April 1st is a day of trickery and shenanigans around the world, and Italy is no exception. In Italy, instead of an April Fool’s trick, you play a trick that makes someone the pesce d’aprile, or literally the fish of April. Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? That’s the idea! About.com’s section on the Italian language has a nice description of the typical April Fool’s prank in Italy:
The traditional pesce d’Aprile (April Fool’s trick) in Italy consists of a youngster surreptitiously attaching – with the help of tape of glue – a paper cutout of a pesciolino (small fish) to the rear shoulders of a school companion. Then everyone jokingly questions: L’hai visto? -Chi? -Il pesce d’Aprile! (or Have you seen? -Who? -The April Fool!) and makes derisive remarks about the victim.
These days the scherzi (jokes) tend to be a bit more elaborated, and planning recorded prank phone calls seems to be quite popular with young people I know here. So be prepared and watch your back today . . . Don’t become il pesce d’aprile!