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Friday, July 31, 2015

Mama Mia! That'sa spicy meat ball.

Micelangelo's  David






What do DaVinci and his Mona Lisa, Michelangelo and his magnificent sculpture David, Galilei and his startling astronomical findings, Marco Polo and his discovery of spaghetti and I, producer of this fine blog have in common? 

No, not that.

Our names all end in a vowel... which means (probably) we're ITALIAN. Mama Mia!

So do all Italian names end in a vowel? No, just most.

DaVinci's Mona Lisa
For me, all of my grandparents were Italian immigrants that came here through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and made new lives for themselves. My parents were the first American born generation.

I grew up next to my grandparents and enjoyed my cultural blessings--a little wine at the table, fabulous food, getting away with cussing in Italian but claiming to never understand what I was saying, great work ethic, overwhelming gusto for life and more--but never learned Italian because they forced their children to "speeka English."

Marco Polo's spaghetti
I really never wondered why most Italian names end in a vowel. I thought Italian was like 'pig Latin' where every word ended in "A." Imagine my surprise then when I read the credits of this fabulous video, "1,000 people playing the Foo Fighters in Unison."

As I read through the 1200 or so names of players, singers, producers, camera people, gofers and the like at the end of this very professional video, I saw that all but a handful of them ended in a vowel. That's Italy for you.

About that video, first, it is really impressive and fun to watch, even more-so if you like the music.

An Italian, Fabio Zaffagnini (see, vowel at the end) is a huge Foo Fighters fan who had the crazy idea to get the group to perform in Romangna Italy. He called his project 'Rockin' 1000.'
It took him a year to plan and gather 1000 musicians and singers together to play one of their songs, 'Learn to fly" simultaneously. And he did it masterfully! Musicians came at their own expense from all over the globe to be a part of this project. See for yourself.
Did it work? Well, there are two Italy concerts on the schedule for Foo Fighters this November so it was twice as good as hoped. Ah, the power of music.
Other famous vowel-ending Italians: Gina Lollobrigida, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mussolini (oh, scratch-a that-a one), Marconi,  Povorati... the list-a goes-a on-a and-a on-a. Also note many famous Italians are known by just one name. Many famous Italians are named Pope-a. 
As Shakespeare said: What's in a name? That which we call a Rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. So now you know why so many Italian women are called Rosa. See how it works?


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