I live in Italy 🇮🇹 and I am lucky because thanks to Verbling I have the chance to work from home. But I am aware that ouside the safety of my own place, a difficult battle is being fought. Nevertheless I am a resilient person and I truly believe that adversity is still a good time for learning. That's why I would like students learning Italian language to take advantage of the situation to learn at least one notion that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Did you know that the word CORONAVIRUS that we are hearing thousand times these days actually contains an Italian word? Well, if we want to be accurate, that's a Latin word, in turn coming from ancient Greek. But still Italian language inherited it and currently uses this feminin noun CORONA (ITA: la corona - singular / le corone -plural) in its original meaning, which is crown, halo or garland.
The reason why Coronavirus was named this way is because of the shape of glycoproteins surrounding the virus, as it can be observed through a microscope.
Considering this play on words we can better understand why this terrifying health enemy is often portrayed as a scary spiky sphere with a crown on its head, especially when we want to explain it to little ones.
As an optimist I wish that soon this all Coronavirus situation will be over and we will be able to travel again🛫. What I hope is that Italian language students travelling to Italy will replace the image of this dangerous corona with something nicer.
Here's an idea if you'll be planning to visit Lombardy: Monza is a province near Milan, in the north of Italy; it owns one of the most valuable trasures of our history, preserved inside Museo del Duomo, the main museum of the city. It's called Corona ferrea, litteraly Iron Crown.
This little precious crown is made of gold, silver and gemstones, but the inner part is made of iron. According to the legend the iron part was modeled into the shape of such a jewel by Lombardic queen Teodolinda (570-627 AD). She melt in it the nails once used to crucify Jesus Christ that were saved by Elena, Emperor Constantine's mother. As a result Corona Ferrea is also considered a Christian relic. For centuries it was also used to crown Italian kings from the times of Ottone I until Napoleon I.
This crown is really worth a visit!
But until the moment when discovering Italian culture on the spot will be possibile again, here is some more Italian curiosities that can help students improve their vocabulary all around this word:
La corona, le corone --> The crown(s)
Oro --> Gold
D'oro --> Made of gold
Dorato --> Golden
Argento --> Silver
Ferro --> Iron
Incoronare (verbo) --> To crown (verb) esempio: INCORONARE UN RE = to crown a king
Coronare (verbo) --> To achieve (verb) esempio: CORONARE UN SOGNO = to fulfil a dream
Corona di spine --> Crown of thorns (religious meaning)
Corona di alloro --> Laurel wreath (traditional for university students on graduation day)
Remember that in Italian language corona can also be the name of some European currencies:
Corona svedese --> Swedish krona 🇸🇪
Corona ceca --> Czech koruna 🇨🇿
Corona danese --> Danish krone 🇩🇰
Corona norvegese --> Norwegian krone 🇳🇴
Corona islandese --> Icelandic krona 🇮🇸
If you want to keep learning Italian starting from the present situation you can find a specific lesson for A1 level (beginners) on my profile. I'm here to help you and we could spend some time together during lockdown. See you soon!