During a conversation with an Italian friend the other day, the subject of limoncello came up. By the by, it’s curious how often Italians will end up talking about food or drink–it’s like an Italian version of Godwin’s Law–if a conversation goes on for long enough, someone will mention their favourite pasta sauce. But I digress! I mentioned how I like to drink limoncello with a dash of tonic water and ice.
Is it just me, or does Italy seem to be full of police? Almost everywhere you go, especially in the bigger cities, you will see what looks like an panoply of police forces of varying name and uniform. Coming from the UK, where police presence tends to be far more discreet, it is curious to see that a seemingly peaceful country like Italy feels the need for so much uniformed presence on the streets.
I was talking to an Italian friend and explaining how I was conducting a job interview for some new graduates at our office. I used the word ‘intervista’ to describe this–which, as I was rapidly pointed out, is of course incorrect. Indeed, ‘intervista’ is a classic example of a false friend, i.e. a word that sounds like a word in your native language but has an entirely different meaning in the one you are learning. Although an intervista is indeed an interview of sorts, it is only used to describe a meeting between a journalist or presenter and a subject. For example, “Il giornalista ha avuto un’intervista col ministro.” (The journalist had an interview with the minister).
This is a retrospective account in diary form of a trip I took in 2013, based on memory and my notes from the time. Continued from Paris to Rome – Day 3.
Sunday, 16 June 2013
I stayed till late in the restaurant, almost not wanting to leave. It was quite small, but had great lighting and a small shelf of travel books opposite me. A group of people were sitting at a nearby table and chatting merrily–it looked like they knew the staff in the restaurant quite well. Ah, these locals. 🙂 Eventually, I left just after 10pm and strolled downhill amongst the narrow streets, and eventually reached the marina. There were lots of people out and about now, and it was really lively.
Among my fondest memories of my childhood in Florence are the cartoons that I used to enjoy watching. The majority of these, if not all, were made in Japan and dubbed into Italian. Every day, around 4pm, the kid’s TV programme Zap-Zap would begin on a (now-defunct, I think) TV channel called TMC. The two presenters were called Marta and Guido, and they would take us through an hour or so of kids entertainment. I loved it, and remember being really disappointed when our TV broke down and I wasn’t able to see it for almost a month. It felt like forever.
No, the title of this post hasn’t become mangled in transmission. 🙂 There are a few of these almost-a-word expressions in Italian that are used quite frequently in informal settings. This is the kind of thing that isn’t (normally!) taught in language class and can only really be picked up properly when talking with Italians.
I slept soundly for five hours or so before getting up to pack and clean up. I wanted to be sure to leave the boat ‘ship-shape’ for the owner. Unfortunately, there was no more running water for some reason, so I wasn’t able to wash the dishes (or have a shower, for that matter!).
This morning I managed to get up on time (i.e. 6:30), have breakfast, and leave the boat. It’s actually a little bit of a shame, because I’d have liked to have spent a bit more time on and around the boat, but it’s just too far away from the main town. I guess I should bear this in mind for future trips–always make sure your accommodation is reasonably well connected.
I got up late, and I mean late. It was actually nice and warm in the ‘bedroom’ and I struggled to motivate myself to get out from under the cozy duvet. Anyway, I eventually got up and went into the shower, only to find out there was no hot water at all. Scottish shower it is then! After a good breakfast, I headed out and decided to walk again, this time back to the city centre. All this walking is actually really good–I checked the health and fitness app on my smartphone and found that I’d walked a total of 14 miles yesterday! Today, I managed to reach just under 13 miles.
Well it’s nearly ten o’clock now, and here I am sitting at the captain’s desk in the yacht after a long day flying and walking. Mainly the latter. I’ve been awake now (apart from some small snatches of sleep during the flight) for nearly thirty-six hours. Funnily enough, I don’t feel too tired right now, but on the other hand I’m looking forward to curling up in the small dormitory and dozing off till the morning!