Online Italian Cultural Programme – July 2020

The month of July continues to offer a wide range of opportunities for our currently subscribed Italian language students from all over the world.  Our top-rated Italian teachers will make you live the Italian Culture and language through a great online Italian cultural programme, and not only from a linguistic perspective!

Do you live in a different time zone from the CET one? Don’t worry, you can watch a live registration of all the seminars of our online Italian cultural programme! Indeed, all seminars and labCOMs (free for all those who are enrolled in our courses) are offered in remote, online, via the simplest of all platforms, Skype!

You may choose amongst the following online courses, currently in our portfolio:

Discover the Cultural Programme for the month of JULY:
Thursday, July 02 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
Italian culinary excellence: THE HISTORY OF PASTA! Origin, curiosity and recipes!
Thursday, July 09 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
Italian art: Leonardo Da vinci and the Renaissance
Thursday, July 16 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian civilization
Made in Italy - La Vespa: A great Italian myth
Thursday, July 23 at 6:00 pm

Communication workshop
Say it with a gesture - the world of non-verbal language and so typically...Italian.
Thrusady, July 30 at 6:00

Seminar on Italian culture
History of the Italian language - From Latin to Italian.

N.B. The lessons of this online Italian cultural programme are held in video conference, and require then a minimum number of 4 participants.
Consolidate your knowledge about Italian culture while fostering your conversational skills: Join our ONLINE COMMUNITY OF ITALIAN ADDICTS!

The Italian language is the key to open the doors of curiosity, book your place!
Write us an email: info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com

We are waiting for you…

#TuttoAndràBene
#AndràTuttoBene

 

 

 

Italian Online Lessons during COVID-19 (June)

Dear Student,

Like every month, we would like to inform you about the latest news and happenings.

These were uncertain, difficult months but also months that brought us closer to the things that matter most, which allowed us to spend time with the people we love: a simple but at the same time so spectacular life! We hope it was like that for you too. Certainly, in many years, we will think back of the quarantine as a beautiful moment … we wish it will be like this.

Our lovely Sofie looks at the sea, just as we look forward to being able to give you a certain communication of the reopening day of our schools in Trieste and Tropea. But this decision must be taken with such caution because we want to reopen in compliance with all regulations and with respect for everyone’s health.

We assure you that we can’t wait to reopen the doors of our schools …

In the meantime, we thank all our students, both current and future, for their patience, support, and trust. It means a lot to us!

Waiting for the arrival of this news we send you in the meantime offers and news for our online courses as well as the cultural programme for June.

Antonio, Simone, little Sofie and all the wonderful teachers of the Piccola Università Italiana

 


See here our NEW ONLINE EVENING COURSE for June 2020:

The evening course is offered in 4 language course levels and starts on June 8.
The course lasts 10 weeks and comprises 40 lessons of 55 minutes each.


 

 

 


 

See here our SPECIAL OFFERS for June 2020:

 

 

 

 

Book a 3-week ONLINE group course and receive ONE week FOR FREE!

REGULATION OF ONLINE GROUP COURSES
1. The offer is valid for all students who book 3 or more weeks of the online group course
2. The course must be held online.
3. To take advantage of the offer, is it necessary to make a reservation by May 31, 2020.
4. The week of the free Italian language course (= scholarship week) can be spent at any time.
5. All communications relating to the offer must be sent to the e-mail address info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com
6. Enrolment must be handled directly with Piccola Università Italiana.


 


 

 

 

 

Book your ONLINE one-to-one course and get a 10% DISCOUNT on the entire booking!

REGULATION OF ONLINE ONE-TO-ONE COURSES
1. The offer is valid for packages of 6, 12 or 24 lessons of online lessons.
2. The course must be held online.
3. To take advantage of the offer, is it necessary to make a reservation by May 31, 2020.
4. All communications relating to the offer must be sent to the e-mail address info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com
5. Enrolment must be handled directly with Piccola Università Italiana.


 

Online Italian Culture Programme – June 2020

The month of June continues to be an interesting one for our currently subscribed Italian language students from all over the world.  Our brilliant Italian teachers will continue to immerse you in Italian Culture and Italian language, beyond the Italian lessons you booked.

Students who are not in a time zone allowing them to participate at 6 pm CET, can watch the live registration! All seminars and labCOMs (free for those enrolled in our courses) are offered in remote, online via the simplest of all platforms, via Skype.

You may choose amongst the following online courses, currently in our portfolio:

This is the Culture Programme for the month of JUNE:
Thursday, June 04 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
The history of Trieste - Let's reassamble the history of one of the most fascinating cities in Italy!
Thursday, June 11 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
The history of Italian cinema - Faces and movies of the big screen in Italy
Thursday, June 18 at 6:00 pm

Communication Laboratory (labCOM)
At the table! - In search of the "right words" and the best orders!
Thursday, June 25 at 6:00 pm

Cultural seminar with final discussion
Bergamot and other Calabrian delights - Discovering the typical products of Calabria


Consolidate your knowledge about Italian culture and your conversational abilities and join our ONLINE COMMUNITY OF ITALIAN ADDICTS.

The Italian language is the key to open the doors of curiosity, book your place!
Write us an email: info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com

We are waiting for you…

#TuttoAndràBene
#AndràTuttoBene

 

 

 

Italian Online Lessons during COVID-19 (May)

How are you?
We hope that you and your family are well in this delicate period!

Italy is going through a difficult phase but we all struggle to recover, to shine again soon, and to give you, a loyal visitor and lover of the Belpaese, new moments of joy and serenity.
The Piccola Università Italiana has never stopped working, not even during the lockdown, albeit by changing the methods:
it’s important not to give up and keep hoping!

Our Italian online lessons represent the possibility of continuing to feel “close”, despite going through a phase in which closeness, the real one, is not allowed.
It is an opportunity to learn Italian or to improve the language and to be together, more united than ever. The online lessons, as well as the cultural seminars that we have prepared for you, will allow you to bring good mood into your home ….

Since it is not possible to come to Italy, then Italy will reach out to you!


See here our special offers for May 2020:

 

 

 

 

Book a 3-week ONLINE group course and receive ONE week FOR FREE!

REGULATION OF ONLINE GROUP COURSES
1. The offer is valid for all students who book 3 or more weeks of a classic group course
(= Course A – Italian conversation course, course B – Italian complete course or  course C – intensive Italian course).

2. The course must be held online.
3. To take advantage of the offer, is it necessary to make a reservation by May 31, 2020.
4. The week of the free Italian language course (= scholarship week) can be spent at any time.
5. All communications relating to the offer must be sent to the e-mail address info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com
6. Enrolment must be handled directly with Piccola Università Italiana.


 


 

 

 

 

Book your ONLINE one-to-one course and get a 10% DISCOUNT on the entire booking!

REGULATION OF ONLINE ONE-TO-ONE COURSES
1. The offer is valid for packages of 6, 12 or 24 lessons of online lessons.
2. The course must be held online.
3. To take advantage of the offer, is it necessary to make a reservation by May 31, 2020.
4. All communications relating to the offer must be sent to the e-mail address info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com
5. Enrolment must be handled directly with Piccola Università Italiana.


 

Online Italian Culture Programme – May 2020

Piccola Università Italiana continues to offer an interesting cultural programme to Italian language students from all over the world. The activities (free for those enrolled in our courses) are offered in remote, online via the simplest of all platforms, via Skype. These well thought cultural activities were designed to immerse you in Italian Culture and Italian lifestyle especially during this difficult period of COVID-19.

Sign up and learn Italian online (one-to-one or in a group) and also participate once a week in a FREE seminar or laboratory!

Check out also our Italian Online lessons special offer for the month of May 2020.

The aim of the activities is to deepen your knowledge about Italian Culture and Italian civilization and to improve your communication skills.

Here is what we have to offer you for the month of MAY:
Thursday, May 07 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
Italian culinary excellence: THE PIZZA! Origin, history and ... recipe!
Thursday, May 14 at 6:00 pm

Communication Laboratory (labCOM)
Say it with a gesture - the world of non-verbal and so ethically ... Italian language
Thursday, May 21 at 6:00 pm

Seminar on Italian culture
History of the Italian language - from Latin to Italian
Thursday, May 28 at 6:00 pm

Cultural seminar with final discussion
The masterpieces of Italian literature: the works and authors who have left their mark in world literary history


So join our ONLINE COMMUNITY OF ITALIAN ADDICTS and take part in these interesting activities!
Our wonderful team of  Italian teachers is hoping for great participation.

The Italian language is the key to open the doors of curiosity, book your place!
Write us an email: info@piccolauniversitaitaliana.com

We are waiting for you…

#TuttoAndràBene
#AndràTuttoBene

 

 

 

Why family language holidays in Italy should be on your bucket list

At the Piccola Università Italiana, we offer a broad range of customized courses for every need, age, and language level. So, why not consider going on a nice family vacation to enjoy our natural beauties, and at the same time learn Italian in Italy during your holidays?

Planning a family language holiday in Tropea

Combining business with pleasure will grant you a language learning experience and relaxing holidays at the same time. Do your Italian language holidays with us!

Although very few agencies have this package available, since 1993 it is possible to book with us this great and mixed offer of study and relaxation, even for big groups!
As normally, July and August are the perfect time to go on a family holiday. That’s why our beautiful medieval village of Tropea is the ideal place. It is a small town you can stroll around on foot, that offers amazing views of the sea beyond the chance to spend unforgettable hours on the beach between dives. A little paradise on Earth to have a rest, recharge your energy, and, why not, learn something new. Furthermore, the locals are very welcoming and friendly, often ready to talk to foreigners.
In fact, some of our students chose Tropea in order to let their family have a nice holiday, while they were attending our Italian courses. Then, take it as an opportunity to enrich yourself from a personal perspective considering its countless advantages (such as being able to communicate in Italian in Italy)!
Furthermore, when the children are in class, parents don’t have to worry about anything else but attending their lessons or enjoying their free time! At the same time, parents who attend our classes set a good example for their children getting their motivation consequently increase: Outside the classroom, small challenges are often set between parents and children to measure the progress they’ve made in our beautiful language, such a wonderful moment of sharing! Studying a foreign language, besides being an excellent gymnastics for the brain, helps to broaden our horizons developing an open, lively, and curious spirit! La Piccola Università Italiana is a big family, where it is easy to make friends from every corner of the planet in a very relaxed and familiar atmosphere. It will, therefore, be easy, if you wish, to meet other people with similar interests and spend time together outside the classroom!

Families already share accommodation and most of their free time, but children and teenagers under 16 years old attend alone individual lessons. If two or more siblings share a similar age and linguistic level, however, the possibility to make an ad hoc mini-class is there! The proposals we make to families vary on how much time they’d like to spend with us (we are very flexible, the minimum is one week, and the maximum depends on you). Someone, for example, is already studying Italian in an institute in their own country and can choose to do an intensive course with us to foster his skills. That’s why we try to structure programs as exclusive and tailor-made as possible.

Our teaching methods are therefore completely different: the youngsters often learn very quickly because they are easier to memorize, but they have to be motivated in the right way. It is possible to teach the language even to very young children, from 4 to 6 years old, i.e. children who do not yet attend primary school and therefore do not know how to read or write. In this case, obviously, the learning techniques are more playful. Also for adults, we have many surprises in store so that fun is guaranteed for everyone, but they generally have to practice more to train their memory and acquire vocabulary and grammatical structures. However, it must be said to balance these difficulties that adults often have on their side more willpower, a greater awareness, a motivation usually deeper than their children, and considerable cultural interest in the Bel paese. Most of our students are attentive and curious. Those who choose to study Italian, in fact, do not necessarily do it for professional needs, but for a real form of love: for its sweet and musical sound (it is considered the most romantic language in the world! ) and for the deep bond that this language has with many cultural and artistic spheres, with the traditions and excellence for which Italians are famous in the world, such as food and wine, music, opera, fashion, design, architecture, archaeology and all the wide, rich and varied historical heritage. And of course, all that concerns our dolce vita. Thanks to this enormous diversity, even the topics of conversation can greatly differ according to age and interests.

On our campuses, you will also find a series of extracurricular activities, such as guided tours, excursions by minibus or boat, typical dinners, and cooking classes. In addition to the standard language courses, it is also possible to enroll in additional courses. At our campus in Trieste, thanks to the collaboration with an important local school, you can attend different types of music or singing courses all year round. In Tropea, during the summer season, you can practice mainly outdoor activities such as sailing, catamaran, or windsurfing and, upon request, basically any kind of sport!
For the quieter ones, we also offer oil or watercolor painting courses.
In short, there is something for everyone: just choose what you prefer and what suits your family better!
We’ll take care of the rest!

 

11 things to do in Tropea for international students

Are you wondering what you shouldn’t miss while learning Italian at our school during your summer holiday in Tropea? Then, read our 5 minutes article to discover our 11 must do’s tips, and enjoy your vacation at the fullest!

tropea

11 Things to Do in Tropea while Learning Italian

1. Start your day with a delicious Italian breakfast

In small towns like Tropea, the bar is the perfect meeting place, and, for foreign students, it is often the first real place of interaction outside the school. So what would be better than starting your day sitting outside, watching the hustle and bustle of passers-by, and ordering a good croissant with coffee or cappuccino? In summer, then, try at least once the brioche with ice cream or granita, a tradition imported from the nearby Sicily!

2. Explore the old town

The main and most characteristic part of Tropea is a beautiful medieval village on a cliff facing the sea. The ancient facades of noble residences follow one another along the narrow streets of the town. Often the portals of the palaces hide hallways and gardens, but it is worth getting lost in the narrow streets of the old town, at different times of the day, to watch how the light changes gradually giving the buildings that particular straw yellow, known as Tropea yellow, that you will be happy to capture in your photographs, along with sleeping cats, clothes lying in the sun, tables outside the bars. Authentic and picturesque corners representing the quintessence of the Italian style. To explore better Tropea, don’t miss the one-hour guided tour that the Piccola Università Italiana offers you every Tuesday afternoon!

3. Visit the cathedral

There are many churches in Tropea, but the Norman Cathedral will take your breath away. Dedicated to the patron saint of the city, our Virgin Mary of Romania, it houses her icon. According to the tale, around the 8th century, the icon was found in the sea or perhaps stolen from a Byzantine boat, by Tropea sailors. The “Romania” refers to the Eastern Roman Empire. When the ship of these sailors docked in Tropea, the bishop of the city dreamt the Virgin Mary of Romania for 3 consecutive nights. It seems that she asked him to go to the port to retrieve her painting and place it in the cathedral of the city. And so it happened. The inhabitants of Tropea are very grateful to the Virgin Mary of Romania because they believe she repeatedly protected them from devastating earthquakes, epidemics, and enemy attacks. The Virgin Mary of Romania’s holiday is celebrated every year on September 9.

4. Discover the origins of the city in the Diocesan Museum

The cathedral forms a single urban complex with the old episcopal palace, now the seat of the Diocesan Museum, which can be considered the historical-artistic guardian of the city. On the ground floor, you can see archaeological finds documenting the millenary life of Tropea, from prehistory to the first Christianization, through the various dominations: Romans, Saracens, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, and Bourbons. Ancient art enthusiasts will instead find on the upper floor the picture gallery, which houses many examples of the iconography of the Virgin, the baroque canvases of the Cathedral, and other remarkable paintings of ecclesiastical commission, beyond the rooms of the sacred vestments, with precious eighteenth-century fabrics perfectly preserved.

5. Visit the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola

You absolutely must go to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola. With the word isola (island) we mean the rock in front of the cliff on which the city stands. During the past centuries, this rock was completely surrounded by the sea. The sanctuary is dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary and the statues on the altar depict the Holy Family, which is carried into the sea every year on August 15th in a procession of boats. To visit, once up there, also the small museum and the garden behind the Sanctuary, in the summer months open until 11.30 pm, which will allow you to observe the village of Tropea from above without having to operate a drone!

6. Watch the sunset over the sea

Tropea is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the part of the Mediterranean that extends west of the Italian peninsula. Every evening, at sunset, you can admire the sun setting into the water. You can watch it from the beach, maybe while sipping an aperitif surrounded by nature (in this case, pay attention to the side effects because you might get into a sort of romantic ecstasy and fall in love with whoever passes by, even a seagull!). Climb the stairs back to the center, and let yourself be enchanted by another breathtaking view: the panoramic terraces will allow you to catch in your Instagram selfies the famous Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of the Island and even the shapes of the nearby Aeolian Islands, especially Stromboli, which, as a good volcano, may also blow smoke rings! The best spots are Piazzetta Cannone, near Porta Vaticana, and the view at the end of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Our views will surprise you at any time, but in the evening, when the horizon becomes pink, the panorama is truly priceless!

7. Try all the beaches

Go down to the beach and have a swim in our paradise! Turquoise waters and a fairytale setting of wild cliffs and small bays accessible only by sea, but also long stretches of fine white sand are waiting for you! The beaches of Tropea are all worth seeing because from every point you can enjoy unique and different views. In the north, in La Grazia, a small locality bordering the enchanting coves of Parghelia, you can find the quietest and most family-friendly beach, and also the small beach of Cannone, hidden between the marina and the rock of San Leonardo. You will then find the free beaches of the Rotonda and Mare Piccolo. In the South of the island, there is A’ Linguata (a strip of land in the shape of a tongue), which ends in a cave that bears the same name. From there, skirting the islet, you can reach, even swimming, the Grotta del Palombaro, not visible from the shore, but really remarkable. Continuing southwards you can enjoy the equipped beaches of Mare Grande and il Convento. You will find here the lido Alex, affiliated with our school: you can, therefore, ask for a free umbrella and sunbed!

8. Play sports in the sea and… in Italian!

One of the most effective ways to learn the language is to combine it with the practice of our own passion. For example: do you like gardening? Buy a gardening manual in Italian! Here in Tropea maybe it’s easier to find a beach volleyball tournament, but you’ll still have the chance to discover the territory all-round doing different sports. Thanks to a series of specialized centers, you can attend courses of sailing, catamaran, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, or water aerobics. Take advantage of the fact that you may have an Italian instructor! In short, in addition to having fun and keeping fit, you also risk expanding your vocabulary!

9. Go on a boat trip or a cruise to the Aeolian Islands

The sea can offer you much more than just a nice tan. Put a towel and sunscreen in your bag and get on board a boat. Every week you could admire amazing landscapes thanks to our boat trip! From Tropea, you descend southwards to the promontory of Capo Vaticano, with the opportunity to swim offshore and fill your eyes with a thousand shades of blue. If you love the wind on your skin, we can take you on a sailing boat even further afield to Scilla and let you visit Chianalea, a beautiful fishing village in the province of Reggio Calabria. When the sea is calm you could also take advantage of taking a ferry to the Aeolian Islands. With a day cruise you can visit up to 3 islands, while with a mini-cruise, you’ll see just 2 islands. Moreover, thanks to the Stromboli by night formula, at nightfall, you may have the chance to observe the activity of this volcano during your mini-cruise trip!

10. Do things you probably would never do at home

Rent a Ducati and experience the thrill of riding on the Calabrian hairpin bends or rent a legendary Vespa to explore the surroundings. We’ve already surprised several unsuspected couples of our students by venturing out with helmets under their hands showing in their faces the happy expression of those who are enjoying all the essence of the Italian Dolce Vita! Be a little bit crazy: go on mountain-bike excursions (never under the summer sun, though!) or get on board of our bus in Palmi, to have a beautiful horseback ride on the beach. Then, if the sea and the mainland are not enough for you, you can seize the opportunity to observe the coast from above, i.e. in flight, with a two-seater paraglider! Too extreme? All right, then we will offer you a nice watercolor painting course. Then, you will comfortably sit in one of our classrooms!

11. Go shopping in downtown and discover the local handicrafts

It’s amazing to go shopping in Italy, especially when it comes to clothing! In Tropea, you won’t find chains or shopping malls, but boutiques and independent shops of all kinds: from big fashion brands to more particular kinds of ethnic and bohemian clothing, artistic fabrics, and, of course, beachwear and accessories. There is no shortage of souvenirs to bring to your friends and relatives. And above all, you’ll find many shops where you can stock up on handmade products, buy gastronomic specialties such as our red onion jam or spicy ‘nduja, but also Calabrian ceramics, small animated cribs or even jewelry! You will be amazed by the shops selling coral! The coral, unfortunately, or fortunately, has been collected for centuries in the rich depths of Tropea and Capo Vaticano, and traditionally exported to Campania for processing. Traces of this intense trade remain in one of the districts of the city, called U’ Curalluni (the Coral), which roughly corresponds to the buildings at the beginning of Via Libertà, overlooking the sea and built by fishermen with the proceeds from the sale of coral. After our shopping tips, you will return home with a renewed and very personal style: everybody will directly understand that you have been on holiday in Italy!

This could also interest you:

 

 

Solution for the busy bees that want to learn Italian: Get an online tutor

Be productive from your living room, and get now your online tutor in a quick click: easy-peasy!

Online Italian language tutor

Why having an Italian tutor online is the best thing you can do to learn the language

Hey, you!

Unfortunately, we are going through difficult times right now with so many challenges to face. That’s why we, at the Piccola Università Italiana, are willing to do our part: We’ve thought about you! We know that you’re probably stuck at home with so much time to spend, and wondering how not to waste your precious days! Therefore, we really want to give you our tip: The best way to be up against this common enemy is to turn this unmoving and boring period into productivity! That’s right here that learning a new language comes into play! Especially, if it is the language of the Bel paese: Our melodic and fascinating Italian! Learning Italian can help you to upgrade your CV, get a job promotion or simply discover and look closely at a new inspiring culture!

Our Italian language school can help you with that! Indeed, today we offer you the possibility not only to learn Italian online attending a proper and valid Italian course directly from your sofa but also to get a special 10% discount with a free seminar per week if you purchase your lessons by the 30th of April. 

Are you wondering how our online courses take place?

Everything you need is a laptop and a Skype account! In fact, you’ll meet your online tutor on Skype either choosing a one-to-one option or in a small group of 3 to max.8 participants! You can refer to our Online Courses page to discover how to reach out to your online tutor, as well as to our menu courses to choose which one suits you better. In any case, our specialized teachers will follow you through this enchanting journey tailoring your course on your needs and requests! Doing so, you can get the most of your online tutor: You can focus on the aspects you want to deepen, avoiding wasting your time in learning something that you already know or that simply bores you! In a nutshell, having an online coach gives you plenty of benefits! Taking advantage of tailored lessons and explanations is just one of them!

Apart from the current situation, our Online courses are available all year long! Last but not least, at the end of the course, you can either get a certificate of attendance or of proficiency and prove your new skills!

To get a deepened idea on what learning Italian involves, read also How hard is it to learn Italian? and How to Learn Italian Faster: 10 Tips from our Teachers.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity, and feel free to reach out to us on our Facebook – Trieste and Facebook – Tropea pages, Instagram or Twitter!

How hard is it to learn Italian? We have asked our students…

Italian language in your brain

Find out how hard it is to learn Italian from our international students

We asked our international students to tell us how hard it is to learn Italian. And of course, beginners drew up the longest list! Indeed, at the very beginning, learning Italian can make you struggle a little bit, but then, it gets easier and easier. Learning a new language is like going on an adventurous journey: It is always worth to do a bit of training to prepare ourselves for the adventure, but it’s also normal to have sometimes unexpected challenges to face. A bit of frustration is common: accept it, but remember that enthusiasm, motivation and a bit of lightness are always the right solutions to all problems… Never give up! And remember: you always learn by mistake!

Pronunciation and handwriting

Don’t worry, we write as we pronounce. There are only a few things to take into account: especially the pronunciation of sounds such as “c” and “g”, which become strong if followed by the letters a, h, o, u or sweet if followed by the vowels e and i. Few other syllables require attention to pronunciation, but you’ll learn them in a day!

Definite Articles

Yes, strangely enough, we have 7 definite articles! Hey, you: I saw that scared expression on your face. Don’t worry, 7 is a magic number! Therefore, you simply have to remember which ones to use according to gender (male and female), number (singular and plural), and the initial letters of the nouns they refer to. Furthermore, we have precise rules to use them correctly (and it’s not at all obvious to have “very precise” rules in Italian). So, even if at the beginning you won’t use them in the most natural and fluent way, once you’ll learn their rules, it’ll be a piece of cake!

Variable parts of speech: articles, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs

In Italian these words change their ending according to gender and number! For example, if you applaud a male musician and say to him”Bravo!”, you’ll be right. But, if you want to address to a female musician, you must say “Brava!” or if it’s a group of women, you need to say “Brave!“. And finally, if it’s a mixed group of men and women or just of men, you’ll say “Bravi!“. Articles, nouns, pronouns, verbs undergo these alterations as well. It’s like changing shoes depending on the occasion, and I am sure that at the end you’ll know which pair suits the circumstances better!

Irregular Verbs

For the conjugations of irregular verbs there is a very practical remedy: Learning them by heart! Choose the storage learning system that works better for you: write their conjugations with a lipstick on the mirror of your bathroom, tattoo them on your forearm or sing them to your boss. In a nutshell, every method that works is allowed!

Articulated prepositions

Combine prepositions and articles into one word as you were playing with Lego bricks. It’s all about saving time! Do you want to learn how to merge prepositions and articles together? It’s enough to follow a scheme similar to math tables! But, I’ve good news for you: The number of possibilities is not infinite! Sounds good? Let’s study and try!

Construction of verbs as to like

Do you have to conjugate it using the singular or the plural form? It depends on the noun the verbs refer to! For example, we say Mi piace il gelato, but also mi piacciono gli spaghetti. See? It’s all about the number of the noun. It’s pretty easy!
And even if it doesn’t convince you, we can’t rewrite grammars unfortunately! So, give up, learn this easy rule, and relax: these constructions are not illogical, but differently logical!

Reflexive and reciprocal verbs

They refer to actions that a person performs on himself (like lavarsi: to wash oneself) or that involve two or more people (like sposarsi: to get married). Since they convey personal, relational, and affective feelings, we use them a lot because dont’t forget that the Italians are also deep, emotional, and passionate!

The choice of the auxiliary in compound tenses

To be or not to be? That’s the problem! The solution is: sometimes to be, sometimes to have. A compound tense is made up of two words: an auxiliary (to be or to have conjugated in the correct tense and person) and the past participle of the verb. Let’s say that with reflexive verbs we always use the auxiliary to be, with transitive verbs we use to have, and with intransitive verbs sometimes we use to be and sometimes to have. For example: mi sono svegliato alle sette, ho bevuto il caffè e sono andato al lavoro.  So, take a deep breath, and try to answer this question: “Is this verb transitive or intransitive?” If the answer does not come, you can look it up in the dictionary, your trusted companion!

ci and ne particles

Yes, these two are powerful and multifunctional pronouns: they can replace a couple of words in one fell swoop! Therefore, our advice is to learn their functions: read a few sentences, and do exercises on this specific subject. In the beginning, you’ll probably avoid them like the plague, until one day they’ll nonchalantly come out of your mouth!

Articles, prepositions, pronouns

Short words, tricky words! These two-three letters words will always cause you some trouble even if you are proficient. At first, when you hear them from the natives, you’ll hardly recognize them. We call it “word jam”: An incomprehensible and difficult to digest conglomerate of phonemes. Unfortunately, their rules are not always defined. Our little tip: When you learn a new verb, learn also the preposition it goes with. And, don’t give up! It’s all about listening to practice.

The difference between the near and imperfect past

Let’s admit it: The management of these 2 tenses is often a tough nut to crack for our students! Indeed, if we use the near past for events which took place in a definite time of the past, on the other hand, we use the imperfect past for repeated, habitual or lasting events which instead took place in an indefinite time of the past. In the first case, temporal boundaries are very clear and specific while in the second case they’re blurred and unclear.

Combined pronouns

If it wasn’t for the 3rd persons which are all different, the reflexive, indirect and direct pronouns would be like homozygous twins separated at birth. If two pronouns, one indirect (such as mi, ti, le, etc.) and the other one direct and referring to the 3rd person (la, lo, li, le), bump into each other in the same sentence, the indirect one undergoes a little change. As a result, the ending “a” of the indirect pronouns becomes “e”. Does it mean that I can’t say mi lo presti, quel libro? , but I need to say me lo presti quel libro? I know it sounds like science fiction, but let’s say it’s just… a little “surgery”!

Pronominal verbs

Such verbs contain 1 or 2 pronouns that sometimes completely change the meaning of the original verb. Pronominal verbs may look like U.F.O. verbs: they rarely have a counterpart in other languages, but in Italian they are widely used! So, our tip is to learn their meaning immediately and then, their conjugation. If you practice enough, it becomes a child’s play!

Subjunctive

Always a bit problematic for students, it’s the most elegant mode of our beautiful language. If you want to use it, let’s wear a suit firstly! Just kidding (flip-flops allowed!), but using subjunctive will lend you a more sophisticated air. So, when do you have to use it? It depends, but we normally use it after verbs that convey subjective opinions, doubts or personal will. Try it out, and don’t be scared!

The hypothetical period of the 2nd and 3rd type

These abovementioned 2 are not aliens, but simply sentences introduced by “if” that refer to hypotheses or conditions. They only require a mechanical combination of modes (subjunctive and conditional) and tenses (simple or compound). Once you learn this perfect mechanism, everything will get pretty much easier. Don’t worry, though: Here we are to teach you everything. You’ll finally learn Italian!

The concordance of times

When sentences are rather long and articulate, it’s easier to make a mistake in using verbal tenses! You just have to keep in mind what the main sentence is, and what is its temporal relationship with its dependent sentences. Once this relationship of subordination has been established, these rules will be clearer. Just apply them mechanically, and learn Italian!

From direct to indirect speech

An excellent way to practice your skills in the concordance of Italian tenses, and not only! Indeed, changing someone’s speech from the direct to the indirect form will force you to do a series of space and time adjustments that your neurons will find amusing (maybe!)

As you can see, nothing is impossible with a little practice and a strong motivation! Above all, the greater the exposure to the language, the easier it would be for you to use even the most complex grammatical structures and to finally learn Italian. Immerse yourself in this beautiful language without thinking twice: a great journey is waiting for you!

To learn more, discover our 10 top tips on how to learn Italian faster!

 

How to Learn Italian Faster: 10 Tips from our Teachers

Discover 10 top tips from our teachers, and find out how to learn Italian fast either sitting on your couch or coming in Italy to be completely immersed in our beautiful language!

happy learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Teacher Tips to Learn Italian Faster

 

1. Look for an inspiring grammar manual!

Yes, Italian is a wonderful language that sounds like music, but you need to know some rules to speak it correctly! Then, choose an inspiring and clear manual with an attractive and coloured layout containing translations in your native language, and solutions at the end. In this way, you’ll be able to practice on your own!

2. Identify your best storage learning system

If adults should train their memory a lot, it’s not the same for the very young! Since everyone is different, it is important to find the most effective way to remember new words and grammar rules. Those with an auditory memory could record, listen and repeat lists of words, expressions and verbs several times a day. Rather, those with a visual memory can cover the walls of their house with post-it notes, attach a page with the Italian articulated prepositions on the door of their bathroom or even the rules of the hypothetical period on their refrigerator. If you don’t live alone, your roommates or your family will learn Italian without knowing how!

3. Attend an intensive course in Italy

Since Italian is almost exclusively spoken in Italy, all you need is to come here. As a matter of fact, the greater the exposure to the language is, the more likely you’ll learn it! At La Piccola Università Italiana we give you everyday the possibility to attend a language course combined with extra activities so that you can practice Italian even outside your classroom: cooking classes, dinners with musical accompaniment, sports and excursions, guided tour in Italian in Tropea or Trieste is everything you need to learn Italian fast in Italy doing a complete Italian language immersion. And at the end, don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend your free time talking, talking and talking with locals…!

4. Watch movies or videos in Italian

Watch TV series, quizzes, entertainment or sports programs! Or even better, watch tutorials about your passions: You’ll learn twice as much! Videos and movies provide you with useful and easily contextualized audiovisual stimuli, and expose you to a wide range of regional accents. That’s why at our schools we show to our students classic or contemporary movies with Italian subtitles two afternoons a week!

5. Read in Italian

If it was just the label of Nutella, but read it! It’s the best way to expand your vocabulary. Start with short texts such as simple instructions, and gradually move on to horoscope, twitter, news or blogs! If you prefer books, choose one that suits your level, and don’t worry if you don’t understand everything. Underline the words you don’t know and try to get the meaning out of context! Understanding the global meaning should be your main purpose! Indeed, if you stop on every line, not only will you not enjoy the content, but you will also lose the desire to move on. At La Piccola Università Italiana you can borrow a book from our library. Avoid to choose fairy tales for children: this type of language is often very imaginative, and has little correspondence to everyday reality.

6. Write in Italian

No, not the novel of the century! Just write a postcard, or exchange some text messages with an Italian friend or foreign students who, like you, study our beautiful language…You can even benefit from Social media: Follow a bunch of Italian users on Facebook or Instagram, and look for some useful hashtag in order to memorize words!

7. Sing

We’re not asking you to sing Caruso or Pavarotti’s songs, but simply to choose your favourite Italian song and start! By making a good use of the pause button, try to write each verse down. Dont worry, leave blank if you don’t understand some words and, then compare your texts with the original one. At the end, listen to the lyrics again and try to follow it! Even if you’re out of tune and the only stage on which you should perform your singing skills is your shower, never mind and sing!

8. Fill your day with Italian

Perseverance is essential to learn a language. It is important to pratice it everyday even if you did it for a short while. Just do a few exercises or read some lines, listen to the radio or speak with a local. In a nutshell, make this language part of your everyday life somehow. Our little tip: set your PC or smartphone in Italian!

9. Find a way to check your improvements

Checking your progress in learning helps you to acquire self-esteem and motivation. Then, try to find the best way to verify it constantly! As an exemple: We recommend to our beginner students to go several times on our guided tour, which is always held in Italian: the gradual and increasing understanding of the guide can be used as a parameter to measure their progress.

10. Find an Italian partner

We want to be very honest and straightforward with you: That’s the most useful and effective tip of the list. Nothing increases motivation like love. Therefore, especially at the very beginning, you will memorize every single word that your sweetheart says, and you’ll be ready to do the impossible to improve communication between you two. All this beating around the bush just to say that love breaks down all barriers, including the linguistic ones!