What’s the meaning of “Capitare a fagiolo”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Capitare a fagiolo along with its pronunciation. If you don’t miss any opportunity, this expression is for you!

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Capitare a fagiolo

Meaning of the idiom

Capitare a fagiolo can be literally translated as “to happen at bean”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to happen at the perfect time, so it’s used to mean that something happens or someone shows up at just the right time.

Linguistically speaking, this idiom can be broken down into…

  • capitare (to happen)
  • a (to)
  • fagiolo (bean)

This idiom has another popular version, cascare a fagiolo, which has the same meaning but is literally translated as “to fall at bean”, with cascare meaning “to fall”.

man falling upside down

For example, you could say…

Capiti proprio a fagiolo: abbiamo giusto bisogno di te.
You come at the perfect time: we just happen to need you.

Elisa è cascata dalla bicicletta.
Elisa fell off her bicycle.

Pronunciation of Capitare a fagiolo in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Capitare a fagiolo.
To happen at the perfect time.
Literally: To happen at bean.

Cascare a fagiolo.
To happen at the perfect time.
Literally: To fall at bean.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.

Where does Capitare a fagiolo come from?

People who lived in Florence around 1500 loved beans and used them to celebrate happy events.

Others say that this idiom comes from the bean plant itself (pianta di fagioli): ripe beans easily fall off the plant, so a falling bean is a metaphor for something that we easily get.

a green plant

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Capitare a fagiolo!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Capitare a fagiolo is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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