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.
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.
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.
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 was 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, cooking recipes from all Italian regions. She is passionate about sharing her Italian heritage every chance she gets with enthusiasm.
Vania Ferraro
Born and raised in Venice, Vania earned a degree in Political Science, specializing 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 different 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 she landed in the Bay Area, she embraced the opportunity to teach Italian 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!
Roberta Mion
Roberta was born in Venice where she earned her bachelor and masters degree in economics at Ca Foscari University in Venice. She worked as a research assistant at Venice University specializing in Human Resources. Later, she worked for several years as a Human Resource Specialist in a fashion recruiting agency in Milan as well as a sportswear company in Venice. Through her job experiences, she got the opportunity to work close with different people from university students to professionals. She arrived in San Francisco in January - happy to teach her native language and meet new people! She is also passionate about Vintage items and travel.
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