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Archive for the 'Italian Culture' Category

First Impressions can last a lifetime!

As you may have seen in Italian movies or during your stay in in Italy if you had the chance , you will notice that ciao is the easiest and most common Italian greeting people use to say “hello” or “goodbye.”
Usually though, you should only use this greeting with people whom you are well acquainted with, such as friends or

As a special case, you may notice that it is common to address foreigners entering into Italy with ciao. The reason for this is that it’s
a friendly and easy way to greet them. Sometimes owners of casual, modern shops may greet customers with ciao as a way to keep social distances at a minimum and make talking easier and faster,thus making you feel more comfortable (and this way making their patrons feel relaxed and at home).

For first time meetings though, you may use buon giorno (also written buongiorno) with anyone. Literally, buon giorno means “good day,” however, you may also interpret it to mean “good morning” or “good afternoon.”

As a rule of thumb you can use buon giorno only during daytime-from morning until evening-or from before daybreak to before dusk. If we want to express “good morning” clearly, we may use buon mattino, but this expression is very rare. As for “good afternoon,” we sometimes use buon pomeriggio.

Yet, we are sure that if there was to be any confusion with greetings, your Italian hosts will be kind to you no matter what. Italians are known for their friendliness and warmth, so even a simple “Ciao!” will bring about a smile and maybe a long lasting friendship!

Italian Culture - Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day/Assunzione or Ferragosto – Italian

Assumption Day observes that Mary, the mother of Jesus died and her body was united with her soul and ascended to heaven instead of enduring the physical decaying of the body through normal death. It has been a belief of the Roman Catholic faith since the fourth century CE and is celebrated as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest.

This day was once a pagan holiday until it was decided to be Christianized and make it solely about the Virgin Mary. Before, it was first celebrated in honor of the goddess of the Isis of the Sea who was said to be born on this particular day according to myths that have been spreading.

Ferragosto (Assumption Day) is celebrated on August 15th in Italy. The Italians will hold festivals locally throughout the cities where their regional and low priced cuisine is available for sampling. There are many who use this time to go on their seasonal vacations to the seaside where there are some festivals ongoing there. There are sometimes festivals with a medieval theme and people dressed in such costumes. Performances outdoor during that time is filled with music and dancing.

The Italians in Italy and all over the world go all out with their celebration with fireworks and bright processions in the streets. The main event on that day in Sicily, Rome is a bowing procession. The Virgin Mary’s statute is carried through the streets dressed with flowers and a statute of Jesus waits for her at a different location. The procession heads back to the church where an important benediction takes place.

In the past, people would flood the Italian plazas and go for carriage rides through lakes that were temporarily constructed. They would carry rose scented water in bowls that they use to sprinkle on themselves.

Italians extend their celebration to superstitious believe of throwing coins through their windows on to the streets. The color blue is used to symbolize the truth about the Virgin Mary and as an indication that the color of the sky is blue, which is symbolic also of heaven.

Italian Culture - Republic Day/Festa della Repubblica in Italy

Everyone knows how important holidays are especially when they symbolize a specific event in your life. In Italy, for example, there are people who experienced the change in their government and use this public holiday, Republic Day, as a reminder of how important that occasion is.

This holiday is also known as Festa della Repubblica and it was created after a referendum in 1946 was filed by the Italian government to change from being a Monarchy to becoming a Republic government. The House of Savoy ran the monarchy. The entire population of Italy was asked to vote on this referendum and the majority ruled.

The Italians celebrate this holiday on the second day of June each year and they treat it just as important as the United States treat their Fourth of July holiday. It is considered to be the National Holiday of Italy.

After World War II, the Italians saw the fall of Fascism take place in their country, which made it quite clear that the eighty five year old Monarchy government would fall with it. The Monarchs were exiled and a rebirth of a nation took place.

On June second of each year, the Italians hold a large military parade that takes up the streets of Central Rome. This event is attended by the Prime Minister of Italian and other Political dignitaries and authorities.

The holiday parade lasts for about an hour and ends with fighter jet planes flying over the area leaving a colorful smoke behind that represented the colors of the Italian flag. The parade consists of different military branches and personnel as well as firefighters, police and the Red Cross following behind the motorcade with the Italian President in it.

Italians look forward to celebrating the Republic Day every year because of the reminder of how fortunate and liberated they are today and how the past has shaped their country. When they look back at the Monarchy and its rule, fascism leaves a bad taste of the government rule at that time. Now that all that is behind them, Republic Day seems a welcomed change.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn Italian together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study Italian with!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the team!