If I remember right, "zuppa di topo" would be soup where the main or only ingredient is mice (like succo di limone). "Zuppa con topo" would be soup with mice, as in the mice are a visible ingredient in the dish (like panino con salame). Then, "zuppa al topo" would be soup flavored with mice, where it is just one ingredient (not necessarily the main one or even visible) that leads to that particular taste (like gelato al cioccolato). Food is fun. ^_^
Duo Italian: "C'è un topo nella mia zuppa."
Duo English: "A mouse is in my soup."
@webMan1: I agree, English should be "There is a mouse in my soup".
In English "there is" is used to talk about the existence of things. In this case "there" does not talk about the distance (close or far from the speaker).
Some languages use "have" to express what English uses "there is ..." for. May I ask what your mother tongue is (mine is German by the way)?
I think I understand what you're saying in the second paragraph (Fr. "il y a"?). But in the first paragraph I'm having a hard time thinking about where distance would come into play with "there is . . . ." I guess my main question should be is there any difference between "Un topo è nella mia zuppa" and "C'è un topo nella mia zuppa" and Is the first sentence legitimate?
ME: Waiter! There is a fly in my soup!! WAITER: You're American aren't you? ME: ummm, errrr, ahem, well, yesssss…. WAITER: Is your soup not the childrens' Alphabet Soup you ordered? ME: well, ummm, yes, it is what I ordered, but, what about the fly? WAITER: Americano brutto, "M" is for MOSCA.