Meet Our Collina Italiana Family

Each of our certified and qualified instructors is a native Italian speaker able to draw from a genuine background to create a learning environment that is authentic and wholesome.

Our students are guided through an immersive experience that includes language, traditions, food, arts, politics, literature, and every aspect of Italy. Learning at Collina Italiana goes far and beyond just mastering grammar or syntax. It is about feeling connected to the Italian heartbeat.

Patrizia Saglio

Founder & President

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, art collector, and founder of Collina Italiana, Patrizia, was born in Lugano, Switzerland and grew up speaking Italian, French, and German. She graduated in political science from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where she worked for several years as an assistant professor and private teacher of Italian and French to college students and at international corporations.

Patrizia moved to New York in 1998 and after a stint as co-owner and manager of an international trade company she decided to open an Italian language and cultural center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2007.

In founding Collina Italiana, Patrizia’s mission is to offer Italian language classes in an authentic cultural setting and context: all Italian language classes include an introduction to Italian culinary arts, wine, and film.

In her free time, she is currently a student of Arabic and is enjoying being back in the classroom!

Cristina Ciarcelluti-Roberts

Program Director & Coordinator

Born in Pescara, Italy, Cristina moved to Forli at the age of 19 to study International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs at the University of Bologna. Widely traveled, Cristina attended language courses in England, France, and Russia. Having lived in Estonia for a year, she’s also competent in the Estonian language. During her years at the university, Cristina volunteered in hospitals as a teacher and translator for both children and adults.

Cristina is an Italian language instructor and examiner for the CELI, which is a  certification given by the Università per Stranieri di Perugia to assess competence in Italian language usage.

Talented in Public Relations and Social Media, Cristina approaches all that she does with energy and enthusiasm. She enjoys living in New York City where her interests in singing, theater, and reading are easily satisfied.

Luna Splendori

Instructor & Junior Program Coordinator

A New York native, Luna is a recent graduate of The University of Chicago (magna cum laude) where she studied linguistics and Italian literature. A daughter of Italian and Argentine immigrants, her first languages were Italian and Spanish, but has also studied French, German, and Mandarin. 

At school, Luna shared her passion for the Italian language, culture, and cuisine with fellow students at the University of Chicago through her student organization, CIAO, and now, Luna leads our online series, Cosa Dici?!… check it out here!

In her free time, she loves to cook, bake, and try new foods. She is also a coffee fanatic who will never say no to a nice espresso!

In her teaching, Luna uses her knowledge of English and Spanish to her advantage, providing students with unique perspectives and approaches to learning Italian!

 

Elisabeth Malanga (Elisa)

Administrative Assistant

Born in Southern California, Elisa recently graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Anthropology and Italian Literature after dancing professionally as a ballet dancer for 4 years.  

Elisa grew up speaking Italian, English and Spanish and later studied French. 

During her studies, Elisabeth researched and worked with refugees in Italy as part of her thesis.  

She also helped produce and direct independent theater performances on campus.

In her free time, she enjoys seeing performances, dancing, and visiting vintage stores. 

Eveline Baseggio Omiccioli

Instructor

Eveline is an art historian in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. 

Born and raised in Treviso, Italy, she completed her Laurea Triennale and Specialistica in Conservazione dei Beni Culturali at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, where her passion for Venetian art originated. In 2017 she completed her Ph.D. in Renaissance and Baroque Art at Rutgers University in New Brunswick (N.J.) with a dissertation on Venetian Renaissance sculpture, which she is now turning into a book.

Eveline has worked in a number of art museums in New York and New Jersey (The Frick Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Zimmerli Art Museum) in different departments with a variety of roles, such as fellow, docent, and lecturer. She has also taught in various contexts, first at Rutgers University as a teaching assistant, a member of the Rutgers Early College Humanities program, and more recently, as an adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During the pandemic, Eveline has begun offering online webinars sponsored by Friends of FAI, The National Arts Club, and Collina Italiana.

In her classrooms, lectures, and her YouTube channel, she aims to making art history accessible, useful, and engaging by using masterpieces from the past as a way to raise awareness about today’s critical issues.

Manuela Biondi

Instructor

Born and raised in Napoli, Italia Manuela moved to Milano and graduated from Politecnico di Milano with a Master’s Degree in Architecture, specializing in interior and industrial design. While still in school she attended the Escola Tecnica Superior De Arquitectura de Barcelona, and the Facultat de Belles Artes St. Jordi both in Barcelona, Spain for two semesters. 

Manuela moved to New York in 2006 and continued to pursue her passion for interior design and architecture founding Designable Interiors and Décor, promoting Italian design and decor.

Passionate about Italian language, culture, art and design, she started teaching Italian to adults and children in person and online as a freelance instructor. She has also recently received her ACTFL Language Proficiency Certificate for her knowledge of the Italian language.

As an entrepreneur passionate about art, architecture and design, Manuela’s method of learning is highly engaging and her goal is to help her students develop a true love for Italian language and culture.

Manuela adores Manhattan, its museums, art galleries, and amazing energy, and has been a certified tour guide for many years!

Ilaria Colombo

Instructor

Born and raised in Varese, Italy, Ilaria attended the Università di Lettere e Filosofia of Milan where she graduated with honors in Ancient Roman History. Since then, she has taught all over Italy and the U.S.

Before moving to New York, she worked as Head Italian Teacher at “Language and Enrichment Center-Let’s Play in Italian” in New Jersey. There she developed an Italian immersion classroom curriculum for preschool and kindergarten classes, and instructed private and group Italian language lessons to a variety of adults and children at all levels.

As a certified instructor of the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methodology, Ilaria strives to intertwine Italian language learning and other subjects within general education.

She has always enjoyed studying languages, traveling and learning about different cultures. In her spare time, Ilaria enjoys reading, going to the movies, and discovering new and unusual spots in NYC. Her passion is opening the eyes of adults and children to Italy’s beautiful language and culture!

Rossana Copler

Instructor

Born in Bergamo, Italy, Rossana Copler finds her passion in teaching and writing. Rossana tailors her lessons to the needs of her students, focusing evenly on all aspects of language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Most importantly, Rossana aims to make her lessons fun by connecting to real-life contexts and incorporating visual aids, word games, and ties to Italian culture.
 
In recent years, Rossana has discovered a passion for writing and has published several books in recent years, including Acqua (2016), The Absolute Note (2018), and Songs of a Secret (2021). Her writing explores both the dreams and heartbreaks that co-exist in life, creating a world where the healing power of love soothes the wounds of misunderstandings and offers hope for the heart to love freely without prejudice.
 
Outside of her work, Rossana loves to travel and immerse herself in the cultures of many places. She now resides in Vancouver, Canada with her two sons and husband.

Argia Coppola

Instructor

Daughter of a Piedmontese mother and Neapolitan father, Argia was born and raised in Turin, Italy. She attended the University of Turin and studied languages abroad in London and Leeds.

After moving to New York to pursue her “American dream”, Argia earned her PhD in Italian and Playwriting from Columbia University through a cotutelle program with the University of Turin.

Through the study of Literature and Theater, she discovered the musical roots of the Italian language that influences radically her creative teaching method. For Argia, learning a language means listening and absorbing the unique sound of it. She specializes in immersive one-on-one classes, although she tutors larger groups as well.

She is passionate about female Italian authors such as Elena Ferrante and many others.

Calling New York her new home, Argia enjoys practicing meditation and yoga. She is author of Love is Blonde, based on the novel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates.  

Eleonora Corradi

Instructor

Born and raised in Milan, Eleonora has  expanded her horizons, having studied and worked in Milan, London, Paris, Bern, Grenoble, and New York. She is fluent in Italian, English, and French, and has also studied Spanish. She has a PhD from “Politecnico di Milano”, where she taught for 5 years as an assistant teacher. 

She has been a technical translator since 1995 and worked for many international companies such as Microsoft, Ernst & Young, and Zanichelli Editor to translate scientific books and articles, technical procedures, and reports.

Eleonora moved to Paris in 2000 and there she started her own translation company and also began working as an Italian teacher for Interface Business Languages. She moved for the second time to New York in September 2015 and now teaches adult classes at Collina Italiana.

In her free time, she loves to solve crossword puzzles, read mystery books, and watch movies.

Linda De Luca

Instructor

Born in Milan, Linda moved to Varese at the age of 11. She earned a Master Degree in Literal & Scientific translation in both English and French after graduating in Translation and Interpretation at ILSIT – Varese. She has attended language courses in Ireland, Belgium, England, France, USA and has accomplished fluency in English, Spanish and French.

Linda has worked as a simultaneous/consecutive interpreter for American and Italian writers, TV networks, radio stations, and universities. In 2013, she moved to the US where she specialized in medical and court interpretation and proofreading.

Linda has gained experience as a personal tutor/teacher of Italian and English for over 10 years in several schools and companies. She enjoys teaching languages through music as an effective learning platform. In her free time, she loves singing, dancing, practicing yoga, and traveling.

Sara Fedi

Instructor

Born in Prato, Sara studied speech therapy in Florence. After a few years working as a speech therapist in Italy, she moved first to Germany and then to Spain for work and to continue her studies.

After obtaining her Cedils certificate, she taught Italian to adults and children in both countries. In Spain she earned two master’s degrees in education and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education.

She enjoys creating special classes and workshops focused on individual components of the Italian language and pathways of natural language development. She loves teaching classes to kids as well as adults in Nyc. 

Her specialty classes help students with phonetics and teach them how to speak, read and pronounce words as a proper Italian! 

Outside of work she loves traveling, spending time with her family, cooking and good food. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and young son.

Maira Finley

Instructor

A native Italian speaker and professor, Maira Finley grew up near Venice, in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy. After serving as a Foreign Language Instructor and vice president of a school district in her city, she moved to the United States in 2010 to explore the opportunity of tutoring international students from all over the world.

Maira’s achievements include receiving an ALIAS Certificate from the University of Venice, a master’s in online tutoring from FI.CI.AP in Vicenza, as well as a philosophy and literature degree in Padua.

Maira remains dedicated to her love for teaching and helping her students improve their overall understanding of the Italian language and culture by developing and implementing creative strategies for her lessons to promote participation and hands-on learning. When she’s not teaching, Maira also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, biking, reading, and practicing yoga.

Federica Foglieni

Instructor

Born and raised in Bergamo, Federica attended the University of Verona where she graduated with a degree in Educational Sciences.

Federica is a certified pre-primary and primary school teacher, with a concentration on special needs education. In fact, prior to her move to New York in 2018, she was an elementary school teacher for twenty years.

Since her move to the States in 2018, Federica has dedicated much of her time to teaching children and adults the beautiful Italian language and likes to structure her lessons around students’ interests, goals, and passions: “teaching is never a one-way street, but instead a moment of mutual enrichment”. A passionate educator, she is always inventing new strategies and activities to motivate her students and give them new reasons to love learning. 

Besides her love of teaching, Federica is a self-proclaimed lover of NYC, in fact, when she arrived it was love at first sight! In her free time, Federica loves exploring and learning with friends, going to museums, and discovering the many different worlds the city holds. And finally, Federica loves to cook and bake, especially cakes, which she can never say no to!

Emilia - Collina Italiana

Emilia Gambardella Camardo

Instructor

Daughter of an Italian immigrant and a born-and-bred New Yorker, Emilia grew up on Long Island with the languages and cultures of both Italy and the United States.  She majored in Italian as an undergraduate at Smith College, and recently earned her PhD in Comparative Literature with a specialization in Italian from The Graduate Center, CUNY. She has been an Italian instructor since 2015.

Emilia wrote her dissertation on the films of Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto.  In addition to shedding a light on this often overlooked artist and his place in the history of Italian cinema, the dissertation also argued that animation, due to its ability to (re)present literally anything, is a powerful vehicle with which to deliver important themes, ideas, and messages.
 
Emilia‘s academic interests include Italian cinema, American and Italian television, animation, film theory, and pop culture. When she’s not writing or teaching, Emilia enjoys exploring NYC restaurants with her husband, cooking new recipes, and hosting friends and family for dinner.

Elisabetta Girardi

Instructor

A native of Torino, Elisabetta studied International Law at the University of Turin. From dealing with the EU communications strategy in Trieste, to being a freelance legal translator in Maryland, over the years, Elisabetta has worn many hats. Over the past decade, she has found her passion in Italian language instruction and has taught at several American universities. In fact, she is currently an adjunct instructor of Italian at Fordham University.

Elisabetta’s current and past work experience has given her unique insight into the world of cross-cultural exchange and second language instruction/acquisition. She hopes that this newfound perspective, coupled with her love for sociolinguistics and foreign languages, can foster education on contemporary Italian culture in the United States.

Stemming from her never-ending curiosity for the world around her, in her free time, Elisabetta loves to travel and share her experiences through photography.

Barbara Marciandi

Instructor

Born and raised in Milan, Barbara graduated in Public Relations and Business Communication from IULM University, a private university in Milan. Barbara, a tutor of Italian language and history, designs and implements lesson plans using audio and visual resources, interactive games, group projects, films, and music. Passionate about Italian language and culture, she promotes learning through fun, engaging, and educational experiences, and uses Italian dialects to support linguistic acquisition and cultural competence.

Barbara is a certified Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) instructor, combining Italian language learning with other general education topics.

A passionate self-starter, cross-cultural specialist, writer, and experienced blogger, she creates fresh, original content about lifestyles and cultures. She presently resides in Manhattan with her husband and their four children.

Giovanna Moretti

Instructor

Giovanna Moretti was born and raised in Bergamo. An explorer of music and sounds, Moretti studied classical oboe and music theory at the Conservatory of Music in Bergamo. After receiving her Diploma from the Institute Magistrale, she specialized in Early Childhood Education and started working with kids with disabilities.

In 1998, her adventurous spirit brought her to Boston to continue her studies at Berklee School of Music. Moretti currently resides in NYC, where her popularity continues to grow with audiences and musicians alike! Here in NYC is where Giovanna found her newfound love for teaching Italian, getting her start with Italian private lessons and courses at different centers in the city. 

She also has designed a music program with multiple lessons for schools that encourage creativity, collaboration and blend many disciplines, such as learning Italian through music. 

Stefania Polo

Instructor

Although born in Veneto, at the age of 10, Stefania moved to Ravenna, the city in Emilia-Romagna, known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture and mosaics. After attending law school, she decided to change her career completely and has been successfully teaching Italian to children of all ages for 15 years.

Her students love learning from her and enjoy her sunny disposition and inquisitive mind.

After relocating a few times, she now calls NYC her permanent home, after residing here for six years. She loves to tell her students: “Non siate analfabeti di emozioni,” which translates to, “Don’t be emotionally illiterate.”

Stefania’s passions include fashion, the arts, music and books.

Danilo Secchiaroli

Instructor

Born and raised in Rome, Danilo is a trained and certified ISL teacher by the University of Siena and the Dilit International House of Rome.

He taught Italian at the National University and the Music and Arts Academy of Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia.
Afterwards, he returned to Rome and worked there with undergraduates studying abroad at Loyola University, Prolingua International School, Upter University, and Dilit Language School.

In 2014, he moved to Philadelphia, where he taught at the Berlitz School and Holy Family University. Danilo tailors his lessons to the needs and levels of his students through a guided discovering learning approach. His interactive methodology guarantees an effective and entertaining learning experience.

In his free time, he loves playing soccer. He enjoys photography and playing the drums. He loves spending time with his son and sharing the beautiful Italian language and culture to him too!

Diletta Torlasco

Instructor

Born and raised in Milano, Diletta graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Pavia. She always nurtured a deep interest in languages and when she moved to San Francisco in the early 2000s, she turned this love into a career. Diletta became a full time instructor of Italian language and literature, successfully teaching students of different levels and backgrounds. She then served as Executive Director of the Istituto Italiano Scuola, which during her nine-year tenure achieved the status of leading Italian language school in the Bay Area.

Diletta co-developed and edited ‘Grammar Notes,’ a compendium of Italian grammar as a guide to her students. Her approach to teaching is both rigorous and highly communicative, and incorporates her passion for history, current events, and cinema.

Now based in New York, Diletta continues to share her enthusiasm and experience with an all new group of students. In her free time she likes reading, baking, going to the theater, and running throughout the city to get to know New York better. She speaks Italian, English, and French. 

Collina Italiana - italian classes for kids and adults - onlne and in-person
New Session for Adults!
Online and in-person classes for adults!
Check levels and courses here.