Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Bergamo Street Sign Language Lesson XXXVII


In this installment of Street Sign Language Lesson, we have three lost animals, a request to pick up after your dog, and to have your green pass ready. We also learn about red benches to bring awareness of violence against women and a day set aside to bring awareness to discarded cigarette butts.


Smarrito Matisse - Lost cat poster

Smarrito Matisse. E' un gattino anziano, smilzo, dolce e non graffia.
Lost! Matisse. He is a small old cat, thin, sweet and doesn't scratch.


Putting gattino and anziano is an interesting word choice that isn't that common. Gattino rather than implying that Matisse is physically young (like a kitten) means he is physically small. Smilzo is also a word not typically heard every day meaning "lean" or "thin". Maybe Matisse went up to the heavy side layer? Sorry! Obscure "Cats" reference meant in a good way!


Smarrito Mori - Lost cat poster

Smarrito Mori, 1 anno e mezzo, maschio, castrato, microchippato.
Lost! Mori: one and a half, male, castrated, microchipped.


All new verbs to enter a language are all ARE verbs (is that true? I think so…), so we have microchippare and adjective of microchippato. Nice use of subjunctive with chi lo dovesse trovare or "whoever should find him".


Smarrito cane beagle - Lost dog poster

Smarrito cane beagle femmina di 12 anni ieri sera alle 12 in zona castagneta.
Lost 12-year-old female beagle yesterday evening at midnight in the Castagneta area.

Castagneta is an area of the backside (north) of Bergamo's Città Alta centered on the road called Via Castagneta. What was that beagle doing out so late at night? Why didn't the sign use the word bracchetto, which means beagle? Maybe because bracchetto is just one more C than the brachetto of Brachetto d'Aqui, a famous Italian wine.



Have your green pass ready

Munirsi di green pass.
Have a green pass.

Munirsi means to equip or arm yourself with something. As this sign was at the entrance to a restaurant (where our green pass would be checked), a more accurate translation is "have a green pass (ready)".



Red benches in Bergamo - Raising Awareness of Violence Against WomenNumber 1522 to use to help for violence against women and stalking


Panchina rossa – In ricordo delle donne vittime di violenza
Red bench – in memory of women victims of violence.

These red benches were seen in Parco Suardi in Bergamo. They aim to raise awareness of violence against woman and provide a resource (number 1522) to report violence and stalking. 1522 a public service promoted by the EU.



Sign advertising day to stop cigarette butt pollution

Giornata italiana della raccolta dei mozziconi di sigaretta
Italian day of the collection of cigarette butts.

We were so surprised to learn this campaign existed which is why this sign caught our eye in Bergamo's Città Alta. But alas, we only saw this sign once, so we are guessing it wasn't a huge campaign and not many people payed attention. It looks like the "day" was November 27th.

We can't tell you how many times we've seen Italian smokers dump butts in sewers. We recently saw a man take the ashtray from his car and empty the whole damn thing into a sewer grate in the middle of the street. Maybe people using the sewer grates to dispose of the butts actually think they are doing something good?

So, the campaign is aimed at appealing to smokers to stop littering with their butts? Call us skeptical.

In a past Street Sign Language Lesson post (XIX), we talked about shocking imagery of smoking cartons mean to dissuade smoking. Those don't seem to be making much of impact on smoking from what we can observe. So, getting people who smoke to think about their butts as littering, seems quite the stretch.

The #cambiagesto effort ("change your actions") web site gives facts about cigarette butts (mozziconi). There are over 5 trillion cigarettes sold around the world each year. Each butt weighs about 0.2 grams, which translates to about 1 million tons of waste, of which 800,000 tons go into the environment.

An order of magnitude more than cigarette butts of plastic goes into oceans. Would it not be better to either 1) get people to smoke less, and hence generate less butts, or 2) focus on a bigger issue like plastic?


Sign asking owners to not let their dogs go to the bathroom in front of a house

Se siete persone educate e intelligenti i bisogni dei vostri cani fateglieli fare a casa vostra, così pulite voi.
If you are educated and intelligent, let your dogs go to the bathroom at your house, so you clean it up.

It wouldn't be a Street Sign Languge Lesson without a lamentation about picking up dog excrement. I bisogni dei vostri cani is a nice way of saying dog piss and shit, the "needs of your dog". The phrase addresses "you" plural with verbs to match siete, fate, and pulite.


Gift tomatoes for Christmas

Non il solito regalo
Not your typical gift

Let's end this post on a happy note with tomatoes – pomodorini. Not just any old tomatoes but, Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio, a grape tomato grown in Naples, Italy on the slopes of Vesuvius. "Piennolo" means tying together bunches of tomatoes and letting them dry, hanging. Tomatoes processed this way are able to be kept and used for months.

Around Christmas time in Bergamo and elsewhere in Italy, these special tomatoes start appearing. At our fruttivendolo where this photo was taken, the suggestion is that gifting these tomatoes is not your typical gift. Agreed.

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