Tag Archives: italian

After the runaway success of its first edition that registered complete sell outs for all screenings, ITALIA DOC comes back to London.
The only official UK series of screenings of contemporary Italian documentaries starts again on 21st November 2017 at 7pm!
Thanks to an important collaboration between UCL University College London and FilmItalia, all the screenings, which will take place at The Bloomsbury studio in London, will be FREE and followed by a Q&A session between Dr. Cristina Massaccesi and the film directors. 
All screenings will be in Italian with English subtitles.
Last year all the screenings were sold out: book your tickets in advance!

The first documentary to be screened will be ‘Crazy for Football’ by Volfango De Biasi on 21st November 2017 at 7pm

A group of patients from Mental Health departments all around Italy, a psychiatrist, Santo Rullo as the team manager, a former five-man football player, Enrico Zanchini as the coach and a world boxing champion, Vincenzo Cantatore, as the trainer. These are the protagonists of Crazy for Football, the documentary by Volfango De Biasi about the first Italian national ‘futsal’ team to compete in the world championships for psychiatric patients in Osaka. A film dedicated to football as a therapy and salvation.


• David di Donatello 2017: Best documentary • Los Angeles – Italia 2017: Italian Cinema Today • Festa del Cinema di Roma 2016: Riflessi

Free event

The following screenings will be

Tuesday 12th December at 7:00pm

Surbiles by Giovanni Columbu

The Surbiles are women apparently like all the others but who abandon their physical body between sunset and dawn either in their sleep or by means of drugs. They enter houses where children live and suck their blood. In the past, these women were blamed in the villages of Central Sardinia for the sudden and inexplicable death of many children. Some surbiles appear as benevolent figures who protect children from evil ones and fierce battles take place between the immaterial bodies of the two species of surbiles. This film, emerging from an anthropological research, reconstructs and recounts a few of these stories.

Free event

Book your tickets here https://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/17034

Tuesday 16th January at 7:00pm

Il monte delle formiche dir. Riccardo Palladino

For centuries, every summer on September 8th, swarms of winged ants travel to the “Mount of Ants” in Italy, where they mate in flight: the impregnated females create new colonies while the male ants die on the ground, at the foot of the sanctuary built on the top of this mountain and dedicated to “Our Lady of The Ants”. Tourists, curious and faithful, come here to witness this event. This singular phenomenon is the starting-point of the film’s reflection about the nature of ant and man, who can see himself mirrored in the little insects.

Free event

Book your tickets here https://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/17035

Tuesday, 20th February at 7:00pm

L’ultima Spiaggia dir. Thanos Anastopoulos and Davide Del Degan
A popular beach in Trieste, North-East of Italy, where a wall still separates men from women. A year spent thinking about frontiers, identities and different generations. A tragicomic look on human nature.

Free event

Study Italian: get a quote

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Italian Inspirations” è una serie di otto incontri in cui un autore britannico parla di uno scrittore italiano, classico o contemporaneo, che ammira in modo particolare. Curato e moderato da Boyd Tonkin, ogni evento sarà una conversazione alla scoperta dei modi in cui un autore legge e si confronta con i suoi illustri precursori, o con i suoi autorevoli contemporanei.

Mercoledì 6 Settembre 2017 dalle 19:00 alle 21:00 Ben Okri, che discuterà delle opere di Italo Calvino.

Ben Okri è un poeta e scrittore nigeriano. È considerato uno dei maggiori autori africani nella letteratura post-moderna e post-coloniale. Cresciuto a Londra, torna in Nigeria quando la famiglia vi si trasferisce nel 1968, per poi lasciarla nuovamente quando una borsa di studio del governo nigeriano gli permette di ottenere un posto di lettore in letterature comparate presso la Essex University.

Date and Time: Wednesday 6 September 19:00 – 21:00

Free event

Location: Italian Cultural Institute > 39 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX

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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'acanto.it

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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 Italian language services at the Italian Cultural Institute is proud to launch revision courses of 15 hours each for students who are sitting GCSE, AS and A levels exams in Italian at school.


What is the course about?

The aim of this course is to expand the student’s knowledge of Italian  while preparing their speaking, comprehension and writing skills for the final exams through the participation in discussions based on selected and ad hoc material.

By taking part in this course, the students will expand and deepen their knowledge of Italian language and culture.

What will we cover?

The teachers will use a communicative approach. All four skills (speaking, reading, listening and writing), will be practised, with emphasis on grammar.

Students will also be offered guidance in self-study and be set optional homework tasks.

These courses will be held during schools holidays from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th of April, from 10.30am to 1.30pm each day

Number of hours per lesson:3

Total number of hours:  15 hours

How to book

Information and bookings: Italian language services @ Italian Cultural Institute

email: courses@icilondon.uk

Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm

Tel. 020 7823 1887

25 years teaching Italian @ Italian Cultural Institute

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Contemporary Italian music is not very popular in other countries. When I ask my students which songs they know or singers, they always say Ricchi e Poveri, Albano e Romina or Toto Cutugno. These are songs that were famous in Italy when my father was 20 years old. Even though there are few contemporary songs that cross the borders, there are plenty that students would enjoy and could be great material to use in class.

Songs help to memorize; listening, singing and repeating is a great way to improve your vocabulary.

And now, my Top Ten songs for students of Italian

For beginners

E penso a te, Lucio Battisti

The best song so far in my experience for beginner students. It’s the first song I use with my new learners. As a slow and simple is great for learning and introducing students to regular verbs.

Annina, Max Gazzè

I also like to use this strange song with a weird video. It was written for his girlfriend Annina (I presume his ex girlfriend after listening to this song).

 Vento d’estate, Max Gazzè & Niccolo Fabi

This is a great one for practising irregular verbs in the present tense.

Di sole e d’azzurro, Giorgia

A great female voice and a great way to learn vocab about love, weather and relationship.

 Per te, Jovanotti

Do you want to practice Italian articles? Just listen and fill in the gaps with this song.

 Volare, Domenico Modugno

And as deejays say:” put your hand in the air” if you don’t know Volare.  Impossibile!!! The most famous Italian song with a great activity to practice pronunciation.

Where to study Italian:click here

For intermediate

 Meraviglioso, Domenico Modugno

Another wonderful song from Domenico Modugno with such powerful lyrics.

Also have a look at..

  La prima cosa bella ( present and simple past)

Sto pensando a te (present continuous and regular present tense)

Dove ho visto te (passato prossimo)

Ti sposerò (future tense)

Quattro amici al bar (future and simple past)

And finally, brush up your animal vocab with this smash hit from a few years ago. I bet you you won’t be able to get it out of your head: Il pulcino Pio

And vocab about house, furniture and family with this nice jazz song: Coinquilini, Davide Zilli

For advanced students

E se domani, Mina

Enjoy Mina’s magical voice in this romantic song and practise subjunctive and hypothetical phrases.

Nina Zilli, L’uomo che amava le donne

Is it possible to have more than 20 pronouns in a song? Yes, it is! The best song to practise direct, indirect and reflexive pronouns in Italian.

 Buon ascolto, Antonio


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The Italian Cultural Institute, in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Curzon Artificial Eye, organizes a special screening of the 2016 Italian documentary Fire at Sea, directed by Gianfranco Rosi.

The Italian film director will attend the event, which will take place at Curzon Mayfair Cinema at 6.30pm.

Fire at Sea won the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and It has been selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards next February, 2017.

The film was shot on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa during the European migrant crisis, and sets the migrants’ dangerous Mediterranean crossing against a background of the ordinary life of the islanders. The main characters are a twelve-year-old boy from a local fishing family and a doctor who treats the migrants on their arrival. In his acceptance speech for the Golden Bear award, Rosi stated that his intention was to heighten awareness of the migrant situation, saying, “It’s not acceptable that people die crossing the sea to escape from tragedies”.

Gianfranco Rosi is an Italian director, cinematographer, producer and screenwriter. His film Sacro GRA won Golden Lion at 70th Venice International Film Festival. Sacro GRA is the first documentary film to win Golden Lion in history of the Venice film festival and the first Italian film to win in fifteen years, after Gianni Amelio’s The Way We Laughed won the award in 1998. His 2016 film Fire at Sea, a documentary focused on European migrant crisis on the Sicilan island of Lampedusa, won the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Rosi is the only documentary filmmaker to win two top prizes at major European film festivals (Cannes, Berlin and Venice) and is currently the only filmmaker besides Michael Haneke and Ken Loach to win two top European festival prizes in the 21st century.

When: Thursday 1 Dic 2016

Time:  6:30pm

Organized by : Italian Cultural Iinstitute London with Academy, Istituto Luce and Curzon Artificial Eye

Free entry


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At the end of October there will be a knees up like no other when Match&Fuse brings together musicians from 14 countries across Europe as a political ‘up yours’ to the obtuse world we find ourselves in.

Like many of you, Match&Fuse believes in moving forward, not backward, and our music policy reflects that.

2 days of gigs happen in 7 spaces at the Vortex, Cafe Oto in Dalston and another musicians’ favourite – New River Studios near Manor House. Acts are listed and our Soundcloud button is below to check their music.

Buy Tickets

Friday 28 October @ New River Studios

Saturday 29 October @ Café Oto | Oto’s Project Space

Saturday @ The Vortex | Vortex Downstairs

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Home is…

where I feel well and have my friends around…and after this experience here, I can definitely say that Lecce in Puglia is home!

First thing you do when you arrive back in Lecce is…

to drink caffè leccese in piazza, ovvio 🙂 , where you can feel the beautiful atmosphere created by the building, sun and people.


What advice would you give to a tourist?

Go with the flow, discover the streets of Lecce at night, buy from the street artists, make friends, eat puccia, take Lecce like a huge free museum…and drink “caffè leccese” 🙂

scuolamondoitalialecce (3)


If you had to be locked in a building overnight, which would it be?

I would choose Castello Carlo V, because I was there during the night and it was special. This big massive castle seems it’s protecting the city, with huge rooms inside make you feel like you are living in a different time.

Best place for a romantic holiday in Lecce?

One of the huge villas in the historical centre…

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

If i could be the Mayor for a day, I would forbid the traffic (even if few) in the old city…and then take a holiday in Lecce to watch the magic atmosphere and how much Lecce is fascinating with “touristic eyes”.

Earliest Lecce memory?

When I arrived at Scuola Mondo Italia, the best school in Lecce, and the big smile of Maria that welcomes you with so much friendship!


Best meal you’ve had in Lecce?

Orecchiette con burrata e…pasticciotto!

If you could buy any building in Lecce, which would it be?

A beautiful villa in the centre with volte a stella, an amazing cortile and a roof top terrace with the view of the Duomo.

What are your favourite late-night hangouts?

Mamma Elvira, Quanto basta, Bar Il Moro…and all pubs around Santa Croce and Santa Chiara area because the atmosphere is great!

scuolamondoitalialecce (5)


What is your favourite Lecce discovery?

A part from “caffè leccese”, the Roman theatre where I attended also a contemporary dance show the same night…even if I still discover news things all the time I am in the centre

Best advice for other students of Scuola Mondo Italia?

Make friends from Lecce, go out with them, speak Italian as much as you can…parla, parla, parla (…and relax and enjoy!!!)


Ivana, from Croatia, student @ Scuola Mondo Italia in Lecce, Puglia

Dreams come true in Lecce


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I have studied in Rome for almost nine months now, and this is a beautiful place with quite a different culture.

One of my friends recently asked me what I think of Italy as an expat living in Italy and I couldn’t answer him right away. I decided to write it out considering that that is the best way to express what I am thinking. So I am sharing it here so that everyone can see.

So anyone who knows Italians knows that they have a very unique outlook on life. Living among them for almost nine months, I have to admit that when I first arrived here, this attitude surprised me, but now I almost seem to be adopting it. Their cultural attitude seems to be a juxtaposition between easy going and extremely passionate. They get passionate about the most random things, and you have to be careful not to step on those landmines.  Honestly the friends I have made in Rome are some of the sweetest and most caring people. And for some reason they are always trying to get me to eat something, or checking to see if I’ve eaten a meal recently. Its endearing.

Italian fashion



I am going to start off by saying that I am by noooo means into fashion, or even very good at putting together cute outfits. I grew up dressing in whatever t-shirt and jeans I grabbed first, and I lived in a place where fashion wasn’t the biggest thing that I had to worry about. So moving here and realizing that everyone takes what he or she wears extremely seriously here definitely made me feel like a fish out of water. I do have to thank them for making me a bit more aware of the clothes I wear, however, I don’t know if I will ever make it as high of a priority. Also, they ALWAYS wear pants, and I do not understand. It will be at least 90 degrees out and there is still a crap ton of people wearing pants.
Another thing is that they seem to try and copy American street fashion, and yet Americans try to copy Italian fashion? I will forever be confused by this exchange. I can’t really talk about fashion for a lengthy period because its just not something I pay attention too. However, I will tell you that I have met very few Italians here in Rome who will go outside without making sure they look absolutely perfect. Their hat has to match their shirt or shoes, yada yada yada.

Italian Culture

italian culture


This is a bit different then actually attitude toward life in general, the things I’m going to talk about are just general differences I noticed from both cultures. One nice thing about Italian culture is that they don’t shut away their older population. I like seeing a meet up of a bunch of elderly people who are just chatting away, gossiping about someone’s grandchild or making witty remarks about another’s spouse. I don’t eavesdrop for very long because my mama taught me better, however its always nice to see a big group of them sitting in some piazza, drinking coffee and chuckling together. You don’t see that in America, or at least where I am from. In America there are retirement homes, and retirement communities, where the elderly live and rarely leave. Of course there are many who do not conform to this general stereotype of the American elderly, such as those who stay in the north for the summer and go to the south for winter. I believe they call them “snowbirds”. However, growing up, if you asked a peer “oh where do your grandparents live?” at least ninety percent of them would respond with “so and so retirement homes/communities.” In America, the elderly are more shut away and thought of as a thing to protect and care for.

Book your summer course in Rome

Another great thing that I love about the Italian culture is that there is always a place to buy fresh vegetables and fruits on every street, and they are soo cheap! The food you can make here tastes so much better because the ingredients are so fresh. They pick them in the morning and you get them a few hours later. On my way to Kappa Italian language school I can stop by this little shop that is so filled with vegetables and fruits that there is only a very narrow pathway down the middle and you have to flatten yourself against the wall of fragrant apples if anyone needs to get past you.

pizza italiana


Ok, I mentioned food a littler earlier, but here we are going to dedicate an entire section. Let me start off by saying “Oh LORDIE yes.Italian food is just a yes, all around.” They have perfected pasta and pizza and while I don’t exactly like the fish, I am told by may of people that they cant seem to make that bad either. Italians are some of the best cooks in the world, and through all of the downsides of moving to Rome, I have to say that the food makes all of those cons sting just a little less. Of course I occasionally miss Chipotle or Americanized-Chinese food, but you know I cant exactly complain. My favorite dish has definitely been pasta all’ arrabbiata.

Well folks, I hope all of you have a lovely day, ciao!

by Andrea Schorn, student @ Kappa language school in Rome, Via del Boschetto, 32, 00184 Roma, Italy

Cooking Italian: Thou shalt not put pineapple on your pizza!


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