Word of the Day – “Primavera”

La Maestra Maldestra


The uccelli are chirping, the sole is shining, amore is in the air… Signore e signori, today is the first day of spring! 

Just in case you hadn’t guessed, primavera is the Italian word for the season spring.  And after having suffered through an inverno (winter) that brought with it the most snow Italia has seen in decades, Italians (and, well, pretty much everyone else) are really celebrating the arrival of spring today.

Does the arrival of spring inspire you? It certainly inspires me, and I want to share with you how primavera has inspired others.

So, what have Italians over the years had to say about spring? Well, guardiamo un po’ (let’s take a look)!

Famous, famous, famosissimo painter Sandro Botticelli actually named one of his 15th century paintings “Primavera“:

Primavera – Sandro Botticelli

This painting, although I’m sure it inspired many other things, inspired present-day author Marina Fiorato to write her bestselling novel The Botticelli Secret. Check it out. As far as historical fictions go, I think this is one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve read.

Now, fast-forward 500 years from Botticelli’s painting. The runner-up song in the 1981 Festival di San Remo is called “Maledetta Primavera”, which roughly translates as “Damn Spring”. Lovely! To watch a video clip taking you all the way back to the big hair and dramatic makeup of gli anni ’80, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_jHJPhzYiY.

Last but not least, the option you might be most familiar with: pasta primavera – any shape of pasta, usually with a bit of cream and cheese, littered with colourful vegetables. Contrary to popular North American belief, pasta with “primavera” sauce, is not an Italian dish. Just like our old friend Fettucine Alfredo. They’re both North American inventions which you will not find when you go to Italy. I repeat: Will. Not. Find. Don’t ask for them. People will think you’re nuts! However, please feel free to enjoy them on the other side of the Atlantic, as they’re both deliziosi (delicious).

Pasta Primavera – Not Found In Italy

And on that note, I leave you to be inspired by the new season. Paint, write, sing or cook, and let primavera guide you to it!

Buona Primavera! Happy Spring!

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