Leave it to the Italians to give colorful dimension to saying “What a mess!”

This topic is featured in the first of what I hope will be a long, continuing video series on my ItalyWise YouTube Channel that I’m calling “Italian Snippets.” I plan to intersperse these quick tips with the other weekly topics and videos that require a bit more in-depth explanation and storytelling. Think of us having a quick coffee while discussing a small but useful piece of advice that might just help you go beyond the surface of adapting to the Italian way.

“Che casino!” and “Che bordello!” express dismay or surprise when things get out of hand.

When speaking Italian on a more regular basis, these can become handy additions to your repertoire. These phrases also can signal to native speakers that you’ve done your homework and you’re not doing minimal work to get by with the language. I love these two particular phrases because they evoke so much more than simply saying something is unorganized or messy.

I guess Italians consider casinos and brothels as inherently chaotic.

Imagine looking at a desk overflowing with unfiled papers, dirty coffee cups, etc and comparing the scene to one of escalating debauchery and hedonism. I just have to laugh about that. And when I exclaim “Che casino!” it suddenly becoming much more satisfying. Think also of attending an event with friends that is anything but organized.  You comment knowingly, “Che bordello!” You’ll probably get several nods of agreement.

So, with this preface, I’ll leave you the following video and my first Italian snippet. I will endeavor to keep these to under four minutes—short, sweet, and useful! Enjoy!