June 27, 2012

Rome. November, 1984

When I first went to Rome, I thought the word guasto meant “telephone.” I saw handwritten signs with it posted on so many public phones throughout the Eternal Città that my error was not without some justification, I think. Actually it means “broken.” Here it is in its feminine form, indicating that there’s something wrong with this beautiful mailbox. Guasto is a good word to learn before going to Italy, so often does it appear throughout the country in so many different applications. Another useful term to master: in sciopero. “On strike.”

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