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Italian expression of the day: 'Fare il ponte'

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Italian expression of the day: 'Fare il ponte'
Photo: DepositPhotos
19:22 CEST+02:00
Will you be 'doing the bridge' any time soon?

Today's phrase is a topical one: all across Italy today, lucky people embarked on what's been dubbed il super ponte – 'the super bridge'.

READ ALSO: 'Do the super bridge': Why Italy is on its longest Easter holiday ever

It's Italy's longest spring break ever, made possible by a happy combination of a late Easter and two well-timed public holidays. And, of course, the Italian practice of 'doing the bridge', or fare il ponte.

A ponte is essentially a long weekend, but one of your own creation. While some countries, for instance the UK, shifts the date of its public holidays to ensure they're always on a Monday, Italy lets them fall whichever day of the week they come. That's a bummer every few years when they fall on a weekend, but a bonus whenever they're on a weekday.

What to do if your Liberation Day or Ferragosto ends up on a Tuesday or a Thursday, though? Of course you're not going to work one day and be off the next – that's just silly. The civilised thing to do instead, naturally, is 'make a bridge' between your day off and the weekend, by taking that troublesome Monday or Friday off.

Grazie al ponte, avremo quattro giorni di vacanza.
Thanks to the long weekend, we'll have four days off.

Abbiamo fatto un ponte di tre giorni.
We took three days off.

Will you be 'doing the bridge' this Easter? 

Avete progetti per il ponte?
Any plans for the long weekend?

I hope the answer's yes. Buone vacanze!

Do you have a favourite Italian word you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editor Jessica Phelan with your suggestion.


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