Sunday, May 4, 2008

Word of the week: ponte

Our word of the week is plain old ponte, which means "bridge," like the famous Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence.

But the topical, secondary meaning of the word stands for a sort of off-season vacation time which spans (bridges) two national holidays. For example, the Italians are now finishing their ponte for the First of May (their Labor Day), which extends from April 25th (Liberation Day) to May 1st. They create these vacation ponti by using their ample vacation days to fill in between the holidays. The Christmas-New Year "bridge" is also a very common one. Italians like to take a skiing trip at this time- la settimana bianca (the white week).

In the photo, the Ponte del Diavolo at Borgo a Mozzano near Lucca, in Tuscany.