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 arrived on the notes of love and jazz. 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 informed 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. Like its changing vistas and vegetation, Francesca is ever-evolving in her work with ItaLingua. She loves sharing her knowledge of Italian language and culture with students always looking for new ways to strengthen the school.
Nicoletta Gherardi
Nicoletta was born and raised in Rome, she graduated with certificate 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 since then - joining ItaLingua in 2003.
Sole Consoli
Sole was born and raised in Rome, where she graduated in Applied Linguistics in July, 2012. She discovered her passion for teaching italian in 2008 when she took an internship in the italian department studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Since then, she has started to teach italian privately in Rome, in particular she offered Italian classes to American students studying abroad in Italy. She recently moved to Berkeley, CA with her husband where she fall in love with the city and the bay area lifestyle pretty soon. She joined Italingua in January 2013. She likes learning languages, cooking, reading and watching all kind of movies, especially the ones that belong to the contemporary italian cinema.
Carolina Zuri
Carolina was born and grew up in Florence where she graduated in Environmental Engineering. She moved to San Francisco in 2010 to follow her heart and she fell in love very soon with the city. Since then, she's been working on rivers and the environment and she's been teaching at Italingua since January 2012. She loves to read and to travel, she likes sewing, making jewelry and crafting and also dancing salsa.
Mauro Toniutti
Mauro was born in Northern Italy. After spending many years living throughout Europe and learning 5 languages along the way, Mauro acquired a great interest in teaching the languages he learned. From English, Spanish, French to German and of course, his native Italian, Mauro enjoys providing his students with a dynamic classroom experience as he knows firsthand the challenges of learning a foreign language. He used his passion for languages to earn a master's degree in translation and interpreting studies, and also worked for Italian television and film studios in Rome. When he's not teaching or learning a new language, Mauro enjoys taking road trips along the California coast, trying new restaurants with his wife (especially those supporting organic food!) and going to concerts.
Beatrice Penni
Beatrice was born and grew up in Firenze, where she fell in love with literature and the classics (Dante of course!). She obtained her MA in Communications Science in 2010 from Università degli studi di Firenze and started working as PR assistant for public companies and was a journalist for a local newspaper. She moved to Rome in 2011, working for the corporate communication office of a bank and then moved back to Florence 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, food. In her free time she enjoys watching movies, reading, gardening veggies to prepare healthy recipes and playing the guitar.
Irene Russo
Irene was born and raised in a small city close to Naples, Avellino. She lived in Rome for several years during her studies in Clinical Psychology. She started appreciating San Francisco Bay Area in 2010. She was pushed to follow her love and she enrolled in a visiting student program at University of California Berkeley during her BS thesis. After that, she kept studying Clinical Psychology and finished her MS between the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and University of California in Berkeley and Davis. Each time she came here she taught italian to kids, teenagers, and adults. She has been using her social skills and interpersonal qualities to work with her students in a collaborative way. She loves to teach not only the language itself, but also italian culture, habits and make fun of italian stereotypes.
Marta Rigalza
Marta was born and raised in Genova. She has a degree in foreign languages and literature (Russian and Polish) and a master in Applied Linguistics. She fell in love with San Francisco and moved to California in 2004. Currently living in Berkeley with her family, Marta joined Italingua in 2008 and lives to teach - especially to beginners.
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 the language also through Italian art and history classes, combining her passion in the teaching experience. She lives in the East Bay and in her free time she enjoys cooking, gardening and growing her own vegetables, watching horror and sci-fi movies, and exploring California and beyond with her husband.
Ilaria Bagnulo
Born and raised in Rome, Ilaria grew up following her interests and passions for arts, music and management. She graduated from Università La Terza di Roma with a degree in History and Conservation of Art, specializing in video production and events management. She has always been interested in learning multiple visual and audio disciplines, from classic drawing and piano to electronic music and photography. After she worked for several years in Rome for film and broadcast productions, she decided to move to California to expand her life's experiences. ItaLingua is the beginning of a new exciting opportunity, where she found herself very passionate about teaching and enthusiast for this chance of sharing her Italian cultural and linguistic heritage.
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 passion for Italian culture and her proficiency in Latin and ancient Greek. Emanuela also worked as performing artist for several years, until she decided to move to the USA to further her education. In 2010 she got three A/A Degrees, with Highest Honors, majoring in Web Design, Digital Video and Broadcasting Media at 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 her art, and is deeply interested in all art related fields that can benefit the environment, human rights, and people with special needs. Winner of different Awards for Painting, Photography, and Art, and author of the book 'Human Traces in the World After Global Warming', Emanuela is going to pursue a Master in Digital Media at Harward University. Teacher and student, she thinks that only through education we can open our minds, reach freedom, and improve our skills to better serve the world.
ItaLingua Institute
870 Market Street, Suite 701 — San Francisco, CA 94102
p: (415) 362-6025 | f: (415) 362-2814 | e: italian@italingua.org
 
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