I just heard this expression on the radio and it was too good to not write about it.
A maggio si spoglia adagio, in May cautiously undress.
Spogliarsi means to remove, take off clothing and adagio means carefully, slowly, cautiously.
If you have spent some time in Italy, you probably have heard about un colpa d’aria, a hit of air. This hit of air, can be any type of light breeze that “hits” your body in a particular place – neck, back, shoulders and can cause stiffness and pain. For some reason, this only happens in Italy. I was very skeptical of this phenomenon until I experienced it myself and suffered the worst neck pain for over a week with no remedy.
And when the seasons change, a hit of air can be particularly dangerous.
In May, the mornings are cool, the afternoons can become overly warm with a nice crisp breeze, and by evening, the temperatures have dropped again. You are constantly in a pickle about how you should dress, concerned you will be overheated.
The risk with being over heated is that as soon as you remove your jacket or sweater, just the right cool breeze will blow and you are bound to end up with a sore throat or even worse – a fever by evening. This drastic change in temperature is a recipe for catching the Spring cold.
So, a maggio si spoglia adagio, in May cautiously undress. Dress in multiple light layers, so you can carefully, slowly remove them as necessary and hopefully avoid sweating to only be left later with a terrible cold.