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Stay Warm and Dream of Beaches

For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, December can be a good time to turn to indoor activities like learning or perfecting a second language. If it’s cold and dark outside, it might be nice to make yourself a nice cup of tea or cioccolata calda (hot chocolate) and view some of the new videos at Yabla!


With all this cold weather, Francesca must be daydreaming about warmer times. She shared with us how wonderful the beach can be in September: 


Oggi ho deciso di passare una giornata diversa dal solito

Today I've decided to spend the day differently from usual

e quindi sono venuta al mare.

and so I've come to the beach.

Captions 1-2, Francesca - sulla spiaggia

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When talking about the beach in general, il mare (“the sea” or “the seaside”) is the right word to use, but once there, or when talking about the quality of the beach itself (sandy, pebbly, crowded, empty, etc.), use la spiaggia (the beach). Francesca explains that she chose to go to the beach in September to avoid "la calca": the summer crowd. 


La calca, in Italia, significa una folla esagerata,

The rabble, in Italy, means an exaggerated crowd,

molta, molta gente, che si può trovare in queste spiagge.

lots and lots of people, that can be found on these beaches.

Captions 36-37, Francesca - sulla spiaggia

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In Italia much of the coastline consists of private beach clubs that provide bars, restaurants, changing rooms, showers, and restrooms. Bagno is used to indicate a beach club or bathing establishment, for example, "Bagno Italia." Fare il bagno (“to go swimming” or “to go in the water”) is one thing you might do there. But be careful; bagno can also mean lavatory! Public (free) beaches (spiaggie libere) exist but tend to be small and hard to find. Francesca is at a typical Italian beach club where it is customary to rent a beach umbrella (ombrellone) and beach chair (sdraio) or cot (lettino). She has to go and pay first alla cassa (at the counter).


Va bene. Allora vado alla cassa. -Sì, sì, la cassa, sì.

Alright. So, I'll go to the counter. -Yes, yes, the counter, yes.

Caption 17, Francesca - sulla spiaggia

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La cassa is used to indicate the place where you pay for something, whether it’s a cash register, ticket window, or checkout counter. 

To inspire your warm weather reverie, and to reinforce your vocabulary on the subject, have a look at these Yabla videos:

Antonio - e il Lido Costa Blu

Antonio takes us to a beautiful seaside resort at Praia a Mare in Calabria on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Adriano - a Mondello

Adriano tells us about the splendid beach at Mondello near Palermo in Sicily.

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