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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: Italian Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 5 - Spilling Salt and Finding a Four-Leaf Clover. I'm Becky and I'm joined by Daniele.
Daniele: Ciao! Hi, I'm Daniele.
Becky: In this lesson, we’ll talk about two common superstitions in Italy. The first superstition is about bad luck. What is the superstition called in Italian?
Daniele: rovesciare il sale
Becky: Which literally means "spilling salt." Daniele, can you repeat the Italian phrase again?
Daniele: [slow] rovesciare il sale [normal] rovesciare il sale
Becky: In Italy, it's believed that spilling salt on the table will bring you bad luck.
Daniele: I must confess I believe this. If I accidently spill some, I’ll try to throw some backwards to ward off the bad luck.
Becky: I do the same thing, actually. Where did this superstition come from, Daniele?
Daniele: It's probably because in ancient times, salt was an extremely valuable commodity.
Becky: Here’s an interesting fact: Leonardo da Vinci must have been aware of this superstition, because in his painting “The Last Supper,” Judas is spilling the salt.
Daniele: I’ll have to take another look at that painting!
Becky: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s the superstition about and what’s it called in Italian?
Daniele: trovare un quadrifoglio
Becky: Which literally means "finding a four-leaf clover." Let’s hear it in Italian again.
Daniele: [slow] trovare un quadrifoglio [normal] trovare un quadrifoglio
Becky: In Italy, it's believed that if you find a four-leaf clover, you should keep it. It’s a good luck charm.
Daniele: It's because clovers usually have three leaves. Four-leaf clovers are extremely rare.
Becky: I think it’s the same in many other countries. Have you ever found one?
Daniele: Never! I didn’t even believe that they existed, but then a friend of mine showed me a real one...
Becky: Keep searching for it!


Becky: There you have it - two Italian superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Daniele: A presto!