All posts by Speak and Eat Italian with me

About Speak and Eat Italian with me

Laura is a native Italian speaker based in Cork since 2003. She trained professionally as a language teacher of French, English and Italian in her native Sicily. She has worked as an Italian and French teacher in Primary and Secondary schools in Cork. She also works as  an English as a second language teacher. She is a fully trained ICT and Modern Language Teaching Tutor, she has also worked as an Assistant Italian Lecturer in the Italian Department in UCC. She is  a freelance translator and interpreter. She is a very experienced Italian Oral and Written Leaving Certificate Examiner.           On a more personal level, she is very passionate about cooking and baking. She learnt her cooking skills from her “mamma” and“nonna”.  Her naturally vivacious personality and pure infectious enthusiasm for good quality food has led her to share her passion for cooking and become a cookery tutor, to host a variety of classes offering mouth –watering dishes and dispense helpful advice. Laura’s no-fuss style of cookery, her easy approach and easy to follow recipes along with her special emphasis on Sicilian cuisine leads to a winning combination…… ....with Laura cooking and learning is  always fun!

Il verbo pronominale “Provarci, Provarci con”

…have you ever come across these verbs before?

 “I verbi pronominali”  can prove challenging at times…because they look unusual (not to mention confusing); also, we are not entirely sure what to do with the pronoun attached to the end of the verb and the exact meaning of it, right?  :/

Let’s see if these few examples can make things easier…

Provare a (fare qualcosa), Provarci


“Tentare, fare la prova, provare qualcosa di nuovo”

as in

“To take a crack at something/doing something”


A: Prova a cucinare qualcosa di speciale per il compleanno di Matteo, sarà contentissimo!
B: Guarda non me ne parlare, Giulia! Ci ho provato l'altro giorno ma è stato un fiasco totale!! Ma ci proverò di nuovo! 


Provarci con qualcuno


“Tentare uno spiccio approccio sessuale con qualcuno”

 as in

“Come on to somebody/make a pass at somebody”

A: Ho incontrato Marco ieri, lo conosci?
B: Non lo conosco molto bene, l'ho solo visto un paio di volte ma mi sembra uno che ci prova con tutte...sì un cascamorto insomma!
A: Beh, effettivamente! Guarda, non mi sorprenderebbe sapere che ci ha provato anche con te che sei sposata!!


NB= In all the “verbi pronominali” the pronoun is placed before the conjugated verb.

Present Simple tense

Io       ci provo 
Tu       ci provi 
Lui/ Lei ci prova
Noi      ci proviamo 
Voi      ci provate 
Loro     ci provano

Happy learning! 😉


 Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura  ché la diritta via era smarrita…

“In the middle of the journey of our life

I found myself astray in a dark wood

where the straight road had been lost…”


These are the opening lines of the Divina Commedia,  the finest work in the Italian language written  in the 14th century by Dante Alighieri  also called “il Sommo Poeta” ie “the Supreme Poet”.

This epic poem is so important that is studied in all the  Italian licei and istituti  (higher secondary schools) irrespective of the stream (science, fine arts, music, human sciences, human sciences and of course linguistic); so every single Italian student has to study it and memorize some of it…Personally, I hated it back then, but thankfully things change in life! 🙂

Dante invented terza rima for the purpose of this epic poem, a rhyme scheme still popular and widespread today. It does a fine job interlocking the 3-line stanzas. The Comedy, as he titled it, doesn’t have one single joke. It’s a comedy in the sense that Dante, the main character, journeys upward from Hell, through Purgatory, to Heaven, and not the other way around. So it has a happy ending and is not a tragedy.

Inferno is the first part of this epic poem . It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin. This video below will tell us more about it.

Purgatorio is the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, except for the last four cantos at which point Beatrice takes over as Dante’s guide. In the poem, Purgatory is depicted as a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of a bottom section (Ante-Purgatory), seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth (associated with the seven deadly sins), and finally the Earthly Paradise at the top. Allegorically, the poem represents the Christian life, and in describing the climb Dante discusses the nature of sin, examples of vice and virtue, as well as moral issues in politics and in the Church. The poem outlines a theory that all sin arises from love – either perverted love directed towards others’ harm, or deficient love, or the disordered love of good things. Let’s hear what Micaela says about it.

Paradiso is the third and final part of Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is an allegory telling of Dante’s journey through Heaven, guided by Beatrice, who symbolises theology. In the poem, Paradise is depicted as a series of concentric spheres surrounding the Earth, consisting of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Fixed Stars, the Primum Mobile and finally, the Empyrean. Allegorically, the poem represents the soul’s ascent to God.