Tag Archives: practice italian

Home is…

where my amatriciana is.

First thing you do when you arrive back in Rome?

Get a real coffee.

What advice would you give to a tourist?



Just leave the touristic side of the city for when you’ll be older. Discover the real Rome, explore suburban neighbourhoods, get lost in the streets of Pigneto or San Lorenzo. Live it.

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

Definitely Palazzo Pamphilj, current head quarters of the Brasilian Embassy, with his magnificent frescoes from Pietro da Cortona… I’ve always dreamt to visit the place in solitude.

 Best place for a romantic holiday in Rome?

I would suggest a B&B in the Monteverde neighbourhood. The place is simply delicious and it’s location is priviledged, since it is very close the most romantic spots of the city (Gianicolo, Aventino ecc.)

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



Though questions in times like these! A politically correct answer: party hard and no work for a day with free concerts all around the city parks: Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, Villa Pamphili, Parco degli Acquedotti. All of them filled with music!

Earliest Rome memory?

Me and my grandpa making a looooooong walk (at least for me back then!), from Piazza Navona to Piazza Risorgimento. That was the first time in my life I’ve crossed a bridge.

 Best meal you’ve had in Rome?

Well, this might be “veg-unfriendly” but… the famous “Maialino arrosto” at the Osteria “Pippo lo Sgobbone” is something beyond extraordinary… and very traditional too.

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

My grandparent’s building, which is a very old house in a narrow side street of Via della Scrofa. Buildings like that, erected in the XIX century from the ruins of old medieval houses, are so soaked of history and past lives that living there is a moving experience.

 What are your favourite late-night hangouts?

Underground music clubs, such as 360° in San Lorenzo, and Squats such as Strike and exSnia. Places with awesome music and good and affordable food\drinks.

 What is your favourite Rome discovery?

The fresh wind coming from the Tirrenian Sea in summer evening. We call it “ponentino” and it kisses gently the western neighbourhoods of the city giving some relief to roman citizens at the end of our hot summer days. That, together with the “pasolinian” poetry of some western roman suburbs such as Trullo or Magliana: really refreshing.



Best advice for your students

Rome is a great place to practice Italian while having a lot of fun, especially for young people. Go out, attend events, meet the locals: you’ll have time to sleep when you go back home!

by Enrico, teacher at Kappa Language School in Rome

Special offers on Italian lessons in Rome

Discover the real Rome and Learn Italian

Idiomatic expressions: Barking dogs don’t bite




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I am a bus lover?.

I have been called strange many times in my 20 years, usually for different reasons, however since moving to Rome I have found that the number one reason now is that I like riding the buses. When I have to go somewhere I go early enough so that I can still make it to my destination if I have to ride two or more buses; and while all of my friends loathe taking the bus, I will take one even if they decide they want to use the metro or a taxi. There are many reasons that I prefer the buses over the other forms of transportation here in Rome, and today I’m going to list them for you.

Reason #1- I like seeing Roma, La Città Eterna.

Yes, you can always just take a tour bus around and see all the cool tourist places, like the Vaticano and Colosseo. That’s not what I’m referring to though. I love being able to hop on an ordinary public transport bus and let it show me streets and places I didn’t know where there.  I pass by churches and make mental notes to come back and go in them, because I love seeing old churches.

Reason #2- It helps my mental map.

One thing I miss about driving a car around my old hometown is how easy it was for me to remember where everything was and how to get there. Now that I can’t drive (I mean I can, but I won’t on these crazy roman streets!) So riding the bus has replaced that. Once I’ve ridden the bus three or four times both ways I can usually tell where I am, and more importantly, I know how to find my way home, or to a friend’s house. This is especially important if you are lost at 2:00 in the morning in the middle of Rome and your phone is dying. If that happens to me I know the entire route, stop-to-stop so I can find my way home.

Reason #3- It gives me time to myself

I know it’s a bit ironic, going somewhere full of people to get away from people, however for me, it’s a bit similar to sitting down and reading a book in a secluded place. Yes, there are people all around me, but I ignore them to the point where I sometimes forget they are there because I’m so focused on the story in my head, or what I will be writing for my next article.

Reason #4- I can practice Italian, and see the real culture.



Some of the time, I like to take off my headphones and listen to the conversations around me. It allows me to hear the language as it is meant to sound, natural. The people on the bus have no idea that I don’t speak Italian, and they aren’t going to pay me any mind.

Now I know that many of you will still dislike the bus for various reasons, like how they never seem to come on time, how they take forever to get anywhere, how you can never get a seat, how close everyone is to you. I get it, and I can understand all those things because they frustrate me too at times. But every experience has pros and cons, and in my humble opinion, the pros of the bus outweigh the cons by more than just a few points. Please comment below, I would love to hear from you!

by Andrea, student of Italian in Rome @ Kappa Language School

Expat’s thoughts on Italy and Italian culture


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Now, if you’re in love with Italy and Italian Lifestyle you might have attended to more than one aperitivo in your life, even in Italy. And surely you have been able to identify these 5 particular kinds of attendees which are infesting every aperitif or happy hour in the world.






1.Mr. Know-It-All 48802873

Are you talking about your late holiday in that far away island located in the middle of the Pacific? He probably had been there before you even knew of its existance. Are your friends discussing about a very obscure czech novelist that they have just discovered? He spent the past five years writing essays about his works. And believe me when I say that alcohol can only make thing worse, giving the guy an amount of self-confidence which is frankly unmanageable by a regular human being. Anyway, as our saint patron Morrissey used to say, “there’s gonna be someone somewhere, with a big(ger) nose who knows, and shuts you up and laughs when you fall”.

572422572.The Wine Expert – Italian aperitif is a magnificent occasion to taste good wine and wine-based drinks such as the spritz, but this wonderful opportunity has its scary downside: it attracts hordes of self-proclaimed wine experts which will make your head explode with neverending descriptions of the wine they (or you) are tasting. Letting alone the fact that adjectives such as “laser-like” or “intellectually satisfying” should be banished from any conversation, the truth is that if you blindfold the poor Wine Expert you will find out he’s not able to recognize a carton of Tavernello from a bottle of Amarone.

futurama-fry-meme-generator-not-sure-if-tipsy-or-just-drunk-d0043a3.The Always Tipsy – Hold on: aperitif is not for getting drunk. It is a social occasion, a mean to converse and take a pleasant break after a working day or before a long night. This is why the Always Tipsy type looks particulary ridiculous in this specific context. He\she gets to the bar usually suited up after having worked behind a desk for the whole day, and right after the first sip of prosecco is already giggling like a teenager. This type of person usually starts to lose his\her dignity (i.e. loosened tie, heeled shoes off etc.) at the end of the first drink and becomes actually unbearable at the second one, which usually coincides with a collective “sorry, I need to go home, tomorrow I have to work” pronounced in unison by his mates, leaving the poor guy alone with his (fake) hangover.

4. The Gourmet Guy – Every respectable aperitif offers a good selection of food to99a2c39d89c66b56c651057cfffab1628311b763f002331681b59933b15d47f7 accompany your drink. But bear in mind that the meal you will get during an aperitif in Italy won’t always be as good as you might expect. Italians tend to be aware of this, and although we are traditionally picky about our food, we usually turn a blind eye on the lack of quality of some buffets. This is not always the case though, especially if you live the unpleasant experience of meeting the infamous Gourmet Guy: constantly bitching about the texture of his tartine, the freshness of his caponatina or the real origin of his olive taggiasche, this type is a real nightmare. Just stay away.

Learn Italian in Rome: special offers

whenever-i-get-called-anti-social-for-being-quiet-281925.The Silent One – As we said, aperitif is a mean to socialize. Nevertheless, you will always find a guy who joins your group and doesn’t utter a word for the entire evening. Is he too tired to have a chat? Doesn’t he like your company? Is he dumb? Nobody knows. The only thing you know is the embarassing feeling of sharing your table with the cardboard cutout of a person.

Not in the mood of joining an aperitif after reading this? Well, not all aperitifs are the same. For instance, you can join our  Linguistic Aperitif in Rome @ Kappa Language School, every Tuesday in Trastevere and every first Thursday of the month in Monti, and meet new, international friends while practicing your Italian. And if you’re not in Rome just don’t panic: there’s still the chance to have a radio-aperitif offered by our Italian Language School. Just invite your friends, play one of our podcasts and practice some Italian with us: this will surely save you from the embarassing silence of a struggling conversation…

by Enrico, teacher @ Kappa Language School in Rome

A web-radio for students of Italian

When in Rome… speak as an (ancient) roman would do!



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The best way to let your inhibitions fly out the window and get practicing Italian is to find a place where no one speaks English and then engage in an activity.

Cooking is one of the best – this summer at Live and Learn Italian  everyone enjoyed the cooking sessions so much that in 2016 there will be more opportunities woven into the programme. A festive meal around a big table with our Italian cooks and hosts, being focused on the ingredients, a relaxing and friendly atmosphere –with a bit of wine – and everyone got speaking.







We cooked in the kitchens of our hosts and in that environment were really able to get a feel of their daily lives and of the person behind the apron.



And we noticed some interesting differences in our kitchen cultures:

We were struck by how little seasoning was used.For example, a simple sugo al pomodoro:

1 garlic clove – left whole and once infused the olive oil, discarded-half a stick of celery – a whole one was deemed too overpowering-half a carrot (only if you like……)-no onions-no herbs – just some fresh basil thrown on at the table

Of course the tomatoes were fresh and if not straight from our host’s garden, from l’orto del contadino. Everyone seems to have a friendly and reliable contadino from whom to obtain home made sausages and salamis, fresh produce and of course jams and marmellata (sweet and savory preserves).And plenty of the local women make all this themselves, including their own cheese.



So, the freshness of the ingredients (pretty much organically grown and no traveling) meant that we actually tasted the food and not just the seasoning, which thus became surplus to requirements.


Recipes vary a lot – not just from region to region but village to village, family to family. Of course we have all kinds of variety in our recipes, but not in such a proprietorial way! In that place it is cooked like that……we do it like this…..My mother would never do it that way….. and the way it is done a casa sua is usually the best.

Sometimes we had difficulty getting a recipe at all – our very experienced cooks, when asked ‘how much flour’ could only reply ‘ quanto basta’…….

This became our catch phrase – ‘when it is enough’ between all the participants of 2105.

 by Jenifer@ liveandlearnitalian.com

Read more

Where no one speaks English

Easter in Agnone with Jenifer: get an idea of the programme

Exploring and learning Italian: Molise

The oldest bell foundry in the world


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