Italian tongue twisters and rhymes

Can you challenge your pupils to pronounce these Italian tongue twisters ( audio versions of the tongue twisters available here)

Sopra la panca la capra campa sotto la panca la capra crepa
( over the bench the goat lives, under the bench the goat dies )

La capra campa

Apelle figlio di Apollo fece una palla di pelle di pollo, tutti I pesci vennero a galla per vedere la palla di pelle di pollo fatta da Apelle figlio di Apollo
( Apelle, Apollo’s son, made a ball from chicken skin, all the fish came to the surface to see the chicken skin ball made by Apelle, Apollo’s son)

Apelle figlio di Apollo

Trentatre trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatre trotterellando
( thirty-three people from Trento entered Trento; all thirty-three trotting )

Trentatre trentini

– tigre contro tigre
( tiger against tiger)

Tigre contro tigre

-un limone, mezzo limone
due limoni, mezzo limone
tre limoni, mezzo limone
( one lemon, half lemon
two lemons, half lemon
three lemons, half lemon
etc… )

Un limone, mezzo limone

Pisa pesa e pesta il pepe al papa;il papa pesa e pesta il pepe a Pisa
(Pisa weighs and grinds the pepper for the Pope; the Pope weighs and grinds the pepper in Pisa )

Pisa pesta il pepe

In the following paragraph you can find some Italian Nursery Rhymes:

Giro girotondo, casca il mondo, casca la Terra, tutti giu per terra
( turn turnaround, the world falls down, the Earth falls down, everyone falls down)


La Befana vien di notte, con le scarpe tutte rotte, con le toppe alla sottana, viva viva la Befana!
( the witch comes during the night, with broken shoes, with the patches in her skirt, long live the witch!)

La Befana vien di notte

-Piove, piove. La gatta non si muove.
La fiamma traballa.
La mucca è nella stalla.
La mucca ha il vitello.
La pecora ha l’agnello.
Ognuno ha il suo bambino.
Ognuno ha la sua mamma.
E tutti fanno nanna!

( It rains, it rains. The cat doesn’t move
the flame flickers
the cow is in the farm
the cow has a calf
the sheep has a lamb
everybody has his baby
everybody has his mum
and everyone falls asleep)

Piove piove

We end with these two traditional children songs:

– Jack sta in cucina con Tina
Jack sta in cucina con Tina
Jack sta in cucina con Tina
e suona il suo vecchio banjo
Bom bom bom bo.

Flì, flai, flì flai flò
Flì, flai, fli flai flò
Flì, flai, fli flai flò
…e suona il suo vecchio banjo!

( Jack is in the kitchen with Tina
Jack is in the kitchen with Tina
Jack is in the kitchen with Tina
and he plays his old banjo
Bom bom bom bo….)



-Ero in bottega tic e tac
che lavoravo tic e tac
e non pensavo tic e tac
alle prigioni tic e tac.
Venne una guardia tic e tac
di polizia tic e tac
mi portò via tic e tac
alle prigioni tic e tac.
Ma io furbacchione tic e tac
presi un bastone tic e tac
e glielo diedi tic e tac
sul suo testone tic e tac
Ma il suo testone tic e tac
era un melone tic e tac
e lo mangiai tic e tac
per colazione tic e tac.
La colazione tic e tac
era squisita tic e tac
e la storiella tic e tac
è già finita tic e tac.

( I was in the shop tic and tac
while I was working tic and tac
and I didn’t think tic and tac
about the prison tic and tac
A guard came tic and tac
from the police tic and tac
took me away tic and tac
to the prison tic and tac
but I was clever tic and tac
I took a stick tic and tac
and I hit him tic and tac
on his big head tic and tac
but his big head tic and tac
was a melon tic and tac
and I had it tic and tac
for breakfast  tic and tac.
The breakfast tic and tac
was excellent tic and tac
and the little story tic and tac
has already finished tic and tac.)

Interns from Padova

Hi, I’m Giuditta and I come from Padua, which is a wonderful city in the North East Italy, near Venice.

Padua has one of the best Universities in Italy, for this reason it’s full of young people and so full of life. I study languages there:  English, German and Spanish.

I stay from 28/08 to 21/09 here in Durham, working at County Hall’s international office with many friendly people. I do everyday something different, from packing envelopes to working with the computer. Sometimes I take part to meetings.

In my free time I enjoy walking around Durham, because you can discover every time new different places. If you want, you can find whatever you need: a quite bench in which sitting and admire the river, a nice coffee shop, the theatre, the library, restaurants and a lot of shops in which spending all the cash you have. What about historical sites: the Castle and the Cathedral are amazing!

I love staying here in Durham. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity to live for a short time in a city like this, learning English and keeping in contact with new people.



Riccardo and Guiditha



Hello! I’m Riccardo, I’m eighteen years old and I come from Padua which is a nice city near Venice in the North-East of Italy. In my free time I like playing football and listening to music.

I study foreign languages in Padua: English, Spanish and German but now I’m hosted in a beautiful house in Durham near the town centre. What is more I’m here for a three weeks work experience in the Durham’s County Hall where I’m doing some simple jobs as doing researches, sending letters, packaging documents and doing copies.

Durham is a nice and welcoming town and I love walking up and down in its characteristic streets and places, especially in the morning or having a coffee in one of its relaxing coffee shops and enjoying the beautiful landscape of North England’s hills. In this period my English is getting better and I’m doing some important experiences as this one in the County Hall.

I Thank the International office for their kindness and their willingness with me and Giuditta. It was a pleasure to be here.

Goodbye, Riccardo.