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The Weather in Italian

For a general assessment of the weather, Italians use the multipurpose verb fare (‘to do’ or ‘to make’) in the third person singular, which you’ll remember is fa. In English, the verb ‘to be’ is used to refer to what the weather actually is outside. Instead, Italians speak of what the weather is doing or making. It’s very important to think in Italian if we want to talk about the weather in Italian. Remember that the reference to “it” in the Italian sentence will be left out, as usual. Below are some examples of how this works, with the correct English ...

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Realty in the age of COVID-19

With the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing as Fra Noi goes to press, business has been affected in unprecedented ways. It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the real estate industry during normal times, let alone at times such as these. Here’s what we do know. Real estate sales has been deemed an essential business by the governor during the lockdown, so realty can and is being bought and sold. Mortgage applications were booming toward the beginning of March after the interest rate cut, but the lockdown put a damper on subsequent sales. Buyers and sellers have legitimate ...

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Musical adventure

by Addison Teng In November 2019, Music Institute of Chicago violin and chamber music faculty member Addison Teng took three of his students — Maia Law (age 17, Glencoe), Aria Messina (age 16, Chicago) and Kodai Speich (age 16, Rockford) — on a 10-day trip to San Marino and Italy. The trip was hosted by Istituto Musicale Sammarinese in San Marino; Conservatorio Bruno Maderna in Cesena, Italy; and Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “Pietro Mascagni” in Livorno, Italy. The Music Institute students performed alongside local students and took masterclasses from conservatory professors. The mission of this residency was to promote ...

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Finding joy

Joy can seem as hard to come by nowadays as hand sanitizer, but at least there’s good news when it comes to joy. You don’t have to wait for a restock at Target. The supply is limitless if you know where to look. If you’re lucky enough to be sheltering in place with someone you care about, you can begin your quest with a great big hug. Studies show that an embrace of 20 seconds or more releases a flood of hormones that elevate your mood and promote relaxation and happiness. There have been hugs aplenty at our house since ...

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Random Roseland memories

Throughout the more than 10 years I’ve been writing Petals from Roseland, I’ve been told many stories. I’ve also conducted many interviews with friends, family members and readers. These have yielded a treasure trove of random snippets, some of which I’d like to share with you now. The Pullman Tech All Class Reunion back on Oct, 14, 2016, was a special event for me because I finally got to meet accordion and keyboard player Frank Rossi in person. He, Michael Vittori and Bruce Meyer have been entertaining Roselandites for years but this was my first face-to-face encounter. We’ve been buddies ...

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Good vibes from Italy

We hope you enjoy these uplifting glimpses into Italy’s indomitable spirit. If you have a favorite video clip of your own, send it to info@franoi.com and we’ll post it next month. For more, follow us on Facebook. ARRANGIARSI — What would you do if you were under quarantine in Sicily and you and your twin brother both played the violin? VA PENSIERO — Italy’s legendary Frecce Tricolori send spirits soaring during a stirring aerial display. LUNGA DISTANZA — Talk about social distancing! A pair of Italian tennis players rewrite the rules of engagement. CENT’ANNI! — Nothing can keep Italians from ...

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The many uses of “Passare”

The Italian verb passare means “to pass,” as in “to pass through,” “pass by,” “pass time,” or “spend time.” This verb is used in many ways in Italian! We use the verb “to pass” or “passed” less often in informal English, often defaulting to more general English verbs like, “get/gone,” “put” or “spend/spent” when we really mean “pass” or “passed.” But in Italian, it is important to be more specific and use the verb passare if you want to sound like a native when describing situations that have come to pass! 1. Use passare when you will “pick up” or ...

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Staging your home for sale

When it comes to selling your home nowadays, it’s all about staging. When buyers are looking for a home, they want to see something clean and simple. They want to be able to imagine themselves living there, and that’s hard to do when all they can see is someone’s else’s home. You want the buyer to be able to picture it as their own. Most buyers shop for homes online these days, and the most important part of online shopping is the pictures. If the home isn’t eye-catching in the photos, the buyer is a lot less likely to want ...

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For love of la bella lingua

Five-time Oscar winner Federico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” As a world-renowned film director, Fellini captured many aspects of life through his lens, immersing us in various cultures. Fellini believed that exposure to different languages forces us to see the world from the perspective of the people who speak those languages and the cultures in which they live. I am proud to have been named the ente gestore (president) of Italidea-Midwest as of January 2020. Italidea-Midwest is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to teaching students the Italian language as well as the traditions ...

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The fight of our lives

We are stronger together than apart. There is no greater testament to that fact than the multiethnic coalition that has rallied to reverse the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The removal of Columbus Day is not just about Italian Americans. On the evening of Feb. 26, while most of us were welcoming home our children from school or sharing dinner with family or friends, the Chicago Board of Education usurped Columbus Day. Poof. It was gone faster than your Nonno could pinch your cheek and let go. And why? Because the community ...

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