View Full Version : Questions about Italy

08-10-2010, 02:49 AM
Could a kind Italian please answer my questions?

I have a character who is born around 1978 and comes from Italy. What are the odds that he has been forced to do military service? I read that Italy had conscription until 2003, but in my country the army was drastically downsized when the Soviet threat disappeared and Italy has a huge manpower so maybe there are many Italian men born in the late seventies who didn't need to do military service?

My character has a masters degree, he loves the Italian national football team and for no particular reason he comes from Firenze. I think I will call him Luca Brasi. Could a person who comes from Toscana have that name? Are there any regional differences in names in Italy?

08-10-2010, 03:07 AM
I am a kind Italian!! :D
And I grew up a few kilometers away from Florence, what else can you ask for?
Luca is a very popular name in Tuscany. Of course, we say it Lu'a just because in Tuscany we skip all c's, but that's irrelevant to your story. :)

So, tell me: do you want your character to do the military service or do you want him to skip it? Because there are several ways he could skip it or opt for "servizio civile" instead, it depends on what you want him to do...
I've had several friends skip it for medical reasons and they weren't chronic conditions: one had a minor heart difect (some kind of arythmia or something like that), one was underweight, and another one had a sever astigmatism such that it couldn't be 100% corrected with lenses. So those are a few options for you.

08-10-2010, 03:33 AM
Thanks a lot!

I want him to have skipped it (the other main characters are talking about military service and I have not seen the Italian army from the inside so I wouldn't know what to write). He is a normal, able bodied man so the only reason for him to skip military service would be that they didn't need him (or that he could choose to skip it).

I like the name Luca! It fits him. But what about the last name Brasi? I added it for a humoristic effect because my character is the opposite of the character with the same name in the Godfather.

08-10-2010, 03:37 AM
Brasi sounds realistic to me, and I like how Luca Brasi sounds. You can have him have some minor medical thing and he'd skip. For somebody born in 1978 it was mandatory, so unless he didn't pass the medical test or he'd opt out, he'd be in. If he opted for servizio civile he'd be doing some other mandatory time in some non-military organization, I forget the details on that. It doesn't have to be a big thing, really. Does he wear glasses? Maybe he could have the slight heart arythmia? My friend leads a pretty normal life and you would never have guessed he had the arythmia....

08-10-2010, 11:55 PM
Thanks! I think I will let him have a slight hearing impairment.

08-11-2010, 10:16 AM
Not to rain on your parade or anything, but Luca Brasi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luca_Brasi) is a character in Mario Puzo's The Godfather. Not that it makes your name any less usable, I just thought you should know.

08-11-2010, 12:01 PM
I know that, and that's why I chose that name. Both my favourite TV show and one of my favourite movies have a character having the same name as a famous (although real) person.

Thanks anyway!