I’m writing this yesterday, so to speak, as this morning I have business in town, after which we’re off to the coast for a weekend of sun, sea, and hopefully relaxation!
August is pretty dead in Italy, the only dependable thing being the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the ‘autostrade’ (= ‘car roads’, so ‘interstates’ for those of you where a ‘bumper’ is known as a ‘fender’, ‘motorways’ in Britain). Find out more about the history of ‘autostrade’, if you’re so inclined, on the inevitable Wikipedia page (in Italian, of course!)
For instance, why they are called ‘autostrade’/’car roads’. Well, the original idea was that, unlike on Italy’s other thoroughfares, donkeys, homicidal maniacs on bicycles going in the opposite direction, and banner-waving crowds of protestors trying to cause as much disruption as possible, would be discouraged (urinating by the side of the road, however, is commonplace only on ‘autostrade’…) A principle – autos only – which has been faithfully maintained, and almost makes it worth the €7.50 cost to drive from Bologna to Rimini in God-knows how long on a hot Friday in August.
Anyway, hence the necessity to write this yesterday – the earlier we leave on Friday morning, the less likely it is that the 100km to the coast will take double or triple the usual hour or so.
And so, to business! Episode 12 of our FREE 30-part summer series is ready for you to read/listen to, and contains some useful tips on how to deal with uncooperative family members.
I’m thinking maybe the Trump kids might find this handy, or perhaps the British royals…
New around here?
Not to worry – the previous eleven episodes in this series are linked to from our History page, along with last year’s summer series, which is/was also free, on the Romans.
Next year we’ll be doing the Renaissance, by the way (which follows right on from the Middle Ages), then in 2023 from the Risorgimento to WWII (founding of Italy, world war, fascism, another world war), and finally, in 2024, the modern era, so from the end of WWII right up to the beginning of the new millennium!
So there you go. Stick around for another three summers and you’ll have done the whole kit and caboodle, from the mystic origins of ancient Rome right up to Berlusconi, the euro, and so on.
150 or so free episodes, and all in Italian!
A lunedì, allora.