Intervista alla Dott. ssa Maria Fusco

L’intervista a una delle nostre docenti, Maria. Enjoy! 😀

Learn Italian


1. Raccontaci un poco di te (istruzione, occupazione, esperienze significative, ecc.) 

Mi sono laureata nel 2003 alla Federico II di Napoli in Lettere Classiche con una tesi in Glottologia. Sono stata sempre affascinata dalle lingue, da quello che hanno in comune e da ciò che le distingue.

Dopo la laurea ho scelto di seguire un dottorato in Semiotica e Filosofia del linguaggio presso l’Università degli Studi di Siena, che mi ha permesso di acquisire una visione più teorica sul linguaggio e su quegli elementi che fanno di una lingua una lingua (in questo senso le letture più approfondite di Tullio De Mauro sono state di un’importanza fondamentale per la mia formazione).

Con questa esperienza alle spalle, e con la voglia di trovare uno sbocco più pratico e più immediato a quello che avevo imparato durante gli anni accademici, mi sono iscritta a un corso per insegnare l’italiano come lingua seconda.

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Top 5 Pizza al Taglio in Rome

Roma Dolce Roma

This post is a selfless act of kindness, as I am no longer able to enjoy gluten. Pizza al taglio or pizza by the slice is quite possibly the closest thing there is to divine fast food. Here is my list of the best places in Roma.

#5  Pizzeria Da Simonelocated in the Monteverde Vecchio Neighborhood and also close to my alma mater. Pizzeria Da Simone has every possible topping pizza one could ask for. Address: Via Giacinto Carini, 50

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Ostia Antica, a convenient alternative to Pompei

Delightfully Italy


Visiting Rome and no time to go to Pompei? Well, Ostia Antica archeological site could well satisfy your ambitions of visiting the remains of an old Roman city.

Ostia Antica has been for centuries Rome seaport, until the change of the Tiber river course left it high and dry. The town was then abandoned and buried by centuries of sediment until the 19th century excavations.

Ostia Antica site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics, and is conveniently located less than one hour train from Roma Termini station.

To go to Ostia Antica web site, click here.

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Italian Wine

Travel and Food of Europe Blog

Yesterday we spoke about White Truffles. What goes great with truffles? Wine of course. Italy has many wine regions. In fact the whole country is divided into wine regions. Everyone drinks and enjoys wine in Italy. Wine Folly lists these regions and the wines that come from each.


Everyone has heard of Chianti but Italy produces other great wines. The Brunello is one of the great wines from Italy. It can be expensive but is among the best wines in the world.

Here are some of the wines and regions (see map above) with wines you might have tried:

  1. Valpolicella from Veneto
  2. Super Tuscan, Chianti, Barolo, Brunello and Sangiovese from Tuscany
  3. Orvieto from Umbria
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon from Abruzzo
  5. Chardonnay from Puglia

Chianti is by far the most popular Italian wine. If you choose a Chianti, look for one with a Black Cock on the neck of the bottle. This…

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Nicknames in Rome

You might think I am going to provide you with the usual list of funny nicknames that romans use to give to their family and friends. And yet, if you follow us and got to know well enough Rome and Romans, you should have learned that the creativity of this amazing people goes far beyond usual boundaries. As a matter of fact, in Rome even monuments and neighbourhoods have their nicknames.

  • The Cuppolone watches you from above...

    The Cuppolone watches you from above…

    Er cuppolone. Ok, this one was easy, being one of the symbols of Rome, along with the Colosseo (another nickname, by the way, since its real name is Anfiteatro Flavio). And if you think about it, calling this enormous, white church “the big cupole” is far more expressive than referring to it with the name of a (yet most prestigious) saint.

  • ‘A machina da scrive – ‘a torta nuzziale – ‘a dentiera – er calamaio. It is impressive how many nicknames this controversial monument has been able to inspir during the last 100 years: in order, “the typewriter”, “the wedding cake”, “the denture”, “the inkwell”. Originally buit to commemorate the fallen soldiers of IWW, the Vittoriano gained consideration among Romans for its distinctive shape, which in the opinion of many stands completely unrelated to the urbanistic landscape of Piazza Venezia.

    It seems a typewriter indeed. A very big one.

    It seems a typewriter indeed. A very big one.

  • So geometric...

    Wow, so geometric…

    Er Colosseo quadrato. Being the symbol of EUR, the vast neighbourhood that Mussolini had built for the Universal Exposition of 1941, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana is indeed a rationalist reinterpretation of the famous amphitheater. With the usual perspicacity, Romans have been able to syntethize the main carachteristic of this architectural structure in just two words (“the squared Colosseum”). Chapeau.

  • This image actually doesn't give an exact idea of the size of this structure.

    This image actually doesn’t give an exact idea of the size of this structure.

    Er Palazzaccio. On the right hand side of Castel S. Angelo stands this huge white building, once the central Courthouse and now home of the Supreme Court. Its nickname, formed by the addition of the pejorative suffix -accio to the noun palazzo (“palace”), is due to its humongous size and to the fact that the entire palace seems built using rough stones.

  • That is embarassing...

    That is embarassing…

    L’Orinatoio. Parental advisory: here’s an example of how roman people can become amusingly blasphemous. Whoever had the chance to take a train from Termini Station, surely noticed this bizarre statue of John Paul II, which have been inspiring jokes and laughs since its inauguration, in 2011. To understand why Romans use to call it “the urinal”, a quick look at this awful example of modern sculpture is more than enough…

As you might imagine, this list if far from being exhaustive. There are many more statues (er Pasquino, er Babbuino, l’Abbate Luiggi, er Marforio), buildings (er Dado, ‘a Scala Santa, er Fontanone) and even neighbourhoods (‘a Subburra) that could have been part of it. Is there anything like this in your city? Reply in the comments! 😉

How to make gnocchi like my Italian Grandmother!


Gnocchi are a typical Italian preparation, known worldwide for their quality and adaptability to any kind of sauce. In Rome the gnocchi are the traditional dish of Thursday, following the dictum “Thursday gnocchi and fish on Friday”  which emphasizes the importance of the day Thursday as almost festive, which requires a tasty dish and anticipates the diet of the following day 🙂 Today I want to introduce my Grandmother recipe, she usually make potatoes gnocchi, and she taught me this recipe when I was little girl. I  hope you like it! Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, extra large
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

You’ll need a ricer  to make riced potatoes. Gnocchi_al_pesto_ingredienti   Step 1: Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft (about 45 minutes). While still warm, peel and pass through vegetable mill onto clean pasta board.Then, when the potatoes are cooked, take them out one…

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‘Spectre’: James Bond Cast Heads to Rome


The newest James Bond film ‘Spectre’, has begun shooting in Rome where a huge car chase is expected to be filmed. has revealed new details about a night time car chase that is set to take place in Rome. The scene is set to begin filming on March 8 between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., on the ancient road Via Nomentana. Traffic is to shut down along this road with residents only allowed to return or leave their homes during certain intervals.

Another place in Rome where this scene is expected to shoot in along the Tiber River where the car is expected to crash and James Bond being rescued by a helicopter.

Other filming locations in the city are triangle between Via Barberini, Via Quattro Fontane and Via Nazionale, as well as Borgo Pio, the Milvian Bridge and streets and alleys around Piazza Navona.

You can check out photos of Daniel…

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Italian Language Lesson: Bucatini all’amatriciana

Want to learn how to cook delicious bucatini all’amatriciana… in Italian? Check out this Iesson based on the original recipe, kindly offered by one of our teachers born and raised in Amatrice… and don’t forget to tell us if it came out good!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Bucatini all’amatriciana: dare istruzioni usando l’imperativo con i pronomi

Why Rome, You Ask ~ Come See For Yourself

Timeless Italy Travels

Amazing Rome. There is no one like you….Sounds like the beginnings of a song. But Rome demands its place as the Eternal City with all of its multi dimensional aspects of life over thousands of years. She has an old yet elegant presence about her that is difficult to ignore. And for those who are willing to let her take them on a journey through the depths of her soul and afterward rise up again to meet Rome of today, you will be in for an unforgettable experience.

Follow along as I introduce you to some of my favorites…

Fine dining from the rooftop of the Hotel Raphael near the Pantheonis an intoxicating experience. The terrace is multi-level and the views of Rome from all around are magnificent. I love watching the sun set over the city as I drink a glass of wine and see how many monuments…

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New Google Doodle Honors Alessandro Volta, Forefather of the Modern Battery

Elie Chahine

Alessandro Volta’s 270th Birthday

*Throws metal strips in saltwater, changes world forever*

A new Google Doodle is celebrating what would have been the 270th birthday of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, who in the year 1800 published a theory that led to the modern battery.

As TIME wrote back in 2007, Volta “realized metals could produce a current and developed the first battery, or ‘voltaic pile,’ a series of copper and zinc strips in salt water that gave off an electric current instead of static electricity.”

Undated picture of Italian physicist and inventor Alexander Volta (1745 - 1827)Born February 18, 1745 in Como, Italy, Volta’s invention was the result of a professional competition with Luigi Galvani, who discovered that dissected frogs’ legs would twitch when probed with a wire.

Galvani believed the frogs’ muscles generated the electricity, while Volta thought the animal tissue was only a conductor.

The debate galvanized Volta to experiment with conductivity (often on his own tongue). Eventually, Volta put together…

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