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Giro Italian Lessons

Ciao a tutti!  Oggi, impariamo italiano - today, let's learn Italian.   OK, this is simple. First, I will "try" and give you a brief Italian lesson related to cycling.  Then it’s up to you.  In the comments:

  1. Tell us your favourite Italian words/phrases.
  2. Ask us how to say something.
  3. Correct all my mistakes.
  4. Go on any tangent you desire.

We’ve done this for the Tour de France and had some fun. Remember, I don’t really speak Italian so be kind.  :)

D’accordo, cominciamo. OK, let’s begin.

Grupetto = Grupetto!   Ha, see, speaking Italian is easy.  On tough mountain stages, a group of riders that band together to help each other make the time cut-off.  The Laughing group.


Passo/Colle = Mountain pass or  Col
Tornante = Switchback/hairpin
I dolomiti = The dolomites
Esempio: Stelvio non é nei dolomiti.  Stelvio is not in the dolomites.
Salita (Salire) = A climb, hill  (to climb)
Discesa (Scendere) = Descent (to descend)
Pendenza = Gradient or slope
Calcare = Limestone
Giro = Circle, circuit
Cima Coppi = The highest point in each Giro.  Cima = summit.  Fausto Coppi was the legendary Italian cyclist of the post WW 2 era.
Esempio:  Questo anno Passo dello Stelvio sarà la Cima Coppi = This year Stelvio will be the Cima Coppi



Maglia Rosa = Pink jersey.  Race leader.
Maglia Rossa = Red jersey.  Points leader
Maglia Azzurra = Blue jersey. Mountains leader.
Maglia bianca = White jersey.  Best under 25 rider.


Passista =  Rouleur.  Strong rider, good on long, flat or mid-mountain stages.
Velocista = Sprinter
Dicesista = A great descender.  Not Fränk Schlek.
Scalatore = A mountain goat of a climber
Scattista = A mountain goat JRod type that can accelerate devastatingly on the steepest slopes.  Pantani.
Esempio:  Que pedenza!  Una Scattista come Quintana dovrebbe attaccare qui.  What steepness!  A scattista  mountain goat like Quintana should attack here.


Gregario = Domestique
Direttore Sportivo = Director Sportive
Giudice di Gara = Race judge/commissioner
Massaggiatore = Masseure
Tifosi = You and me.  Fans
Squadra = Team


Tappa/Tappone = Stage/Queen Stage
Esempio:  Que bella tappa = What a beautiful stage
Partenza = The start
Traguardo = The finish line
Una volata = A sprint finish
Arrivo in salita: Mountain-top finish
Treno = Train
Abbuono = Time Bonus or per Sean Kelly, bonification
Plotone = Peloton
Zona rifornimento = Feed zone
Ventaglio:  Echelon
Cronometro = Time Trial
Cronometro a squadra = Team Time Trial
Esempio:  Chi vincerà il chronometro Individuale = Who will win the ITT?


Portabottiglie/Borraccia = Water bottle
Ruota = Wheel
Casco = Helmet
Pedale = pedal
Sella = Saddle
Pompa = Pump
Freni = Brakes
Pneumatico = Tire
Catena = Chain
Manicotti = Arm warmers
Ruota Dentica = Platea.
Esempio: Ha bisogna di una grande ruota dentica per Zoncolan.  He needs a big plateau for Zoncolan.


Pioggia (noun) / Piovere (verb) = Rain / To Rain
Neve / Nevicare = Snow / To Snow
Nebbia = Fog.
Esempio: Odio la nebbia = I hate fog
Fa Caldo/Fredda = It (the weather) is hot/cold 
Umido = wet / damp
Ventoso = Windy


Birra = Beer
Vino = Wine
Caffè = Coffee (discussing types of Italian coffee is beyond my powers, but)
Cappuccino = only in the morning!!
Espresso = Tiny and strong. Normal Italian coffee
Caffè Americano = An espresso with hot water to dilute.
Caffè Corretto = add a dab of liqueur
Gelato = Ice Cream
Salute/Cin Cin = Cheers
Esempio = Mi piace molto gelato e birra, cin cin.  I really like ice cream and beer, cheers.



Marmotta = Marmotte
Mucca = Cow

OK, this ends your quick Italian lesson.  The Giro is almost here so get practicing!

Non vedo l'ora.  I can't wait.