If you live in Rome, chances are you need to use the word, casino. A noun, meaning disorder, or a mess, it is mostly used in an exclamatory way: Che casino! Or, what a mess! Or, E’ stato un casino!– It was a huge mess!
Casino is an Italian word, stemming from the word, house, or casa. Originally, a casino was a house of pleasure, including pastimes such as gambling, dancing, and, um, brothel-ing. Actually, another meaning of casino is simply, a brothel. Drawing my own conclusions, I can only assume that the ‘disorder’ one would find at a brothel/gambling house is what led people to use casino when talking about a mess as well as a house of pleasure (or sin…however you see it.) In everyday speak however, casino is mostly used to refer to disarray, confusion, or clutter.
Sometimes, one can ALSO use casino to mean ‘a lot.’ I don’t hear casino being used this way many times, but it is out there. For example:
‘Ho visto quel film un casino di volte’ – I’ve seen that film a ton of times.
‘Mi manchi un casino!’ – I miss you a ton!
By the way, casino should not be confused with casinò, (yes the accent over the ‘o’ makes a difference), which is the Italian word for a casino, like a Vegas casino…