How to get rid of bad luck – Italian practices

Bad luck

One day, you wake up late: your alarm clock didn’t go off. Damn it! You have an exam today! You rush to get your car but you stumble and fall. When you finally get to school, you fail your exam. And, on the way back to your car, a bird decides to poop right on your shoulder.  If you normally experience these situations, congratulations, you are like Donald Duck or Ugo Fantozzi. In short, you are having bad luck – or someone evil-eyed you1 – and you’d better batten down the hatches… Italians usually believe that some things can bring…

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Google translate: is it really so effective?

Since the start of the digital revolution, more than fifty years ago, the quality of machine translation has largely improved, and, nowadays, it is considered by many people a good way to overcome linguistic barriers and to transfer culture easily. Indeed, at times, it happens to hear some people complaining about the prices of human translation and, consequently, deciding to rely on a computer software, like google translate or bing translator, to translate their texts into another language for free. Luckily, in some cases, they manage to discover before publishing, printing or delivering their texts that the quality of such…

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How to deal with the days of the blackbird: coconut biscuits

The days of the blackbird – i giorni della merla – is an Italian expression meaning the coldest days of winter – specifically the 29th, 30th, 31st of January. No one knows exactly the origins of this expression, but there are some folk legends about it. The most famous one is about a female blackbird and her three chicks. The legend tells of how, a very long time ago, all blackbirds were white as snow and, during winter, stayed in their nests, waiting for spring to come. One year, when winter days just seemed to be over, a huge blizzard hit…

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Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy (Part 3)

Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy (Part 3): Coffee

This is the third and last part of the article Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy. If you haven’t read the first two articles yet, you can do it now -> part 1, part 2. DON’T TOUCH THE VEGETABLES, EVER! If you want to grocery shop in Italy, be aware that there is the silent rule don’t touch the fruits and vegetables with your bare hands or just don’t touch them at all. After all, no one wants to eat food that has been touched by hundreds of people, doesn’t it? So, in supermarkets, you can touch the…

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Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy (Part 2)

Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy (Part 2): Queuing

Two weeks ago I talked about four things every tourist should know before visiting Italy. If you haven’t read the article yet, you can do it now -> Twelve things you should know before visiting Italy (part 1). This week I’m gonna add four more tips. PUBLIC RESTROOMS If you want to do an escorted tour to visit Italy’s magnificent works of art and monuments, sooner or later, you’ll probably have no option but to visit public restrooms. Now, due to the large number of tourists, toilet paper runs out pretty soon. To overcome this problem, Italian women bring always with…

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