Italian is full of linguistic traps. For example, there is the word pene and then there is penne. Pene means penis. Penne is the pasta. So it’s quite possible that, at some point here, I’ve ordered Pene Arrabiata, which translates to, “I’ll have the angry penis.”

There are so many grammar rules and tenses and everything is masculine or feminine—sometimes both (certain words like to swap genders when the mood strikes). Some things you write, but never say; other things you say but never write. One word can mean ten different things.

Also, the spelling/meaning/pronunciation of a word depends on its tense. But then Italians break their rules all the time and use something like this as an excuse, “We say it this way instead because it sounds more musical.” Ah, I see. Esser andata is much more musical than essere andata. Glad I have that non-rule down. Grrr.

Sarah Mikutel