“La fortuna de gli audaci.”
“The fortune of the audacious.”
“This expression refers to people who run small risks to obtain something. For example, a person driving who overtakes in an area where one shouldn’t overtake, but passes four cars, generally says, or someone else in the car says, ‘ah, questa e la fortuna de gli audaci!’.”
My dad, the informant for this saying, was born in London, England, but lived in Italy for 10 years of his life, from the age of 30. Over this period of time, he became fluent in the Italian language, learning many colloquialisms and expressions used in everyday speech. Though he does not speak in Italian as much as he used to, when interacting with friends and/or co-workers who are Italian, he still uses many of these sayings.
The informant first heard this expression while in the company of some Italian friends, who after picking him and my mom up from the airport, were stuck in traffic, and instead of dealing with it, decided to overtake many cars by driving on the shoulder of the road. This saying expresses a philosophy of living on the edge, of cutting corners in a risky way to achieve personal benefit. This conflicts with the sentiment of playing it safe expressed in the English-language proverb, “better to be safe than sorry”, and shows a significant difference in culture, exemplifying a youthful feeling of excitement and unpredictability present in how many Italians act. The idea of attempting to get away with things, is in many ways is central to Italian culture according to my dad, who, as a foreigner, experienced this first hand with many incidents, like getting charged for things more than he was supposed to, and having to deal with many reckless drivers.