Italian Culture

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Learning about Italian culture helps to provide context to the language.

We’re constantly creating new opportunities to experience the Italian culture. 

LITERATURE: 'AQUA' Meet the Author

About the book: AQUA

This bilingual graded reader (in Italian with an English translation on the facing page) will help intermediate and advanced learners improve their understanding at a leisurely pace, uninterrupted by constant dictionary searches. 

Aqua tells the story of Valentina, a young Italian woman who travels to Malaysia and is confronted by major issues of the heart in both worlds. Love and loyalty to her friend, Lisa, mean risking the odds to make life and death choices. At the same time, she must grapple with her own truth as she falls fatefully in love with her masculine counterpart, who embodies the Eastern spirituality that will ultimately challenge and fulfill her…….

ART: The other Renaissance

Venetian Renaissance art has a unique character that sets it apart from that art produced in other Renaissance centers. A city with no ancient foundations, built entirely on water by Christian refugees, and located at the crossroad between the west and the east, Venice created a distinctive artistic language which was influenced by its multicultural experiences, unusual history, and fascination with colors. By examining the works of some of the greatest protagonists of the 1400 and 1500 – such as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian – this course will explore how Venice absorbed the new Renaissance ideals introduced in Florence and adapted them to their particular context and needs, thus contributing to create another face of the Italian Renaissance.

ART: Witchcraft – A Female Heresy

In this first talk we turn the clock back to the 1400s to understand where the modern idea of witches was born. Most people might not know that before the Renaissance, witches did not even have to be women, and the church used to pay no attention to this “myth.” As women with some medical knowledge were quickly depicted as witches brewing love potions, we cannot help but wonder how the whole symbology of witchcraft aimed to undermine the power of women during an historical time where women themselves started to be first celebrated, then quickly demonized.

ART: Women in Power

Despite the restrictions imposed by their patriarchal society, women gained more visibility during the Renaissance. Some of them even managed to gain the same fame and power as their male counterparts. This talk examines some examples of “extraordinary” women that distinguished themselves in their roles as intellectuals and artists, rulers and patrons, lovers and companions. Is there a pattern that brings them together? Were their stories a point of reference for other women?

ART: L’arte della Pirografia

In this conversation, with artist Carlo Proietto, we will take a journey through the lesser-known world of pyrography. This artform involves applying a heated element to a surface, most often wood, manipulating the burn marks and temperatures to mold the tint, thickness, and movement. This practice’s sharp strokes and clean shapes may evoke woodblock printing but its process is far more intriguing. Proietto, a passionate advocate of pyrography’s major artistic merits, makes his best arguments for the medium in his work, which abounds in infinitely sensitive modulations of ton and line, closely packed complex elements alongside gracefully molten movements.


ART: Fashion and Transgression

In the Renaissance the concept of fashion as an identity statement grew stronger. What you wear would determine not only your profession but also your social status and cultural background, and was a powerful instrument of communication in the genre of portraiture. Strict norms were introduced to determine propriety and control excesses, especially through sumptuary laws, even though these were frequently broken. In this talk we will explore some interesting “fashion statements” of the time and will show how exuberance and glamour were often not only tolerated but admired, especially in positions of power.


Play and sip in italiano - Collina Italiana

Saturday, June 15th
Indulge in aperitivo, and a fun Italian quiz!

Flexible, weekly camp
Minimum: 2 days/week
June 10th – August 23rd
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.