Monday, March 30, 2009

Vogliamo studiare italiano!

Guarda qui! Una foto scattata l'ultimo giorno del corso d'italiano ad Emory University qui ad Atlanta.

Io sono l'ultima sulla destra, e la signora accanto a me, con il maglione verde, è la nostra maestra, Antonella. Lei è brava!

Guarda quanto siamo contenti di studiare italiano!

Antonella è di Roma e si è sposata con un italo-americano che fa meteorologo (la sede del Weather Channel è qui ad Atlanta).

Il corso si punta sulla conversazione, che è bello perché serve sempre la practica. Ora stiamo faccendo una pausa e poi tra due settimane si ricomincia con un'altro corso.

Allora, ragazzi, nelfrattempo buon studio!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

La Primavera è arrivata?

Sembra di sì! Ecco alcune foto che ho scattato nella zona di Atlanta dove abito.

Qui sotto, una foto che ho scattato nel parco vicino a casa nostra. Dietro l'albero fiorente si può vedere un palazzo stile tipico del Sud, dentro il quale c'è un museo dedicato alla storia della guerra civile americana.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Florence Resident Director - Job opening

Florence Resident Director - Study Abroad Program

CET Academic Programs

Application Deadline: May 1, 2009

The Florence Resident Director (RD) is responsible for CET’s Vanderbilt in Florence program, in addition, to other small specialty programs managed by CET in Florence. CET Academic Programs is a private study abroad organization.

Based in Washington, DC, CET has been designing and administering educational programs abroad since 1982. CET is well-known for its innovations in the field of study abroad. Our programs emphasize high academic standards, innovative approaches to teaching, and careful student management.

The RD serves as CET’s primary liaison for the programs and coordinates communication between the other staff members, students and/or faculty. The RD handles all non-academic issues, such as housing, meals, activities and excursions.

However, as program axis, the RD is peripherally involved with academics and handles scheduling all classes and class-related field trips (in consultation with the faculty) and monitors classes, assists with hiring faculty, helps students with most common academic questions according to the academic policy, attendance, class room equipment, etc, as well as working together with the Italy Programs Director, faculty and students to work through any academic-related problems or issues.

The RD reports to the Italy Programs Director and is responsible for managing the Program Assistant.

General responsibilities include coordinating all activities and excursions, student meals and housing. While faculty members will create field trips that are in line with their course curricula, the RD will assist in all field trip arrangements, including working with local transportation companies to arrange all travel, purchasing tickets, organizing meals, housing, etc.

In addition, the RD designs and directs each term's orientation sessions. He/she must meet frequently with CET's students (both informally and during regular office hours) to evaluate their goals, progress, and adjustment. The RD is responsible for the programs' operating budgets and financial reports.

Attributes of the ideal RD candidate are flexibility, enthusiasm for students and study abroad and dedication. Candidates are advised that this is a time-consuming, challenging position. We therefore discourage those interested in pursuing their own research projects in Florence from applying. CET is seeking a candidate willing to commit to two years in Italy.

Requirements, in Order of Priority

• A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline is required; a master’s degree is strongly preferred.

• Near fluency and excellent communication skills, both, verbal and writing in Italian and English.

At least two years of professional or academic experience in Italy, specific experience in Florence is preferred.

• Significant experience with and a good understanding of U.S. university systems and course structures.

• Excellent management & organizational skills.

At least two years of professional experience working with Americans/Italians.

• Experience working with budgets and accounting issues.

• A willingness to wear different hats and work long hours.

• Ability to work well independently and with a team.

• A commitment to education and study abroad.

• A demonstrated sensitivity to student needs and cultural differences.

Familiarity with the city of Florence.

• A desire to help develop and improve CET programs further.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit:

• A formal cover letter that includes the position title (Florence Resident Director) and how you first heard of the position opening;

• A resume;

• Contact information for three references.

Applications that do not include all of these requirements will not be considered.

Send application materials via e-mail (as Word or pdf attachments) to:

Emiliana F. Caldarelli

Italy Programs Director


For more information, go here:

Monday, March 23, 2009

In giro per Atlanta con l'Alfa

Finalmente fa bel tempo qui ad Atlanta! E allora ci toccava fare un giro ieri nel cabriolet.

Qui faccio vedere un panorama della città, compresi alcuni grattacieli che mi piacciono molto.

Il traffico ad Atlanta è orrendo, anche di domenica, ma guidare è un piacere con l'Alfa!

Nella foto quassù, mi sono fermata davanti ad una scultura di Sol Le Witt che mi piace molto. Il concetto è che la scultura rispecchia il profilo della città.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saw "Gomorra(h)" @ Landmark -- Wow


That's what hit me the most as I watched "Gomorra," the Italian movie based on Roberto Saviano's book on the Naples mafia. (It's playing at the Landmark Theater in Midtown here in Atlanta, as well as at other independent theaters across the U.S.)

The people in "Gomorra" live in utter squalor.

Saviano, the author, said in an interview that the film would probably be eye-opening for American movie-goers who are accustomed to seeing bell'Italia. He's right -- in so many ways.

Even the Italians in the film are squalid. In real life and in the movies, Italians are typically attractive, well-dressed and kempt -- the very definition of the bella figura.

But in "Gomorra," whose title plays on the biblical place Gomorrah and the name of the Naples crime syndicate, Camorra, most of the men are fat, slovenly, poorly-dressed and just plain ugly. And the woman aren't much better.

I don't say this to be mean; I say it to indicate just how different Gomorra world is from the rest of Italy.

The housing projects shown in the movie paint a portrait of desperation that would be hard to exaggerate. No gondolas, no spaghetti alle vongole, no stately museums here. Just depressing, run-down, squalid tenement blocks where people live as though in jail cells for fear of leaving the house and meeting a bullet.

While watching the movie, I remembered that when I was reading the book, I would forget at times that all the people, all the scenarios, all the scenes were real. I think I would forget because it just seems so unreal.

Some of the best scenes in the movie are the ones that show the subtle differences in the lives of many people in the Naples area.

For example, there's a scene where one of the main characters, Pasquale, who works as a tailor in the Camorra-controlled textile industry, sees that a dress he slaved over was worn by Scarlett Johansson to the Academy Awards. He's briefly pleased, and looks around for a moment, and then realizes there's no one he can tell.

I also think it shows a new dimension in mob movies (or indeed, mob reality). This mob doesn't just control the flow of cigarettes or drugs or weapons. It controls textiles!

The movie continues at the Landmark in Atlanta. For more information on the film, go here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Gomorra" Tonight --- for Ciambellina at least

I'm planning to go see the Italian movie "Gomorra" tonight at the Landmark movie theater in Midtown (Atlanta).

A friend told me the theater has extended the run of "Gomorra," which I think had been slated to end on Thursday.

That's a great sign!

Here are the details from the theater's site:

(3:45) 7:05 10:05
Landmark Theater Midtown Art Cinema
931 Monroe Drive
Atlanta, GA 30308
(678) 495-1424

Director Matteo Garrone's epic, mesmerizing tour-de-force about Naples' infamous Camorra was a critical sensation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prize. A sweeping drama with documentary-like realism, Gomorrah explores the mafia's vice-like hold on all aspects of life in the regions of Naples and Caserta (where the film was shot), as well as its creeping influence on international business and government. The film weaves together five stories of ordinary people forced to reckon with the heavy hand of the Camorra, where every decision, great or small, is a matter of life and death. Garrone's (The Embalmer) ambitious and powerful breakthrough film sheds light on a shadow organization that rules by fear and unsparing violence, tacitly fostered from above and abroad by greed, corruption and complicity. Based on Roberto Saviano's explosive international bestseller, which made him a target for mob threats.

Monday, March 16, 2009

25 Reasons to Study a Foreign Language

While I was poking around Auburn University's Web site, I found this interesting list about the importance of studying a foreign language:

Foreign Language study creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different.

Analytical skills improve when students study a foreign language.

Business skills plus foreign language skills make an employee more valuable in the marketplace.

Dealing with another culture enables people to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture.

Creativity is increased with the study of foreign languages.

Graduates often cite foreign language courses as some of the most valuable courses in college because of the communication skills developed in the process.

International travel is made easier and more pleasant through knowing a foreign language.

Skills like problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts, are increased when you study a foreign language.

Foreign language study enhances one’s opportunities in government, business, medicine, law, technology, military, industry, marketing, etc.

A second language improves your skills and grades in math and English and on the SAT and GRE.

Four out of five new jobs in the U.S. are created as a result of foreign trade.

Foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language.

Foreign language study enhances listening skills and memory.

One participates more effectively and responsibly in a multi-cultural world if one knows another language.

Your marketable skills in the global economy are improved if you master another language.

Foreign language study offers a sense of the past: culturally and linguistically.

The study of a foreign tongue improves the knowledge of one’s own language: English vocabulary skills increase.

The study of foreign languages teaches and encourages respect for other peoples: it fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language and human nature.

Foreign languages expand one’s view of the world, liberalize one’s experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant.

Foreign languages expand one’s world view and limit the barriers between people: barriers cause distrust and fear.

Foreign language study leads to an appreciation of cultural diversity.

As immigration increases we need to prepare for changes in the American society.

One is at a distinct advantage in the global market if one is as bilingual as possible.

Foreign languages open the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, science…

Foreign language study is simply part of a very basic liberal education: to “educate” is to lead out, to lead out of confinement and narrowness and darkness.

Online Italian course from Auburn

I got an email from Giovanna Summerfield, an Assistant Professor of Italian and French at Auburn University, who writes:

Auburn University is continuing to offer online courses for teachers and students of Italian.

From August to December of 2009 there will be a new online course, Italian Composition (FLIT3044) for 3 credits, with texts from Bar Italia and the screening of 4 famous Italian films.

Compositions will be thematically driven and are to be submitted through Blackboard for draft and final copy.

For further details, please contact Dr. Summerfield,

Sounds interesting!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucca: A Walled City in Tuscany Clings to Its Ancient Menu

From The New York Times:

Lucca Journal
A Walled City in Tuscany Clings to Its Ancient Menu
Published: March 13, 2009
A prohibition on ethnic restaurants in Lucca’s historical center has set off a tug of war between the romantic Italy of the popular imagination and the more complex reality.


I miei

I miei genitori sono arrivati ieri qui ad Atlanta e in questi giorni mi impegnerò totalmente a portarli a giro per la città.

Oggi andiamo allo zoo così mia madre può vedere la panda gigante.

Domani si va al museo e poi domenica facciamo una visita al giardino botanico.

Speriamo che il tempo sia bello!

Vi auguro un buon fine settimana. A presto!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

See Benigni in New York! (And Boston and Chicago)

You may remember that I gushed over a program called TuttoDante in which comedian Roberto Benigni recited Dante's Divine Comedy from memory and then provided extremely funny commentary on the verses.

Well that show is coming to New York!!!! (And Boston and Chicago)

Non ci posso credere!

I had seen TuttoDante on RAI International and thought it was just one-of-a-kind. An extremely literate, brilliant comedian explaining the subtleties of Dante. And along the way throwing in some inimitable gestures and comments in Tuscan dialect like only Benigni can.

(In the program I saw, he was performing in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence in front of the Dante statue, about two blocks from where I used to live....*sigh*).

It certainly will show a side of Benigni that may not be familiar to American viewers. We know him from films such as "Johnny Stecchino" and "The Pink Panther," and from his stunt standing on chairs when he was won the Best Actor Oscar for "Life is Beautiful."

I've heard some Italians grumble about the tour, I suppose because some people may say he is dumbing the work down. All I know is he is funny and he's bringing Dante back out into the public domain, where it belongs.

Non ti preoccupare: The American shows will include English subtitles.

Tickets go on sale today.

If you want information or tickets, you can find everything here:


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Pizza fatta in casa

Questa settimana abbiamo preparato la pizza per cena. Era buonissima!

Nota bene: You can buy pizza dough here in Atlanta at Trader Joe's if you don't want to make it yourself!

Vespa Watch continues!

@ Piedmont Ave. e John Wesley Dobbs @ Atlanta

Friday, March 06, 2009

Il sole è tornato!

Ragazzi il sole è tornato.

Meno male! Non ce la facevo più col freddo.

Oggi qui ad Atlanta la temperatura dovrebbe raggiungere 21 gradi! Ed a Firenze, invece, 18 gradi oggi, secondo la mia cara amica Ilaria.

Il bel tempo fa molto piacere alla mia gattona, Fiona, che si vede nella foto.

Vi auguro un buon fine settimana e spero che vi possiate permettere qualche ora fuori sotto il sole!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dove abito io: nuove foto

Ecco qualche foto che ho scattato nel cimitero vicino casa mia in Atlanta. Forse vi sembra un po' strano che vado a spasso in un cimitero ma è più come un parco, come forse potete vedere. Si chiama Oakland Cemetery.



Una veduta delle case in una zona della città che si chiama Cabbagetown, vicino il cimitero.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


The talk below sounds interesting, if only because I always think of Italians as emigrating to the U.S., but of course many instead went to Canada, not to mention Australia and Argentina.

Indeed, according to the 2001 (Canadian) census, Italians compose the third largest ethnic group in Montreal, and the fourth largest in Canada.

Read on:

The Italian Studies Program, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal, and the Dalhousie Research Center are pleased to announce:

The Literature of Italian Migrants in Canada and the United States.

Dalhousie University, March, 27th 2009
MacMechan Auditorium, 4-6 PM

Free Admission
All talks in English

Dalhousie University