Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Italian proverbs: rosso di sera

Here's one of those Italian proverbs that has a direct equivalent in English: rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera; rosso di mattina, la pioggia si avvicina. Literally- red in the evening, one hopes for fine weather; red in the morning, rain is approaching.

This is of course our English "red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky at morning, sailor's warning." The Italian saying is much more commonly known than our version. It is said that it generally holds true at mid latitudes in the Northern hemisphere, and I have personally noticed the phenomenon (both in Italy and here in Massachusetts).

Interesting trivia: the observation was already found in the Bible at Matthew 16:2-3- "He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"