Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, December 10, 2018

"Smucinate," and other Signs of Shopping in Rome

Tourist citations of inept menu descriptions or botched foreign language translations are standard fare.  And we are not immune to enjoying the signs of petty capitalism (though we do avoid posting on menu infelicities).  Below, some of our favorite ones from this year.

You won't find this word in an Italian-English dictionary, but you will find at least some definitions of "smucinare"
 in a good Italian dictionary.  Here - at this mixed items stall in a street market - it means "Rummage at will." 
Apparently "smucinare" has some other meanings that aren't appropriate for a family blog.

The sign that accompanies these Zippo reading glasses (a good buy in Rome - about Euro 5 each, and they have 3.0s) mashes English and Italian, of course, and uses the classic Italian phrase "Buon..." whatever (as in "buon apetito," "buon giorno," "buon natale") translated - as it sometimes can be - to "happy," and "vista" = sight.  So, Happy Sight!
I also like the colors of the glasses and their cases, of which I now own a few.

This sign is appealing for its play on the Italian verb, to walk or to take
a walk, "camminare."  It's done here with an Indian style writing
and also an Indian-like spelling that ends up sounding the same
as "camminare."  And, of course, it's the name of a - in English-
tour operator.

Can't resist this one - "Torno subito" - or "Back soon."
To which our usual response is, "yeah, sure."

What I like about this photo is the services offered by a more-or-less permanent
street stand.  The hand-printed sign at left (and see below) basically says "we deliver."
  I had a nice chat with the owner - from whom I bought only a bottle of water. 
He was fascinated to know where we were from (we were in the Africano quarter,
which doesn't host a lot of tourists; it's name comes from the street names, which were
created when Italy was in the process of conquering - or failing to conquer - north Africa;
streets such as Somalia and Libia); the shop owner was an immigrant, obviously hard-working.

And then marijuana comes to Rome:


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