News, Updates, and Apologies


I apologize for the lack of posts, but I had a lot of exams to grade this semester (as well as finishing my own exams and papers), and I also had an important research project to finish for a conference as well as a multitude of other commitments. Posts should resume more regularly now that the semester has ended.

Piccole Guide Update

  1. Volume 3 of our Piccole Guide series is almost done! It is a language guide on important Italian verbs all users should now when learning Italian, key grammar tips, and other important aspects of Italian verbs.

    I just have to finish the appendix, and it will be available to all subscribers electronically. As the date gets closer, I will send out another email.

    Volumes 4 and 5 should also be ready this summer, too! Volume 6 will be completed (I hope) after Christmas and early 2019 if not sooner!

  2. Volume 1 of our Piccole Guide series on Italian Prepositions has been re-issued in “black and white” for those of you who requested a more economical paperback version of the language guide.

    The black and white versions of the remaining Piccole Guide will have the same titles but will not be published as a series (they will not be numbered), and all the black-and-white versions will be printed with covers featuring important places/sites from Firenze to distinguish them from the regular language series. Volume 1 is on Italian Prepositions, and you can get a copy in black-and-white for $4.79 (excluding shipping and sales tax, if applicable) from Copies will also be available for sale on Amazon, B&N, and other booksellers once the book is added to their respective online catalogs.

  3. Lastly, I just want to remind readers and visitors to the site that I am currently in a PhD program, and it requires a considerable amount of my time and energy. I just finished my second year, and I will be starting my third year in the Fall. I am still working on an effective workflow to keep the site up and running, but I am finding it to be a challenge. I hope to be able to automate some aspects of the web site this summer, time permitting!

il rincaro

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun il rincaro, which means increase or rise. See the noun used below:

Ogni anno vediamo un rincaro dei prezzi di qualsiasi prodotto. Per i giovani italiani è davvero difficile vivere e mantenersi da soli, visto che al rincaro dei prezzi non sempre corrisponde un aumento degli stipendi.

Every year we see an increase in the prices of common products. For young Italians it is really difficult to live and earn a living, since an increase in the prices does not always correspond to an increase in wages.

[audio:|titles=il rincaro]


Parola del Giorno is the verb, accartocciare, which means to crumple (somethingup. See the verb used below in its context:

Ho provato a scrivere molte lettere ma nessuna mi piaceva: dopo tre righe mi innervosivo e accartocciavo il foglio buttandolo sotto la scrivania.

I tried to write many letters, but I didn’t like any: after three lines, I was getting irritated and was crumpling the paper up, throwing it under the desk.


rompere le scatole

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression rompere le scatole, which means to get on someone’s nerves or to bother someone.

See the expression used below:

La smettete di rompere le scatole al cane, per favore? Lasciatelo dormire!

Can you stop bothering the dog, please? Let him sleep!

[audio:|titles=rompere le scatole]

Quando il gatto non c’è, i topi ballano

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression Quando il gatto non c’è, i topi ballano, which means When the cats away, the mice will play. The expression literally means When the cat isn’t here, the mice will dance.

L’altro giorno la maestra non si è presentata a scuola e i bambini hanno festeggiato la sua assenza giocando con tanta euforia da rompere una sedia. È proprio vero il detto: quando il gatto non c’è, i topi ballano!

The other day the teacher didn’t show up to school, and the children celebrated her absence with a lot of exhilaration that could break a chair. The saying is really true: when the cat is away, the mice will play!

[audio:è-i-topi-ball.mp3|titles=Quando il gatto non c’è, i topi ballano]


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the pronominal verb avercela (con qualcuno), which means to have it in for someone or to be angry with someone.

This is a common pronominal verb that you will hear often in Italian, and you will often hear it used.

Mia moglie non mi parla da due giorni. Ce l’ha con me perché le avevo detto che sabato l’avrei aiutata a pulire tutta la casa e invece sono andato a giocare a calcio con i miei amici. Non so come farmi perdonare!

My wife has not speaking to me for two days. She is angry with me because I had told her that on Saturday I would have helped her clean the whole house, and, instead, I went to play soccer with my friend. I don’t know how to get her to forgive me!


andare a colpo sicuro

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression andare a colpo sicuro, which has a variety of meanings depending on the context. The expression a colpo sicuro means without hesitation or without uncertainty. In some contexts, it can mean to not go wrong (as seen in our example below) or to be dead certain about something.

See the expression used below:

Se per San Valentino vuoi fare un bel regalo alla tua ragazza, regalale quel viaggio a Praga che lei desidera da tanto tempo. Andrai a colpo sicuro!

If you want to give a great gift to your girlfriend for Saint Valentine’s Day, give her that trip to Prague she has wanted for a while. You can’t go wrong!

[audio:|titles=andare a colpo sicuro]
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