Olives & Morra
Obelisk Odyssey
Small Shops
Proud Bersagliere
Languages of Italy
Amusement Parks
Italian for Kids
Barista - Beverages
Mysterious Etruscans
Family Dining
Italy Guidebooks
Italian Vacation
Italian Cars
Italian Fashion
Italian Games
Italian Holidays
Money & Measures
Kids In Rome
Meet the Gladiators
Music of Italy
Packing Tips
Pasta for Kids
Italian Puppets
Statues of Florence
Italian Geology
Savor Siena


A Little Italian Goes a Long Way


Dedicated to Fun Family Travel in Italy

in this issue

 Italian on the Internet

 Family and Kid-Friendly Books and Tapes for Learning Italian

 Italy Discovery Journal

 Speaking With Your Hands

 Being Careful

 Summer Reservations


Italians are very friendly to foreigners and they try very hard to understand you. That is one of the delights of traveling in Italy . So do try learn some Italian and use it in speaking with Italians in a friendly way. A great way to start is to tell an Italian how lovely his country is: E molto bella l'Italia - eh mole toe bell lah lee tah lee ah -.

Freely forward this Discover Italy Newsletter in its entirety. At the very bottom of the newsletter you will find a forward link to make it easy. (c) Copyright Kids Europe 2005.

Pat Byrne

Italian on the Internet

Italian mice say squitt squitt. A list of how Italians say animal sounds. Click on the name of the animal that is underlined and a picture will translate. What animal says pio pio?

Speaking of mice, the Italian word for mouse is topo, and the name for Mickey Mouse is Topolino, little mouse. Here is a s ite about Mickey Mouse in Italian.

Here are a number of basic and useful phrases in Italian together with spoken pronunciation.

Pronounce the Italian alphabet. Here is a fun web page to play with, when you click on the letter you see a picture and someone speaks the word. And here is a page that pronounces the numbers in Italian.

Family and Kid-Friendly Books and Tapes for Learning Italian

Italy is one country where every little bit of the language that you can use helps, not only in understanding, but in making friends. The language is phonetic, that is, once you know the sounds letters and letter combinations make, you can usually come pretty close to sounding things out correctly. Unlike English where words like "through" and "would" could sound very odd if you didn't know the strange ways of English. Also, most every letter is pronounced.

Here is a list of books and tapes designed to help families have fun learning Italian.

Italy Discovery Journal

Here is what some customers have just written to me about the Italy Discovery Journal:

"Our girls loved the journal--it was helpful before the trip to give them some ideas of what they might see and things to do, and sparked some lively dinner-time discussions of the impending trip. During the trip, it made time on the Autostrada, on trains, and waiting in restaurants go by much faster. They especially loved the idea of keeping track of all of the kind of transportation we went on, and counting everything up became part of the game. Thanks!" Lisa S.

"Just wanted to tell you our kids, ages almost-15, almost-12, and 7, all enjoyed their Italy Journals on our recent first trip to Italy . We spent most of out time in the hill towns south and east of Siena , with a day in Florence and Rome . All 3 of the kids (2 girls and a boy) were amused by different parts of the journal, and enjoyed informing their parents of interesting facts we would have missed. I read the Journal before we left for Italy , and much of the interesting everyday information in there I found no where else in my EXTENSIVE pre-trip reading! Also, my son enjoyed filling in his Euro coin card--he had all but the smallest coins by the time we arrived back at the airport to come home, and a very helpful cashier at the food area gave him the rest!" Laurie S.

More Customer Testimonials and Photos, too!

Speaking With Your Hands

Italians are famous for their hand signals. They can have whole conversations without opening their mouths.

While you are in Italy, you can make a collection by drawing or describing the hand/body positions and what you think they mean. There is a misconception that Italians only say rude things with their gestures. Not true at all. That said, there are a few rude gestures, so before you make a gesture you aren't sure of in public, save yourself much embarrassment and ask an adult what it means.

I have heard that these universal hand signals developed when all the little countries were joined together in 1860 by King Emmanuele to form what is now Italy . The Italians, who spoke many different dialects, had to fight in the same army. They couldn't understand what each other was saying, but they could all understand the hand/body signs.

Here are some signs from the collection in the Italy Discovery Journal:

  • Cute - close hand and grab your cheek between thumb and pointer and twist back and forth, "piccinia/o." Use this when you see a cute, little child.
  • Crazy - point at side of forehead with pointer and twist, "pazzo/a."
  • Sort of - hand flat in front of you, rock back and forth, "mezz' mezz." Sometimes accompanied by a shrug. You would use this if you thought something was okay but didn't like it a whole lot.
  • What do you want? That's the way it goes. - Shrug shoulders, arms held up, palms up, "che ci vuole."
  • Wow - flat palm towards you, horizontal, chest high, shake hand up and down, "mamma mia."
  • I forgot - flat palm, slap your forehead and then pull hand out a foot, "ho dimenticato."

And here is a web page with some even more hand signs with drawings.

Being Careful

I'm sending many happy families off to Italy this time of year with my vacation rental business Italy Perfect. Many have heard about pickpockets in Italy and ask me for advice. There are pickpockets and thieves that prey on tourists. They are after cash and credit cards, that's all. Just take a few precautions and you will be fine. Here, is what I suggest:

  • Leave your jewels at home.
  • Lighten your wallet, take only the things you need. Visa and Mastercard are the credit cards that are accepted.
  • Keep just a little cash in your wallet or purse.
  • Put the rest in a waist wallet where it will be safe if a little sweaty. Waist wallets are definitely a fashion no-no and you will embarrass your teenagers and your stuff will be safe!
  • Keep your hands on your luggage.
  • Don't keep anything really valuable in your fanny pack or backpack.

We just had a customer lock herself out of her apartment in Florence. She didn't have the phone number to call, so she went to an Internet shop where you can buy time on the internet, accessed her email account where she had her travel documents and voila! So, scan all your travel documents, passports, tickets and credit cards and email them to yourself at an email address you can readily get to.


Vacation Rentals In Italy

Rome Apartments

Piazza Popolo, Rome

Sleeps 4+ 2

4 night minimum

Perfect Family Apt

Apartments in Rome

Comfortable Convenient Apartment in Florence
Ponte Vecchio

Center  of Florence

Sleeps 2+ 2

1 bedroom,  1 bath

1 week minimum

Perfect Value & Location for Small Family

Venice Apartments

Venice, btw Rialto - St Mark's

Sleeps 5

2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bath

Real Noble Palace

Apartment Venice

Rome Apartments, Home in Rome, Roman Homes
Via Veneto


Sleeps 2 + 2

4 night minimum

Convenient Location, Central & Comfortable

Rome apartments

Villa in Tuscany pool, castle
Borgo Bucine

Arezzo, Tuscany

Sleeps 2-7

Magical Castle and 

Vacation Village

Tuscany Villa
Castello Niccolo

near Florence on Chianti Estate 

Sleeps 2 -12

Villas & Apartments

Tuscan Castle & Wine

Rome Apartments, Roman Homes, Home in Rome

Rome, btw Capitoline & Trastevere

Sleeps 2-4

35 Suites

4 night minimum

Neat Neighborhood

Rome apartments, Home in Rome, Roman Homes

Rome Apartments, Roman Homes, Home in Rome
Spagna Apartment 

Spanish Steps, Rome

Sleeps 5

Luxury & Fabulous Terrace

Rome apartments, Home in Rome, Roman Homes