Italian is the official language of Italy and one of the four official languages in Switzerland. You’ll find Italian speakers in Malta, Vatican State, San Marino, Croatia, Slovenia, and France (especially in Corsica). Italian is also the second most spoken language in Argentina.
Italians are very proud of their food and will entertain you endlessly with the countless varieties of local culinary specialities. Declining a dinner invitation, or indeed a second course, could be considered impolite. If in doubt, try to savour a little of everything and be sure to let your host know just how tasty it all is: È buonissimo!
The historic influence of Italian culture in terms of music, food, architecture, design, literature, and science is very prominent in other languages. Have you ever said ciao? Have you eaten al fresco, ordered a pizza, spaghetti, broccoli, or a cappuccino? Fiasco and propaganda are also of Italian origin. Even if you’re not an opera fan, you might be familiar with maestro, orchestra, piano and solo. You might even sing a cappella in your shower!
Why learn Italian? Because you love to love! Many people claim that Italian is the language of art and love. Also, if you plan to travel to Italy, don’t expect to speak any other language with the locals. Get ready in advance to enjoy fascinating conversations with the locals in their native language, learning even more about their customs and history. Finally, if you learn Italian, you’ll be able to understand Spanish, Portuguese, and French because of their shared Romance roots.
Eppur si muove
And yet it moves
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
These were the words whispered, or so the story goes, by the philosopher and scientist after being found guilty of grave heresy by the Inquisition. He was accused of suggesting that the Earth, then considered the centre of God’s universe, moved around the Sun.
Ogni nostra cognizione principia dai sentimenti
All our knowledge has its origins in perception
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
It’s a curious fact that Da Vinci wrote his notes in mirror writing, from right to left, leaving a lot of puzzled experts wondering why. Two of the most common theories are that he wanted to keep his work secret and that as he was left-handed he didn’t want to smudge the ink.