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Reading Group (Gruppo Lettura)

Italian Leaving Cert

This class is aimed at those children or tweens (6-11 years of age) who have a little bit of Italian and that understand Italian. It is not a large class, but more like Private Tuition designed to learn how to read in Italian and work on Italian grammar foundations. 

Your children will be invited to their first lesson (please get in touch with me, 087 9588375). If we are all happy with their work and they want to continue with classes, then you can enrol them for the course. 

Please get in touch to let me know if you are interested as places are very limited. 

Study Group (Gruppo Studio)

I have been preparing students for their Italian Leaving Certificate for 11 years and it is very rewarding to see that all of them got very high marks and their ‘first choice’ course at college. 

Unfortunately or fortunately, the demand is higher than the time I have in my hands. This is one of the reasons why we started Gruppo Studio. It is usually impossible to even pair students for the Italian Leaving Cert preparation as they all have different levels. 

By starting preparing students when they are younger, we will get them all to the same level in a short time and they will be ready for their Italian Junior Cert and Leaving Cert while enjoying thier Italian and without needing grinds or risking falling behind in a big class. That way they can focus on other subjects knowing their Italian is prepared well in advance.

The other reason is to ensure the company of peers so that they can feel the support not only from the teacher, but also from the group. It will be very handy to be able to practise conversation skills with other students and not only with my old self!

Therefore, we are finally ready with our programme, timetable and the book we will be using for this exciting new class.

Gruppo Studio will be held on Fridays from 4.30-5.30 pm

This class is aimed at children, tweens and teenagers (10-15 years of age) who speak Italian (it doesn’t need to be perfect or accurate), read in Italian (they don’t need to be fast readers) and, very important, understand Italian (they need to be able to ask for help in Italian: non ho capito, cosa significa). It is not a large class, but more like Private Tuition designed to learn grammar, how to write in Italian and practice reading. You don’t want your children to struggle with their Italian Junior Certificate and you’d like them to be ready for their Italian Leaving Certificate well in advance, so that they can focus on other subjects. 

Your children will be invited to their first lesson (please get in touch with me, 087 9588375). If we are happy with their work and they want to continue with classes, then you can enrol them for the course. 

Il banco dei salumi e formaggi (the cheese and salami stand): local is best!

In Italy local cheese, salumi (salami) and affettati (cold meats) are like local dialects: they are completely different from one area to the next one. They are also the pride of the local farmers and producers: allora, per favore do not miss out!!

Some of these local products, such as Parmigiano (from Parma) or Pecorino Sardo (from Sardinia) or Pecorino Romano (from Lazio) crossed the Italian borders and became renowned all over the world. Therefore, we can find them in almost every supermarket as they are produced on a large scale. 

But, if you go to Italy, I would highly recommend trying the ‘real stuff’–> the local products. Every geographic area has their own, as I mentioned above, and many will be new to you. 

To mention a few from Calabria, the region where I am right now:

Have you ever heard about Pecorino Fresco (it’s a type of Pecorino, younger and softer than the one we grate on pasta)? Burrata (a wonderful mozzarella, but much creamier (like burro (butter) inside), Sopressata (a special spread that looks like salami) or nduja (a spicy spread or salame)? 

If you go to Torino, it is a must to try il fritto misto alla piemontese or i tomini or the agnolotti… and many more local products!

Allora,  when you go to the local supermarket, don’t get cheese and cold meats from the frigo (refrigerated) section, as they are full of preservatives and they aren’t local! Please don’t be shy … dare asking the experts at the cheese counter and let them recommend something for you to try, according to your taste buds and try the taste of the Italian area you are visiting. Enjoy your beautiful experience fully, food included!

If you are in the South, you might even come across ‘la macchina dei latticini locali’ (the car of local dairy products). This is a van that goes from house to house and sells all local cheeses and cold meats! You won’t even have to leave your house! 

South of Italy

Italian for young students

Italian Junior Cert Italian Leaving Cert

If you are interested in your child attending Italian classes in a peer group during the school year 2022/2023 let me know. 

I am putting together a small group of students who already speak and understand Italian. They don’t need to be accurate or fluent, but they have to understand and be able to ask for explanations in Italian (the explanation can be given in English if necessary). 

The aim of the class is to work on Italian grammar (starting from the foundations), writing and reading in Italian. This is being done to give students a good foundation in Italian that will be valuable for them if they wish to take the Junior or Leaving cert or visit, live or work in Italy at some point where being able to read and write in Italian (not just speak and listen) is crucial.

Classes will be carried out by myself (I am a qualified Italian teacher, with a masters degree in education and am certified with the Irish Teaching Council and fully garda vetted). 

Topics will be approached in visual, interactive and practical ways through presentations, role playing and songs (whenever possible), but students will have to work and do some homework to consolidate what they learn between classes. We will also be using a Grammar school book. Classes will be held in person in our classroom in Blackrock.

Please let me know if you are interested as soon as possible and let me know which weekdays/times would suit (we will do our best to accommodate). These classes will be held once a week and lessons are an hour long. As I mentioned above, these classes are aimed at a small group of students and not a full sized class.

I prepare students for Italian in the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert several afternoons a week, while after 6 pm I have online classes for adults. So I will do my best to accommodate people’s availability requests but as my availability is limited and each of you may have different availability, I cannot guarantee everyone can be accomodated

If some of them are asking about their children who don’t have the requirement to take part in this group

I know some of your children/teens had attended Piccolitalia’s classes in the past and some of you have been asking about them. At the moment I am working with very small groups of children and That seems to be working very well. Let me know if you are interested and I might be able to put you in contact with other parents who have children with the same level of Italian to create a small group (time permitting). 

Upcoming Classes

All upcoming classes will be listed here with all the details currently available. Often future classes will not be available to book until closer to the start date. If you would like to be updated on a class, please enter your email and the level you are interested in on the blue bar at the top of this page and we will let you know when that class is ready to book.

CourseWhereStartingClassesPlaces leftCostBook
Beginners Online Italian ClassItalianCorkWed. 11th January 7:30-9 pm10€120Book Now
Upper Beginners Fluency Online ClassItalianCorkWed. 9th November 7:30-9 pm6€80Book Now
Italian Intermediate Online ClassItalianCorkWed. 5th October 6-7.30 pm10Full
Italian Continuation Online ClassItalianCorkMon. 3rd October 6:30-8 pm10€120Book Now
Advanced Fluency (Plus Grammar highlights) Online ClassItalianCorkWed. 5th October 2-3:30 pm10€120Book Now
Intermediate Fluency (Plus Grammar Highlights) Online ClassItalianCorkMon. 3rd October 11 am -12:30 pm10Full
Upper intermediate Fluency (Plus Grammar Highlights) Online ClassItalianCorkThurs. 6th October 6:30-8 pm10Full
Gruppo Lettura – for children age 6-11ItalianCorkMondays 5:30-6:30 pmCall to Enquire
Gruppo Studio – for children age 10-15ItalianCorkFridays 4:30-5:30 pmCall to Enquire

More info?

Email Carolina at or phone on 0879588375 if you have questions.

Italian Beginners Online, starting on August 24th!

Italian Beginners classes have been running online for over a year and have been very successful: small groups, a conversational approach in a fun and relax environment are the keys for this success. Finally you can learn and enjoy our classes from everywhere in the world from the comfort of your home!

Full course description:

Fancy learning Italian? Whether you are planning a trip to Italy or you have decided to learn this beautiful, musical and colourful language for fun, 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 so much 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 our next course. Booking your place is essential, and 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 to avoid disappointment


Beginning August 24th
Wednesday from 7.30 – 9.00 pm (Irish time)
Online classes (ZOOM)
A 10 lesson course: €120

New Italian Beginners Online

If you are interested, or if you have a friend or a relative interested in learning this beautiful and musical language for your next holiday or for fun, we are starting a New Beginners Online Class on the 23rd of March.

Italian Beginners Classes have been running online for over two years and have been very successful: small groups, a conversational approach in a fun and relaxed environment are the key to their success. In fact, students speak Italian from their first day of class and we have a lot of fun, fantastico!
You can learn and have fun from everywhere in the world from the comfort of your favourite couch! 

Il Presepio – Italian traditional nativity scene

Ecco qui il nostro presepio! Here is our presepio and this year, we really worked very hard!

You probably already know about the Italian Christmas tradition called Presepio or Presepe. It is the nativity scene that we build at Christmas’ time all over Italy. The first Presepio was ‘invented’ by San Francesco d’Assisi and it was a ‘Living Presepio’ (using actual people). In 1223 he gathered a few people in Greggio (a rural village in Umbria) and they reenacted the ‘nativity scene’. San Francesco celebrated mass on the makeshift altar by the manger. 

Nowadays, we do have living presepio/presepe in Italy, especially in small villages (they are called ‘borgo’ or ‘borgo medievale’ as they are usually of mediaeval origin), but in most houses we build our own presepio with figurines, houses and all the possible items to recreate the nativity scene. Usually, our figurines and a few other pieces, such as the grotto, come from our great grandparents or even older ancestors. But, tradition demands that every year something new must appear and give a ‘boost’ or a new ‘shine’ to the nativity scene of the previous year. 

Allora, here is my challenge for you. Ecco (here) last year’s presepio. 

tradition Italian Beginners

And at the top of the page is the new one… could you tell me what’s new?

This wonderful Italian tradition is also spreading through Ireland. In fact, you can admire a beautiful presepio in Saint Peter’s and Paul’s church and the other one in Galway!

And here is a first year presepio from my mother in law’s house: she worked very hard with my nephews Dave, Peter and even Jacob helped with the stained glass church window!

Allora, what are you waiting for? You better start now, you better work hard, and let me know if you need any help with it;-)

How to excel in Italian on the Leaving Cert!

Italian leaving cert success grinds Cork

Great news for students who want to boost their Leaving Cert outcome, be more relaxed during their leaving cert time and learn a beautiful language of great use to their future either for work or holiday.

I have been preparing students for their Italian Leaving Cert for 11 years and, thanks to my students committment and my teaching they all passed with either an A1/H1 or A2/H2, grazie a Dio! I usually prepare between 2 and 4 students a year.  

Italian is not a difficult language to learn and I am not saying this just because I am Italian, but because I can compare it with English, French and Spanish that I studied in the past and with Gaeilge which I started learning a couple of years ago (for my sins as many of my Irish students say;-)!

Most of my students are English speakers and they find Italian easier in comparison to French, Spanish and Irish especially because Italian pronunciation is very easy. A student is able to read and have perfect pronunciation in 2 hours. In fact, unlike the other languages I mentioned above, we pronounce words exactly as they are written. The name of each vowel is identical to its sound and vowels never change their sounds, even when they are clustered together! This is an amazing feature, trust me!

The most important or, should I say, the crucial requirement about taking Italian for the Leaving Cert is to start early. A language needs time to consolidate and daily practice:  we are talking about 15 minutes a day. All this preparation will reward the student who will be well prepared in advance and have more time to dedicate to other subjects. 

To give you an example: I prepared E. and A. recently. Two English speakers who didn’t have any second language or Italian. They started attending two years before their Leaving Cert for an hour a week. About 9 months before their oral exam, for a short period of time they attended 2 hours a week; but I hardly saw them after their oral in April, until a couple of weeks before their exam in August. They just kept it up with 15 minutes practice a day and they had plenty of time for their other subjects. They both passed with H2. 

If students start earlier (during their second or third year of secondary school), if they have some Italian already or if one of their parents is Italian, there is no reason why they can’t get an H1 as over 35% of my students have done. 

If you or your child are thinking of taking Italian in the Leaving Cert and you’d like to help them maximise their potential, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for an informative chat. 

Allora (so), hai capito? Did you understand? 

Andiamo! Let’s go!

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