I’m still in Cornwall, where raindrops are dropping, and the gulls never shut up.
But the pasties are good and the beer is cheap.
We still have ‘fish and chips’ to cross off our holiday ‘to do’ list, and the kids want to go to Falmouth for the charity shops (‘thrift stores’ in US English?) Perhaps we’ll combine the two, but tomorrow, ‘as Daddy has to write his article’.
Monday we head back up the ‘autostrade’ to the airport, north of London, where hopefully, strikes permitting, we’ll be flying back to Bologna.
Monday, though, is a public holiday in Britain, which brings the possibility of more choked roads, so potentially another long, frustrating car journey.
Public holidays always seem to be on Mondays in the UK, why is that?
Italian ‘giorni festivi’ fall on whatever the designated date is (as with Christmas and Easter), which could be a weekend, which kind of sucks.
The British Monday system at least guarantees a long weekend on which to get stuck in traffic.
That said, when Italian public holidays fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, people there will try to take a ‘ponte’ (bridge), so an extra day or days between the weekend and the mid-week day off.
Now that’s what I call a ‘long weekend’! When speaking Italian, by the way, don’t try to translate ‘long weekend’ or ‘holiday weekend’ as no one will know what you’re on about. Use ‘ponte’.
Isn’t that fun, how the same basic idea (much needed time off work or school) is communicated using different words?
Another difference is that Italy also has local public holidays, which is something to watch out for if/when you visit.
Bologna’s is on October 4th, which is, if you ask me, the perfect moment for a day off, though not if it’s a Saturday or Sunday, obviously, in which case it’s a stupid system.
This because it falls mid-way between the end of the summer (boo!) and November 1st, the next national ‘giorno festivo’. Later there’s December 8th, a third stepping stone across the river of tedium that flows between August and Christmas.
On October 4th each year we celebrate San Petronio, bless him, Bologna’s patron saint, beloved of school children and fed-up office workers everywhere within the city limits. Drive up the road to Castel Maggiore, just minutes from my house, and it’s a normal working day, tough luck to them, I say.
By the way, anyone thinking of doing an Italian course actually in Italy, should be aware of public holidays during their stay, and what their chosen Italian school’s policy is.
At our Italian language school, for instance, we’ll discount ‘short’ courses (one or two weeks) for the missed day, but not longer courses, which are already relatively cheaper because of their length.
The longer you stay, the more you learn, but the more chance you have of losing a day to a public holiday. Not that you’d probably mind that if you were here long enough to get into the swing of things. An extra few hours in bed, an unhurried lunch, and a chance to catch up on your conjugations!
But back to Perranporth, where the rain has stopped but black clouds are massing over the hills I see through my bedroom window.
Make the most of the cool weather, we’re telling ourselves! Enjoy the chance to wear long trousers and socks! Appreciate the novelty of sleeping with a duvet! Rather than uncovered, in a puddle of sweat, with the air-conditioning rattling…
Soon we’ll be back to that – though also to decent wine selections in supermarkets, Instagrammable pizza, and fashions in clothing and footwear that go deeper than t-shirts with jokes or slogans on, plus the ubiquitous Nike or Birkenstocks.
But enough chat. You’ll be anxious, I’m sure, to get to the latest episode in our FREE Summer Series on The Renaissance.
Today we’re in Napoli.
It’s 1647, and the locals are revolting (excuse the schoolboy joke).
Against the Spanish, since you ask, though it’s a cautionary tale for the firebrands amongst you.
Maybe better just keep your head down and pay the taxes? Decide for yourself:
(The previous nineteen episodes in this series can be found, along with the entire Summer Series from 2020 and 2021, from our History page.)
Don’t forget this week’s eBook of the Week offer, the B2- (upper-intermediate) level Valeria, Michele e le maschere, which until next Sunday night costs just £3.99, half the usual ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £7.99.
Valeria has been single for months now. She meets men but after going out a few times they seem reluctant to commit, or even return her messages! She wonders whether the dating app, Tinder, might be worth a try?
Michele spends his Saturday evenings alone, playing computer games. If only he wasn’t so shy, he’d meet more people. And then, maybe find a girlfriend? Perhaps the solution is online…
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
If your Italian is better than B2, or if you’ve only recently started learning Italian, browse our online Catalog, to find something more suitable for your level. There are free sample chapters to download for everything.
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