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Monday, April 13, 2009

Tutti pazzi per amore

Continuing the current thread of Italian television, I want to turn you onto a humorous TV show called Tutti pazzi per amore starring Stefania Rocca and Emilio Solfrizzo, who play the characters Laura and Paolo, respectively. Paolo is a widower raising a teenage daughter while Laura has two children, a sixteen year old son and a young daughter, whose husband has left them and gone to America. I like to think of this show as a quasi-Brady Bunch with two families coming together, although more modern and with an Italian bent.

Laura and Paolo eventually come together but must hide their romance since their two older children are schoolmates who dislike each other and other characters from the past and present come together to create interesting dramatic moments and comedic surprises!

The show is billed as a commedia sentimental-femiliare, a sentimental comedy with a family focus. Many of the situations are comical but there are serious moments. It's a well done show, and I think that its difficulty for comprehension is not so high that it is impossible to understand the characters. It's a great way to practice your Italian while learning some new Italian words and phrases, especially from the children in the show.

There are currently 13 episodes of the show which can be watched online at

Friday, April 10, 2009 -- the new Rai Click

Rai Click is no longer and has been supplanted, thankfully, by Rai TV which functions, in my opinion, much better than Rai Click. If you're in Italy, you can watch TV directly through the site, otherwise, for us non-Italians overseas, we'll have to make do with the many programs and specials that can be watched as streaming video through the site. The video playback feature seems to work much better and is less buggy, and I've had no problem watching programs in the morning, afternoon or evening in the US (Eastern Standard Time). You may experience slowdowns during peak periods but nothing like was experienced with Rai Click.

Search for programs or podcasts by searching thematically or by the name of the show (Cerca tematica or Cerca programma, respectively). The buttons for doing this are located in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

The site pulls together podcasts, streaming video and more into one site so that all your favorite programs and podcasts can be listened to (and in some cases, downloaded) onto your own PC, Ipod or other mp3 device. It's better organized, and you'll find using this site a much better experience over Rai Click.

If you've watched a show on it, leave a comment and let us know how it worked.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


My Italian teacher turned me onto an interesting show produced by Rai, Raccontami. I like to describe the show as an Italian version of The Wonder Years, that follows the trials and tribulations of an Italian family during the 1960's! You can watch all the episodes of the show on

The show is based on a similar show produced in Spain that profiles a Spanish family during the years of Franco's dictatorship. The Italian version, of course, focuses on the events of the time in Italy and is a wonderful looking glass at family dynamics during the 60's and their response to things that happens in their own lives as well as their response to changes in Italy - such as the advent of television, wars, terrorism, economic problems, as well as the problems of raising children in a forever changing time.

Like The Wonder Years, the show is narrated by one of the characters of the show who is now grown up and reflecting on the past, in this case, the youngest son, Carletto. The show starts off with Carlino almost plunging to his death as he tries to watch a television in an apartment in another building, but luckily falling into a truckful of wool. The family then buys their own television to the dismay of the show's grandmother, who thinks the new device is a waste of money and time.

Watch episodes of the show on Learn more about the show from its web site.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Parliamo Italiano on Rai!

Beginners and intermediate students will find this program on Rai International, Parliamo Italiano, quite useful. Hosted by Gloria De Antoni e Oreste De Fornari, the program brings together other non-Italian speakers who have learned the language who come on the show and are interviewed.

They also review Italian grammar questions that are answered live on the show along with examples, which are answered by Giuseppe Patota, a noted Italian linguist who has published several useful books on Italian grammar and usage.

The great thing about this show is that the hosts speak slower and more deliberate, and they do their best not to run the words together. If you're looking for a place to practice your Italian listening skills without all the pressure of trying to catch all the words, then this is a good show to practice with. There are dozens of episodes online that you can watch. They also sometimes have actors and other famous Italians appear on the show to illustrate certain points and themes.

The show is a great resource is has been specifically designed for foreign students learning Italian. The aim of the programs is to help you to improve your ability to understand and communicate in Italian! If you've listened to the show, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.

You can watch episodes in two ways:
  1. (do a search for Parliamo Italiano)
  2. Rai International's web site

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March Issue of Il Bollettino Published

The newest issue of Il Bollettino is available: