One of the most difficult things about learning Italian, is that they don't speak it! I'm sure everyone has had that experience where you are sitting at a cafe and the people next to you are italian but they aren't speaking italian! They are speaking "dialetto". I find myself wondering why even bother learning italian if I can't understand what people are saying!
Since I have a lot of free time at boring office internship, I started learning dialetto. Here's a view from my cubicle which probably looks like the view from all of your windows!!!!
Wikapedia has a great Napoletano dictonary--http://it.wikibooks.org/wiki/Corso_di_napoletano/Verbi It has great phrases like :
Sì brutt’ comm’ 'o ddébbit’/comm’ 'a famma 'e notte! =Sei brutto come un debito o sei brutto come la fame a notte!
Although other phrases are more practical like "statte bbuono" which means arrivederci!
Sicliano I think is the most interesting however--since even they themselves say it sounds like chinese. "ku' fu' ka ma'mutto" this means "Chi e che mi ha spinto? "
Leccese--as seen in the songs of the famous music group "Sud Sound System" has a song called "lu sole lu gente lu mare" lu= 'il' and they say things like "non mi lassa" for 'no mi lasciare.'
Dialect is such an interesting thing ,because obviously each regione has it's own. It also has alot of the surrounding influence of the city. For example when I went to napoli I realized how much spanish influence was there and my friend who speaks no Italian understood napolitano because it has spanish influence.
Statte bbuone !!
Baci & Abbracci,