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“VOCABOLARIO DEL GUSTO”: JOHN FLORIO & DANTE AT DINNER

by Resolute John Florio

Academia della Crusca celebrates Dante with a new Italian vocabulary which contains English entries from John Florio’s dictionary

Vocabolario del Gusto

To commemorate the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death, the Accademia della Crusca of Florence and Giovanni Cova & C., historical pastry shop founded in 1817 in Milan, are collaborating to produce the Vocabolario del Gusto, an extract and specially revised version of the first Vocabolario della Crusca in 1612.

The dictionary contains about six hundred entries in Italian with the equivalent in English, edited by Elisa Altissimi, a young linguist from Rome. The Italian words are taken from the first Vocabolario that the Florentine Academy published in 1612. Altissimi has extracted all the entries concerning food and taste.

The new dictionary also has its own originality as regards the English language part, which is also seventeenth-century. They are words”, explains Claudio Marazzini, president of the Accademia, “taken from the first bilingual Italian-English dictionary, the “New World of Words” by John Florio, published in 1611, the year before the Crusca dictionary”.

Queen Anna’s New World of Words – John Florio, 1611

A sort of comparison between two ancient dictionaries, in which there are entries that have survived until today together with others that have disappeared and others that have taken on a different meaning.

The Accademia della Crusca,” points out President Marazzini, “was delighted to accept Giovanni Cova & C.’s proposal for a joint initiative in Dante’s year: the combination of culture and food is nothing new, indeed it is now widely accepted. Food is itself culture and is linked to language, because the irreplaceable value of product narration is well known: without words, much of the product’s appeal is lost, the description of the ingredients is lost, and the art of manufacture is not properly appreciated. Only words, therefore, reveal the craftsmanship that has its roots in a past rich in experience. Only words help to fully grasp the meaning of refined Italian traditions, a precious heritage of our civilisation’.

The Vocabulary will be released as a gift with panettone of “Dante 700” line produced by the Milanese company for the seventh centenary of Dante Alighieri’s death.

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