Sayings from Abruzzo:
This one should be carved in stone:
('Live and you will remember.')
Since discovering the following saying, I have renamed Stephane, a friend of mine, 'The Crow Follower':
‘Ha fatte la ijète de lu corve.’
('He followed the crow.')
In the Bible, Noah sends out a crow to find land, but it never comes back. It’s what you say about someone you sent on an errand and is never heard from again.
This one reminds me that the grass is never greener on the other side:
‘Ogne case té nu pênge rêtte’.
('Every house has a broken roof tile.')
Every family has its own misfortunes.
Sayings from Calabria
I love this one; it couldn't be shorter or more to the point:
‘U bisognu ‘mpara a via.’
('Need shows the way.')
Every time I'm about to gossip, I remember this saying, and, sometimes, it stops me:
‘A lingua non avi ossa ma rumpi l’ossa.’
('The tongue has no bones, but it can break bones.')
Don’t underestimate the damage that can be done by what you say.
A vivid warning against hurrying:
‘Cu' prima ‘nun penza dopu suspire.’
('Those who don’t think before, sigh later.')
Many of these sayings have survived centuries; versions of some regional sayings can even be traced back to ancient Greece. And I can't help thinking that the secret to their longevity is their minimalism and eloquence - a model for any type of communication.