You may wonder why this blog has such an unusual name. It’s not an Italian word we ever hear in the U.S., and it is hard to pronounce! However, this word surfaces constantly in Trieste. It is taped to the wall in the community mental health center. It comes up constantly in conversation. It is part of the mission of the Dipartimento di Salute Mentale. It is the topic of my very first blog in this website.
I chanced upon the Triestino celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday evening, March 8, and I saw this sign in the crowd. There was that word again! So, part of this journey is learning to appreciate exactly what accoglienza means in Trieste. My sense is that it is one of the passwords that unlocks the mindset of why this place is so special.
These are synonyms that the Italian to English dictionary suggests for accoglienza: reception, hosting, welcome, accommodation, receiving, welcoming, acceptance, hospitality, greeting, asylum, refuge. And this is how it is pronounced.