Ligabue's Mondovisione: Which songs do you want to see?

Successo di Mondovisione from Ligabue official Instagram, as seen on
UPDATE: Since its release in late November, Mondovisione has had enormous success and garnered many accolades and praise!

Scroll down to see the song titles, play a matching game, and VOTE for which songs you'd like to see covered on VIA OPTIMAE next!

Ligabue's tenth album Mondovisione recently released in Italy.  Many have said it is the most "political" of all his albums but Ligabue sees it as expressing of his sentiments— something he has tried to do in all of his albums.

"Questo non è un disco politico, perché anche le canzoni d'incazzatura sono canzoni sentimentali."
—Luciano Ligabue

"This is not a political album, because even songs about being pissed off are sentimental songs"

The album has been met with enormous success in Italy and I personally can't wait to buy the mp3 version when it becomes available through a US site (so far, I could only find an imported CD available through but I've been enjoying listening online in the meantime:

(Having problems with the embedded player?  Listen on

I learned a lot of Italian by listening to Italian songs in general and Ligabue's music in particular.  Going over the song titles and lyrics, there were several that peaked my interest and that I think would be interesting to discuss their meaning and translation.

Explore the song titles and their rough English translations by playing this little timed matching game:

Hint: Game displays 8 of the 14 song titles at a time, so play more than once to see them all, and improve your time! You can also "View this study set" to see them as flashcards or a list.

What do you think?  Let me know which songs interest you the most and we'll cover those first! You can COMMENT on this post below, or vote via FACEBOOK. 

[Note: 'Capo Spartivento' and 'Il suono, il brutto e il cattivo' are instrumental tracks]

 I already covered the album's first single 'Il Sale della Terra'…in case you missed it:

"Il sale della terra" music video, testo in italiano and lyrics in English.

I'm anxiously awaiting your input! 

VOTE in the comment section of this post or on Facebook!

In the meantime…

Buon ascolto!
Happy listening!


More advanced readers may also enjoy:
Mondovisione – Luciano Ligabue: la recensione
A full, song-by-song review in Italian from


Ogni quanto? Quante volte?

~the simple present tense & expressions of frequency~

As with English, the Italian simple present tense is often used to express repeat or habitual actions— what is generally or normally done.

Mangio la colazione.
I eat breakfast.

Non bevo il latte.
I don't drink milk. 

Often times, expressions of frequency are also used in these types of sentences:

Mangio la colazione ogni giorno.
I eat breakfast everyday.

Non bevo mai il latte.
I never drink milk. 

As the name suggests, these expressions not only tell you when but also how often.  They answer the following questions:

Ogni quanto? (How often?), Quante volte? (How many times?) by ab for

New to the present tense? Need to review conjugation and negation? You may want to start with...
  (1) How Italian verbs work(Intro to verbs & grammar terms)
  (2) Italian present tense: -ARE verbs
  (3) Italian present tense: -ERE verbs
  (4) Italian present tense: -IRE verbs
  (5) La negazione - Negation

In practicing and using the simple present tense, you'll find you frequently need an expression of frequency… so print pages 12 & 13 of the digital Beginner's Workbook and let's go over some of the most common ones, and see how they fit into sentences:


...giorno, settimana, mese, anno
(day, week, month, year)

Mangio la colazione ogni giorno.
I eat breakfast every day.

If you want to say a specific day, you can say it in one of three ways:

ogni + (day of week) es: ogni giovedì  (every Thursday) by ab for

Mangiamo la lasagna ogni domenica.
We eat lasagna every Sunday.


il/la + (day of week) = on (day of week) by ab for

Non mangiamo la carne il venerdì.
We do not eat meat on Fridays.

Mangiamo la lasagna la domenica.
We eat lasagna on Sundays.

Sunday is feminine: "la domenica"; all the other days of the week are masculine and take  "il"

tutti i (day of week) or tutte le domeniche [every (day of week)] by ab for

Mangiamo fuori casa tutti i venerdì.
We eat out every Friday.

Mangiamo la lasagna tutte le domeniche.
We eat lasagna every Sunday.

una volta, due volte… 
(once, twice...) giorno, alla settimana, al mese, all'anno
(a day, a week, a month, a year)

Mangio il gelato due volte alla settimana.
I eat ice cream two times a week.

Paghiamo le tasse una volta all'anno.
We pay taxes once a year.

Avverbi (adverbs)

always <---> never

Many actions fall somewhere on this continuum of frequency:

sempre, quasi sempre, spesso, di solito, a volte, quasi mai, mai: continuum of frequency by ab for

[This is a non-exhaustive list- there are other adverbs of frequency: normalmente (normally); ogni tanto (every once in awhile); raramente (rarely) etc. but the above continuum is a good place to start!]


Mangio sempre la colazione.
I always eat breakfast.

Notice how the adverb "sempre" is after the verb "mangio"?  That is the standard position for adverbs in an Italian sentence… another option is at the start of the sentence — but this depends a bit on the adverb itself and the emphasis.  

Sempre mangio la colazione.
I always eat breakfast.

quasi sempre
almost always

Mangi quasi sempre la stessa cosa.
You almost always eat the the same thing.


Lei mangia spesso lo yogurt.
She often eats yogurt.

di solito

-Cosa mangiate di solito?
What do you all usually eat?
-Di solito, mangiamo il pesce.
Usually, we eat fish.

By nature, the question puts emphasis on the adverb, so it sounds natural to respond with the adverb at the beginning...

a volte

A volte, mangiano fuori.
Sometimes, they eat out.

"A volte" as an adverb is often found at the beginning of the sentence.

quasi mai
almost never

Non mangio quasi mai il riso.
I almost never eat rice.

Remember, as discussed in La negazione - Negation Italian requires double negatives!  So if the adverb is negative, like "quasi mai" or "mai", you must also use the negating word "non" before the verb.  


Non mangi mai l'insalata.
You never eat salad.

Hai capito? (Did you understand?)  

If you haven't done so already, print pages 12 & 13 of the Ogni Quanto? Quante volte? Worksheet in Beginner's Italian Workbook* and fill-in both the "notes" section and the quick exercises that follow! 
*not available on mobile devices, please try on a regular computer! (Submit your answers by email for free corrections!)

ITALIAN: Workbooks Beginner's Workbook, Part One, from Via Optimae,

 —be the first to know about new lessons & worksheets! {Subscribe here!} 

Happy Studying!

Alex on

All lessons in the Beginner's Italian series:
  (1) How Italian verbs work(Intro to verbs & grammar terms)
  (4) Italian present tense: -IRE verbs — CURRENT PAGE
  (5) La negazione - Negation
  (6) Ogni quanto? Quante volte? (Adverbs of frequency)
  (7) C'è & Ci sono (There is & There are)

 Potrebbe pure interessarti….
ITALIAN: The Basics Series, starting with:
(01) Indefinite Articles (How to say "A/AN" in Italian

La negazione - Negation

After covering the simple tense of -ARE, -ERE, and -IRE verbs, you are able to conjugate a large number of regular verbs and express a large number of concepts.  

You may want to have your worksheets and conjugation practice handy from the previous lessons. If you missed them, or need more review, start there first:
  (1) How Italian verbs work (Intro to verbs and grammar terms)
  (2) Italian present tense: -ARE verbs
  (3) Italian present tense: -ERE verbs
  (4) Italian present tense: -IRE verbs

For example, you know that "mangiare" means "to eat", and it's a regular -ARE verb, so "I eat" is:


"Leggere" is a regular -ERE verb that means "to read", so "I read" is:


"Dormire" is a regular -IRE verb that means "to sleep", so "I sleep" is:


"Finire"  is a regular -IRE verb that takes -ISC- and means "to finish" so "I finish" is:


So, collectively, we have:

Mangio, leggo, dormo e finisco.
I eat, I read, I sleep and I finish.

But how do you say…
I don't eat?
I don't read?
I don't sleep?
I don't finish?

Luckily for us, Italian negation is much simpler than English… you just add "non" before the verb.

So, "I don't eat" is:

Non mangio

"I don't read" is:

Non leggo

"I don't sleep" is:

Non dormo

and "I don't finish" is:

Non finisco

Easy right?  

(Hear "non" pronounced by native speaker PhoenixLo at )

Looking at some of the conjugation tables that you completed in previous lessons, try repeating each verb aloud, adding the negation "non" to each.

Double negatives
In English, we are taught that double negatives are bad… "I don't never eat" sounds at best confusing, and at worst just plain wrong.

In Italian, however, double negatives are required.  Let's see how that works:

"Never", in Italian, is: 


(sounds a bit like the English "my"...hear it pronounced thanks to Heracleum at!)

So to say "I never do something" you must use both "non"  and "mai" as follows:

non + (verbo) + mai formula for "I never (verb)" by ab for

So "I never eat" is:

Non mangio mai.
I never eat.

Using the above, try translating the following:
(highlight below each to reveal answers)

I never read.
Non leggo mai.

I never sleep.
Non dormo mai.

I never finish...
Non finisco mai...

Again, review your conjugation tables and try saying each verb out loud, adding the formula "non" (verb) "mai"… 

La Negazione — Negation Worksheet, available on pages 10 and 11 of Via Optimae's digital Beginner's Workbook
*not available on mobile devices, please open with a regular computer

ITALIAN: Workbooks Beginner's Workbook, Part One, from Via Optimae,

Feel free to submit your answers to viaoptimae{} for free corrections!

That's it! I leave you now with one more example:

Non mi stanco mai di studiare.
I never get tired of studying.

E tu?
Alex on

Ready to move on to the next lesson in this series?

All lessons in the Beginner's Italian series:
  (1) How Italian verbs work(Intro to verbs & grammar terms)
  (4) Italian present tense: -IRE verbs — CURRENT PAGE
  (5) La negazione - Negation
  (6) Ogni quanto? Quante volte? (Adverbs of frequency)
  (7) C'è & Ci sono (There is & There are)

See also:

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae
Acque del sud (To Have and Have Not) original: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow."