To Hear: Le Volpi E L’Uva

by The Curious Pear

Love or hate the book, Eat Pray Love puts it into words pretty wonderfully – “Every word in Italian is like a truffle…a magic trick.” It may sound obvious, but for any outsider, the language of Italy becomes one of the most joyful parts of a visit. This lyrical, lusty dialect, so incomprehensible to the non-speaker, becomes the background music to the country. Wandering Florence’s streets, the community of the small city can be felt in the trills of ‘Ciao!’ shared between passing friends and family. Grand old men in tailored suits greet young students sipping espresso in doorways, and shop owners call after their most committed patrons as they head home. 

Stop in for lunch in a tiny trattoria like Osteria del Cinghiale and you will overhear the melodic barking of the staff, or the dulcet tones of a couple sharing burrata and truffles. In the charming Le Volpi E L’Uva wine bar, pull up a stool at the small counter and listen out for the regulars, who come bursting in through the door and launch into zealous conversations with the owners. Some of the language’s most graceful words are the ones used most regularly – ‘arrivederci’, ‘prego’, ‘bella’. Even a simple ‘thank you’ is a treat – the curvaceous melody of ‘grazie’. As much as we envy the native speakers of this seductive language, there is a certain pleasure in sitting back and letting it flood over you. Florence’s dialect is as romantic as its landscape, and as opulent as its architecture.