La tavola/il tavolo

“The role of the table in Italian life is relentlessly emphasized in advertising of all kinds and even reflected in the grammar of the language.

Il tavolo is the word for the physical object, whereas la tavola— the same word but in the feminine— is untranslatable into English.

Its connotations encompass the meal and its preparation, quality, consumption and— most important— enjoyment.

Il tavolo is a piece of furniture on which to rest plates and cutlery.

La tavola signifies an experience in which china and glass, knives and forks play only a very small and functional part. When, for example, Italians want to describe the joys of good eating and drinking, they talk of i piaceri della tavola.

Hooper, John. The Italians (pp. 96-97). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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