Tag Archives: Italy


Italian Proverb: “Old Age is Trouble”

Is there something of a proverb that comes to mind from home? J.A. – “La vecchia e una rogne; ma si non l’arrive, e una veregogna.” (Italian) Translates to: Old age is trouble; but if you don’t get there, it’s a shame. J.A. – “My parents’ people were farmers in Italy.  This saying has a… Continue Reading »

Brunelleschi and The Egg

BACKGROUND: There is an old architecture legend about famed Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi trying to convince the city of Florence that he was the most qualified to build the Cathedral of Florence. The story goes that after being rejected due to his long absence in Germany, Brunelleschi attempted to show that not only did he have the… Continue Reading »

Phallic Symbolism on Homes in Pompeii

The informant, a 66-year-old American woman (my grandmother), has frequently traveled to Italy for the past several decades. During a celebration for my mother’s birthday, I pulled my grandmother aside and asked her if any particular Italian traditions or beliefs have stood out to her over the course of her travels, and she laughed. “Oh… Continue Reading »

You Should Never Go Into the Sea in a Month with an ‘R’

Informant: “I don’t remember how to say it in Italian now, but I remember the saying translates to ‘You should never go into the sea in a month with an “R”‘. I remember learning this when I was studying in Florence my Junior year of college, I was in Florence from January to June, but… Continue Reading »

La Befana

Informant: “So in Italy, there’s two things, so there’s La Befana, which is ‘The Witch’, kind of, I don’t remember exactly what it translates to, but it’s whatever the witch is. And then there’s Babbo Natale, and what that means is father Christmas. And so in northern Italy, this is kind of funny, in northern… Continue Reading »