Episode 2: Bugie, Bossi, and More Apps

Hosts Sara, Jessica and Michelle talk about stem cell research, Lega Nord pushes Italian test for foreign entrepreneurs, Italian cuss words in and out of the workplace, and YES more iPhone app suggestions.

Eye on Italy News stories:

  1. Vatican, U of MD Enter Stem Cell Research Partnership
  2. Italian Court Frowns on Workplace Cussing
  3. Berlusconi rift with FiniLover’s tiff in ItalyItaly’s Fini defiant after clash with Berlusconi
  4. Pasta Trend (Il grande salone della pasta, Bologna)
  5. Comune di Gorgonzola opens Milk & Cheese library (in Italian)
  6. “Pink” taxis (in Italian) in Rome and Milan (in Italian)
  7. Lonely Planet Europe guides for iPhone on “Volcano” sale, ends Friday, April 30
  8. Italian test for foreign entrepreneurs pushed by Lega Nord
    1. Boom of foreigner-run businesses in Italy – +40% in 5 years
    2. Foreign Service Institute puts language courses online (& Lifehacker crashed their servers, all audio is offline for now)  [Italian content]

Eye of Italy Angolo d’Italiano:

  • Lies:Dice bugie!” (bugia on WordReference) Also: “ha detto una bugia!” “che bugia!” – inspired by Bossi vs. Fini (in Italian)
  • Idiomatic expression courtesy of Lorenzo: le bugie hanno le gambe corte.

Eye on Italy Picks of the Week:


  1. Awesome video, and another great podcast! And since you asked 🙂 a comment about the entrepreneurs in Italy thing…

    Totally agree with Jessica that the Lega Nord is just against immigration – as opposed to putting together a well thought out plan for how to help foreign entrepreneurs (loved the imagery of them handing out “you passed!” certificates after the language test). Also agree with Sara (I think it was Sara) that the the legalese is the real barrier to foreigners setting up businesses in Italy. We lived in Milan several years and left for this exact reason: namely that my husband is an entrepreneur and wanted to start a business. He did not speak Italian fluently but started bringing home paperwork for me to translate, and I had no hope of getting through it even though I am fluent (but not madrelingua). So I took it to an Italian friend who owns a business and she said she can’t get through it either, and hires lawyers to help her.

    I read somewhere that there are currently 200,000 laws in Italy, and none have been eliminated in several hundred years (or along those lines). Apparently France is worse with 400,000 laws. Yay.

    *Anyway* the point is that we could have stayed in Milan as long as we wanted to, but after trying really, really hard, we gave up on the starting-a-business plan and decided to move to the US so my entrepreneur husband could be an entrepreneur.

  2. While I lo have no love for Lega Nord, I have to say that the requirement to speak Italian can be understood in order to run a business. As an American that DOES run a business there, I cannot imagine how I would be able to do so if I didn’t speak the language fluently. From dealing with lawyers, to tax specialists, vendors, to government offices… it would be a disaster…. And that is taking into consideration that my business ONLY deals with English speakers as clients.

  3. really enjoying the podcasts so far 🙂 this video is great!

    I know you mentioned rating the podcast…how do we do that? in iTunes?

    Also, you should put your icon on the podcast somehow…(at least now in my iTunes in my subscriptions it’s not showing up with your logo)…does that make sense?

  4. @Madeline – To your point about leaving so your husband could start a business, Italy is notoriously bad for entrepreneurs, even if they’re Italian (from what I’ve heard).

    @Michael – I don’t think any of us disputed the idea that speaking Italian is a good thing if you’re going to run a business in Italy, but I still think that’s so far from Lega Nord’s point that it’s almost moot.

    @Erin – Yes, you can rate the podcast in iTunes – it’s a star rating, on the left-hand column of the podcast page in the iTunes store. And we couldn’t figure out why the icon wasn’t showing up in iTunes, but it showed up for me yesterday – let us know if you’re still not seeing it.

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