“Fare due o quattro chiacchiere” is an Italian expression that means “let’s have a little chit chat”. I love the phrase because after all, I love to talk! I especially love to converse in Italian. The expression “chiacchierare” can also mean to share a bit of gossip / fare pettogolezzi. The word CHI-AC-CHI-ERE by itself is just so much fun to pronounce and when you annunciate each of its luscious vowels and crackly consonants it almost sounds as if you are munching on a crusty little pastery / un dolce croccante. The onomatopoeic qualities / qualità onomatopeici of the word are not lost on the clever Italians / italiani intelligenti and it is what they commonly call the crunchy little deep fried pastries, sprinkled with powdered sugar, that they make for Carnevale. However, true to their fiercely independent regional natures / campanilismo the Italians never seem to be able to agree any one thing, and so it is with this popular dolce / sweet; in Mantova they are called “lattughe”/ lettuce, in Piemonte & Ligura they are called “bugie” / lies, in Toscana “cenci” / rags and in Venice, Verona and Padua they are called “Galani” / flakes.
Navigating the Italian language one encounters all kinds of fun surprises such as the many nuances of the word chiacchiere. To fully comprehend these delightful Italian words and phrases, what better way than to immerse yourself in the language in Italy! With this in mind, I invite you to come along with me and my associate Diego Cattaneo, the director of Venice Italian school, to study for ten days in April (4/7-4/17) and practice the language with us / fare quattro chiacchere con noi. The 2013 “Studentessa Matta Venice Language & Cultural Tour” is a custom designed experience which will give each participant a unique opportunity to explore the city, its art & architecture with experienced teachers and guides. We will stay on Giudecca Island at the “il Redentore”, a lovely and recently renovated monastery. The tour is ideal for both beginners who want to embark on learning Italian while exploring the charms of Venice, as well as for advanced language learners who want to deepen their understanding of the language and polish their conversation skills. Mornings will be spent in a relaxed class room environment and during the afternoons we will move out into the piazzas and callas of Venice to participate in a new cultural activity, while continuing to practice our language skills. We will be cooking, tasting wine, learning to row a gondola, glass blowing and participating in treasure hunts. We encourage both singles and couples of all ages to join us. For more information please see details on the Studentessa Matta blog and on the Venice Italian School site.