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Now, if you’re in love with Italy and Italian Lifestyle you might have attended to more than one aperitivo in your life, even in Italy. And surely you have been able to identify these 5 particular kinds of attendees which are infesting every aperitif or happy hour in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

1.Mr. Know-It-All 48802873

Are you talking about your late holiday in that far away island located in the middle of the Pacific? He probably had been there before you even knew of its existance. Are your friends discussing about a very obscure czech novelist that they have just discovered? He spent the past five years writing essays about his works. And believe me when I say that alcohol can only make thing worse, giving the guy an amount of self-confidence which is frankly unmanageable by a regular human being. Anyway, as our saint patron Morrissey used to say, “there’s gonna be someone somewhere, with a big(ger) nose who knows, and shuts you up and laughs when you fall”.

572422572.The Wine Expert – Italian aperitif is a magnificent occasion to taste good wine and wine-based drinks such as the spritz, but this wonderful opportunity has its scary downside: it attracts hordes of self-proclaimed wine experts which will make your head explode with neverending descriptions of the wine they (or you) are tasting. Letting alone the fact that adjectives such as “laser-like” or “intellectually satisfying” should be banished from any conversation, the truth is that if you blindfold the poor Wine Expert you will find out he’s not able to recognize a carton of Tavernello from a bottle of Amarone.

futurama-fry-meme-generator-not-sure-if-tipsy-or-just-drunk-d0043a3.The Always Tipsy – Hold on: aperitif is not for getting drunk. It is a social occasion, a mean to converse and take a pleasant break after a working day or before a long night. This is why the Always Tipsy type looks particulary ridiculous in this specific context. He\she gets to the bar usually suited up after having worked behind a desk for the whole day, and right after the first sip of prosecco is already giggling like a teenager. This type of person usually starts to lose his\her dignity (i.e. loosened tie, heeled shoes off etc.) at the end of the first drink and becomes actually unbearable at the second one, which usually coincides with a collective “sorry, I need to go home, tomorrow I have to work” pronounced in unison by his mates, leaving the poor guy alone with his (fake) hangover.

4. The Gourmet Guy – Every respectable aperitif offers a good selection of food to99a2c39d89c66b56c651057cfffab1628311b763f002331681b59933b15d47f7 accompany your drink. But bear in mind that the meal you will get during an aperitif in Italy won’t always be as good as you might expect. Italians tend to be aware of this, and although we are traditionally picky about our food, we usually turn a blind eye on the lack of quality of some buffets. This is not always the case though, especially if you live the unpleasant experience of meeting the infamous Gourmet Guy: constantly bitching about the texture of his tartine, the freshness of his caponatina or the real origin of his olive taggiasche, this type is a real nightmare. Just stay away.

Learn Italian in Rome: special offers

whenever-i-get-called-anti-social-for-being-quiet-281925.The Silent One – As we said, aperitif is a mean to socialize. Nevertheless, you will always find a guy who joins your group and doesn’t utter a word for the entire evening. Is he too tired to have a chat? Doesn’t he like your company? Is he dumb? Nobody knows. The only thing you know is the embarassing feeling of sharing your table with the cardboard cutout of a person.

Not in the mood of joining an aperitif after reading this? Well, not all aperitifs are the same. For instance, you can join our  Linguistic Aperitif in Rome @ Kappa Language School, every Tuesday in Trastevere and every first Thursday of the month in Monti, and meet new, international friends while practicing your Italian. And if you’re not in Rome just don’t panic: there’s still the chance to have a radio-aperitif offered by our Italian Language School. Just invite your friends, play one of our podcasts and practice some Italian with us: this will surely save you from the embarassing silence of a struggling conversation…

by Enrico, teacher @ Kappa Language School in Rome

A web-radio for students of Italian

When in Rome… speak as an (ancient) roman would do!

 

 

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Yesterday I came across this old music video from the bavarian pop group Schrott Nach 8. The title speaks for itself: “Zuppa romana”.

This song has been a hit in the 80s, and it is still well remembered in Germany, so that just few years ago the comedian Matze Knop covered it to praise the Italian striker Luca Toni, by that time playing with Bayer Munchen.

Although on a first look this song (and the whole concept behind it) might seem utterly ridiculous and – to some picky listener – even offensive, I’ve always found this childish and stereotyped idea of the Italian Culture somehow romantically naive. I know, the lyrics are stuffed with misspelled words (pepparoni, grappa speziale and so on) if not with complete nonsenses (Beirut e Caracci anyone?), and I know that there is no such thing as zuppa romana in the traditional roman cuisine; I also find hard to believe that a sane Italian would ever eat a carpaccio col formaggio (carpaccio is basically raw meat or fish, comparable tosashimi), nor drink Chianti with scampi (red wine with seafood? do you want to kill me?) or consider Coca Cola as a traditional Italian beverage. Nevertheless the joyful and carefree attitude spreading from both the song and the video always managed to cheer me up.

I really do believe that many Germans who have a genuine interest in Italian Culture tend to see our country as a place where every conversation ends with a heartfelt amore mio, and I find this idea some way comforting.

By Enrico, Italian teacher  in Rome, Kappa Italian Language school

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Why do you study Italian? “because I love Italy!”, “I like art”, “I like Italian movies”, “my girlfriend is Italian, and I’d like to know what she’s muttering on Monday mornings”. But what about studying Italian to understand 20 pages-long menus handed out in Italian restaurants ? Non turistic restaurants seldom have menus translated in English, and you’ll have to make an effort to understand a sweating waiter trying to explain in his poor English a complex dish, its ingredients, its flavour… Well you can always order randomly or accept advices, but you could later find out you just devoured delicious chiken entrails or a spicy dish of bovine intestine…
You’ll later regret you didn’t ask your Italian teacher what a “rigaglie di pollo” is, and how to ask politely for a less bloody meal.
Best you can do, is to enrich your Italian experience with a cooking-language class. This will help you with the language, and more importantly, give you insights on Italian cuisine and the many aspects of Italian culture related to food and its preparation.
If the course encomprises tasting and eating your lesson’s recipe, you’ll probably embrace our cooking belief: back home you’ll point out to your friends that in Rome there’s no such thing as “Spanish steps” (we call it Trinità dei monti) just like there’s no “fettuccine alfredo”, “chicken pasta” or “ veal parmigiana”.
Morevoer, you’ll surprise your expat Italian friends if you cook for them meatballs (JUST meatballs, no spaghetti), a carbonara (with no cream), the simplest “spaghetti al pomodoro” or even “aglio e olio” if on a Friday night your fridge holds only beer.
In fact, many everyday Italian dishes are easy to prepare, they just require proper ingredients and some time and patience. Some might say “love”.
But cooking rules are not engraved on a stone tablet, so let’s not be too strict: you can always add some flavour or spice from your country (chicken or raw eggs are not a spices, mind you), and have your cappuccino anytime you like – even after a fish dinner. I put parmigiano on my tuna spaghetti and have eggs with american coffee for breakfast. But please don’t tell my mamma.

by Federico Mari, teacher in Rome, Kappa Italian Language school

 

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