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Italian Made Fun & Simple


In this month’s lesson, we’ll learn about Lent and Easter in Italy while building your Italian vocabulary with food names, greetings and religious words. We start off with the common vocabulary of the Lenten/Pascal season.

Martedi` Grasso — Fat Tuesday

Il Carnevale — Carnival

La Quaresima — Lent

Mercoledi` dei Ceneri — Ash Wednesday

Domenica delle Palme — Palm Sunday

Buona Pasqua — Happy Easter

il coniglietto — bunny rabbit

la crocifissione — Crucifixion

la pace — peace

la Pasquetta — Easter Monday

la primavera — spring

la resurrezione — Resurrection

la settimana santa — Holy Week

l’Ultima Cena — Last Supper

le uova — eggs

Venerdì Santo — Holy Friday

Easter dishes include carciofi fritti (fried artichokes), a main course of either capretto o agnellino al forno (roasted goat or baby lamb) or capretto cacio e uova (kid stewed with cheese, peas, and eggs), and carciofi e patate soffritti, a delicious vegetable side dish of sautéed artichokes with baby potatoes.

When it comes to le uova di Pasqua, some producers distinguish between chocolate eggs for children (sales numbers are a closely guarded secret, but the market for these standard quality eggs is said to be shrinking with Italy’s birthrate) and expensive “adult” versions. All except the tiniest eggs contain a surprise. Grownups often find their eggs contain little silver picture frames or gold–dipped costume jewelry. The very best eggs are handmade by artisans of chocolate, who offer the service of inserting a surprise supplied by the purchaser. Car keys, engagement rings, and watches are some of the high-end gifts that have been tucked into Italian chocolate eggs in Italy. 

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