la fetta di casa aggrappata al bastione del torrente

theartichoke

Senior Member
English - Canada
Hi everyone,

I might simply be suffering here from never having been to Parma, but I'm having trouble visualizing what's being described when someone in that city is said to still be living in la fetta di casa aggrappata al bastione del torrente. Online searches and maps have so far been no help. Clearly they live by the river Parma that flows through the city, but it's the "bastione" part that's bothering me: is there a fortress somewhere? Is there a sliver of a building (where people live) attached to it? The only other possibly useful context is that the narrator and her mother used to live upstairs in the same building, so it would seem to be a regular old Italian building with apartments on each floor. But the sliver of a building attached to the river fortress only makes sense if there is such a thing, and I can't figure out if there is. Any thoughts?
 
  • Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi,
    the "bastione" or "baluardo" is not a fortress, but a defensive structure on the embankment of a river; in the XVI century a citadel was built by the Duke of Parma. It had five corners with ramparts and was near the stream Parma. Perhaps in the 1960s there were still houses close to the defensive walls.
    La Cittadella di Parma - La Guida Parma
    1653801624198.png
     

    Benzene

    Senior Member
    Italian from Italy
    Any thoughts?
    The term 'fetta di casa' is characteristic in the real estate language of Parma. The word is not a dialect form.
    Take a look here:
    "fetta di casa" - Google Search

    "Fetta di casa" = Although it is an integral part of a complex of other buildings, a portion of an urban building (fetta di casa) constitutes an autonomous building unit if it has a well-defined purpose and is capable of expressing or producing an income without any change in surface/volume.

    I would therefore translate as 'the house, a portion of a large property/building, clinging to the rampart of the stream...'

    Bye,
    Benzene
     
    Last edited:

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Hi,
    the "bastione" or "baluardo" is not a fortress, but a defensive structure on the embankment of a river; in the XVI century a citadel was built by the Duke of Parma. It had five corners with ramparts and was near the stream Parma. Perhaps in the 1960s there were still houses close to the defensive walls.
    La Cittadella di Parma - La Guida Parma

    Thanks -- this is really useful, but now I'm running up against one of my weak points: I'm never sure of the right vocabulary for parts of defensive structures. What would my fellow native speakers call the thing depicted, and how would you phrase a translation of "il bastione del torrente"? I think torrente has to be "river" (the Parma's not a big river, but it's not small enough to be a "stream"), but would you say "the ramparts of the river"? "the ramparts on the river"? "the ramparts by the river?" Or is this a "bulwark" rather than "ramparts"? Or something else?
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Maybe something like “a narrow edifice built into the ramparts along the river” or “a sliver of a building extruding from the ramparts built along the river”.
     

    phiona

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Fermo restando che "baluardo" e "bastione" sono sinonimi, non sono solo a difesa di fiumi o torrenti.
    A Milano, in alcuni punti della cerchia, sono ancora visibili le cinta costruite dagli spagnoli nel XVI secolo, e tutt'ora chiamiamo questo anello "la cerchia dei bastioni" (i milanesi doc dicono "i bastioni", ma questo è un altro discorso).
    E a Milano non abbiamo né fiumi, né torrenti.
    N.B.
    I navigli sono canali, da non confondere con fiumi o torrenti.
     

    Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Fermo restando che "baluardo" e "bastione" sono sinonimi, non sono solo a difesa di fiumi o torrenti.
    Nessuno ha detto che sono solo a difesa di fiumi o torrenti; al contrario, fanno parte delle mura e difendono quello che c'è all'interno. Nel caso in questione "il bastione del torrente" fa parte delle antiche mura a fianco delle quali scorre il torrente. È ovvio che il bastione non difende il torrente...
     

    phiona

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Nessuno ha detto che sono solo a difesa di fiumi o torrenti; al contrario, fanno parte delle mura e difendono quello che c'è all'interno. Nel caso in questione "il bastione del torrente" fa parte delle antiche mura a fianco delle quali scorre il torrente. È ovvio che il bastione non difende il torrente...

    Tranquilla.
    Qui si è sempre parlato di fiumi e torrenti.
    Era una precisazione per gli amici stranieri.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Maybe something like “a narrow edifice built into the ramparts along the river” or “a sliver of a building extruding from the ramparts built along the river”.
    Thanks! "Along" is much better than the other options that came to mind. For the time being, at least, I'll go with They still lived in the tall, narrow building that clung to the ramparts along the river. Unless, of course, someone comes along and says they'd never call these things "ramparts." :)
     
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