out, and I got hungry, DSC 1697

So I searched on Amazon for Pecorino cheese. Sheep’s milk cheese. I found a great product and decided to order it,

 

IMG 2166It was shipped UPS Air and arrived in two days from Parma, Italy. 

 

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It was packed with a styrofoam inner container with cooling jej.

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This is it.   Just about 4 lbs.  

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It even includes a cutting knife.

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It is a softer cheese than Parmesan with a wonderful aroma and taste. Pecorino Toscano is a PDO cheese made in the Tuscany region of Italy. You can order directly from them at the following web site

http://www.parmashop.com

 

For me all cheese that I have eaten in Italy is great, and now I can bring it home. My 2 kilo order cost $79 with UPS air shipping.  That was a good price. See the photo below that show a shop window in the Trastevere section of Roma where the price for kilo was 63 Euro. 

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In Florida you can visit Doris Market in West Palm which specializes in Italian Foods.

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I Never Forget A Meal

I am borrowing the title of a book by Michael Tucker who also fell in love with Italy and has always loved food.  Italian food and Italian meals are to be savored and enjoyed. His book was great and you can find copies on Amazon. Also recommended is “Living in a Foreign Language” also by Michael Tucker which is similar to Under the Tuscan Son, but with more humor and a bit of attitude. 

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We are on the island of Ischia, a small island off the coast of Napoli. We stayed in a small hotel with great views of the area and had a pleasant lunch of  Prosciuto e Melone.

 

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We also hand Insalata Capresse with fresh mozzarella di buffala

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At anolther ristorante in ischia we had frutti di mare. As fresh as you can get.

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While staying on Lake Carda in the town of Brenzone we had a waterfront dinner of Cacio e PepeIMG 1785

Lunch at a winery in Vicenza IMG 1787

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Below is home made pasta in Milano, I took a pasta making class. 

Felt is was time to lear how to do it, I had a pasta making machine at home that my bother bought about thirty years ago.

 

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Nothing like your own fresh pasta

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IMG 1445Pasta alla Norma 

 

 

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Mixed fruit that we bought at the market in Siracusa  Sicily

Below is beefsteak Florentine

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You start with aged meet. This is from Il Pandemonio, Florence Italy

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It comes rare to medium rate, It is a think steak, about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. 

There is nothing like it.

 

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Back in Catania, Sicily

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An entire meal of antipasti 

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My wife Angel and I after a wonderful meal.

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Il Torre Del Mangia, Siena

Piazza  del  Campo

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Insalata Capresse

Pasta with Pesto

There are more to come. This Brunello from 2011 met it Demis in 2020 as we reminisced about Italy.

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The Markets of Italy

To me nothing is more beautiful than the way Italian markets display their food.  The quality is overwhelming, the aromas intriguing, and the tastes are fantastico. 

 

Catania Fish Market

Fish Market In Catania, Sicily

Catania Fish MarketCatania Fish Market

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Stall in Amalfi

 

 

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Catania

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Fruit and Vegetables

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Lemons, Catanzaro Calabria 

 

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Autogrill 

 

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A Pasticciera in Erice

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Blood Oranges, Palermo

 

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Garlic Aglio

 

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Melenzanie – Eggplant

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Mushrooms, Rome

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Artichokes, Carciofi Roma

 

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Fresh Bread, Roma

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My banana harvest, Vero Beach, FL 

Not Italy but this came from a Tree in our front yard.

Ciao

More Photos From Past Trips. The Daily Market in Siracusa, Sicily

AT THE MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SICILY

 

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Cipolla di Tropea.: The Calabrese cuisine is a reflection of its history – it is not refined or elaborate, normally simple, using most of the time vegetable such as the onions, in particular the red onion, the red onion of Tropea. These famous red onions are grown in an area which stretches in both directions along the coast from Tropea. Important enough to be sold in Sicily. (Google)

 

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Waking Up To See A Different View

I follow a Facebook group which features posts on traveling to Italy. This morning I woke up to a post by Keith Mountford featuring a view of an Italian town and I knew I had been there.
I quickly went to my photo library and found the photo I took from the same spot. Keith had painted an amazing watercolor from the same spot.

We both stood on the same spot, and we saw the beauty that was there.

 

My photo is below.  We are taking you to Bellagio on Lake Como.

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Lake Como is in the background. This was taken in September 2019 

 

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This is Keith’s water color. It is beautiful 

Visit Keith’s web site at 

https://www.keithmountford.com

 

Keith has signed limited edition prints for sale on his website.

With everything going on and our all being restricted in what we can do and where we can go, seeing the post of Facebook mad my day a bit brighter.  Ciao,, 

Ci manca Roma. We miss Rome

We have been to Rome 5 or 6 times. Have lost count. Never see enough of the beautiful city. In October we walked most of the city and never stall the trash buildup that was posted on some news sites and in some newspapers in the US. It is a large city, but residential areas and tourist areas were clean. We can to wait to return. Here are some photos of the days in Rome.

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Via Cappellari, out Airbnb was 100 feet away from this photo. The street was made into an art gallery for several days,

 

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Art was hung all along the street. 

 

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\iew from the Tiber to St. Peters

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A wedding im Trastevere

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Museo di Roma

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Piazza Navona from Museo di Roma

Then and Now

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Piazza Navona

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Coppede Neighborhood  Roma

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This area is know for it’s different and beautiful architectureIMG 1317

Below scuderie del Quirinale, the stables of Quirinale 

 

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We first came to the Scuderie del Quirinale three years ago for an exhibit by Picasso.

This time Pompei and Santorini both suffered volcanic eruptions.

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Plaster casts from Pompei

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Below a breathtaking view of Rome from the Scuderie del Quirinale

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From Wikipedia

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