Take a trip to Rome, where history and art are waiting for you!

If you’re looking for something to do in Rome, you’ve come to the right place. There’s so much to see and do here that it’s hard to know where to start. One of the best things about Rome is its rich history—from ancient ruins and historic buildings, to old churches and cathedrals. You can’t miss the Colosseum, one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. And don’t forget about all those beautiful paintings by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci!

A city that was founded over 2,500 years ago has been a centre of art, history, and culture ever since.

But Rome isn’t just about history—there’s also plenty of art and food! You can enjoy a delicious meal at an outdoor cafe near the Trevi Fountain or take a tour of the Vatican Museum to see some of history’s most important works of art. If you’re more interested in seeing modern artworks than ancient ones, head over to Il Salone del Mobile Design Museum—it’s a great place for design lovers (and probably anyone who likes looking at pretty things).

Here are some things you should consider visiting and doing in Rome:

The Colosseum: The Colosseum is an iconic symbol of ancient Rome and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Built in the 1st century AD, it was the largest amphitheatre ever built and could hold up to 80,000 spectators.

The Roman Forum: The Roman Forum was the centre of political and social life in ancient Rome. Visitors can see ruins of temples, government buildings, and other structures from the Roman Republic and Empire.

The Vatican Museums: The Vatican Museums are home to some of the world’s most important art collections, including the Sistine Chapel, which contains Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes.

St. Peter’s Basilica: St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and one of the holiest sites in Christianity. Visitors can see the impressive dome, the ornate decorations, and the tombs of many popes.

Eat carbonara, amatriciana and saltimbocca alla Romana: Rome is famous for its delicious food, and some of the must-try dishes include carbonara (a pasta dish with egg, cheese, and bacon), amatriciana (a tomato-based pasta sauce with bacon and pecorino cheese), and saltimbocca alla Romana (a veal dish with prosciutto and sage).

The Pantheon: The Pantheon is a magnificent ancient temple dedicated to all the gods. Its dome is one of the largest unreinforced concrete domes in the world.

The Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is a Baroque masterpiece and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, you will ensure your return to Rome.

The Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps are a popular spot for tourists to relax and take in the atmosphere of the city. They lead up to the Trinità dei Monti church and offer panoramic views of the city.

These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Rome. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or food, Rome has something for everyone.

If you are taking a trip to Rome this year, why not brush up on your Italian? Contact me here for more information!

Experience the Spectacular Carnival Season in Italy!

Carnival season in Italy is an exciting time of year when the country’s streets are filled with colourful parades, music and joy. The whole event is full of humour and creativity, and it’s a great way to experience Italian culture and traditions first-hand. People from all over the world come to experience this amazing spectacle and be part of the festivities.

The celebration, which dates to the Middle Ages, is rooted in Christian tradition and occurs in the weeks leading up to Lent. For forty days leading up to Easter, people would stop eating meat, sugar and fats. Carnival provided an opportunity to indulge in rich food, before taking on a period of fasting. Now, carnival season is a festive time that is marked by parades, parties, and masquerades.

Where to see the Best Carnival Parades

One of the best ways to experience the magic of the season is by attending one of the many vibrant parades taking place all over the country. From Venice to Rome, Florence and beyond, each city puts on its own unique show, filled with dazzling costumes, lively street performers and spectacular floats. For a truly unforgettable experience, why not plan a trip to one of Italy’s most famous carnival destinations?


The city of Viareggio in Tuscany is home to one of Europe’s most iconic events – Carnevale di Viareggio. Well-known for its lavish carnival parade, people visit from all over the world to see the huge floats that are covered in paper-mâché figures and fun parade costumes. The month-long Viareggio festival features both daytime and evening events, including concerts and music. One of the notable things about Carnevale di Viareggio is its satirical nature. Each year, they make fun of a different politician or situation, and the figures are incredibly expressive and lifelike.


The Carnival season in Venice is one of the most famous and well-known in all of Italy. known for its lavish costumes and vibrant atmosphere, it’s a time when locals and visitors alike wear their most extravagant costumes and masks and fill the streets to take part in all the fun. You can also sample delicious Venetian delicacies such as Cicchetti (small snacks) or sarde in saor (marinated sardines). The vibrant atmosphere of the carnival adds to its charm. You will hear music playing everywhere you go, with performances by local bands and dancers.


The city of Acireale, located on Sicily’s east coast, stands out as one of the most beautiful when it comes to Carnival celebrations. The procession takes place in the main square called ‘Piazza Duomo’. Here, visitors will find many handcrafted floats decorated with flowers and papier mache figures, while other entertainment includes music and poetry.

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to immerse yourself in Italian culture, practise your language skills and have a good time, then the Carnival season in Italy is the perfect opportunity! No matter where you are during carnival season in Italy, you can be sure to have an incredible experience and pick up some new Italian skills along the way. For more information on learning Italian and making the most of your visit to Italy, get in touch!

What Makes Settimana Bianca Special?

Settimana Bianca, or white week, is an Italian tradition that brings people together to celebrate the best of the winter season. Settimana Bianca is considered an important social event in Italy, where people take advantage of their free time by taking part in activities such as skiing or visiting local attractions. The ski season in Italy lasts from December through to the end of March, although the majority of people opt to take their Settimana Bianca in January and February.

During Settimana Bianca, many families go on holiday in Northern Italy to ski, particularly to areas such as the stunning Dolomites and Alps. Many resorts take advantage of the increased tourism by offering discounted prices for those who wish to enjoy skiing or snowboarding while on holiday. This makes it even easier for families and friends to enjoy winter-season activities.

While on holiday, people spend their days skiing or snowboarding, soaking up the sunshine, indulging in delicious Italian dishes and drinking wine at the ski lodge. Vin Brulé is a traditional favourite, served warm– perfect for warming up after a few hours on the slopes. There is also plenty of opportunity to relax in a spa, before having dinner at your chalet or a restaurant.

If you are looking for a special place to celebrate Settimana Bianca, then look no further than Valle d’Aosta. This stunning region in the Italian Alps is famous for its winter festivals and celebrations, and it is the perfect place to enjoy some of the best skiing in the world. Here you can see some of the most well-known mountains, such as the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso.

The area is home to several ski resorts, including Courmayeur and Cervinia, so you can choose from a variety of activities to keep you entertained during your stay. In addition, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy, so you can really make the most of your time here.

A Great Seasonal Event to Learn Italian

If you are learning Italian, or are thinking about starting, visiting Italy for Settimana Bianca is a great way to meet and socialise with Italian people, and practise your language skills in the process. You’ll have the chance to chat with native speakers, try out new vocabulary in real-life situations, and immerse yourself in Italian culture. And what could be more fun than spending a week skiing or snowboarding in the beautiful Italian Alps?

With snow-capped mountain views, delicious local cuisine and warm hospitality around every corner, it is no wonder why Italians look forward to ‘white week’ every January. Whether you are staying in one of the many hotels or renting an apartment, you will find that everyone is friendly and welcoming. So, why not choose Settimana Bianca for an Italian language learning holiday?

If you are looking to brush up on your Italian language skills, or even if you are a complete beginner who would like a new challenge, feel free to get in touch!

Pandoro or Panettone for an Authentic Italian Christmas… Which is better?

Christmas in Italy is a time for family, friends and of course, food. Italians love their food, and they love to share it with others. That’s why during Christmas, you’ll find the tables overflowing with traditional dishes and tasty treats.

Food is a huge part of Italian culture and plays a big role in celebrations. Good food is a point of pride and, for many, holiday meals are a chance to show off culinary skills. For Italians, food also is a way to show love and affection. Eating together is a way to come together, bond and create lasting memories.

Some of the most popular desserts during this festive season are pandoro and panettone. These are types of sweet bread that are often compared with each other. While both cakes are delicious, many people prefer pandoro because it is lighter and not as sweet as panettone.

What’s the difference between pandoro and panettone?

Pandoro originated in the city of Verona in the 14th century. The name comes from the Italian word “pandoro”, meaning “golden bread”. It’s a star-shaped cake that is typically dusted with icing sugar and served with a dollop of cream or mascarpone. It is said that the first pandoro was created in Verona by a baker named Domenico Defilippi. The cake was originally made with just flour, water and salt, but over time, eggs, butter and sugar were added to the recipe. Today, pandoro is enjoyed all over Italy and is often served with coffee or a dessert wine.

Panettone is a cylindrical-shaped cake that originated in Milan in the 15th century. The name comes from the Italian word “panetto”, meaning “large loaf of bread”. The creation of panettone is thought to be around 1495, when the Duke of Milan held a lavish Christmas banquet. The desert was accidentally burned, so a young cook named Toni created a rich brioche bread, filled with raisins and candied fruit. The Duke loved it, and thus the ‘Pane di Toni’ tradition was born. His bread was so popular that it quickly became a staple of Christmas celebrations in Italy.

Today, panettone is enjoyed by people all over the world. It has a light, airy texture and is typically made with raisins, candied fruit, and nuts. And it’s often served with a dollop of whipped cream or gelato.

Which should you choose?

For a truly authentic Italian Christmas experience, be sure to try either of these delicious cakes. If you like a sweet and fruity festive cake, then panettone is the way to go. If you prefer a lighter dessert, then pandoro is your best bet.

Not only do these cakes taste amazing, but they also look beautiful. They are the perfect statement piece if you’re looking for something special to serve at your Christmas dinner, or if you are looking for a foodie gift for a friend. Whether you choose pandoro or panettone, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious Italian Christmas!

The Ultimate Guide To November Events In Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful and popular regions in Italy, and it’s also a great place to visit in November. From the stunning autumn foliage to the exciting events and historical landmarks, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a guide to some of the best events held in Tuscany in November.

Festa della Toscana

Tuscany was the first region of the world to abolish the death penalty, on November 30th, 1786. Tuscany Day commemorates this anniversary by promoting human rights, peace, and justice. Throughout the Tuscan region, the Festa includes a series of exhibitions, cinema, theatre, readings, dance, concerts, and other events.

The Festa della Toscana is an important date in the regional calendar and provides an opportunity to reflect on the history and culture of this fascinating part of Italy.

Lucca Comics and Games

If you’re looking for a fun and festive event to attend in Tuscany this November, look no further than Lucca Comics and Games! This annual event is one of the largest comic and gaming conventions in Europe, and it takes place in the beautiful city of Lucca. Whether you’re a fan of comics, video games, cosplay, or simply want to enjoy some great Italian food and wine, there’s something for everyone at this wonderful event.


If you like walking, history, and food, EatPrato is an event that runs through November in the city of Prato, Tuscany. There are guided tours that will take you to the most iconic places in the city, as well as out-of-town walking tours where you can soak up the beautiful scenery. The walking is combined with stops where you can sample some of the best flavours, food and wine of the region.

The National White Truffle Exhibition in San Miniato

Every year, a celebration of the famous white truffle takes place in the charming Tuscan town of San Miniato. The surrounding countryside provides the best conditions for this gourmet delicacy to grow. The largest, record-breaking white truffle was found in 1954, by truffle hunter Arturo Gallerani, and weighed a huge 2,520 kg!

Here you can walk through the large market, full of the flavours and smells of these precious truffles. Set your senses alight by tasting traditional white truffle recipes, shop for traditional Tuscan goods, and participate in events such as truffle hunting.


This fair, dedicated to agriculture, the environment and food, is taking place in Figline and Incisa Valdarno from the 11-13th of November. If you like the idea of a farmer’s market, cooking shows, dog agility, and exhibitors that offer local produce such as vegetables, cheeses, wine, oil and more, then Autumnia is well worth a visit.

With its rolling hills, stunning sunsets and picturesque villages, there’s no wonder why this region of Italy is a popular destination. Even better, there are always events to take part in, no matter what time of year it is. So, if you’re planning a trip for November, put Tuscany at the top of your list and feel free to contact me if you need to brush up on your language skills for when you visit!

Castagnaccio – A Traditional Taste of Tuscany

Have you ever heard of Castagnaccio? If not, you’re in for a treat! Castagnaccio is a traditional Tuscan cake made with chestnut flour, water, olive oil, raisins, and pine nuts. The cake is typically flavoured with rosemary and has a dense, moist texture.

While castagnaccio is a cake, it isn’t particularly sweet. It doesn’t have sugar, as the sweetness comes from the chestnut flour. If you prefer a little more sweetness, you can serve it with a dusting of sugar. Let’s take a closer look at the history of castagnaccio, as well as how to make it.

A Cake Rich in Tradition

Castagnaccio is a rustic cake that has a long and rich history. It was well-known as a common dish in Tuscany in 1500, where it was primarily made by peasants. This cake is made with chestnut flour, which was once a staple food of the poor in Tuscan villages. Only after the year 800 did the dish spread throughout Italy and gain the missing raisins and pine nuts. Originally created to use up chestnut flour, Castagnaccio has since become a popular dessert in its own right.

One of the best things about Castagnaccio is that it is quick and simple to make. You don’t need to add eggs or butter, only some extra virgin olive oil and a little water. The recipe can also be easily adapted to suit different tastes. For example, some recipes call for the addition of chocolate chips or other dried fruit, such as apricots or figs. Or, if you don’t enjoy the flavour of raisins, for instance, you can leave those out and still have a delicious cake to enjoy. Similarly, you can adjust the amounts for different nuts to suit your preferred taste.

My Grandmother’s Traditional Castagnaccio Recipe

This recipe is a family favourite, and I remember my grandmother making it on many occasions. It brings back many happy memories, as the flavour connects me not only to my family but to Tuscan culture itself.


  • 400g chestnut flour
  • 550ml water
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 80g raisins
  • 100g walnuts
  • Rosemary
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • Soak the raisins in water for ten minutes to help them become plump and juicy.
  • Sift the chestnut flour into a mixing bowl. This removes any lumps, creating a smooth dough.
  • Gradually mix in the water, stirring with a whisk, until you get a smooth consistency.
  • Add the nuts and raisins.
  • To a baking tray, add a dash of olive oil and spread it over the surface. Pour in the cake batter.
  • Decorate the top with a few pine nuts, walnuts, and some rosemary leaves. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 190°C for 45 minutes.

If you want to add sweetness, sprinkle some sugar on top. You can also serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Delicious!

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cake to experience a true taste of Tuscany, give Castagnaccio a try! You won’t be disappointed. It’s simple, delicious, and perfect for autumn.

Italians And Their Stereotypes

Italy is very famous for its landscapes, culture, food and… people! What we do, our quirks, how we speak with our hands, our accents, our passionate way of interacting with each other generate an idea of who we are. It is safe to say that we don’t all behave the same way and that Italy is a mix of regional traditions and culture. However, there are some funny aspects of what we do and how we are perceived that creates stereotypes. It’s not my goal or even in my expertise to analyse them or to demonize them. This is just to talk about how I embrace and perceive the Italian stereotypes. 

I have lived in London for more than 8 years and I always recognize my fellow Italians from miles away! I realized that there is a set of very clear details that we are Italians:

  • We gesticulate a lot. Talking is not delegated just to our mouths but also to our hands!
  • We wear sunglasses also in the tube/ indoors. We love to look cool in any situation.
  • Puffer jacket for each season. Italians are famous for their style, but also for feeling cold! 
  • We are genetically programmed to eat carbs. Italians look for a good pasta dish everywhere they go, no matter what season. 
  • Italians are loud. We speak with passion and often we end up shouting… but not aggressively!

My favourite Italian stereotype is the “Food Guardian”, who does anything to protect Italian dishes.
When my boyfriend and I have Italian food, I become overprotective of what is Italian traditions. The most classic way of making an Italian angry is to get the ingredients of carbonara wrong. We can get very irritated if someone puts cream in Carbonara. I remember watching a TV show about Italian restaurants in Germany and how they were proud of not using cream in their Carbonara.
Pizza toppings are another way to infuriate an Italian, especially chicken. The variety of toppings is completely different in Italy and we normally put just two-three toppings. It is a massive cultural shock when we get served pizza with pineapple! The YouTube channel Vincenzo’s Plate has a lot of video-reactions to other people cooking Italian food and I found it very hilarious!
In my lessons, I play a lot around this stereotype. In some lessons my students have to decide the right ingredients for a dish or guess the right order of a recipe. Anyone would think that my favourite food is Italian but it is actually Japanese!

And what is your favourite Italian stereotype?

Photo by Guillaume Meurice at Pexels

25th April: Liberation Day, the end of Nazist occupation in Italy and more

25th April is Liberation Day in Italy and we celebrate the end of the Nazist occupation. In 1945, partisans and the army started reclaiming Italy back, fighting against German nazists and Italian fascists. Although the process lasted for a few days, the 25th of April became the official Liberation Day from 1946. It was the day of the official radio announcement to all partisans to act. Italy celebrates this solemn day with many events including the symbolic military aeroplanes flying in the air and colouring the sky in green, white and red. This solemn day is one of the most important historic celebrations.
Not everyone knows that Genova was the first European city where the German occupation ended voluntarily.  A document proves that General Gunther Meinhold surrendered to the partisans and spared the lives of many people in Genova.
Another fact that people may not know is that the 25th of April was already being celebrated. In 1938 The King of Italy declared the 25th of April the birthday’s anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi, who died the previous year. Even though the 25th of April is mainly linked to Liberation Day, some schools and teachers remember Guglielmo Marconi and his genius on this day. 
Those are just a few interesting facts about the 25th of April. If you want to know more please follow the links below:




Foto di SenuScape da Pexels

Why is it important to learn a foreign language?

Language is part of one’s identity and culture. From a linguistics point of view, each of us has our language, called idiolect, which is part of who we are. On a larger scale, languages tell us a lot about the people that speak them. 
I personally think that there is more to a language than just the ability to communicate with one another. There are bigger benefits: establishing deeper connections or getting a job in another country or simply watching a movie without subtitles. 
The majority of my students want to learn Italian because they have an Italian partner or they have family from Italy and want to reconnect to their roots. They need to build a more genuine rapport with another person and the only way to do that is through learning Italian.
I decided to study foreign languages because I wanted to explore the world and learn about new cultures. For example, I chose Romanian as one of my subjects at University because I wanted to break the stereotype. I felt the need of exploring the language and the people to learn something new and I loved the whole experience.
Learning a foreign language is a mind-opening experience that goes beyond prejudice. Probably, the biggest benefit is the learning experience itself. It fulfils the need of being close to someone and enables a deeper understanding of each other.

Foto di Olya Kobruseva da Pexels

Where can I find cool Italian exercises for free?

For those who want to self study or are looking for some extra practice, there is a vast variety of resources available online. It can be overwhelming to find the right ones so I selected the best according to my experience.

A list of my favourites is:
If you want fun exercises to improve your grammar and read interesting fact about Italy, Elisabetta’s website is the perfect choice. I suggest trying the grammar exercises /recipes, they are great!

An immense website full of any sort of activities. It contains some interesting reading too.

A mix of creativity, culture and learning tools, this website is mainly aimed at teachers. I adapt a lot of materials especially for my advanced students.

Caffèscuola has a collection of free specimen of books from beginners to intermediate. I adore their listening activities!