• I'm not Dante's teacher but my name is...

    I've been living a lie. It's lasted something around 27 years, and it has compelled those in the twitter community to drag it out of me with no remorse.

    Yes, you see, my real name isn't Gino. It's Virgilio. (Take a moment and breath).


    How I got this name is typical of every Italian family of the south. My grandad was called Virgilio, his grandad before him and so on on and so on. Thus it is only normal that I get called Virgilio.

    And there is nothing wrong with that, had I lived in Italy for the remainder of my life since birth, it wouldn't have caused any issues, actually it may have been abbreviated but even then, my name would have stayed as the eponymous poet and teacher and not given a significant translation to Gino.

    Yes, because Gino isn't an actual translation of Virgilio. No, Gino is a name given to me by my mum and a teacher when they realised I couldn't call myself Virgilio at the tender age of 3 and only Gilio. Gilio was obviously too silly, too mundane for them, and so Gino was born.

    (The actual translation of Virgilio is Virgil, and considering my mum didn't like Thunderbirds I was spared the indignity of it all.)

    Queue the awkward to hilariousFrom applying to jobs, to awkward moments at airports, my name has been re-hashed as Virg, Vigil, Viagra (doctor's surgery) and my favourite... Y irg i (Sheffield Hallam University for 4 years thought was name!)

    So this is Virgilio?! 
    I lived in Florence with one of my best friends, his name, Orazio. (for those of you not into Italian literature, Virgilio and Orazio were the fathers of the Italian language, and Virgilio was Dante's teacher) Nightclubs would be free, bouncers would want photos with us, and some were so suspicious that our names were made up, we'd have to prove what we were called!

    The fact that Virgilio was Dante's teacher also played significantly into my football life living there. My real name managed to get out into conversation, up to this point I was Gino to 40+ dorm guys. But now, as Virgilio, I was revered as a teacher, they would listen to me on the football pitch, they would expect wise words and calmness - my temper tantrums and foul language soon stopped.

    All because I am called Virgilio.

    Deed Poll awaits 

    For as long as I continue to live though, I will always see myself as Gino, never Virgilio. Let's face it, one has historical tradition and to the purists a beauty of which I'll never see. To many others, Gino is a 1990's ice cream. (Don't get any wise ideas, that advert destroyed my youth!)

    Gino isn't a bad name, it's not a great name either, but I'd prefer to be called it over Virgilio. Is legally changing it going to affect me in anyway? I guess I like the fact that I have two-ish sort of names, and I wouldn't want to offend Nonno (the fascist), but the fact remains, he sees me as Gino, my parents do, my friends do, I do.

    Apparently it costs £65 to get it done... I guess I could always change it back if wanted to...

    1 comments → I'm not Dante's teacher but my name is...

    1. Hi, love to see you in love with the Vespa. You are just the sort of the guy who should participate in the Wobbly Wheels Rally - a 3 week intense, difficult but a lot of fun rally through the Indian Himalayas. Check it out


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