ItaLingua Institute - The School of Italian Language and Culture
The Teachers
Francesca Gaspari
Francesca, the Executive Director of ItaLingua, was born and raised in Bergamo. She pursued acting for four years and later graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Bergamo. In 1986, she found herself in San Francisco, having followed her heart. She has been teaching Italian since 1990 - joining ItaLingua in 1996 where she continues to teach. In 2001, she became the director and actively infuses the school with her lively and informative teaching style.

She is passionate about music, dancing and hiking in the mountains. One of her most loved destinations is the scenic Pacific Crest trail, where she hikes twice a year. She loves sharing her knowledge of Italian language and culture with the students.
Nicoletta Gherardi
Nicoletta was born and raised in Rome, where she graduated with certificates of proficiency in German and English. She worked for nearly 15 years in the Public Relations division of an American company in Rome, while tutoring High School students in both German and English language and literature. In 2001, she moved to San Francisco and has been teaching Italian language and culture ever since.
Beatrice Penni
Beatrice was born and grew up in Firenze, where she fell in love with literature and the classics (Dante of course!). In 2010, she obtained her MA in Communications Science from Università degli studi di Firenze. She worked as a PR assistant for various public companies and later as a journalist for a local newspaper. She moved to Rome in 2011, where she worked for the corporate communication office of a bank and later moving back to Firenze to start a new career in Marketing and Sales. In 2014, she moved to Bay Area and now lives in Emeryville with her husband. She joined Italingua in October 2014, sharing her knowledge and passion for Italian language, culture and food. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, playing the guitar and gardening.
Erika Pistoni
Erika was born and raised in Rome, where she studied Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Rome La Sapienza. She moved to San Francisco in 2014 and joined Italingua straightaway. She loves to teach Italian both to children and adults, always looking for different ways to intrigue students of all ages. In the past two years, she taught language, Italian art and history classes, combining her various passions in the teaching experience. She lives in the East Bay and in her free time enjoys cooking, growing her own vegetables, watching horror and sci-fi movies, and exploring California with her husband.
Emanuela Quaglia
Originally from Florence, Emanuela studied Ancient Philology and classic Theater at DAMS University in Bologna. Passionate about art and languages, Emanuela started to teach Italian and her students benefited tremendously from her enthusiasm for Italian culture and her proficiency in multiple languages. Emanuela also worked as performing artist for several years, until she decided to move to the USA to further her education. In 2010, she received three AA Degrees, with Highest Honors, majoring in Web Design, Digital Video and Broadcasting Media at the College of San Mateo. This was followed in 2013 with three Bachelor of Fine Art Degrees with Highest Honors, majoring in Multimedia Fine Art, Fine Art Photography and Traditional Fine Art at California State University East Bay. Emanuela is now an educator in Italian and Multimedia Design. She enjoys art, especially art related fields that are eco-friendly. She is the winner of multiple awards for Painting, Photography, and Art, and is the author of the book 'Human Traces in the World After Global Warming'. Emanuela is looking to pursue a Master in Digital Media at Harward University. Teacher and student, she thinks that only through education can we open our minds, achieve personal freedom, and improve our skills to better serve the world.
Roberta Lamanda
Roberta was born and raised in Rome where she earned her Bachelor Degree in Political Science at La Sapienza, University of Rome. She worked in Milan for many years before moving to New York where she worked as a contributor for a major Italian TV network. In 2012, she moved to California with her family where she discovered a passion for teaching the Italian language and culture to students in the Bay Area. She is an Italian volunteer teacher at Stanford University, Bechtel International Center. When not teaching Italian, Roberta loves to spend time with her family and friends, and cooking recipes from every Italian region. She is passionate about sharing her Italian heritage every chance she gets!
Vania Ferraro
Born and raised in Venice, Vania earned a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Law at the University of Padua. Always interested in different languages and cultures, she traveled extensively through Europe, learning French, German and English while enjoying various job opportunities - from working in an ice cream shop in Germany to leading youth tours in London. When she moved to Milan, she worked in the Human Resources department of a staffing firm, providing service throughout Italy. Once landed in the Bay Area, she embraced the opportunity to teach the Italian language and Italian cooking. She also worked for Google and serves as a medical interpreter at Stanford Hospital. She is passionate about volunteering at different organizations, and is mostly involved with the Boy Scouts of America. She loves reading, learning to play the guitar, yoga, hiking, talking about Italy and teaching Italian!
Mattia Milone
Mattia Milone was born in Puglia and raised in Milan, where he studied Italian Literature and achieved his certificate in Teaching Italian as a Foreign language (DITALS). Before moving to the Bay Area, Mattia worked for the classical music publisher Sonzogno while also teaching Italian Literature to high school students. In 2015, he started to teach Italian language to refugees and immigrants with a program funded by the European Union. In 2018, he moved to Oakland, where he lives with his wife. He has a life-long interest in films, books and music. In his spare time, he likes to "passeggiare" with his wife, trying different recipes, swimming, going to movie theaters and record stores.
Enrica Ulivieri
Enrica Ulivieri was born in Livorno, where she became certified as an elementary school teacher. She later on became an administrator for the Community College language school in Avezzano, Italy. Since moving to the States in 1995, Enrica has combined her love for teaching and passion for the Italian language and culture by teaching Italian at various levels - from young children wishing to communicate with their Italian relatives to adults seeking fluency in order to travel or even retire in Italy. She loves sharing her knowledge and passion of Italian language, culture, and food. Enrica lives in the East Bay, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cooking.
Roberta Saponaro
Roberta Saponaro Love comes from Brindisi, in the Puglia region of Italy. She moved to northern Italy to pursue a bachelors and later, a masters degree in Chemistry. She spent some time living in Israel and Germany. Her career in teaching Italian began in 2017 when she established a class for ex-pats living in her region. She moved to the US last year and has been teaching at Italingua since.
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