Organizing the ‘Sverginare’

Well at last I can say that we are properly settled in. And, I might add, much relieved that the necessities – heat, water, electric, phone – are working ok. But before we can even consider ourselves at home, there’s one other important thing to do: sverginare la casa. That means a housewarming – italian-style! This event takes on an almost risqué connotation as the definition for sverginare means ‘to deflower’. [You get my drift.] Now hold on to your underpants because all it amounts to is a casual get-together with invited guests for lunch or dinner, just like how it’s done in the States. I think it’s pretty cool to phrase it as sverginare la casa and this “deflowering-the-house” custom (the origin of which my husband is not certain, though he knows for sure that it isn’t from Lombardia), is what we’ll have to pull off on three separate occasions for friends, family, and workmates. We shall see if a Scavolini kitchen can withstand my abuse.

For a truly authentic sverginare, my husband’s sicilian colleague said that there needs to be fried food and LOTS of it. In that way, he explained, the rank smell of greasy oil permeates the room for days. If we decide to go that route, I better stock up on air freshener – with the windows shut tight against the cold, nothing escapes from this house!


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