Scopriamo i tesori della Basilica di San Pietro e della Città del Vaticano.

Un interessantissimo documentario che ci fa scoprire i tesori di Roma come la Cupola di San Pietro, la sublime Pietà di Michelangelo, gli affreschi della Cappella Sistina e una visita notturna agli immensi giardini. Alberto Angela ci porta sulle tracce dell’anziano Michelangelo e del giovane Raffaello, scoprendo anche luoghi normalmente chiusi al pubblico come l’Archivio segreto del Vaticano, la gendarmeria e la caserma delle Guardi Svizzere.

Un documentario da non perdere per gli amanti dell’arte, dell’Italia e della lingua italiana.

Guarda i primi 15 minuti del documentario e rispondi alle domande.

Livello B2+

  1. Quando si apre la Porta Santa?
  2. Quando hanno fatto la  Porta del Filarete?
  3. Di cosa è fatta la Porta del Filarete?
  4. Quando è stato incoronato Carlo Magno?
  5. Quanti imperatori sono stati incoronati nella Basilica?
  6. Quante persone entrano nella Basilica di San Pietro ogni giorno?
  7. Quante persone entrano ogni anno?
  8. Quali sono le chiese più grandi del mondo?
  9. Quando viene aperto il cancello del sepolcro di San Pietro?



….going back to the old days when granny made pasta for the whole family

On Sunday 2nd of July we will start at 11.00am and we will speak Italian ..

so also a short introduction on cooking terminology will be given by the Italian teacher who will help with the vocabulary and assist during the preparation.

These cooking lessons are for everyone in a very pleasant atmosphere and as part of an informal, informative and fun day!

So………Let’s Mani in pasta!

Simona will teach you how to make pasta dough from scratch: kneading, rolling and filling to encourage your creativity and finally closing to make Cappelletti
(The filling will be already prepared because of the limited time).

And after we will enjoy what has been prepared, eating all together our Italian Cappelletti!

But no worries, there will be some for you to take home too..

By taking part in this “Pasta lesson”, participants will expand and deepen their knowledge of Italian language and food culture.

A glass of Prosecco and nibbles on arrival will welcome you

When: July 2nd from 11.00am to 3.00pm

Where: Casa Tua- Camden 176 Royal College St, London NW1 0SP

Cost: £39.90 per head which includes all the ingredients, the use of equipment, Prosecco and nibbles on arrival.

Few places available, booking essential

Organizers: Antonio & Giuseppe




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Satyricon by Federico Fellini in Italian with English subtitles

Introduction and post screening discussion with Nick Walker

Director: Federico Fellini
Cast: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller
1969 | 2h 8 min | Drama


The film is loosely based on Petronius’s work Satyricon, written during the reign of the emperor Nero and set in imperial Rome. The film is divided into nine episodes, following the scholar Encolpius and his friend Ascyltus as they try to win the heart of the young boy Gitón, whom they both love, within the film’s depiction of a surreal and dreamlike Roman landscape and culture.

When: 30 June 2017

Time: from 7pm

Where: Italian Cultural Institute London

Entry: Free

Book now

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La Chiacchiera Spritz: in conversation with the author

Following the last successful conversation with Elisa, we would like to invite you for a new Italian aperitivo event with the Italian writer living in London, Gaetano Barreca, author of the novel “Dopo il funerale” .

Let’s practise Italian with this live interview: meet Gaetano, novelist and teacher of Italian, presenting this new historical book set in Puglia in autumn of 1975.

The interview will be followed by canapes, spritz & good chiacchiera (chat)in Italiano.

Let’s meet at Casa Tua Art Cafè in King’s Cross on Wednesday 14th of June at 6.30pm.


Aperitivo Italiano, Canapes and a good chat in Italian!

plus la riffa: Win 1 week language course at Il Sasso, Montepulciano

Where: Casa Tua, 106-108 Cromer Street WC1H 8BZ

Tube:  King’s Cross
When:  Wednesday 14th of June from 6.30pm to 10.00pm
Entry:  £ 10   (1 Spritz and Apulian typical finger food)

Read the book before the event: click here for reviews and description 

La Chiacchiera Spritz

Organizers: Antonio & Giuseppe

Booking required:

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Italiano camminando is a week-long course designed by Il Sasso, school of Italian in Montepulciano for those who prefer a walk in the open air to a classroom lesson.

Walking together in the Tuscan countryside (Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia) while speaking in Italian will allow you to practice the language and understand the culture better, using the language and improving your pronunciation in an informal context, each according to their own level of competence but always with the guidance of a teacher who is attentive to the needs of everyone. The course is recommended for people with elementary to advanced levels of competence in the language, who like to walk in the country and have the capacity to accept others who speak at a level higher or lower than their own. It is not recommended for complete beginners.

How it works

Duration: 1 week (5 days, from Monday to Friday). Hillside paths between 6 and 12 km, recommended to those who have a good physical shape and can face ups and downs. In case of rain, the outdoor walking program will be replaced in part or in whole by the “Italiano & Arte” program ( As an alternative option, participants may switch to the traditional language courses (with consequent reduction of costs).

Day 1: Walk to Montefollonico, a small Medieval village perched on the summit of a hill between the Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia. Departure from the school at 8:45, return at about 13:30.
Day 2: Walk to Monticchiello, a medieval village nestled in the Val d’Orcia, famous for its walls and narrow twisting lanes, as well as for the summer presentations of “Teatro Povero” (Poor Theatre). Departure from school at 8:45, return about 13:30.
Day 3: Nature Reserve of Pietraporciana. Departure from school at 8:45 with a private van to La Foce, then on foot to the reserve of Pietraporciana with a walk in the beech forest. Lunch at the Visitors Centre restaurant. Back to La Foce on foot and return to Montepulciano in the van at 16:00.

Day 4: Free morning (weekly market). Departure from the school at 14:00, walk to the Dei Winery. Tour of the vineyards and cantina, wine tasting and light meal. Return to Montepulciano at 18:00.
Day 5: Bagno Vignoni. Departure from the school at 8:45 with a private van to Bagno Vignoni with its water-filled piazza, then on foot to the tiny hamlet of Vignoni Alto and back. Bath in the thermal pool of Val di Sole, lunch and a walk in the area of the mills. Return to Montepulciano with the van at 16:00.



Phone: +39 0578 758311

Where to study Italian: Montepulciano


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“Italian Inspirations” is a series of eight encounters in which a prominent British or UK-based author talks about an Italian writer – either classic or contemporary – whose work they especially admire. Curated and moderated by Boyd Tonkin, each event will take the shape of an informal conversation about the ways in which writers read, and respond to, their great precursors or their distinguished contemporaries.

Guest of the first encounter will be Hanif Kureishi, discussing about Italo Svevo’s “Zeno’s Conscience” (“La coscienza di Zeno”).

Next events will follow on Wednesdays 24th May, 7th and 21st June, 6th and 20th September, 4th and 18th October. The list of guest authors wil be published soon.

Free event> book now

Date and Time: Wednesday 17 May 19:00 – 21:00

Location: Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX

Hanif Kureishi was born in London to a Pakistani father and an English mother. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the PEN/Pinter Prize and is Commander of the Order of the British Empire. His work has been translated into thirty-six languages.

Boyd Tonkin is literary critic for the Financial Times, Economist and Spectator, and former literary editor of The Independent. He was chair of the judges for the 2016 Booker Prize and is a special advisor to the Booker International Prize.

The first event of the series is organized in collaboration with the Turin International Book Fair on the occasion of “Letture ad alta voce”, a course of readings taking place in Italy and abroad celebrating the 30 years of the Turin International Book Fair.

Events @ Italian Cultural Institute

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Michela has been teaching Italian for more than 12 years, in an Italian language school and as homestay teacher. She has taught all ages and all levels.

For the students, she is the ideal host teacher. Michela makes you discover the wonderful world of Mesagne in Puglia and above all, makes you feel part of her lovely famiglia.

Michela, your favourite words in Italian

Convivio, Condivisione, Fruscio, Garbo, Mare, Zagara, Tramontana

 What do you like to do in Mesagne

Go for a walk in the old town in the late afternoon, have an aperitivo sitting in piazza and chat with my good friends.

What do you miss from Italy, when you are abroad

The scents from the home made Apulian cuisine, which you can appreciate when you walk  at midday in town. Roast sweet peppers, fresh tomato sauce, focaccia, polpette

The must-see panorama in Puglia

After seeing trulli in Alberobello, the white city Ostuni and the queen of Baroque, Lecce go off the beaten path and head to the dunes along the Ionian coastal road on a sunny summer day and the pink lands with the flourished peach trees.

Top thing to do in Puglia

Dancing the folk dance Pizzica salentina in piazza in a small village on a typical festival of the Patron.

Funny memory

Sunday lunch with my family from 1 to 5 pm 🙂

Favourite days of the week

Thursday and Saturday, when I can visit my favourite open market in Brindisi and in Francavilla Fontana, buy shoes and get a great deal.

Negative aspects from the local community

The people skipping the queue 🙁

What to buy before leaving Puglia

Caciocavallo, tarallini, a portrait of an old olive grove, coffee, a bottle of Riserva Negroamaro.

What do Apulians like

Invite you at the last minute  for lunch, dinner or coffee.

Italian Summer Courses 2017 @ L'

Three unforgettable testimonials from your students @ l´Acanto

„L’Acanto is not only about learning Italian, but also about learning about the culture of south Italy and the warmth of its citizens (Annette, UK)“

„The School is so friendly, you feel like a member of  their  Italian family! (Sandrino, Netherland)“

„With Michela each moment is lived intensively and the past is really ‘passato remoto’, (Nathalie, Belgium)

Favourite place to take your students

The town of Brindisi, along the Via Appia, and getting astonished by the beauty of its port from the top of the stairs, from which the two Roman columns dominate the view.

First memories as a teacher

On my first day as a teacher at L’Acanto,12 years ago, I decided to follow my favourite’s teachers steps. I thought of how much fun I had as a student when I was learning English through the interaction with my colleagues, singing a foreign song, writing a letter to my Scottish pen-friend, reading books, travelling abroad and speaking with the locals.

Best tips for your students

Speak Italian without fear. Make mistakes and with self revision, a good discipline and a healthy memory, learn and have fun!

Sing a song in Italian for us

Meraviglioso, ma come non ti accorgi di quanto il mondo sia meraviglioso. Ti hanno inventato il mare… ti sembra niente il sole, la vita, l´amore. Meraviglioso! (by the Apulian singer Domenico Modugno)

The best way of learning Italian? Practice in the country where it is spoken! Michela @ L’Acanto, Puglia

Where to study Italian: Mesagne, Puglia












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On the 22 April 2017 from 10 to 12  at the Italian Cultural Institute we have enrolment and assessment tests.

Possibility of meeting with some of the teachers to be introduced to the syllabus and the method of teaching and assessing your level.

Possibility to enrol in our classes with £10 discount

Knowing more about the Institute and its Cultural events

Light refreshment

Visiting the library

We are giving a free tester of Italian language lessons for complete beginners

Click here to reserve a place

Italian Language Services is pleased to invite you, if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced, whether you want learn Italian for business or pleasure, we can help you perfect your language skills at a level that suits your needs, and times and days that suit your schedule. You can keep up to date with Italian culture by taking advantage of exciting Institute events, such as films, plays, concerts, lectures, books and poetry readings, and exhibitions.

Link to download the programme

New term starts on 2 May check the calendar of Italian language courses organised by the Institute and our new workshops.

You can enrol

Monday to Friday, 2 – 5pm

Tel 020 7823 1887

Please click here to dowload the enrolment form

Italian Language Services at ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE 

39 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX



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 Although Italy is officially a work-based secular state, Italian language and culture are scattered with open references to the Judaic and Christian traditions.

The Bible itself, having been the one and only source of education for centuries, seems to be a never ending source of idioms and forms of speech.

Even without embracing any particular confession, we thought it would be a good idea to collect 13 of the most common idioms taken from the Book of Books.

william_holman_hunt_-_the_scapegoat1. Fare da capro espiatorio (to be a scapegoat)

We tried to start with an easy one since this form of speech is also present in English and in many other Indo-European languages (Benjamin Malaussene, anyone?). The expression comes directly from the Jewish tradition, mentioned in Leviticus 9:15, of sacrificing a goat as a ritual of purification during the Yom Kippur. Passing from the original meaning to the modern one of being a person unfairly blamed for some misfortune doesn’t require too much effort.

2. Essere una manna dal cielo (to be a boon)

ercole-roberti manna

Manna (or Mana) was an edible substance that, according to the Bible (Exodus 16:1-36 and Numbers 11:1-9) and the Quran, God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert. This image is so deeply rooted in the Italian language that one could actually use this expression to cheer up when something good (and yet unexpected) happens: è proprio una manna dal cielo!

Occhio per occhio, dente per dente3. Occhio per occhio, dente per dente (eye for an eye)

This very common expression is a direct reference to the law of retaliation (legge del taglione in Italian), the principle that a person who has injured another person is to be penalized to a similar degree. In a wider sense, this expression is used whenever one is seeking some form of revenge.

4. Seminare zizzania (to drive a wedge, to sow discord)

This one comes from the Gospel of Matthew, in which we can find the Parable of the Tares (Parabola della zizzania). Tares is actually darnel, a type of grass\weed that ruins crops, and it is used here as a metaphor for the struggle between the spiritual children of Christ (the good seeds) and the unbelievers (the tares).

5. Vendersi per un piatto di lenticchie (to sell yourself for a mess of pottage)

de ribera isaac esau jacob

In the Book of Genesis 25:29-34 we find the two sons of Isaac, Esau and Jacob. The latter, one day, offered his brother the sale of his birthright in exchange for a lentil soup. The expression is often used to describe the action of giving away something of profound value for goods of derisory nature.

guercino-lot-e-le-figlie-con-la-distruzione-di-sodoma-e-gomorra6. Restare di sale (to be flabbergasted)

Again in the Book of Genesis 19:1-26 is told the dramatic story of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed by God for being consumed by vice and idolatry. The expression makes reference to the fate of Lot’s wife, who was told not to look back while escaping from the cities. The woman disobeyed and was turned into a pillar of salt. The idiom is currently use to express disbelief or surprise (“alla notizia, sono rimasto di sale!”).

7. Gigante dai piedi d’argilla (giant with clay feet)

enron_chart gigante dai piedi di argilla

This expression comes from the Book of Daniel in which the prophet tells about the dream of King Nabucodonosor: a giant statue with golden head, silver chest, bronze legs and, as a matter of fact, clay feet. Today this form of speech is a metaphor for something huge (such as a corporation or a party) which does not have steady foundations.

8. Essere il beniamino (to be the favourite)

Study Italian in Rome

Beniamino (Benjamin) was Jacob’s last and favourite son. Therefore, in Italian, essere un beniamino means being someone’s pupil: a very good football player can be il beniamino dei tifosi, or a famous actor can be il beniamino del pubblico and so on.

9. Niente di nuovo sotto il sole (nothing new under the Sun)

One of the most poetic and intense books of the Old Testament, the Book of Qoelet (1:9) is responsible for this sometimes abused quote (nihil sub sole novum in latin), which is used to indicate an unchanging (and unchangeable) situation.


arlecchino goldoni10. Servire due padroni (to be a two-timer).

Although brought to fame by playwright Carlo Goldoni and his Arlecchino, this expression comes from the Gospel of Luke (16:13): “One cannot serve two masters, nor two mistresses”. The meaning is clear: the idiom is used as a reference to a double-crosser, a two-timer.

11. Gettare le perle ai porci (casting pearls before swine)

We find this expression in Matthew 7:6, meaning “to give things of value to those who will not understand or appreciate it”.

12. Muoia Sansone con tutti i Filistei (let Samson die with the Philistines)

The Book of the Judges (16:18-21; 28-30) tells the story of Samson, an Israelite judge who performed feats of strength against the Philistines but was betrayed by Delilah, his mistress. Blinded by revenge, Samson decided to destroy Philistines temple with his bare hands, although he knew he would die too. The idiom is often used in reference to someone who doesn’t hesitate to harm him or herself if it helps hurting others.

13. Essere un Giuda (to be a Judas)

cenacolo leonardo da vinci

Special offers for Italian courses in Rome

The figure of Judas is commonly used (not exclusively but very widely in the Italian language) to indicate a traitor. Along with his name, the expression per trenta denari (for 30 pieces of silver) indicating the amount of money earned by Judas to betray Jesus Christ, is often used.

So this was our list, but please feel free to integrate it and suggest new idioms in the comments! Amen. 🙂

by Enrico, teacher @ Kappa Language School in Rome

Where to study Italian: Rome



Il mistero di Sergio: una divertente storia siciliana da scoprire insieme.

Livello B1.2+

 Ascolta la storia di Valeria e rispondi alle domande

  1. Quando e dove ha trovato il libro
  2. Che cosa dice la dedica
  3. Quando hanno scritto la dedica
  4. Chi è Sergio
  5. Qual è l’indizio
  6. Cosa dicono le persone a cui ha raccontato la storia
  7. Cosa dicono su internet
  8. Se incontrasse Sergio, gli vorrebbe dire…

Ora leggi e completa la storia di Valeria

È un viaggio nel futuro/presente/ passato quello proposto da una lettrice siciliana intenzionata a ritrovare l’autore di una dedica trovata su un libro e datata 1983. Valeria ha comprato il volume su una bancarella/panchina/ bancone al mercato della sua città, Augusta, in Sicilia, L’educazione sentimentale di Flaubert, ed è rimasta colpita dalle parole scritte a penna e datate Natale 1983. “Quella dedica d’amore sulla prima pagina ha scatenato in mi/me/mia e nei miei amici una grande curiosità di sapere come è andata e se finì quella storia d’amore” spiega la lettrice, che ha lanciato la caccia/ pesca/ corsa #cercando Sergio. Gli elementi sono pochi ma da soli bastano per immaginare una storia d’amore in cui ognuno/ nessuno/ qualche riflette le proprie esperienze.

Completa la seconda parte con i pronomi

 “Mi aveva già stupito trovare una bancarella di libri usati tra la frutta e la verdura – racconta Valeria Paci, insegnante di lettere alla scuola media di Augusta in Sicilia – ma non so perché ho scelto quel libro e …….ho comprato a un euro. Arrivata a casa ………ho aperto e ho letto quelle frasi che ……… hanno colpito moltissimo”. La dedica inizia con la data, Natale ’83, e non c’è il nome a …….. è destinata ma solo “for you”. “Questo libro è un po’ a scatola/ cassa/ casa chiusa, non ………ho letto, ma ……. ne hanno parlato bene. E poi d’ora in poi, volente o nolente, riceverai spesso libri di autori francesi. Impara ad apprezzarli. ……. amo, Sergio“.

Scrivi le tue risposte nei commenti o invia a:

Where to study Italian: Taormina, Sicily



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