For her first novel Carnevale, Michelle Lovric used one of these proverbs at the beginning of each chapter. They have not been translated into English before, which is a pity, as they show another side of Venice – the earthy, humorous side that is refreshingly at odds with the traditional view of Venice as a dying, melancholic city.
Inglese Italianizzato, Diavolo Incarnato.
Italianised Englishman, The Devil Incarnate.
La fame fa far dei salti, ma l’amor li fa far più alti.
Hunger makes you jump, but love makes you jump higher.
El leto xe ‘l paradiso dei poveri.
Bed is the heaven of the poor.
La fortuna l’è na vaca:
a chi la mostra el davanti e a chi el dadrio.
Fortune is like a cow:
Ocio de pesse lesso, inamorà o fesso.
Fisheyes – must be either in love or a half-wit.
Tuti quanti semo mati per quel buso che semo nati.
Le done ga do scarsèle:
Women have two pockets:
Tute le volpe finisse dal pelisser.
All the foxes end up at the furriers.
Se se vol rider
If you want to be happy
If you wish to make use of these proverbs, please acknowledge the translations as Michelle Lovric’s.