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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Foto–Apples–Friday 17th


Today in Italy is the equivalent of Friday the 13th in other parts of the world, unlucky if you are superstitious. Here in Italy the number 17 has the same unlucky significance that other places such as the UK and USA give to the number 13. To keep bad luck away some people carry a little golden horn as a charm or use the phrase “tocca ferro” “touching metal,” (preferably iron) the equivalent of our “touching wood”.

In fact the number 13 is considered lucky in Italy apart from one time when it is considered unlucky, which is to have thirteen persons at the meal table, but I remember this superstition from the UK also. This superstition goes back to the Last Supper of Jesus and the Apostles.

The number 17 is associated with bad luck in Italy because the Roman Numerals XVII are an anagram of the Latin word VIXI – ‘I  Was Alive’ note the past tense! It can be used in the sense of saying “My life is over”

A Friday the 17th occurring in November, turns the whole month into the month of the deceased and is considered particularly unlucky. As November 2nd is memorial day for the dead in Italy.

I am not very observant in that I have never noticed if the Italians miss out the number 17 when numbering houses and flats, but I do know that Alitalia does not have a seat number 17 on its aircraft.

I will take special care today then and Tocca Ferro.



Shiny tasty Italian apples freshly picked from our garden and now looking temptingly delicious in a fruit bowl on the dining room table.






I have been doing a Friday Foto Feature with a few exceptions every week since the end of March and I now intend to change the post title to Friday Feature as I have a new idea that I would like to try out, starting next week. The plan is therefore that I will still post photos but not every week so that I can incorporate my other idea into my Friday posts.


  1. Those apples look absoulutley yummy. Take care and I hope you get through the 17th with no problems. Maybe it is a bad luck number here! I stubbed my toe very badly this morning on the kitchen step, fell and skinned my wrist from top to bottom. I will survive though LOL Diane

  2. Wow! Those apples look so perfect. How is that possible?
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Hi Linda .. Interesting about the number "17" .. I wonder if they do have houses with 17 on the door? Yes those apples look very tasty , You must be busy with all the fruit trees.

    You are going with your blog, look forward to seeing what you are going to do.

  4. Beautiful apples....love how perfect they look and that you can just walk by and grab one....yum!

    I love the 13th, my birthday is October 13....lucky number, but I like 17 too...he he!


  5. Fortunately I'm not superstitious, however I noted that today it's Friday 17.
    I didn't know about Alitalia, weird, but better not to risk.

  6. Well well! Fascinating - I never realised that other cultures had unlucky numbers that would be different from 13. Don't know why - thinking about it, there's nothing set in concrete about the number 13! But that is really interesting. You'll have to take note of house numbers to see if there are any number 17s. Those applies look fabulous. Made my mouth water!

  7. Diane - I have no idea if it is considered unlucky in France, but it certainly has been for you.
    Dana - I did pick the best looking ones for my display.
    Anne - I must make a mental note to myself to check house numbers.
    Pam - Yes your birthday should definitely be a lucky day.
    Alessandra - I am not either, but it does do to take a little extra care :)
    Maggie - I will try and remember now to look for number 17's.

    Everyone - Take Care and have a good weekend.

  8. Beautiful apples Linda. So pretty and simple in the wooden bowl.

    Thanks for teaching me something new today - I did not know that 17 was considered unlucky to Italians. How interesting!

    Have a great weekend!

  9. I remember playing Bingo and won with B13..ever since..I enjoy the number..ha, ha..
    The apples look wonderful..you can find them here in the Farm Stands..I have apple trees around, but they don't produce..All your fruit trees looked great and they sure did produce for you..
    What a great blessing..nothing like growing your own stuff.
    Have a good weekend..

  10. Beautiful olive wood bowl. Great foto. Can't wait to see what you have in store for next week!

    PS: Always easier to get an appointment with the doctor on the 17th and especially Friday the 17th ;-)

  11. I have a theory that the main reason some days are unlucky is that certain superstitious people may be nervous - e.g. there *are* more car accidents on Friday 13th. So I hope your 17th passes without incident. It must be pretty lucky if it involves those lovely apples :)

  12. Alissa - Thanks they are almost too good to eat, might spoil my display! I did not know about 17 either until I came to live here.
    Rosebud - Maybe your trees are too young yet. We have certainly had a good season.
    hdk - Hi, good to see you here again :) I must remember that tip! Living in Roma have you noticed if 17 is used for apartment and house numbers?
    Rachel - I suspect your theory is correct, day passed without incident, thanks.

  13. Maybe you know that most superstitious people in Italy live in Naples. Fatalism is a way of life there.

  14. Linda, thanks for the little trivia about the meaning of the number 17 in Italy. I never knew that! And thanks for explaining the reason why it is so. The apples are lovely! I just love reading about your life in Italy. At 55, I am beginning to do my research for living half of a year in Italy.

  15. @bella (roz): I'm Italian and living in Venice since I was born. May I suggest you the central part of Italy (such as Toscana, Umbria, Marche, Lazio)?
    I do love it!

  16. Your apples look wonderful – how great to get them from your garden! Our crab doesn't produce much and what it does get taken by the squirrels and birds. Oh well. :) Look forward to your new Friday feature! xo – g

  17. Dona - No I did not know that interesting fact.

    Roz - I echo Dona's comments and would say Lazio, but I think you are already planning on Calabria? I am glad you enjoy reading the blog, good luck with the research when will your plans materialise into reality?

    Georgianna - Thankyou, we found a friend to take some yesterday but we still have more than we know what to do with this year! There is only so much one can do with them :)

  18. I live in house number 17, in Australia, we have had lots of bad luck, I hope our luck changes because I have had just about enough, I would like to know how to get rid of this bad luck, I can't change the house number, we have tried to sell but have no buyers

  19. Yola@ Is the number 17 associated with bad luck in Australia then? I have not heard of this before. I hope things will improve for you soon if you stay positive.


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