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Are you fascinated by Italian art? Are you learning Italian or wish you could speak Italian better?

You are in luck! This week my pick of authentic Italian media sites to be on the lookout for is a new website called Viaggio nell’Italiano — Impara l’italiano con noi.” It is an interactive video and blog site that combines Italian art and Italian language lessons. The iconographic Fiat Cinquecento is prominently displayed on the homepage — the quintessential Italian vehicle to take us deeper into Italian culture!

Viaggio nell’Italiano is the brainchild of Francesca Mazza, an Italian teacher who lives in Lucca and studied art history at the University of Pisa. Francesca and I met several years ago when I interviewed her for a review of the iTalki language learning website that pairs students with online teachers. Since then, she and I have been great friends, and every time I return to Italy and Lucca with my language immersion programs, Francesca is a welcome guest and is always ready to meet and interact with my students.

When I was last with Francesca in September 2021, and she informed me of the site she was creating with the assistance of Timo—a friend from Finland, her eyes positively glowed with excitement. The video blog posts found on the Viaggio nell’italiano site she explained are designed to give visitors an insight into various pieces of Italian art while at the same time providing an interactive grammar experience. For instance, in the first video post, students can learn about and practice il periodo ipotetico directly on the website. In the second, they can test their knowledge of direct pronouns in fill-in-the-blank test and get immediate results.

As Francesca and I walked through the vineyards just outside of Lucca she added:

“Timo ed io, siamo due amici con la passione per l’arte e la cultura italiana. Viaggio nell’italiano è il nostro progetto, un itinerario alla scoperta della lingua italiana, dove la pittura o alla scultura sono il magico pretesto per un apprendimento piacevole e significativo. Crediamo che la bellezza e l’arte possano essere le strade per raggiungere l’Italia che si trova dentro ognuno di noi.”

“Timo and I are two friends with a passion for Italian art and culture. Viaggio nell’italiano is our project, an itinerary to discover the Italian language, where painting or sculpture is the magical pretext for a pleasant and meaningful learning experience. We believe that beauty and art can be the in-roads to reach the Italy that lies within each of us.”

I couldn’t wait for “Viaggio nell’Italia to launch. Non vedevo l’ora di ricevere notizia che il sito era pronto!

I didn’t have to wait long. Earlier this year in February, Viaggio nell’Italiano went live with its first video post about the “Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and the power of Florence” followed soon after with a second video web post about “Michelangelo’s “La Pieta — the light touch of the soul.” Since February, three more episodes have been published, and many more posts are scheduled to be released soon.

Who knows where Francesca and Timo will take us next in Italia!

Don’t get left behind! Join the road trip and visit Viaggio nell’italiano!

Melissa Muldoon, la Studentessa Matta

For those of you who’d like to meet Francesca Mazza in person, I will be returning to Lucca this fall (August 25 – Sept 3, 2022) for a new Italian Language Immersion Program that I’ve organized with my Italian partner school Lucca Italian School. I will also be leading language programs in Arezzo in June and Ascoli Piceno mid-September. For more information about all the 2022 Matta Italian Language programs visit www.StudentessaMatta.com

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