Proverbi Abruzzesi – 2 – Weather


In keeping with the kind of day I’ve had in lovely, wintery-for-once Abruzzo, this week’s proverb is going to be about the weather. But not the one pictured.

Passo Lanciano - Mammarosa

Passo Lanciano – Mammarosa

Our Maiella mountain does look like that sometimes, and I can highly recommend taking a trip up there for some downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sledging, snowmobiling, ski-mountaineering, or wait for it, even ice-running (which I discovered in Abruzzo).  Oh, and you don’t have to be sporty to enjoy it, you can even just spend a few hours in front of the log fire in the ski chalet, with a hot chocolate – rum punch – red wine – coffee (delete as appropriate) in hand, chatting to the wee old man from the soccorso alpino  who I don’t think actually does much Alpine life-saving, more like chin-wagging and grappa-supping. But he’s happy to fill the wait for your polenta, sausages, pasta or arrosticini lamb skewers with action-packed stories of life on the wrong side of snowdrifts, avalanches, blizzards, blackouts… you name it, he’s been through it.

Well, back to my stories about the weather. If you clicked the ice-run link, you’ll already know that today’s weather in Abruzzo didn’t let visitors see it at its very best, in fact, it didn’t let us see very much at all. If you didn’t click through, then maybe this next picture will give you a rough idea:

passo lanciano

Misty Mammarosa

So here goes, what have the Abruzzesi got to say about the weather?

Local dialect: L’acque che ‘nn’á piòvete, ‘ncièle sta.

Italian: L’acqua che non e’ piovuta, in cielo sta.

EN translation: The water that hasn’t come down in rain is still up in the sky.

Meaning: Everything that was supposed to happen but hasn’t , will definitely still happen. 

There was definitely nothing left in those clouds today, if my eyebrow icicles and frozen hair were anything to go by.

It was all such a big change from the hot and not-so-Wintery scirocco winds blasting in from the Sahara last week, pushing the temperature up and all of us into an early Spring (my cat included, poor wee thing, tricked into thinking it was mating season already). Oh, and that’s degrees centigrade by the way.

Temperature in my car this week

Temperature in my car this week

In his book Proverbi Abruzzesi, author Peppino Di Battista includes a lot of weather warnings from the village of Archi, and I’ve picked a couple about what can happen when Mother Nature gets her seasons mixed up.

Local dialect: Arbine de vèrne lu cifre se lu ‘mbèrne.

Italian: Scirocco che tira d’inverno e’ come Lucifero dell’inferno.

EN translation: When the Sirocco wind blows in the winter, it’s like the devil from Hell. 

Meaning: A warm wind in the winter causes all sorts of trouble. 

Hmm, I wonder what kind of trouble….maybe something like this:

Local dialect: Quando arrive le prime róse, chi se ‘impégne e chi se spóse. 

Italian: Quando arrivano le prime rose, chi si impegna e chi si sposa.

EN translation: When the first roses appear, people get together or get married. 

Meaning: Young people generally get married or get engaged in Spring.

The first flowers are definitely starting to bud, spring may very well be sprung, the grass has (almost) ris, and we’re wondering where the birdies is,  it’s been the hottest winter on record. We’ve hardly had the puffa jackets out at all!

spring has sprung

2 responses »

  1. I love the dialects in Abruzzo. Although I can understand only a little dialect I get the distinct impression they lose a lot of meaning even when translated into Italian (this is not a comment on who translated them obviously).

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