One of the things I like most about the Italian language is how eating and drinking form a central theme in proverbs and sayings – it’s a testament to the role that good food & drink play in everyday life. Here are some of my favorite foodisms:
A tavola non si invecchia.
No one grows old at the table.
Non puoi avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca.
You can’t have a full bottle and a drunk wife.
(i.e. you can’t have your cake and eat it too)
Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco.
Not all doughnuts come out with a hole.
(i.e. you can’t always predict what’s going to happen)
Una ciliegia tira l’altra.
One cherry pulls the other.
(i.e. once you start you can’t stop)
Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo.
An old chicken makes good broth.
(i.e. old isn’t bad)
Chi dorme non piglia pesci.
He who sleeps doesn’t get fish.
(the Italian version of the early bird gets the worm)
Tutto fa brodo.
Everything makes good broth.
(i.e. everything is useful in the end)