Ecco Le Marche

I am a language lover (and picky) and I have always had the urge of learning the local language when settling in in a new country. On a personal note, I think Italian is the most beautiful language in the world, with its complexities, abundance of meanings and sounds. However, I can only imagine how hard it is to learn it, and that’s why I will leave the post to Elke’s point of view, who has been studying Italian for quite some time now:

“I have always found the elegant Italian language beautiful and I enjoy listening to it. So I started learning Italian during my studies, but despite going to an adult education center, private lessons and online training, I never got beyond the basics.

So when we bought our rustico, our old house, in Italy, it was clear that I had to learn more about the language, because that reveals a lot about the culture of a country.

Only the course in my small town, Cupramontana, brought the breakthrough, so that today I can converse well in Italian, follow Italian tours and read newspapers, books and Italian Internet. Yes, I even attended an Italian crime dinner last year! But I was also lucky, because Marco Porta, a Roman Italian teacher, who ended up in our small town because of love, offers a wide variety of course formats: from beginner courses to reading and conversation courses for advanced learners, but also individualized private lessons. He is very flexible in terms of topics and materials, so that the courses became real little adventures.

Here are my experiences:

We started with basic courses in which we practiced vocabulary and grammar. But not stubbornly along a book, but always with small interludes that Marco has prepared: a short thriller, games in Italian and – always a highlight for me – Roman cooking recipes! Accordingly, we met outside of the course to prepare Bucatini all’Amatriciana or pizza.

This resulted in friendships with the other course participants who came from the Netherlands, Belgium, America and Germany. Of course, grammar also means cramming, but playfully and with a lot of laughter it was just more fun than alone at home.

After that, our group wanted more!

We started reading Italian literature, starting with a standard work for Italian teachers, Nicolò Ammaniti’s “Io non ho Paura”, a suspense novel set in the vastness of Basilicata. There were also grammar inserts and we were allowed to draw sketches of the locations or create a newspaper report from the events. It continued with Edoardo Erba’s “Ami”, which describes the flight and immigration of a Moroccan woman to Italy.

After that we wanted more!

We wanted to read local literature to learn a little bit about our region, so we continued with Giorgia Coppari’s wonderful book: “La promessa” (The Promise), set in the Napoleonic period in our neighboring town of Apiro and in Ancona and that completely captivated us. The story was so exciting that we enjoyed learning the difficult tense “passato remoto”. And then the end: amazing but historically and socially logical!

After all, we wanted to get to know the writer, who lives in Ancona, personally and went on a course trip there. With fantastic weather, “La Coppari” gave us a tour of her Ancona and took us to the places from the book. A wonderful day we started with breakfast above Ancona’s Passetto beach.

After that we wanted more!

My reading and grammar skills were already quite good, but I also wanted to be able to follow longer conversations with the neighbors and have a say. Sure, I made ends meet with the previous knowledge, but now a conversation course should come here: From now on (until today) we look for topics that move Italy, from newspapers or social networks, and discuss them. In this way we learn more about the culture and at the same time we can argue and understand better. If we students don’t suggest topics, Marco chooses some for us. So we have, among other things

  • discusses why a commercial by Parmigiano Reggiano caused a stir.
  • discussed the arguments for and against a protected marine reserve at Monte Conero.
  • tries to understand why almost all Italians are so crazy about the San Remo Festival. {not even Italians know that – note from Laura}
  • how the system of government works in Italy. {not even Italians know that – note from Laura}
  • explores the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
  • spoke to a shoe manufacturer in Cassette d’Ete (Marche) who dared to start over.
  • And much more. And it’s still fun!

I think anyone who has the opportunity to learn Italian in Italy should do so. It is worth it .. There are offers from Italian teachers in most regions – just search the internet or social media. For Le Marche I can recommend Marco Porta’s Lingua Italiana Marche:

  • various course formats
  • is flexibly geared to the selection of topics and the needs of the participants
  • you can always participate via Zoom (Internet, easy to set up), e.g. if you are not on site.

Would you like to make a little vacation out of it?

Marco is also organizing, together with Isabelle’s B&B la Girandola and Federico from Marchecraft, a beginners course in May: 5 half days from 14/5-20/5/2023. And one for advanced in September!

More information is available on this website.

1 Comment

Bhie Italian Tutor · 8 January 2024 at 10:40

I love this piece! It’s incredibly beneficial for someone like me who’s diving into learning Italian!

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