Abbozzala , 2023
60 x 43 x 1 in (h x w x d)
Mixed Media

If there is anyone outside of my immediate family and home who has helped me keep my sanity, it is my amazing Italian language tutor, Matilde.

As a Florentine herself, she has taught me not only how to improve my basic Italian, but she has also brought a palette of colors to my vocabulary, including colloquialisms of the Florentine dialect.

One of my favorite words to date, which gets used a LOT by me in Florence to thwart nicotine-saturated rich boomers who like to cut queues, "abbozzala!" is a Fiorentino interjection that literally means, "sketch it!" but it's so much more.

When you've done your best to de-escalate a tense situation and the other person persists and increases the aggression, "abbozzala!" is the appropriate response. In other words, the standard Italian equivalent would be "sméttila!" or "stop!", "cut the b.s. right now!", or anything else you would say to put a "periodt" at the end of the last sentence of an argument so you can move on with the rest of your life without some spoiled, entitled d*ckwad harshing the vibe.

It's an incredibly useful tool especially for me, as I interact with many locals here in Florence, and being a foreigner, the expressions alone in response to this word are chef's kiss. I'm forever grateful to my tutor Matilde who has not only helped me along my Italian language journey but also how to navigate the most uncomfortable situations linguistically.

Florentines are NOT the easiest to get to know out of the whole of Tuscany as well as the country.

However, it is people like "Saint Matilde" who truly make this city feel like home.

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