Simple English Listening

E15: Traveling the South of Italy (Conversation with Fritz) (Intermediate English)

October 18, 2020 Tristan Palumbo
Simple English Listening
E15: Traveling the South of Italy (Conversation with Fritz) (Intermediate English)
Chapters
Simple English Listening
E15: Traveling the South of Italy (Conversation with Fritz) (Intermediate English)
Oct 18, 2020
Tristan Palumbo

Learn new vocab and about the beautiful south of Italy! Watch the video here with pictures, subtitles and definitions: https://youtu.be/iDZ0bRTGe4I

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about exciting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

These podcasts are for pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate learners. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 

Show Notes Transcript

Learn new vocab and about the beautiful south of Italy! Watch the video here with pictures, subtitles and definitions: https://youtu.be/iDZ0bRTGe4I

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about exciting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

These podcasts are for pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate learners. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 

Okay, welcome to Simple English Listening, where we talk about different topics in simpler English. Today, I'm joined with my wonderful guest Fritz once again and we will reminisce, we will remember with a smile on our face, our trip to Italy. Yeah. We went to Napoli, the Amalfi coast and Irsina, a lovely village and we'll talk to you about that trip. And remember, hit the bell to subscribe so you do not miss any new episodes of this podcast. And remember, you can hear all of the Simple English Listening episodes as podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, all the major podcast apps and if you like seeing pictures and watching us, you can watch the YouTube video. So Fritz, when I arrived - oh let's quickly talk about where we are! Look at this beautiful view! Can you guess? We are, some of you may know - in Vietnam! Look at this beautiful view! Can you guess? We are, some of you may know - in Vietnam! That's where we live! We are English teachers in Vietnam and this is actually the highest altitude, the highest part of Vietnam. It's a school holiday right now and the end of the semester has been and we can't fly anywhere. No. So, we have to stay in Vietnam and make the most out of the three and a half weeks off. Yeah, but it's not that bad at all to be honest. No! Absolutely not. Behind us here is Mt. Fansipan, which is actually the highest peak in all of Indochina. Indochina is Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. You can see rice paddies. Yeah. Okay. Wow. So with this beautiful setting, let's continue our podcast. So, before I got Okay. Wow. So with this beautiful setting, let's continue our podcast. So, before I got Okay. Wow. So with this beautiful setting, let's continue our podcast. So, before I got to Italy, you were already there, right? to Italy, you were already there, right? Yes, I made a short trip on my own. I went to Rome first, I think for about five nights. Absolutely loved it! So many ancient and historical structures. Absolutely loved it! So many ancient and historical structures. Yeah. 'Ancient' means very, very old, thousands of years old - ancient. And yeah, which was amazing to see! Yea, and I also made a really short trip to Florence, which is also a really beautiful city in Italy. What was the most impressive thing you saw in Rome? Ooh. Wow. There were so many things but probably walking around The Coloseum was probably the most impressive thing and just imagining all those people sitting there, centuries ago. most impressive thing and just imagining all those people sitting there, centuries ago. If you watched, of course, the famous movie Gladiator, you know, ''are you entertained?'' If you watched, of course, the famous movie Gladiator, you know, ''are you entertained?'' It was in that coloseum, of course. And you can imagine the tigers and all the prisoners and the christians back then, put out to be killed, eaten by lions and cut up by gladiators - different times, different times to now. And obviously also the pizza! The pizza. Pizza is from Napoli, in fact. We'll come back to pizza after. We'll probably mention pizza quite a couple of times. We had, probably on average, what, two pizzas a day? Like, one and a half pizzas per day. And of course, everywhere in Italy has a slightly different style of pizza. First off, let's talk about the Amalfi coast - very blue water! That's what I remember. Yeah, extremely blue and it's a mountainous landscape, right? With small little villages dotted around. Yeah, and it's a very popular tourist location for Italians and I believe for many Europeans as well. It was very crowded but very beautiful. I did enjoy it. It was possibly a bit too touristy and we had to basically fight to get on to three buses. You know, those buses brought out the worst in human nature. It was packed. Well, eventually I decided just to walk really and see as many things as possible and not to do too much Maintain your human dignity. Yeah. And completely block out buses from our holiday. It's very expensive too on the Amalfi coast and you know, rich people go there, more so than the Adriatic coast, which is the other side of Italy. So, our first stop was Ravello. Is that right? Is that right? Ravello? Yes. Just up the mountain from the town Amalfi. A beautiful view! Yeah. Nothing else I can remember. I'll probably edit that out, even! There's A beautiful view! Yeah. Nothing else I can remember. I'll probably edit that out, even! There's literally nothing else to say. Then we went to Sorrento. Sorrento is a town right next to Napoli. Yes. We went to the restaurant with the first cannelloni. Maybe, you know cannelloni? It's a famous Italian dish - rolled pasta with ricotta cheese and spinach inside with tomato sauce and cheese on top. So, they invented cannelloni at this restaurant we went to. I think that's what I remember most about there It was really good. A massive restaurant as well. It was really good. A massive restaurant as well. And then on the train to Napoli, we stopped by Pompeii. Maybe, you know of Pompeii? Maybe And then on the train to Napoli, we stopped by Pompeii. Maybe, you know of Pompeii? Maybe you've seen the pretty bad movie which was released about five years ago? But also, I'm sure you've seen the images of people frozen as the clouds of ash hundreds and thousands of miles an hour just swept over the village. There was a volcanic eruption there. People are frozen in all these different positions. I was amazed at how big Pompei was I don't even think we saw everything. And we were walking around for about four hours I thought it was maybe just a small city outside of Napoli but it must've been one of maybe I thought it was maybe just a small city outside of Napoli but it must've been one of maybe one of the biggest cities in ancient Italy during that time. Yea, probably during that time, definitely. I feel like I could walk across the middle of Rome quicker than Pompeii maybe. I mean, I feel like I could walk across the middle of Rome quicker than Pompeii maybe. I mean, maybe not but it's pretty big! Yea, it felt really big, yea. In Pompeii, there was a coloseum, there was a big market place and the band Pink Floyd - famous kind of psychedelic sixties-seventies rock band from the UK played a very famous - famous kind of psychedelic sixties-seventies rock band from the UK played a very famous concert there. There was a live show, but there was nobody in the audience. It was in the middle of the Coloseum in Pompei with all lights. It was very famous, if you like rock music, check it out. Yea, they have a museum about pretty much that whole show there. They have a museum just dedicated to that one seventies rock show. Interesting facts

about Pompei:

Okay, nobody knows the exact date of the volcanic eruption (when the volcano exploded), but people died pretty much instantly. The whole city was wiped out. Pompei was originally Greek. A Greek city. Actually, lots of the south of Italy was colonized by Greece, which is why the Roman gods are based on the Greek gods. Pompeii - the explosion was from is why the Roman gods are based on the Greek gods. Pompeii - the explosion was from Mount Vesuvius, which you can see from Napoli. One of the interesting thing about Pompeii was the Mount Vesuvius, which you can see from Napoli. One of the interesting thing about Pompeii was the words, like the Roman numerals, like the graffiti. Because these are thousands of years old and words, like the Roman numerals, like the graffiti. Because these are thousands of years old and people can understand what they say. Okay, next, we get to Napoli. So, Napoli is an extremely people can understand what they say. Okay, next, we get to Napoli. So, Napoli is an extremely extravagant, dynamic and beautiful city. A famous saying is 'see Napoli and die'. It extravagant, dynamic and beautiful city. A famous saying is 'see Napoli and die'. It extravagant, dynamic and beautiful city. A famous saying is 'see Napoli and die'. It was the capital of its own country from 1282 to 1816, 'The Kingdom of Naples'. And then, was the capital of its own country from 1282 to 1816, 'The Kingdom of Naples'. And then, it was part of 'The Two Sicilies' and again was the capital until Italy came together in 1861. So Italy is in fact quite a young country. It consisted of four different countries in 1861. So Italy is in fact quite a young country. It consisted of four different countries in 1861. So Italy is in fact quite a young country. It consisted of four different countries

that all came together:

The Kingdom of Sardinia, The Kingdom of Venice, The Papal State (with The Kingdom of Sardinia, The Kingdom of Venice, The Papal State (with The Kingdom of Sardinia, The Kingdom of Venice, The Papal State (with Rome in it) and The Kingdom Of The Two Sicilies and these all came together in 1861. One thing we noticed in Italy is there are very different dialects there. Yeah. I was quite surprised by that. I thought everybody spoke the same version of Italian. But the Neapolitan dialect - it has different words for like very basic verbs and numbers and they say Italy has over 80 different dialects, but they all speak to each other in standard Italian. And standard Italian is actually the dialect of Florence. There was a famous Renaissance writer called Dante and he apparently decided that the most beautiful of all the Italian dialects that he knew was the Florence dialect so he chose that dialect to do some of his most famous works, such as Dante's Inferno, the Divine Comedy - there's some famous ones. And then it seemed to catch on in some way. And now in Italy, in the textbooks famous ones. And then it seemed to catch on in some way. And now in Italy, in the textbooks in schools you learn standard Italian, which is the Florence Italian and you speak your own dialect too. So, most people in Italy are bilingual in their own local language and standard Italian and nowadays many of them in English like you guys, for example. Wikipedia says exactly what I just said. Sometimes. I don't know if what I'm saying is true or Wikipedia says exactly what I just said. Sometimes. I don't know if what I'm saying is true or not So Fritz, what do you remember about Napoli? Napoli! I remember, what I enjoyed actually most about Napoli was just walking around the city to be honest and just seeing what is around. Some beautiful old churches, some lovely restaurants, some beautiful markets and basically just seeing how locals go about their day was very fascinating. And I remember our final night there. We walked along the Harbor front, the port, many beautiful And I remember our final night there, we walked along the harbor front, the port, many beautiful restaurants there. And actually, my father is from Napoli and randomly his cousin, facebooked me saying, ''I am your second cousin'' And I asked him like, well, when's the last time you saw my father, your first cousin? And he said it was waving goodbye to him in 1955. Wow. Yeah, because back then, when all And he said it was waving goodbye to him in 1955. Wow. Yeah, because back then, when all the ships went from Napoli and across Europe to the 'new world' (they went to Canada, my Dad's family). Back then, goodbye was really goodbye! Yeah, they didn't have the same, now you can just fly anywhere. But, I think my grandfather, after they left Italy, after my Dad's family left Italy in 1955. He went back to Italy I think only twice for the rest of his life. I mean, they were quite poor. They didn't have much money, many Italian of his life. I mean, they were quite poor. They didn't have much money, many Italian immigrants going to the 'new world' so, to Canada, America, Australia Their jobs did not pay a lot. Lots of them did like labor, factory working, construction, these kinds of jobs. So yeah, the last time this second cousin who contacted me on Facebook saw my dad was in that very port that we had that pizza! Yes. And we also had a view of Mt. Vesuvius. That's right yea, and I could imagine my Dad's family waving goodbye 50 years previous. But That's right yea, and I could imagine my Dad's family waving goodbye 50 years previous. But actually, he rang! He rang. Oh yea, you spoke on the phone, yea. He happened to ring at that time and I said 'Hey Dad, guess where I am? Do you remember here?' With Mount Vesuvius in the background? He was like, ''I dunno. I think so''. So here Neapolitans, they love their city and they identify as being Neapolitan over Italian, so, one Neapolitan friend said and I think it's because it was its own capital for over 800 years so it still really has its own identity. Napoli being part of Italy is quite a new... Quite new, basically. Interesting facts about Naples: It is one of the oldest a new... Quite new, basically. Interesting facts about Naples: it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. So, people have lived there continuously continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. So, people have lived there continuously continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. So, people have lived there continuously (meaning, without stopping) people have lived there since the ninth century BC. So, 900 years before Christ. Wow, so nearly 3000 years! Nearly 3000 years. People have been living in an urban kind of city-type town there for that long. Wow. Yeah. So pizza, of course. They're very proud of their pizza there. You that long. Wow. Yeah. So pizza, of course. They're very proud of their pizza there. You eat the Margherita. The Margherita is just tomato, cheese and that's it. It's just how

to perfect those very simple ingredients:

a crust, tomato and cheese. I went to Naples with some Italian friends, you know, a few years ago I wanted a pepperoni pizza and they said I was not allowed to have a pepperoni pizza because I have to have the Margherita - the classic! Oh, the doors! Oh, the doors, yes! Insanely big doors there! Quite literally, four times the height of you. Yes. There'll be a picture for those who are watching the video. Do you remember why, exactly? I do remember actually, so the bigger doors were for - if someone stopped outside with a carriage and wanted to bring the whole carriage in and there was a smaller door as well. And we couldn't figure out why the big door has a smaller door in its frame. And apparently, it was for security reasons just to let in one person at a time. It's easier to defend. Yes. Rather than letting a whole army in. Yes. Rather than letting a whole army in. We didn't know how to get into the building and then we just opened that small door. Yes, it was quite interesting. Yeah, it was good fun. Yeah, so pizza - it says the very first pizzeria in Italy and in the entire world is Antica Pizzeria, Port Alba and was opened in Naples in 1830 and it still remains open today. So, the earliest known pizzeria ever is still open today! And it still remains open today. So, the earliest known pizzeria ever is still open today! And it still remains open today. So, the earliest known pizzeria ever is still open today! And it was in Naples where they created the Margherita pizza. It's named after Queen Margherita Theresa Giovanni, after she visited Naples. Interesting. And there were some castles in Theresa Giovanni, after she visited Naples. Interesting. And there were some castles in Naples. Yes, I remember the castles now as well, yea. Big, beautiful castles. A legend that says that there is a famous egg! An egg buried in Castello Del Uovo and Castello Del Uovo, translated it means 'egg castle'. So the castle in Castello Del Uovo and Castello Del Uovo, translated it means 'egg castle'. So the castle is named after an egg, which is buried under the ground there, in the castle somewhere. is named after an egg, which is buried under the ground there, in the castle somewhere. is named after an egg, which is buried under the ground there, in the castle somewhere. And the egg is magic. It's a magic egg that contains protective powers. I don't know if And the egg is magic. It's a magic egg that contains protective powers. I don't know if that means you become like a superhero, if you touch the egg, Or. you can fly or be strong. or you can time travel. See through walls. Yea, exactly. Probably, something like that. So it's such a powerful weapon that they need Yea, exactly. Probably, something like that. So it's such a powerful weapon that they need a castle to defend this one egg. And then we finished the trip going to a house, which is a house in my family because my father's Italian. In a beautiful village in the south is a house in my family because my father's Italian. In a beautiful village in the south called Irsina. It's in the province of Basilicata, which is the most sparsely populated province in all of Italy. 'Sparse' means there are not many people. 'Densely' populated is when many many people live together. 'Sparsely' populated - is the opposite. Actually, Napoli is the most densely populated part of Italy and Basilicata, where we went at the end is the most sparsely populated part of Italy. It's a small village of about 3000 people the most sparsely populated part of Italy. It's a small village of about 3000 people the most sparsely populated part of Italy. It's a small village of about 3000 people upon a hilltop. Very high city walls because back then, you want it to be high. Why did you want to be high again for a town? you want to be high again for a town? It's easier to protect yourself. Because it's easier to protect yourself against invaders. And there's been many invaders in Because it's easier to protect yourself against invaders. And there's been many invaders in Italy over the years, including the Normans - Vikings! Lots of the south of Italy was Italy over the years, including the Normans - Vikings! Lots of the south of Italy was occupied by Normans including this small village. Lots of the south of Italy, it's empty all-year round. Many of the youths in all these small, beautiful villages around Italy, they leave to work. They work in Rome, in Bologna, in beautiful villages around Italy, they leave to work. They work in Rome, in Bologna, in beautiful villages around Italy, they leave to work. They work in Rome, in Bologna, in Parma, in Milan, they all come back every August. It's like a big holiday and the whole country seems to be off in August and everyone goes back to their small little towns around Italy. They have festivals and they have that tradition where they carry their patron saint Italy. They have festivals and they have that tradition where they carry their patron saint Italy. They have festivals and they have that tradition where they carry their patron saint on their shoulders. I remember something about a hand! You said something about a hand with the festival? So, every village has their own saint (A 'saint' is somebody who is important in that village, So, every village has their own saint (A 'saint' is somebody who is important in that village, in their Christianity) and this saint of this small town, Irsina, her name is, Eufemia. She was thrown to the lions when she was, I believe 17. And all that remains of this, for being a Christian and she refused to give up her faith. so they threw her to the lions and all that remains is a skeleton hand. Every summer, the town, it's a small town of like 2,000 / 3,000 people. But in the summer and during this festival, there are lots of people, it swells to maybe like 5,000-10,000 people. All the festival, there are lots of people, it swells to maybe like 5,000-10,000 people. All the people have come back and they have a big parade around the town so they walk around the town together and they hold the statue of the saint and there's a small glass jar of the skeleton arm of the actual real person who died many hundreds of years ago. Well, of the skeleton arm of the actual real person who died many hundreds of years ago. Well, I'm sure over a thousand years ago if she was thrown to the lions But the lifestyle there. I remember you were on the balcony and I couldn't get you down, and you were just sitting there. I was on the balcony just looking over my kingdom, which was Irsina. With your red wine, your cheese, your olives. Yeah. The views were amazing. And obviously, yes, getting some meat from the butcher. The local cheeses, local wines was amazing. Just going to each little shop, buying your things and just sitting there and enjoying the Italian lifestyle in a very small town. It's probably and just sitting there and enjoying the Italian lifestyle in a very small town. It's probably the most authentic way of doing it. They say the real Italian way, the real traditional way - they all have a certain rhythm of life there. So, all shops close at about 12 o'clock way - they all have a certain rhythm of life there. All shops close at about 12 o'clock

and they reopen at 4:

30 PM. Everyone has lunch, a big lunch and they sleep. Then they go back

to work at 4:

30, and the kids run outside and play. 12 to 4pm, the town is deserted ('deserted' meaning, there is nobody there, you can't see anyone, everyone's just disappeared into their houses). And then people come out, they work. And the older people, they also just walk around the town for a little bit and then they have dinner and they go out for little while and they walk around town and they all just say hello to their neighbors. They call it 'la passeggiata'. The 'passeggiata' means, just the walk around and you walk around or they slowly drive around and say 'ciao'. And they say hello to all of their neighbors. It's really beautiful. and I feel they've been living that way for hundreds of years and it's still alive in and I feel they've been living that way for hundreds of years and it's still alive in the small towns in the south. Yeah. We started doing that actually! After being there for a couple of days, walking around saying, hello. That's right, we'd go out at about six o'clock and again after dinner, just walking around saying hello to the neighbors. You could have like a 20 minute walk back to your house or accommodation and it'll take you like an hour because so many people will say, hey, 'ciao, buongiorno, come stai?' How are you doing? How's the family and blah, blah, blah and you're expected to kind of talk to everyone. It's a very social way of life. And old people are very social there. I would say unlike society in the UK, I feel unfortunately, and are very social there. I would say unlike society in the UK, I feel unfortunately, and Canada and other countries where I feel older people are a bit more forgotten about, kind of, left in a home. I think it's quite sad but they have a very social and active life in places like in the south of Italy and in Mediterranean cultures and many other places in the world, I'm sure. We went to a small art exhibition in town. Yes. And I remember there, we met some.. It was actually organized by a couple of foreigners, actually that were living there, strangely enough There's a few expats there ('expats', meaning ex-patriots, meaning a foreigner who now lives There's a few expats there ('expats', meaning ex-patriots, meaning a foreigner who now lives in another country - an expat) and they had organized an art exhibition and we looked over the countryside and one of them said to us, 'everything we eat and everything we over the countryside and one of them said to us, 'everything we eat and everything we drink in this village, we can see the farm in which it's from, you can see the land on which it's grown'. Lots of natural produce. Another thing about this small town that I which it's grown'. Lots of natural produce. Another thing about this small town that I love how (and I'm sure there are towns around the world like this) that small town mentality, that small town mindset wherein everybody kind of knows each other. And if it's a friendly that small town mindset wherein everybody kind of knows each other. And if it's a friendly atmosphere, it's a beautiful thing. Like in Irsina it's like that. You just see people atmosphere, it's a beautiful thing. Like in Irsina it's like that. You just see people that you know, like three, four times a day. So that's today's casual chat for you. We remembered our trip to Italy. We reminisced to 'reminisce' is a verb, which means to remember a period of time, usually fondly and with a smile on your face. 'Oh, means to remember a period of time, usually fondly and with a smile on your face. 'Oh, remember that time we did this and that'. Reminiscing. And we reminisced our trip to Italy. To the South of Italy. Which was amazing. You should all go if you are already not from Italy, of course. Yeah. Definitely worth checking out. It's certainly one of the most beautiful countries I've ever seen. See you guys next time for some more chatting about different topics in simple English, remember hit bell and subscribe and leave a comment if you've ever been to Italy and tell us what you thought and we will now go out. Italy and tell us what you thought and we will now go out. And get a pizza! Well, actually yea. I want a pizza now. And you can get pizzas which are okay, even in the small town of Sapa in Vietnam. Pizza's probably from what I've seen, being to maybe 30, 40 countries, maybe the world's favorite food! Probably, because it's so easy to make. Yea, they love it here in Vietnam, that's for sure. And, you can put anything you want on it. Yeah. So, we're going to get a pizza here in Vietnam. Okay. Goodbye. All the best.