Autumn in Italy – and in Italian

L'Italo-Americano jumps into fall, Italian style....

This article, written by DIANNE HALES, appears on L’Italo-Americano.

Autumn is my favorite season in Italy – not just for the mild days and starry nights, but also for the centuries of history embedded in the Italian words for its months, rituals and celebrations.

As the hours of sunlight diminish and those of darkness increase, you can feel change in the air. According to an Italian proverb, In settembre, la notte al dì contende (in September, the night competes with the day).

The names of the months of autumn date back to ancient Rome — and remind us that our calendar (calendario) was one of the enduring gifts of Julius Caesar.  Before his time the Roman calendar  had only ten months. January and February as we know them didn’t exist.

The new year began in March, with the beginning of field work to plant new crops. The Latin numbers seven, eight, and nine — septem, octo and novem — gave their names to the months of September, October and November. Read more at L’Italo-Americano…

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