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How many times have you tried to sing one of the most pupular Italian song  Nel Blu dipinto di blu, better known as Volare, cantare?

Every time you listen to it, it sounds so fresh and modern, but it is about 60 years old! Domenico Modugno (a singer originally from the region of Apulia) sang for the first time at Sanremo Festival in 1957, and he won.

Since then, the song was immediately sung by all the Italians and they felt proud of their identity. Sanremo Festival is still an important festival for Italian pop music, last week in its 67º edition, so old but still keeping its charm and prestige. That is a big show which divide the Italians’ points of view. Many Italians hate Sanremo because they consider it as a senseless show with commercial music, and it does not represent at its best the Italian beauty of the traditional Bel Canto.

On the other hand, many other Italians are in love with Sanremo Festival, with the artists and their style,all the gossips beyond the show, the special guests, the lyrics, the live music by a professional orchestra.

The melody of the Italian language and its endless charm is part of the Italian DNA.  The song “Nel blu, dipinto di blu” by Domenico Modugno, deals with a romantic dream… Flying and singing, he flies up happily to the blue sky and when it is already day all his dreams are taken away by the moon. But he keeps on dreaming in the blue eyes of his woman, as blue as a blue starry sky and her voice sounds as sweet as a melody:

Volare… oh, oh!…
Cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!
Nel blu, dipinto di blu,
felice di stare quaggiù.
E continuo a volare felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più su,
mentre il mondo pian piano scompare negli occhi tuoi blu,
la tua voce è una musica dolce che suona per me…”

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 The lyrics of this song are a perfect text for a good reading and practise your pronunciation thanks to all the ending Italian vowels: A-O-U-E-I!

Let’s sing then..

Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai più;
mi dipingevo le mani e la faccia di blu,
poi d’improvviso venivo dal vento rapito
e incominciavo a volare nel cielo infinito…

Volare… oh, oh!…
Cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!
Nel blu, dipinto di blu,
felice di stare lassù.

Volareoh, oh!…
Cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!
Nel blu, dipinto di blu,
felice di stare lassù.

by Michela, teacher and director @ L’Acanto.it

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Puglia coast to coast

Study Italian in Mesagne, Puglia

Frisa on my mind

Ten things to do in Puglia

Learn Italian with songs

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Here in Mesagne, Puglia we had a hot and good summer enjoying our friends, students from over the world and the Italian good food and a lot of local Apulian festivals and folklore.

When in summer you decide to visit Puglia (Apulia), have a chance to tour the interesting sites by trying and tasting the different Italian caffè & gelati in each place. That is such a helpful and smart idea in order to overcome the heat: discover and taste all the different and yummy coffees served in Puglia.

Le_colonne_della_Via_Appia_a_Brindisi

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On your arrival have the first caffè freddo con ghiaccio (single espresso with ice): in Brindisi, facing the lovely view of the ancient Roman port with the Roman column marking the end of the ancient Appian way.

italian gelati

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Then start driving up to the hill, and stop in Ostuni, having first gelato nocciola e pistacchio and then a good espressino freddo (macchiato with one cube of ice) and pretend to be a Pugliese, sitting in the square and people watching.

 

 

granita caffe

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With the right energy, you will be ready to join the Apulian  inland and wondering in the fantastic hilly countryside with its red lands, vineyards, olive groves and magic trulli. Suddenly you will end up in the picturesque and authentic town of Cisternino near Alberobello and already at the bar in piazza asking granita di caffè con panna (coffee slushy with fresh whipped cream), to be tasted walking along  the white streets in the peaceful and amazing historic centre.

Once finished your granita it is time to visit the gentle and elegant Martina Franca, in the lovely Valle d`Itria and ask the handsome barista:”Un caffè shakerato per favore!”( freshly made espresso with a bit of sugar, and lots of ice)

And why not, a second gelato con mandorla e torroncino,  great flavours!

You might think that you had all the kind of coffees, but you are wrong… the new day will start with one more good flavour in Lecce: caffè con latte di mandorla ( coffee with almond milk)…

lecce duomo

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Last but not least, you will be sipping and having your caffè in Lecce, facing the Cathedral, part of a magnificent wide square of baroque buildings where the setting is spectacular. The interior is based on the Latin cross and was completed in 1659.

 

 Let’s recap…

 In Italy at the bar (cafè) you can say: Prendo/Per me/ Vorrei…..con ….( Can I have/ For me/ I would like….with….)

caffè espresso> single espresso

espressino> macchiato

caffè shakeratofreshly made espresso with a bit of sugar, and lots of ice

caffè con latte di mandorla> freshly made espresso with ice and almond milk

latte freddo/caldo> cold/hot milk

Don’t forget: During your Italian holiday when you ask for a “latte”  you get plain milk, or worse yet, steamed milk but the term as used in English is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk, shortened form of the Italian caffè latte or caffellatte, which means “milk coffee”. For example:” Per me un caffè latte con un cornetto vuoto per favore!”( For me a latte with a butter croissant please)

Buon viaggio e buon caffè!

by Michela, teacher @ lacanto.it, Puglia

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Puglia coast to coast

Study Italian in Mesagne, Puglia

Frisa on my mind

Lesson 1 for beginners: Italian alphabet, numbers and more 

Basic Italian phrases: how to introduce yourself

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Learning a new language is always a good challenge to fix a different pronunciation and phonetics. Very often some sounds are really difficult to repeat in order to produce the right native sounds.Sometimes it takes so much time to practice and you never feel confident and enough brave to start a conversation because of those awful sounds.

Dealing with the Italian pronunciation: ci; ce; lo; gli; gu… and all the vowels like a o u e i? Try to repeat the following words:Cisternino; Ceglie Messapica; Torre Guaceto; Locorotondo… what do they mean? Nothing, they identify just four lovely Apulian places. The theory is to learn by experience, and just follow us in our itinerary, it will probably help you to push and pronounce those names in the proper way.

Let´s start our pronunciation lecture: listen and repeat: Ci-ster-ni-no.

You will experience the sounds on the spot and discover that it is a picturesque southern town. Cisternino is so real and genuine, white houses, cobbled streets, small ‘piazze’. But more interesting is the fact that here you can eat such a good meat … more words to pronounce: ‘car-ne’ (meat and not cane> dog) and ‘fornello pronto’ (“ready macelleriaoven”), two common things in this place because they refer to the local butchers (macellerie) where people can select the meat they like and the butcher will grill it and serve it in front of them.

 

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Again, listen and repeat: Ce-glie Mes-sa-pi-ca.

Ceglie Messapica is an interesting place to pronounce and visit, 20 minutes by car from Cisternino. It is a fantastic town, also well known for its great local trattorias and restaurants run by starred chefs. Also here you can taste a lovely coffee which is roasted by a family running factory. Once in the town, you can start wondering in the lovely centro storico, visit the castle and enjoy the ‘piazza’ where all the locals gather together for un caffè or un aperitivo. Great spot for your ‘people watching’.

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More phonetic exercise: Lo-co-ro-ton-do, five /O/…Oh! Locorotondo: have a very open and prominent mouth towards the front and start repeating it. The “O vowel town” is a third inland local place close to the others. As soon as you cross the old gate, you will  get lost in the Baroque historic centre. Start looking around you at the decorated balconies and grapevines climbing up to the old palaces. Everything  looks timeless, except the municipal clock on the top of an old building.

Final exercise, listen and repeat: Tor-re Gua-ce-to. Uhi…tough double /R/  /gua/ /ce/… keep on trying. Torre Guaceto is not far from the previous places, here you are already by the  beach, surrounded by a wild and scented Mediterranean nature, dunes, beach and blue sea… start cooling down and absorb all the sounds around you…!

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lacanto.it

 

Buon- viag-gio!

by Michela, teacher @ L’Acanto.it

Read more

Puglia coast to coast

Study Italian in Mesagne, Puglia

Frisa on my mind

 

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