Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower beginner, Season 1 Lesson 25 - Making Plans for the Holidays in Italy. I’m Betsey.
Ofelia: Ciao! I’m Ofelia.
Betsey: In this final lesson of the series, you’ll learn how to describe customs and events.
Ofelia: You'll also learn how to use verbs without a specified subject, as well as impersonal constructions. Such as…A Natale si sta in famiglia.
Betsey: At Christmas one should stay with the family.
Ofelia: This conversation takes place on the phone.
Betsey: It’s between Laura and her sister, Carla. The speakers are family, so they’ll be using informal language.
Ofelia: Ascoltiamo
Ofelia: In this lesson, we’ll talk about customs and traditions around the biggest festivities in Italy.
Betsey: Which are…
Ofelia: Natale
Betsey: Christmas
Ofelia: Capodanno
Betsey: New Year’s
Ofelia: and Pasqua
Betsey: Easter
Ofelia: Of course, traditions for these three main festivities change from region to region, and sometimes even from town to town. But it is possible to highlight some traditions that are shared by all Italians.
Betsey: Ok, let’s start with Christmas.
Ofelia: Most Italians celebrate Natale by decorating their houses with a nativity scene, or a Christmas tree.
Betsey: I imagine people spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day with their family.
Ofelia: Yes. Families usually gather together for Christmas lunch, and eat poultry and sweets like panettone.
Betsey: Hmm, what’s that?
Ofelia: PANETTONE is a type of sweet bread loaf with raisins and candied orange zest from Milan.
Betsey: Sounds yummy! So what do people usually eat at New Year’s?
Ofelia: Zampone - pig’s leg, lenticchie - lentils and uva - grapes.
Betsey: Grapes?!
Ofelia: Yes! Lentils and grapes are supposed to bring money.
Betsey: Oh, I see. And where do people celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Ofelia: Young people spend New Year’s Eve with friends rather than with family. They often go to a house party, and then wait for midnight to strike in the town square, where there is a display of fireworks.
Betsey: Ok and what can you tell us about Easter?
Ofelia: There is the famous saying ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi!’
Betsey: It means more or less “Christmas with your family and Easter with whoever you want.”
Ofelia: That’s right. While some people also spend Easter with family, others prefer to go away to a lake or the beach for the Easter weekend, taking advantage of the first days of spring.
Betsey: Okay, now that we’ve covered that, let’s move on to the vocab.
Betsey: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Ofelia: The first word is. FESTA
Ofelia: Festa is used as a translation of “holiday” or “national holiday.” For example Il primo di novembre è festa.
Betsey: The first of November is a national holiday.
Betsey: Does it have any other meanings?
Ofelia: It also means ‘party’.
Betsey: For example?
Ofelia: Facciamo una festa per il compleanno di Samuele
Betsey: Let’s have a party for Samuele’s birthday.
Betsey: What's the next word we'll look at?
Betsey: TO SLEEP
Ofelia: There is no exact translation for the English ‘to sleep in’. The closest is dormire di più or dormire fino a tardi
Betsey: which would mean “to sleep more”. What’s an example?
Ofelia: Alla domenica, mio cugino dorme di più, sino a mezzogiorno.
Betsey: On Sundays, my cousin sleeps in until noon.
Betsey: The last one we'll look at is...
Betsey: TO LEAVE
Ofelia: The verb partire means “to leave”, “to depart”. The noun is partenza, and you can find it in its plural form on the timetable boards at the train station or at the airport. The plural form is partenze. The opposite is arrivare
Betsey: to arrive
Ofelia: and the noun is ‘arrivo’, which means “arrival”.
Betsey: What are some examples?
Ofelia: Dobbiamo aspettare Claudio qui agli arrivi.
Betsey: We have to wait for Claudio here at arrivals.
Ofelia: Sei in partenza?
Betsey: “Are you leaving?” Okay everyone, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the impersonal form in Italian.
Ofelia: The impersonal form is constructed by combining the pronoun si, and a verb in the third person singular or plural.
Betsey: Let’s start with a sample sentence.
Ofelia: A Natale si aprono i regali.
Betsey: A literal translation would be “At Christmas one opens presents.”
Ofelia: Let’s give a more detailed explanation of the impersonal form.
Betsey: Ok, how do you know whether to use the singular or plural form of the verb?
Ofelia: If the noun that follows the verb is singular, the verb is declined in the third person singular.
Betsey: For example…
Ofelia: In Inghilterra si beve molto te’.
Betsey: In England people drink a lot of tea.
Ofelia: If the noun is plural, the verb declines in the third person plural.
Betsey: For example...
Ofelia: In Italia si mangiano gli spaghetti quasi ogni giorno.
Betsey: In Italy people eat spaghetti almost every day.
Ofelia: The impersonal form corresponds to the English "one,". But it is much more frequent in Italian than it is in English, where "you," "we," "people," and other expressions are also used to translate the same idea.
Betsey: For example…
Ofelia: Come si dice “buongiorno” in giapponese?
Betsey: This can be translated as both “How does one say ‘good morning’ in Japanese?” and “How do you say ‘good morning’ in Japanese?”
Ofelia: Now let’s learn when the impersonal form is more likely to be used.
Betsey: One, when the subject is generic. For example...
Ofelia: Da questa finestra si vede un bel panorama
Betsey: From this window, one sees a beautiful landscape.
Ofelia: Right! But in Italian, it doesn’t sound as formal as in English - it is nearer to “From this window you can see a beautiful landscape”
Betsey: I see. The impersonal form is also used to make generalizations. For example…
Ofelia: In agosto si va al mare.
Betsey: In August people go to the seaside.
Ofelia: Finally, it is also frequently used to describe customs and traditions.
Betsey: For example...
Ofelia: A Pasqua si mangia l’agnello.
Betsey: At Easter people eat lamb. Listeners, remember to check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson.


Betsey: OK. That's all for this lesson, and for this series. We hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
Ofelia: Thank you all for listening, everyone! A presto!
Betsey: We’ll see you in another series!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Cosa fate per le feste? What are you doing for the holidays?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 01:27 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ciao Leone,

Va bene!

A presto e buon studio!:smile:


Team ItalianPod101.com

Monday at 02:13 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hey again italianclass team.Right now i have no question.:smile:.Im learning by your lessons and learning everyday.

Nice lessons.:thumbsup:.

Hot regards


ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 01:44 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ciao Leone,

Grazie mille!:smile:

When you have questions or comments, please let us know!

Thank you-


Team ItalianPod101.com

Tuesday at 12:03 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello italianclass team nice lessons and the teachers on the channel are very nice.

hot regards


ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:02 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ciao Greg!

Thank you for posting!

If you have other questions, please let us know! :smile:

A presto!


Team ItalianPod101.com

Wednesday at 02:51 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Si puo’ dormire di più la mattina.

I think the translation should be. "One can get more sleep in the morning." Now I understand why the word Si used with the third person singular of potere.

I answered my own question!


Wednesday at 02:47 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In the sentence, "Si puo’ dormire di più la mattina", why is "Si" necessary? The translation would be the same without it, true?