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Cosa facciamo? Describe what you’re up to with some Italian pizzazz


By Melissa Cannavo Marino
with Maverick and Darla

Summer is here and school is out! Time to decide cosa facciamo (what we are doing). Every day mamma teaches Darla and me some Italian, so we understand her when she speaks in this bella lingua (bel-la leen-gwa) beautiful language. Now we are ready to teach you a few words that are part of the many fun activities that you can enjoy now that the weather is warmer.

If you live near l’oceano (lo chey-ah-no) the ocean you will probably spend some time at la spiaggia (la spee-ah-ja) the beach. In Italy they say andiamo al mare (ahn-d-amo al mar-a) let’s go to the sea when they are going to the beach. In the United States we can swim at beaches along the Pacific and Atlantic oceans or find a swimming site at laghi (lah-gee) lakes and golfi (gol-fee) gulfs. 

In Italy people can choose from four seas which surround the peninsula. The country has more than 4,700 miles of coastline which are along Il Mar Tirreno (eel mar teer-a-no) the Tyrrhenian Sea, il mare Adriatico (eel mar-a ah-dree-ah-tea-ko) the Adriatic Sea, il Mar Ionio (eel mar e-oh-nee-o) the Ionian Sea, and il Mar Ligure (eel mar lee-gor-a) the Ligurian Sea. Of course, some people can just walk outside their home and swim in una piscina (ooh-na pee-she-na) a pool. There are even dei fiumi (day fee yoom me) some rivers where people can swim. Many of these sites have bagnini (bahn-yee-knee) lifeguards to protect swimmers but others do not.

Another great thing to do in the summer is to have una scampagnata (una scam-pan-ya-ta) a picnic outdoors or un barbecue (oon bar-bih-kyoo) a barbecue at home or in a park.

Going to a carnival is also a fun thing to do in the summer. There are a number of carnevali (car-nay val-a) carnivals set up for special days. These offer giostre di carnevale (gee-oh-stray d car-nay-val-a) carnival rides and giochi (gee-oh-key) games. Some favorites are la giostra va in giro (la gee-oh-stra va een jeer-oh) the merry-go-round, la ruota panoramica (la roo-oh-ta pahn-or-ah-me-ka) the ferris wheel and gli autoscontri (yee ow-toe scone-tree) bumper cars and much more.

Families may plan a day or more at parchi divertimento (par-key dee-vair-tea-men-toe) amusement parks which are open year-round. They offer exciting rides for bambini piccoli (bam-be-knee pea-ko-lee) young children, adolescenti (ah-do leh shen-tea) teens and adulti (ah dull-tea) adults.

Summer is also a good time to play outside. Games of calcio (cal-cho) soccer are extremely popular for children across the world, and baseball is also a favorite. Simple games like nascondino (nas-cone-d-no) hide and seek or soffiando bolle (so-fee-ahn-do bowl-lay) blowing bubbles are a relaxing way to pass the time on un giorno soleggiato (oon jor-no sol-a-ja-toe) on a sunny day.

A warm summer day is also a wonderful time to visit a zoo. Here you can watch and learn about different mammiferi (ma-me fair-a) mammals, rettili (reh-teal-a) reptiles, vita marina (vee-ta ma-rina) marine life and insetti (een she-tea) insects. But that is a story for another time! For now, we wish you a summer full of fun and adventure. IAH

The writer of this feature, Melissa Cannavo Marino, is also the host and director of ARA Delco’s Italian-American radio programs. 

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