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Italian
for beginners
(part 2)

You don’t have to speak Italian to get ahead in Italy. Because whoever understands these three aspects is already on the right track!

[Cosa fai?] 
A gesture that somehow means everything

Simply press your fingertips together, point them up and hold them under your nose. A gesture that simply connects everyone with Italy. And anyone who has ever ventured into Italian traffic will know: this gesture doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Amore. Rather, it can be interpreted as an indefinite ‘something’s wrong’. But among friends, this gesture is often used very jokingly, almost playfully. And generally used so often that the consequences of this hand movement are usually limited. You could almost say: when used in traffic, it’s like honking but with your fingers. Just quieter.

 

[il cappuccino] 
A small hood

Is it an urban legend or a true story? Warning, spoiler alert: we don’t know exactly. The fact of the matter is, however, that the coffee with its milk foam coat and chocolate cap looks like a Capuchin monk in a brown robe. … at least, if you use a little imagination … It is said that this is how the name cappuccino originated. But it is much more important to know when you can order this choice of coffee – or, better said, when not! It is actually considered a sacrilege to drink a cappuccino after eleven o’clock in the morning in Italy. Background: A cappuccino is a heavy drink that — unlike an espresso — does not stimulate digestion, but rather passes through as a food. Therefore, Italians actually only drink cappuccino with or as breakfast.

[l’aperitivo] 
Opening remedy

It is said that the aperitivo is the best moment of the day for Italians. And anyone who has ever been allowed to inhale the Italian attitude to life knows: That’s probably true! In fact, this ritual stands for more than just a drink before dinner. An aperitivo — usually a light and mostly bitter drink — should not only prepare the stomach for dinner, but also open people up to one another. This is generally understood to mean: aperitivo is derived from the Latin ‘aperire’, which means something along the lines of ‘open’ and is actually borrowed from medical jargon. So, strictly speaking, it has the meaning ‘opening and laxative remedy’. As with any medicine, the dose makes the poison …

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