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La gioia dell’inverno! The joy of winter!


By Melissa Cannavo-Marino as told by Maverick and Darla

Noi sappiamo (noy sah-pea-ah-mo) we know that many people don’t like winter because in many places fa freddo (fa fray-do) it’s cold, c’e neve (chay nay-vay) there is snow or ghiaccio (ghi-ah-cho) ice and it can be difficile (dee-fee-chee-lay) to get around. We don’t mind as much because we love snow! We don’t like la pioggia (la pea-o-ja) the rain o nevischio (oh nay-vee-ski-oh) or sleet.

We had our first snow at our home a few weeks ago and we ran around for a long time, turning our noses up to catch some fiocchi di neve (fee-oh-key d nay-vay) snowflakes and rolling around and down the hill in our yard. We have heard that children and some adults love to sled down snowy hills in the winter, and we wondered what other winter activities people enjoy. So, we did some research with mamma and nonna as our sources and here is what we learned.

When it snows many children love to go outside and build un pupazzo di neve (oon poo-pah-zazo dee nay-vay) a snowman. They roll three different sizes of snowballs with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top and then they decorate. Sulla faccia (sool la fa-cha) on the face they may add two black buttons for eyes, una carota (oon ah cah-ro-tah) and a carrot for the nose. The famous fictional character Frosty the Snowman had a famous song written about him which tells of children placing an old black silk hat on his head to bring him to life.

Mamma told us how she used to love sledding. She and her brother would take their slittino (sli-tea-no) sled and go to the top of a nearby hill and slide all the way down. This sounds like great fun and people do this all over the world where there are hills and snow. 

Nonna told us how she and her friends loved to build fortezze da neve (for-tez-ay da nay-vay) snow forts and tunnels to crawl through. You need a great amount of snow to do this.

Then there is pattinaggio su ghiaccio (pah-tea-na-joe sue ghi-ah-cho) ice skating. You can do this on frozen lakes or ponds, but it is important to make sure the ice is thick enough. A safer choice is a skating rink.

Another big winter activity is andare a sciare (an-dar-a ah she-are-a) to go skiing. This is extremely popular not just here but in Italy. Italians will also toboggan, using an inflated rubber tube to go down the slopes. In Italy they call this la settimana bianca “white week” when many Italians take their winter vacation so that they can go to resorts located in the beautiful mountains like the Alps and the Dolomites. You can even ski on Mount Etna which is an active volcano!

All of this sounds like great fun but for now we’ll just stick to running around outside. Unless we get more snow and convince mamma to pull us on a sled!

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