As we say in vecchio italiano: “Caveat emptor”


When “extra virgin” isn’t . . .

2010 study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that 69 percent of imported olive oil samples failed to meet the minimum standards for “extra-virgin” labeling in an expert taste and smell test. In contrast, 10 percent of extra-virgin labels from California failed their tests.   As a result, two class-action lawsuits have been filed against Filippo Berio and Bertolli, two of the brands which failed the tests, for false advertising.


 However, you don’t necessarily need to go to a farmer’s market or pay through the nose for quality, genuine oil. Some which do not cost an arm and a leg, are Lucini Italia (at Whole Foods or specialty food stores for about $25) and the California Estate Olive Oil from Trader Joe’s (in-store or on-line for about $6.) The Trader Joe’s California Estate Olive Oil, in fact, came out on top and won the “Best Buy” designation in a Consumer Reports taste test.

Non stai frequentando la classe? Ci manchi!

Mi manchi

If you have been missing Italian classes this autumn then we miss (ci manchi) you!
Here is a refresher on one of those fun verbs: mancare, courtesy of Transparent Language:


The Italian verb mancare means ‘to be lacking in’ or ‘to be missing’.

1. ‘to miss’ someone or something’ is expressed in the following way:

mi manca la mia famiglia – I miss my family (literally: my family is missing for me)
mi mancano i giorni caldi dell’estate – I miss the hot summer days (literally: the hot summer days are missing for me)
non ti manca l’Inghilterra? – don’t you miss England? (literally: isn’t England missing for you?)
ti mancano i tuoi? – do you miss your parents? (literally: aren’t your parents missing for you?)
mi manchi – I miss you (literally: you are missing for me)

2. ‘to miss’ as in miss a target or goal is expressed in the following way in Italian:
ha mancato la rete – he missed the goal
ho mancato il bersaglio per un pelo – I missed the target by a hair

3. other common uses of mancare:
quanto manca alla partenza? – how long before we leave? (literally: how much time is lacking before the departure?)
mancano dieci minuti – there are ten minutes left (literally: ten minutes are lacking)
che ore sono? …. mancano cinque minuti alle dieci – what time is it? …. it’s five to ten (literally: five minutes are lacking before ten)
mi mancano le chiavi – I haven’t got my keys with me (literally: my keys are lacking to me)
ci manca il latte – we haven’t got any milk left (literally: the milk is lacking to us)
è mancata la corrente – there was a power failure (literally: the current was lacking)
oggi mi manca la voglia di pulire la casa – I don’t have the will to clean the house today (literally: today the will to clean the house is lacking for me)
alla riunione mancava solo Giovanni – only Giovanni wasn’t at the meeting (literally: at the meeting there was missing only Giovanni)

4. And the related word mancanza expresses a lack, absence or shortage of someone/thing:
sento la sua mancanza – I miss him (literally: I feel his absence)
ha dimostrato una mancanza di tatto – he showed a lack of tact
durante la guerra c’era sempre una mancanza di cibo – there was always a lack of food during the war

5.  However to express missing an event, like a class, a film, part of a conversion, etc. we use perdersi, e.g. “che cosa mi sono perso/a ieri alla lezione?” (what did I miss in the class yesterday?)



Special price Italian symphonic music and elegant European cuisine

Refectory exterior
Refectory diningroom

The Refectory Restaurant is rated nationally for their fine European cuisine and throughout central Ohio for their support of music from salsa and jazz to the symphony and opera. You may have attended our Carnevale Masked Ball there in 2014 – it was stupendous!

Here is another music event at the Refectory:


This Friday 6 November the Refectory is offering to the students, staff, and friends of Italia in Ohio LLC a unique package from the classical age.  Enjoy a wide range of small plates, six wines, and music of Italian composers with the Columbus Symphony.  The list price is $69.95 pp plus tax and gratuity but for us there is a $25.00 per couple reduction!

Dinner details here:   Benvenuti! Refectory

Phone the Refectory with your reservation (614/451-9774), mention the “Italia in Ohio” $25 discount, and prepare for a delightful evening!  Ci vediamo lì!