Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adverb sottobanco, which means under the table.

When something is done under the table, it typically refers to something that is illegal or quasi-illegal.

See the adverb used below:

Marco mi ha pagato sottobanco per evitare la burocrazia e le tasse quando un mese fa mi ha “assunto”.

Marco paid me under the table to avoid the bureaucracy and taxes when he “hired” me a month ago.


i dazi

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun i dazi (singular: il dazio), which means tariffs. This word has been flying around in the news lately the announcement that the United States might impose tariffs on a number of imports.

Don’t confuse the word la tariffa with tariffsUna tariffa is a rate or a fee.

See the noun used below:

L’Unione Europea ha promesso di reagire con i propri dazi sui jeans e sul whiskey se gli Stati Uniti decidono di mettere i dazi sulle automobili europee.

The European Union promised to retaliate with their own tariffs on jeans and whiskey if the United States decides to impose tariffs on European cars.

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la tormenta

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun la tormenta, which means snowstorm or blizzard. See the noun used below in its context:

Gli alpinisti hanno dovuto passare la notte al rifugio di montagna perché una violenta tormenta di neve li ha bloccati impedendogli di tornare a valle.

The mountain climbers had to spend the night at the mountain refuge because a violent snowstorm stopped them, preventing them from returning to the valley.

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Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adverb cioè, which means namely, I/you/etc. meanthat is to say or or rather. You will hear this a lot in Italy – some Italians complain that it is a bit overused. See it used below:

Ti chiedo di essere un po’ più dinamico, cioè non è possibile che passi le tue giornate sdraiato a letto: sei giovane, datti da fare!

I am asking you to be a bit more dynamic, I mean I can’t believe you can spend your days lying in bed: you’re young, get a move on!



Ciao a tutti! This week’s theme will focus on that ever present summer pest: the mosquito! In Italian, they are called le zanzare, and they are a common problem in Italy. While you probably will not notice them in most larger cities, places like Venice with their abundance of water are breeding grounds for the pests. Perhaps you are staying in a hotel, and the mosquitoes are creating a problem for you? You need to be able to communicate this to the staff, so hopefully these words will be useful!

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb pizzicare, which means to bite when talking about insects. See the verb used below:

Amo l’estate ma, appena esco a fare qualcosa, le zanzare mi pizzicano ovunque: non sopporto il prurito che segue le punture.


I love the summer, but as soon as I go outside to do something, the mosquitoes bite me everywhere: I can’t stand the itching that comes after the bites.



Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb candidarsi, which means to run for a political officeSee the verb used below:

Molti non sostenevano l’esponente di quel partito quando decise di candidarsi per diventare governatore dello Stato: invece, col tempo, si è dimostrato un valido politico e il suo consenso è cresciuto molto.

Many didn’t support the representative of that party when he decided to run to become the State governor: instead, with time, he has shown himself to be a capable politician, and his approval rating has grown a lot.


andare alle urne

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression andare alle urne, which means to go to the polls or to go to the ballot box.

This expression has its roots in Ancient Greece in Rome where voters would drop shard of pottery in an urn to indicate their voting preference.

See the expression used below:


Questa settimana i cittadini andranno alle urne per votare il proprio sindaco. Sarà una sfida fra il sindaco uscente e sua nipote, appartenente al partito avversario. Chi vincerà?

This week voters will head to the polls to vote for their mayor. It will be a contest between the outgoing mayor and his niece, a member of the rival party. Who will win?

[audio:|titles=andare alle urne]
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