A dangerous wind is a-blowin’

Italy does have doctors, and medicine, and science, and people who think logically and have common sense. However, this country also has this “old world” cuckoo-crazy belief in something called colpo d’aria.

 This colpo d’aria thing is like an Italian person who dislikes Vasco Rossi music or a sidewalk in Italy without more cars illegally parked on it than in the street itself: it doesn’t exist.

Now, I’m sure that my Italian readers are rolling their eyes and saying that I’m just  “a crazy American guy”, but I stand by my belief that this colpo d’aria thing isn’t real. It doesn’t exist.

By this point I guess I should go ahead and tell you what this mysterious (and non-existent) colpo d’aria is. Well, it’s an Italian belief that cold blowing air or “draft” can negatively effect your health in a myriad of ways and is basically responsible for any medical condition or ache and pain that can’t be otherwise explained.

Got a stiff neck? Colpo d’aria!

Throbbing pain in your knee? Colpo d’aria!

Feel dizzy and weak? Colpo d’aria!

A chainsaw cut off your entire friggin’ hand? Colpo d’aria!

So, what do you think? Colpo d’aria: myth or fact?


14 thoughts on “A dangerous wind is a-blowin’

  1. Hi garrett! nice blog!! hilarious I totally agree about the colpo d’aria but would never say it out loud for fear of being arrested. I once saw a scrolling headline on the evening news (tg2) in august here which read, man dies in naples from “congestione” after eating an ice lolly. not a word of a lie. i found that so funny. my husband, who’s italian, didn’t.

    • Hey! Thanks alot! I never saw that TG news story, but I’d believe it (not the part of the man’s life ending due to “congestion” from eating a popsicle, but the fact that the Italian news would report such absurdness). I saw from your profile that you do voice acting/voiceover work. Me too! What a fun way to make some extra cash, no? Ciaooo! 🙂

  2. Garrett,

    Loving the blog! I love being reminded of how funny you are – especially in your observations of Italians!

    Now, let me say, that I have been working in an Italian company for 4 years (since returning from Italy) – so now I am officially in my 6th year of living with, working with and dealing with all of the cuckoo-crazy beliefs – but still to this day “cervicale” is my favorite. The stiff neck that results from “colpa d’aria” that can grant you at least 1 week off from work.

    Even the Italians in America – after many many years, are still calling in sick for cervicale.

    To me – it sounds like something that should be put on ice cream…excuse me…gelato.

    Vorrei 2 gelati con cervicale.

    But I would really risk death then.

    tanti baci,

    • Hi Meg!
      How the cazzo are you doing??!? Thanks for following my blog and I’m happy to hear that “cervicale” has made it across the ocean too! 😛
      I personaly think that cervicale sounds more like a special salami that you’d eat only in the Italian mountains… haha!


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  4. You forgot that the worst ‘colpo d’aria’ is the one that causes diahreea. So remember always cover your tummy 🙂
    This blog is great good luck with it xxx

  5. Hey, I’m new to the blog. I moved to Milan about 3 days ago. I think the blog is generally funny and love your insights into Italian culture. As an American, with an Italian girlfriend, I like hearing about the things that she doesn’t want to tell me! Keep up the good work. Colpo d’aria is hilarious.

    • Hi Ryan! Benvenuto a Milano! You got here just in time for the hot weather, eh? 😉

      Well, my blog is basically written with expats like you in mind, so I hope you continue to enjoy it and get something out of it!

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  7. My girlfriends’ family thought this was hilarious, and now we’re always joking about it; as I’m American and they’re all Italian. it’s true, they actually believe this! So in the car with the air condition, they always put the vents on me! I say. “yea give me that colpo d’aria! It’s hot as hell out!”

  8. Thank god I found your blog. After a particularly heated discussion with my Italian husband about his family’s issues with air conditioning, I googled “why do italians hate air conditioning” and I found you. I lived in Italy before with no problems, but I’m near my in-laws now and it’s ramping up my culture shock. I am more than ready to embrace the challenge of living without AC, but I wasn’t prepared for how much everyone is complaining about the heat. It’s very difficult to not say “you know, in my country, we have this neat invention…”. Partly because I don’t want to be the ugly American, but also because they’ll fire back with “colpo d’aria”. So I have to keep my mouth shut and complain on the internet. I can’t wait to dive into your blog, I just moved back to Italy after six years in Boston, and the LGBT community was a big part of my life, so I’m really interested to read further about your specific perspective here in Italy. Thanks!

    • Ciao Julia! I actually responded to you comment a while ago, but it seems like it never got posted… Boh?

      Anyways, I’m glad you found me too! Boston to Italy, just like me! 🙂

      Now that it’s hot here in Italy once again, I am finding myself getting in the same ol’ arguments with my colleagues over how cold the office should be. I not-so-gently remind them that they can simply bring a scarf of sweater to keep in the office while the air conditioning is on, but I, alas, can not work in underwear. 😉

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