Alexandra Lawrence is the former Managing Editor of The Florentine and the current Editor-at-Large. She and her Florentine beau bring the local dialect to life with the regular column, Florentinisms. After an exciting 800-hour journey, Alexandra became a licensed guide for the city and province of Florence. She adds this title to numerous others she has collected over the last 14 years of living in Italy, including lecturer, editor and mamma. You can read her 140-character musings on Twitter @ItalyAlexandra and reach her at email@example.com
In 1455, Isidero del Sera was elected to lead the community of Vallombrosan monks at the 11th-century Badia di Passignano, near Florence. Intent on continuing the renovation begun by his predecessors, in 1476, del Sera, a native Florentine accustomed to refined style, commissioned Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio to decorate the refectory wall with a Last […]
Porpo: Octopus (‘polpo’ in standard Italian).
Example: ‘Che s’ha preparare un po’ di porpo pe’ antipasto?’ (‘Should we make a little octopus for an antipasto?’)
Un gni parea ivvero: He could not believe it.
Tronata, Va' ia, Covaccino
Your in-progress dictionary of the Florentine dialect
by Francesco Stefanelli + Alexandra Lawrence
Tronata: A hard fall.
Example: ‘Maremma, che tronata ho battuto con la bicicletta!’ (‘Damn, I took a hard fall on my bike!’)
Volata: Fit of rage or anger. To freak out.
Example: ‘Se un tu la smetti di fare confusione piglio una volata di quelle che tu te ne ricordi!’ (‘If you don’t stop messing around I am going to freak out so bad that you&
Buzzurri: Name for the Swiss citizens who would go south into Italy during the winter to sell polenta and roasted chestnuts
Stonfo: A loud bang
Example: ‘Maremma, che stonfo hanno picchiato quelle du’ macchine!’ (‘Damn, what a loud bang those cars made when they
Ceppo: In Italian, a ceppo is a tree stump or a log, but in Florence it was once something much more meaningful. Of ancient origin, the tradition was to take a thick trunk of wood that had been cut down shortly before the holiday and burn it in the
When evening has come, I return to my house and go into my study. At the door I take off my clothes of the day, covered with mud and mire, and I put on my regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of
Betty Soldi’s mother was sure of one thing: her little girls were not going into the family business of making fireworks. Not just any old family company, the Pirotecnica Soldi had been producing handmade fireworks since 1869, even the display for the Scoppio del Carro, Florence’s
Appestato: Intensifier used to indicate something that is highly exaggerated
Example: ‘L’arrosto un si mangia, lè salato appestato!’
(‘The roast is inedible; it is salted to the gills!’)
Example: ‘O nìni, vo&
Example: ‘Che te la se’ messa la cinta? Tu perdi i calzoni!’
(‘Did you put on your belt? Your pants are falling down!’)
Example: ‘Allora, spegni l’aradio, un si dorme!’
(‘Oh, turn off the