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Italian
for beginners
(part 1)

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

[la sprezzatura] 
It just looks great!

No question about it, we associate one or the other cliché with every country. And when it comes to design, people often think of Italy! There is often talk of “Italian design” around the world. But: what does this term actually mean? This semi-official definition proves how divided even experts are ib the subject: “The Italian design mixes functionality and irony. It is a pleasant, fluid and at the same time complex design full of emotions and suggestions.“ Everything clear? Hardly. Maybe you just have to look at Italian fashion to understand what it means. It’s the feeling of dressing yourself in a casual and elegant way. There is no magic formula for this — which would have been a great help for us — but it does have a term of its own: sprezzatura. According to the official definition, the ability to apply “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

[lo Stelvio] 
Curves in bicycle racing heaven

A few moments at the Giro d’Italia race track are enough to understand one thing: bicycle racing is just as much a part of the Italian people as red wine and espresso. With this knowledge, you can also find out as a racing bike layman that these two tires are tickets to unimagined worlds. You are welcome everywhere, you are flattered and, even without any knowledge of orientation, you are never left behind. As a racing cyclist, you will simply be helped at any time. But: why is that? The matter is quite simple to explain: Many big bicycle racing stars come from Italy – Fausto Coppi, Ivan Basso, Francesco Moser or Marco Pantani, to name just a few. They have always inspired fans and would-be racing cyclists. By the way, the secret behind the multitude of great bicycle racing stars lies in the infinite number of mountain passes that can be found in Italy. Therefore, it’s perfect training terrain. The most spectacular, however, is and will remain the Stelvio, the Stilfser Joch with its unbelievable 46 serpentines.

[la merenda] 
The snack

To outsiders it might look like the people in Italy are always snacking somehow, as if they are constantly eating. Even if this perhaps doesn’t entirely come out of thin air, there is definitely much more to it than you can imagine at first glance. Not least for this reason, this type of snack — especially between lunch and dinner — has its own name in Italy: ‘la merenda’. This probably stems from Latin, from the word ‘merere’, and means Many big bicycle racing stars come from Italy – Gino Bartali, Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain or Marco Pantani, to name just a few. They have always inspired fans and would-be racing cyclists. By the way, the secret behind the multitude of great bicycle racing stars lies in the infinite number of mountain passes that can be found in Italy. Therefore it’s perfect training terrain. The most spectacular, however, is and will remain the Stelvio, the Stilfser Joch with its unbelievable 46 serpentines. ‘earn’. And, in fact, there is a good reason for that, too: Most Italians used to work in the fields or in factories. Therefore, they had to get up early. This meant they were hungry early, too, and thereby earned an early snack. This habit was ultimately anchored in folklore. Today, however, it proves above all that the people of Italy simply know how to enjoy life. And that there are no exact times or special reasons for doing so.

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