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Brand new Italian for beginners summer class


Fancy learning Italian? Whether you are going to Italy for your holidays or you have decided to learn this beautiful, musical and colourful language, let’s start with our Beginners course. Practical conversation is included from our first class and, during our lessons, we will learn how to introduce ourselves, place an order at the restaurant, ask for information and more. Grammar is immediately implemented in practical and useful conversational tasks, but it will also give you good foundations if you decide to progress with your Italian and join the next course. Booking your place is essential, but remember that this course is for a small group in order to allow students to fully participate and get the best learning experience. Therefore, I would recommend that you book as soon as possible by email ( or by text (087 9588375).

Course details

Starting date: 8th of August

Time: 6.00-7.30 pm

Number of lessons: 8  

Max number of students: 9


E’ Estate… Ora di FLUENCY Classes!

E’ Estate… Ora di FLUENCY Classes!

It’s Summer, it’s Time for FLUENCY Classes!

Italian-familyWe’ve worked hard all Winter and Spring studying grammar rules, learning new vocabulary and idioms. We did dedicate some time to our conversational skills, but we all know we need more of it, especially now that we want to go to Italy.

Fluency Classes could be called Conversation Classes, but this definition might lead to a bit of a confusion. In fact, these are not places where we go for a chat. Fluency Classes’ purpose is to develop our fluency and accuracy. In order to ensure the full participation of all students we never take more than nine students.

For Upper Beginners and Pre-Intermediate (livello 1 and 2), new vocab, idioms and interchangeable chunks of sentences will be introduced through videos and examples. These will amee-and-mastroianni-la-dolce-vitabe contextualized in a real life situation, so that students can immediately see the usefulness and cement their understanding. The second part of the lesson, consists of one or more conversational based tasks practiced in pairs or groups. The tasks include real life situations role playing, descriptions and interviews. These tasks are great fun and enjoyment is a key element in the learning process (to read more on this read my blog post on this link)

During our work, students will be provided timely, but not pedantic feedback. At the end of the lesson we will highlight the newly learned expressions, vocab and common mistakes we have to work on for the next session.

For other levels, vocab, new idioms and expressions are introduced through games, songs or films. They will be used during our conversational tasks and through games they are memorized. The higher the level the more demanding films, songs and conversational tasks will be.

The use of Italian only is recommended as we know that we think in the language we speak and if a student starts asking questions in English, the whole group have to switch their thinking into English. We all know that we can ask the meaning of what we didn’t understand by saying, for example ‘Cosa significa acqua?’ and the other student can say ‘Acqua significa water’. If we don’t know how to say something in Italian, we can simply say ‘Come si dice I’d like some water?’ the other student or the teacher will answer ‘Si dice: vorrei dell’acqua’. In this way we can still get the info we need, but we pass through Italian… and at the end of our lesson we’ll sound more Italian and our confidence in our Italian will be much higher than when we started… and we’ll also have had fun! Grazie a tutti!

To know more about upcoming classes you can email 


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 visit


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


Il ragù di papà… in 30 minuti!

Il ragù di papà… 30 minuti

Italian recipe

Papa’ il cuoco

You’d like to make a lovely ragù but you’re a bit discouraged as it usually takes between two and four hours? Here is something that you might like!

This is a recipe that I learned only a year ago after a phone call with my father who is a great cook.

Ingredienti per 4 persone

8 sausages or the equivalent of sausage stuffing

500 grams of pork mince meat

one onion or one leek

some fresh sage


chopped or sieved tomatoes (canned or jarred)

pinch of salt

Get a non stick pan (we usually use a ceramic one) and put in it a good slice of butter

Italian in Cork

Una bella fetta di burro ed alcune foglie di salvia

(as thick as your index finger). Add the sage and let them cook a few minutes. Add the onion or the leek finely chopped. When they become a nice golden colour you can add the stuffing of the sausages. Steer to break all the lumps (you can take out the sage if you wish, I usually leave it in) and let it cook. Once cooked (you can’t see any raw meat), you can add the mince meat and stir again to break up all the lumps. When you can’t see row meat any more you can add a can of

Italian Beginners

Aggiungete i porri

tomatoes. Stir until the mixture is well combined and let it cook with a lid on for about 5 minutes. If you think that it is too watery, you can let it cook down for a few minutes without the lid. The ragù is ready! Add it to your pasta and remember to save a bit of water of the pasta (you remember our previous post?). Allora BUON APPETITO and be ready the next one will be il PANE DORATO una ricetta della mia mamma… una ricetta dalla Sardegna.


Italian Conversation

Aggiungete il ripieno delle salsiccie


Italian in Cork

Aggiungete i pomodori in scatola


Italian cuisine

il sugo pronto



Salento la terra de lu sule, lu mare e lu ientu

Salento la terra de lu sule, lu mare e lu ientu

Let’s cheer up our grey days by thinking about our next Italian holidays. A good friend of mine sent me to her region in the south of Italy years ago. I have been thinking of writing about this wonderful place for a long time, but I didn’t have enough material… Now my friend Marcella has helped me to put together this short introduction….

I’m very happy to introduce you to Salento ‘la terra de lu sule lu mare e lu ientu’ (this is in the local dialect and it means the land of sun, sea and wind). This magic land can offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience with its fascinating history, breathtaking landscapes, hypnotic dance and music and… off course great food. Here you will also find unchanged religious traditions and their famous and spectacular processions as well as many other ‘sagre’ (festivals) which have a more pagan origin to celebrate a particular crop, fruit or wine.Italian leaving cert

As you can see from the map, Salento is located in Puglia, the heel of our Italian boot.

Learn Italian in Cork

A few words about Salento’s history

Salento is the most eastern region of Italy, a border land, like a balcony that faces two seas, called in the past Messapia, that means land between the seas.

Salento’s history always met with the Eastern one, starting with the legend that sees in the inhabitants of Crete the founders of Lecce, the main city of Salento.

During the Bronze age the Salento peninsula was inhabited by Indo-European populations. Testimonies of this period are dolmens and menhir, in the lower part of Salento.

The first inhabitants of this land were the Messaps, who were dedicated to agriculture, horse breeding and pottery. This population inspired the construction of cities with imposing walls.

The Greek Influence

During the VII century, Greek settlers founded, along the coast, cities such as Gallipoli, Otranto, Castro, small prestigious cities that would become landmarks of Greece.

Regarding the Greek presence in Salento there is still a linguistic area named Greece of Salento.

This ethnic and linguistic minority embraces nine communes located at south east of the Salento peninsula, while the whole peninsula is made of 110 communes.

Italian in Cork

Immediately after Greece, Salento became a Roman province.

Romans, conquering Salento, discovered painting, sculpture and a taste for poetry. Because of the strategic position of the land, facing the east, they built many harbours.

After the fall of the Romans, under the Byzantines and Normans’ rule, Salento became the centre of the world.


The XVI century and Lecce’s Renaissance

During this period Lecce became one of the most beautiful and important cities for cultural and artistic activities. Besides attracting nobles and scholars, the Baroque found in this city a proper home. Lecce is still the main city of the Salento peninsula which is called the “Florence of the south”.Italian south


Every town and village has a yearly festa, so during the summer you’ll be spoiled for choice: so many feste or sagre to attend every night.

Many of them involve old religious rites, like the carrying of the statue of the Virgin Mary around Lecce (August 24-6) or into the sea in Otranto (September 6). Others, like in Novoli, have bonfires and spectacular fireworks (January 16-17). Almost all will include the Pizzica , a fast and compelling rhythmic dance done with the accompaniment of the tambourine, accordion and violin. The atmosphere is pulsing and hypnotic, whether it’s a festa in a modest village or the August event in Melpignano, which has international guest stars and attracts audiences of 15,000.Italian language conversation

Pizzica is a popular folk dance, originally from the Salento peninsula and later spreading throughout all the Puglia region.

This might be explained by Pizzica’s origins: though once associated with dancing out the poison of a spider-bite, the Pizzica actually arrived in Salento from ancient Greece, and its function appeared to be therapeutic. Women working hard in the fields and living restricted lives would dance themselves through the night into a cathartic trance grabbing a tambourine and dancing without inhibition. The next day they would go to be blessed at the chapel of St paul in Galatina – a Pizzica and special mass is still held there every JuneItalian private tuition

This dance is absolutely not to be missed. Some of my Italian friends from the north of Italy went to Puglia on holidays and they loved the Pizzica so much that they wanted to learn it.

We’ll let you enjoy the presentation and the pictures that my friend Marcella sent me and feel free to contact her if you’d like to have more info about Salento and Puglia… she’s the best advisor!

Italian in Cork

Grazie a tutti e grazie Marcella per il tuo aiuto!

Marcella Ciullo
Mobile No. 0039 3472546055


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