'Al Fresco' in Italy Has a Very Different Meaning Than Everywhere Else

Dictionary
Dictionary | ©PDPics/Pixabay
Francesca Masotti

Before travelling to Italy, you should know that there are several expressions that don’t mean exactly what you think. So, buy a dictionary and try to learn few sentences that you’ll need to use during your Italian tour.
Italian is a rich language with a lot of typical expressions. For strangers, it can be very hard to learn them all, but with a little help, it is possible to say the right thing. ‘Al fresco’, for example, is a typical expression used in Italian…but in two different ways.

Dictionary

Italians use the expression ‘al fresco’ to mean ‘in the chill’ or ‘in the cool’. For example, when they want to convey keeping things in the right places, they’d say ‘keep the cheese al fresco’. But these words have also another meaning.

Cheese

When tourists are in a restaurant and want to eat outside, they usually say they want to eat ‘al fresco’. This is a funny mistake. In Italian, the expression has a completely different meaning. ‘Al fresco’ literally means ‘in prison’! The reason why it means that is probably because in the past, prisons were very cold places with thick walls (‘fresco’ means ‘cold’).

Restaurant all’aperto

So, don’t be angry if, when you say: ‘I’d love to eat al fresco’, the waiter laughs, because you are actually telling him: ‘I want to eat in prison’!

Prison

The right sentence you need to say is: ‘Vorrei mangiare fuori’ or, ‘I’d love to eat outside’. Note it down on your agenda to remember it for your next Italian trip, and let the waiter know that you want to eat in the open air and not in prison.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article