"We are such stuff as dreams are made on"

How do you pronounce Medici?

So, how do you actually pronounce it correctly?

Anthony Armstrong and Michael Scott scrapped over how to say Medici correctly towards the beginning of the Florence episode of BBC’s Invisible Italy.

It would be good to get it right, given that family contained the superstars of the Italian Renaissance.  I was inclined to go with Anthony, as he said his grandfather had drilled his pronunciation into him.

The bun fight ended with a, ‘ you say tomato, I say tomayto’ compromise. But actually it is not a matter of choice. There is saying it like an English word, which is wrong. And the Italian way, which is the way to go.

And of course, the English way sounds more correct, so you have to work against your natural instinct. And every time I heard it pronounced that way, it interferes with my Italian version. So, both versions swirled around my head. Like a sharp stone in my shoe, it distracted me from what was a pretty amazing programme.

You have to watch this programme. If your view of Florence is a bit jaded, well, it will be whetted again once you’ve seen what 3D scanning reveals – but I won’t spoil it.

And so how to actually pronounce Medici correctly, I had to head over to Forvo to get the right version imprinted into my mind again.



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