So, you want to learn Italian. The good news: Italian is a beautiful language, congratulations! I think you’ll love it. The bad news: it’s not enough to stroll through piazzas and sip daily cappuccinos to become fluent or even conversant. There seems to be a misconception that acquiring a second language happens like osmosis, when in reality, a good deal of study, dedication, and willing to embarrass yourself is involved (be warned. You will, at one point, unintentionally say something vulgar.) As a college student studying in the north of Italy, the daily conversation, thorough explanation of verb tenses, and most importantly, supportive instructor, were absolutely essential in acquiring Italian. And forget stuffy classrooms – today’s language schools are dynamic, fun, and more like hanging out with a group of friends than being stuck back in high school. Inspired? The centrally located Italiaidea is a tried and true option for aspiring Italian speakers.
We sat down with the school’s director, Carolina Ciampaglia, to learn more.
Let’s start with the basics. Where in the city is Italiaidea?
We have two locations in the heart of the city. Our main school is found on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 84, in a lovely palazzo that dates back to the 1800s. Our second school is on Piazza della Cancelleria, 85. Both are a brief walk from Campo de’ Fiori and the iconic Piazza Navona. After or in between lessons, our students love to browse the Campo de’ Fiori market, check out the cafes around Piazza Navona, and stroll through the historic center. I think the beauty of the city gives students a motivation to keep learning the language!
How long has the school been in business? And why were you inspired to open an Italian language school?
Italiaidea was first opened in 1984, so we’ve been around for 32 years! Our idea of opening the school was born from a passion to to spread and share Italian language and culture, helping students to understand our country in depth, and to go beyond stereotypes.
Tell us a little about the teachers at Italiaidea.
Our teachers are all native Italian, mother tongue speakers, who have graduated and received masters in teaching Italian as a second language to foreigners. Our classes are capped at 10/12 students, which means instructors are able to really get to know their class and understand the best way to teach them.
What types of courses do you offer?
There’s a course for everyone, from brand new beginners to Italian-language veterans who want to maintain their speaking skills. We have intensive courses, 2 hour long semi-intensive courses that meet twice a week in the morning or in the evenings, and individual lessons for those who want a personalized didactic plan tailored to their specific needs.
We have recently developed a new type of offer for people interested in Exclusive Art Walks, A series of customized art and cultural walks in the company of academics, experts in the history and the art of Rome to discover or re-discover the city of Roma, with a new and authentic perspective..
Who are Italiaidea’s students?
Our students come from all over the world and range from 18 years old to 80! We teach around 1000 people annually.
What makes Italiaidea different from other Italian language schools?
Italiaidea is officially recognized by the Ministry of Education is also an authorized center for PLIDA Certification. Our courses are approved for credits by many American universities like Cornell, Dartmouth College, University of Chicago, Notre Dame University, among many others. Our lessons are professional and high-quality, and our teachers work to ensure that every students’ needs are met.
We also understand the importance of taking Italian outside the classroom and applying it, so every month we organize extracurricular activities after lessons. We’ve done guided visits of museums or other historic sites in Rome, dinners, aperitivi, cooking lessons, wine tastings, conferences on Italian cinema, etc. It’s such a joy to see students begin to speak Italian with more confidence – that’s the best part of the job.
Click here to check out Italiaidea’s Online Courses
ITALIAIDEA – ITALIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN ROME
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 184 – Roma