Romanesco, and Siddhartha: A Post on Two Subjects.


“Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.”
― Hermann Hesse

The book Siddhartha published in 1922, is a book that does not deserve criticism of any form. It is a book that is needed to be read to grasp on to the many messages the writer Hermann Hesse had instored:

 Siddhartha, the main character, was a man  that decides to leave his father to become a wandering Śramaṇa, a monk. In a curious quest to obtain the understanding of wisdom, he, along with his dear  friend Govinda, it does not take long for them to become homeless living without possessions. Guided through his calm and seemignly contained restlessness, he founds himself within the depths of the rags of poverty which from his prespective was not so. This strong man of the name Siddharta, unlike Gondiva decided not to follow the doctrines. Wandering, guided by his interactions of four main characters; the books story reveals a persona of most determained kind. Looking at the various aspects of himself, along with his inner desires that emerges throughout his journey, through Kamala, the courtesan, Kamaswami, the merchant, and Vasudeva the ferryman; they are part of  the three important chapters of Siddharta’s life journey. Thanks to his beloved Kamala, the mother of his son he finds himself reconciling with his own father after many years of life’s strife. Observing the action of his son, recognizing his own ways he then understand hidden truths about his own nature. Showing us that knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.

“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” 
― Hermann Hesse in Siddhartha

(My book’s scheda: Adelphi Edizioni.)


It is important to know Romanesco, “especially” if one is highly cultured in need to show off vast knowledge. This specific dialect, takes part of the dialetti mediani, a family of dialects deriving from various central regions of Italy. Romanesco being connected closely to that of Florence. The 1527’s sacking of Rome, and seige placed by the Holy Roman Empire was an event that highly affected the imigration of Fiorentini to Rome. The dialect of medieval Rome is also said to be closer to that of Neapolitan. The form of Romanesco remaining close to its medieval version was still able to remain uninfluenced up intel the early 1800s within the Rome’s Jewish quarters called the Ghetto di Roma. 

Scialla is ‘Calm down!’ in Romanesco style.

Romanesco has the characteristic of being highly expressive, spontaneous, with a vast amount of evocative words. Some words that are considered  offensive, and crude take a grand role in the passionate ways of the people of this city. Fernando Ravaro, the author of La Lingua De Noantri. Elementi Di Grammatica Romanesca, created a dictionary that holds more than 11.000 entries and 18.000 quotes dedicated to this language. The Volume A – H copy published by Newton Compton Editors in 1994 is of 334 pages in which you can look up many words of all meanings. On page 268, under the letter F there is Fà as a definition. Translated directly from the book:

– To Do. From Latin facere. Is one of the most common verbs of Romenesco, in which it assumes various meanings, taking the place many verbs  the indicate a specific action. In particular it is used to replace “” e in that case, it is most likely that the verb “dire” in latin, along with dicere has the same synonym of fari.

.. Fà a la romana, to pay  a bill collectively by dividing it into equal parts between the participants, respecting the quantity of what everyone has consumed.

Fà la bocca, to anticipate the pleasure, and joy that is about to become true.

Fà la carzetta, to knit with needles, or to do crochet, it was the occupation of the majority of the women dedicated most of their freetime in the distant past.

Fà is a word that you will hear often in Rome by the locals.

The Roman Sonnets of Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, and The Stornelli of Ettore Petrolini.

It is obvious that Rome is immersed in culture, with a history that will forever inspire future generations to come. Along side this city, many people shared the traditions contribuiting their own works for humanity to remember. Two famous individuals are Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, and Ettore Petrolini. Petrolini is the author of the historic Roman song “Tante Pe’ Canta” composed in the year 1932 along the lyrics of Alberto Simeoni. This man, ever since childhood he did not enjoyed going to school and working. Being the 6th child of a severe father, he focused his attention to the theatrical life already starting from a young age. At 15 years old sent to Alessandra (IT) tortured in a riformatory for hurting a friend. After that horrible experience he then decides to leave his family to start working in theater.

Belli on the other hand, born in the year 1971 came from a generation far older than that of Petrolini. This poet’s works are examples of Romanesco in its highest of forms, and only he who knows the dialect is able to get an true idea of the meaning. To show how proud the city of Rome is of this man. A statue of this poet was placed in 1910 infront of Ponte Garibaldi, in one of the squares within today’s lovely Trastevere. Belli also had travelled across Italy in various places from Venice, to Naples and so on he came into contact with various types letterature in the intellectual realms of Illuminisim, and Romanticisim creating many works. You can read many of his sonnets within I Sonetti Romaneschi, which is a vast collection, and/or the 73 Biblical themed sonnets translated by the writer Anthony Burgess, the author of Clockwork Orange.

Leggo anche dei libri, molti libri: ma ci imparo meno che dalla vita. Un solo libro mi ha molto insegnato: il vocabolario. Oh, il vocabolario, lo adoro. Ma adoro anche la strada, ben più meraviglioso vocabolario.- Ettore Petrolini

Planning on visiting Rome? Just for your information:

-Trastevere is beautiful especially during the quietest hours. 

-I always pass by the Roman Ghetto for my favorite Jewish Pizza from the Pasticceria il Boccione.
Note: I love this sweet.

-Other great places are Rione Monti, Largo Argentina, and Piazza di Spagna! When in Rome put these places on your list!


Thanks for the patience everyone. Autumn has inspired me to slow my pace and rest.



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