Italian Is


Ciao a tutti!

Are you just back from your beautiful Italian holidays and you’d like to speak this melodic language? Or do you speak Italian fluently or almost and you’d like to perfect your skills? We are about to start 4 new Italian courses in the College of Commerce, a class to suit every level from Beginners all the way up to Advanced. To know more you can


L’Italia in miniatura

IMG_5889Il giro d’Italia in … 2 ore!!

Have you seen the pictures? Aren’t they spectacular? This is a wonderful place for grandi e piccini (little people and grown ups)… it is called ‘Italia in miniatura’ and is in Rimini. You can read more about it on their website qui. You’ll be amazed at the detail that these miniature monuments can actually show. There are also reproductions of European monuments and it’s not finished, yet! Go to see Venezia in ‘Italia in miniatura’. It is beautiful and it is a great experience. Plenty of activities and rides for children and you can have a refreshing fight in the Castello con I cannoni ad acqua (castle equipped with water cannons)… you’ll have a ball!

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La Costa dell’Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna, the coast

Italian Conversation CorkItalian tourists are used to saying that ‘I Romagnoli hanno saputo tirare fuori il meglio dalla loro terra’ (Romagna people were able to get the best out of their land. This is to say that la Romagna (the part of the coast of the Emilia Romagna) is not as beautiful as many other Italian regions and coasts, but they transformed this place into a wonderland for children and their families… Alice (8 years old) back to her holiday home in Lido Adriano (half an hour from Italian Conversation CorkRavenna) from two weeks of holidays in the south of Sardinia with its crystal clear sea and its unspoiled nature said ‘Finalmente, questo si che è mare!’ (Finally this is the sea!). Of course, in Sardinia she didn”t have the parchi giochi (play grounds), I gonfiabili (the park with the Inflatables), the fun swimming pools and, above all, all the friends that she meets here in Lido Adriano! Il versante adriatico (the Adriatic coast) has so much to offer for an unforgettable holiday for grandi e piccini!

Italian Conversation Cork


La Prima Destinazione

North ItalyI’m neither an expert on Torino nor a travel agent, but it is my town and I love it, so if we were to go to Turin for a week (hopefully soon), I would like to take you to see so many beautiful places…
Italian grinds leaving certFirst of all, we’d stay in a lovely place near the river Po and the city centre so we could get around using these great and very handy bikes (PICTURE OF THE BIKES) that are everywhere in Torino. in addition to using the bike in Torino’s many parks, we could also cycle along bicycle paths which cover much of the city centre, surrounding areas and suburbs.


Our first destination… La Mole Antonelliana.

Italian conversation CorkIn my primary school I studied that the Mole Antonelliana was the tallest brick building in Europe, but I’ve recently found out that during the 20th century, it was reinforced with concrete and steel. It was built by the architect Antonelli between 1863 and 1889, and named after him. Apparently it was supposed to be a synagogue, but as it became taller and taller it also became more and more expensive and the Jewish community withdrew their interest and the city of Turin dedicated this monument to their king Vittorio EmanueleI II. It is not only a great piece of architecture (I think, but I’m not an expert!) but it is definitely the best place to have a beautiful and impressive view of Torino and its surrounding mountains. Last but not least, it also hosts the ‘Museo del Cinema’…. So, now, we can say that we have the tallest museum in the world, right in Torino! I was there a couple of times and I can’t wait to go back again with you all. For now I’ll take you there for a virtual tour. It is a wonderful multi-sensory experience, highly entertaining and educational (a bit like our Fluency classes!) for adults and children. Here is the I hope you get the idea. Let’s allow plenty of time for this visit, it is so enjoyable, relaxing and interesting (the Italian interessante, not weird!).            Il north Italia                                               North Italia Torino



Discovering Torino

Italian lessons in Cork

I was born in Torino, but this is not an enough good reason to be in love with a town and to recommend all my students, friends and family to visit it. Many of them, my husband included, look at me in a funny way as they think of Torino as a big, industrial and chaotic city with a lot of traffic… I can’t deny that this is an aspect of this town but this is only one of many.

About this cliché, you can see this image of Torino which the Parliamo Italiano book displays. This is one of the books I use during my lessons… many times I thought of throwing it away, only Italian grinds Corkbecause of this picture. Besides this, though, it is a pretty good book.

In spite of this image, Torino is one of the most beautiful Italian cities with its art, culture and parks. So much so this year the New York times selected Torino among their 52 travel destinations for 2016… I’m getting taller as I’m writing it, much taller! Finally, my non Italian friends, my students and hopefully my husband we’ll start to believe me and consider a trip to Turin. Click here to see the article on the New York times. More facts about Torino are coming soon… stay tuned!

Turin has earned a place in the New York Times’ list of must-see destinations, thanks to its successful transformation from Italy’s former industrial capital into a tourist destination.



Italian grinds Cork

A great day at the market here in Piccolitalia. Fruttivendoli, verdurieri (fruit and veg vendors) e clienti molto, molto esigenti (very demanding)! We learned how to ask for fruit and veg, for the bill and for a discount… and everything in the Formal Register! These will be valuable skills in Italy for our students and their parents!Italian conversation Cork

We always have great fun here with our role-plays and we really learn so much. They are the best way to implement what we learned and we always discover something new. As in real life situations the language used is not only verbal, but we have to use our body language… and considering that we are learning Italian… we use it a lot (as you all know we speak a lot with our hands)! In fact, role plays give us the opportunity to work not only on the Communicative competence, but they also help develop Language Awareness and Intercultural Awareness and they allow us to practice both registers (formal and informal).

Fluency classes Italian CorkRole-Playing boosts our confidence and prepares us for real situations we are going to face in Italy, so students are always very keen, motivated and enthusiastic to role-play. We implement Role-Playing methodology very successfully not only with children, but also with adult students especially during our Fluency classes. In fact, we are all ready for our holidays here at Italiancork: we went to the restaurant, the market, we bought new clothes and shoes, we got on the right train, asked for information in the street, checked in and out in the hotel… and next week we’re Italian grinds Corkgoing to the birreria (the Italian version of a pub)… so role-plays are a win win: we learn Italian, we get ready to face real life situations, and we have fun (scientific research proves that we learn much more when we are having fun)!

So are you ready to get your apron and your hat on? Let’s go, we’re


Benvenuti alla sezione ‘I modi di dire italiani’

Idioms (modi di dire in italiano) are essential parts of any language. They are ingrained in people’s history, culture and life and they reflect the way we perceive and express reality through our language. They are not essential, but they really make a difference in the way you master a language and how integrated you feel in the country you are living. When I first came to Ireland, eight years ago, I could barely survive with my English, idioms where the last of my problems. As my English improved I studied and got accustomed to several idioms… not all of them, of course! With an idiom we say things, we hint things and we understand things in a more immediate way without need of as many words.

Here in this section, we’ll see a few Italian ‘modi di dire’ … but, remember, they will never finish!




This is very funny. Many of you know that we have the verbo piantare which means to plant. La is an object pronoun and stands for it. So, literally, it means: plant it! We actually use it when someone is annoying us (ci dà fastidio) and after a few warnings (smettila, lasciami in pace and so on) we raised our voice and we say Piantala!

We can also say: Vuoi piantarla?

In English you’d just say: stop it!

So, now you know… when an Italian person is annoying you… just go for Piantala!

In bocca al lupo! Never heard of this one… check here!

Italian idioms




Avete mai avuto due piedi in una scarpa??
Would you be comfortable with 2 feet in one shoe?

Let’s say that the guy in the picture, Marco, should choose a girlfriend, but he can’t or he doesn’t want to. So he keeps up both relationships with lots of consequences, such as sleep deprivation, lots of complains from both girlfriends and very little time for himself… because it is very difficult to have: due piedi in una scarpa!

We can say this modo di dire any time that someone is not choosing between 2 options and they should.

Learn Italian Cork

Not very comfortable… is it?

Italian Idioms

Ecco Marco!


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