A Copywriting Italophile 🇮🇹
Irish by family and home, Welsh by birth. Yet, a third country has had a big influence throughout my life. A healthy interest or an obsession? You be the judge!
The quote I translated (see last week’s post) was by Laura Pausini, one of my favourite singers. Last year she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category. A Grammy award winner, she has sold over 75 million records without ever really breaking into the English-language market. Evidence that the road to success has many paths. And that there is a world outside the Anglosphere when it comes to music!
Which kind of leads me sweetly into talking about my Italophilia. Anyone who knows me would say I have an obsession with the boot-like country in Southern Europe. I prefer to say it’s a healthy interest, just one which takes up a lot of my time!
As a child, whenever we went for a meal as a family, it was always to an Italian restaurant. It’s not there now, but the first one I ever remember eating in was Pizzeria Italia on the corner of Blackfriars Street and Deansgate in Manchester. To be honest, my parents were so fond of the place, I was probably too small to even remember my initial visit. I think it pre-destined me to a love of all things Italian.
I was one of those kids who tried literally everything. Everytime I went, I chose a different dish. I was little more than a baby when I first gave spaghetti alle vongole (pasta with clams) a go. I loved it. What made it even more memorable was the fun I had with waiters correcting my nascent linguistic skills. I’d love to see them again and show them how much I’ve come on given I’ve been speaking Italian fluently for the past 15 years. It’s doubtful they’d remember me, of course, but I’d be willing to give it a go for old time’s sake.
Nowadays my passion for all things Italian extends to almost every area of my life. Coffee is extremely important to me, and it has to be that short, black, intense kind known as espresso (see my homepage). Movies based in Italy are a keen interest, particularly anything involving Roberto Benigni. He’s kind of an Italian version of Rowan Atkinson, only his body movements and expressions are even more elastic. Antonello Venditti, the aforementioned Laura Pausini, Ligabue and Zucchero Fornaciari are my favourite musicians. Even my favourite city is Bergamo. Seriously, if you’re ever in the northern part of the country, head there. You’ll not be disappointed.
All that said, it’s paining me a little to write about Italy this week. My favourite football (soccer) team, Inter (long story why), lost il derby della madonnina (the Milano* derby) last Saturday. After going in front through a Marcelo Brozovic goal, we managed to concede three goals, two of which were due to utterly shambolic defending, before pulling one back. All of which sent me into a fit of depression which is only just lifting now. Perhaps it’s in sport that my passion becomes genuinely neurotic. Obsession or healthy interest? You be the judge!