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Vocabulary Quiz
carnival • bitterly • elaborate
face-painting • piazza • touristy
  1. You need something to cover your face because it's cold outside today.
  2. Here are some pictures of I have done in the past. My best design is this bird.
  3. Riding a camel in the desert is a little too for me.
  4. The stores are already selling masks and costumes for .
  5. All of the furniture in her house is so that it's hard to imagine anyone living there.
  6. There is a big art exhibit in the today. Do you want to go?
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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445 Venice
Marion talks about one Italy's most famous cities.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.


When I was living in Pisa, a few friends and I decided to go to Venice for the carnival.

'Carnival' is the time of festivals in many Roman Catholic countries that happens before lent. It is a time when there is a lot of traditional dancing, food and drink. Notice the following:

  1. Are you going to be in the parade for carnival this year?
  2. People travel from all over the world to celebrate carnival here.

bitterly cold

We went there about the middle of February, and it was bitterly cold.

When it is 'bitterly cold' outside it is very, very cold. It is so cold that it makes your eyes make tears and hurts your nose when you breathe. Notice the following:

  1. It's too bitterly cold outside today to go for a walk.
  2. Why aren't you wearing a jacket. It's bitterly cold.


It's fun because lots of people dress up in really elaborate costumes and masks.

If something is 'elaborate' it has a very detailed design. Notice the following:

  1. Wow. I can't believe you made this desk. It's so elaborate.
  2. She like plain clothes and elaborate jewelry.


One of my friends there goes almost every year to the carnival and she does face-painting.

'Face-painting' is when you draw on your face to make with a special type of paint. You can use face-painting to make a mask on your whole face or just a small design in just one part. Notice the following:

  1. Many people were doing festive face-painting in the piazza.
  2. They had face-painting and clowns at her birthday party.


We weren't sure if we were going to meet or not, so it was good that we met up in the huge piazza.

A 'piazza' is a plaza in Italy. It is a central area of the city where there are restaurants and presentations. Notice the following:

  1. He owns a beautiful hotel right off the piazza.
  2. We are all going down to the piazza later to watch the dancing.


When I'd been there the first time, I hadn't gone on a gondola because I thought it was too touristy.

Something that is 'touristy' is an activity that only tourists would be interested in doing. These are usually activities that are stereotypical of a place. Notice the following:

  1. Riding a horse on the beach is definitely touristy.
  2. I hate to go to touristy areas on vacation.