Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo

Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo in Italian

Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo
The old bull knows best

Literal translationAn old hen makes good broth
MeaningWisdom comes with age, because the longer a person lives, the longer they have experienced life
IPA pronunciation/ɡalˈliːna ˈvɛkkja fa bwɔn ˈbrɔːdo/

It can also be taken literally: even though old chickens can have very tough meat, their broth smells and tastes great. And it’s one of nonna‘s remedies for colds and the flu! 🙂

Where does this come from? This proverb is very old. It dates back to the Middle Ages. The hen is an effective metaphor for old age: an old hen must be cooked for a long time to soften its flesh and make its broth delicious. At the same time, men must live for many years in order to experience life and become wise.

a mother hen and her chicks

For example, you can say…

La carne di una gallina vecchia è spesso dura, ma fa un buonissimo brodo!
The meat of an old hen is often tough, but it makes a great broth!


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