We’ve come to the last article about the Italian idioms (here the others). And to close, we’re going to say ‘pane al pane e vino al vino’. But what does it mean? And when do Italians use this expression?
Food & drink – bread
‘Dire pane al pane e vino al vino’ is the Italian version of the English idiom ‘call a spade a spade’, and that means talking openly. With the term bread we have many idioms. For example, ‘Non si vive di solo pane’ or ‘rendere pan per focaccia’. The first is the Italian translation of a passage from the Gospel according to Matthew. After forty days of fasting, Jesus pronounced this sentence in response to Satan who tempted him by turning stones into bread. It means that in addition to material nourishment man needs spiritual one too. The second comes from a Latin phrase pronounced by Julius Caesar. Stabbed by the conspirators, he saw among them also Marcus Junius Brutus, his adopted son. And it is therefore used to define ungrateful behaviour.
Food & drink – wine
But even with the term wine we have some sayings. For example, ‘finire a tarallucci e vino’ or ‘levare il vino dai fiaschi’. In the first case we are referring to the peaceful resolution of something. In the second case, we are simply referring to the solution of a problem. So we will say the quarrel between the friends ‘ended up with tarallucci and wine’ when the two friends returned as such after the quarrel. We would prefer to use ‘get the wine out of the flasks’ when we find a definitive solution to the problem.
How to learn these expressions efficiently? Here are Tony’s top five tips. First of all, try to understand the idiom using the context. Secondly, write it down when you find one. Visualize it. And finally, try to use it whenever you can. Read, read, read. Listen, listen, listen and study Italian with Italyamo!
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