La Nutella e i dialetti d’Italia

Well, next Wednesday our teacher Caterina will show you how to prepare her famous “dolce alla nutella” – therefore this post can be a good introduction – if you need one…

Il blog di silvia spatafora

Se siete golosi di cioccolato e i dialetti italiani vi incuriosiscono questo post fa proprio al caso vostro!

Lo scorso ottobre, la celebre marca italiana Ferrero ha voluto rilanciare il suo prodotto di spicco con una particolare trovata: personalizzare i barattoli di Nutella con una scritta in dialetto.

Le nuove confezioni si trovano già al supermercato e sono davvero molto originali!


Inoltre, andando sul sito ufficiale del prodotto si può scegliere fra una serie di espressioni tipiche dialettali con cui caratterizzare un’immagine del barattolo di Nutella e creare una sorta di cartolina virtuale da condividere via internet con gli amici o con chiunque si desideri.

Molto carina anche l’idea di creare un Manuale Linguistico dell’Entusiasmo, ovvero una raccolta (consultabile on-line o da scaricare in formato pdf) con le espressioni dialettali più belle affiancate dalla loro relativa traduzione in italiano.dialettichette

L’iniziativa è stata accompagnata con uno spot televisivo il cui slogan è “Scegli il tuo dialetto!”.

Eccolo qui:


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Aaah…that’s why.

All these years we have been wondering why the number of students at our school, year after year, remained constant or, even, increased… of course, we try to do our best, and of course, our teachers are incredible, and, naturally, our activities are marvellous but you and me know very well that in times of international crisis also the quality succumbs to the reality of the market.

You know, there is not so much interest in the international press about the language courses abroad, it does not seem such a sexy or glamorous topic. And the rarefied specialised press is not so interesting to me. But, a couple of days ago a very nice brochure about the 20 years of the Language Fair in Berlin arrived at the school, and leafing through the pages I saw this statistics.


It was an “Eureka” moment, I never realised that the global market for study abroad in these years was grown so much. If you enlarge the infographic, you see that the number of language students abroad went from the 1.7 millions of 1995 to the 4.5 millions of 2011. Which explains better than anything how and why our (small) school and other (small) schools who are doing the same work can be still alive and kicking. It’s a good idea to be safely nestled in a growing market, after all.

Classical Studies

We at Scuola Toscana have a new partner – after the courses of Japanese language, and Chinese language, we offer now at our school also courses in classical Latin and Greek.


Scuola Toscana teamed up with Giampiero at Centro di Studi Classici GrecoLatino Vivo, and three classes have already started, with young and less young students.

The idea of GrecoLatino Vivo (living Greek and Latin) is to approach these two “dead” languages as “living” languages, therefore speaking in Latin or Greek from the first class, and learning not just the theory, but learning to speak. DSCN1573

Like in the old times, the students of these courses can communicate in Latin also with students from other countries, using it as a lingua franca again … it could be a smart idea also for our foreign students, who after the Italian lessons could join the courses in Latin or Greek too !

Grazie and more: saying thank you in Italian

Some more words for “survival Italian” from the nice blog “prayers and pizzas”… enjoy !

Prayers & Piazzas


You all know that I love writing about gratitude, and I love writing about Italian. Plus, I’m feeling especially thankful this week (see my previous post). So here’s a little post combining both! I hope you enjoy this first in a series (fingers crossed!) in the category “Weekend Italian.” Blessings!

Sapete che mi piace scrivere per gratitudine e per Italiano. Anche, sento particolarmente piena di gratitudine (leggere il mio posto scorso). Allora, ecco un piccolo post di entrambi! Spero che vi piace questo primo di una serie (incrocio le dita!) nella categoria “Italiano del fine settimana.” Benedizioni!**

grazie                                                                                                      …

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Week 1: Italian for Travelers

Survival Italian ! If you arrive at Scuola Toscana armed even with only these words, for sure you will have a great start !

Prayers & Piazzas

Italian Greetings (Weekend Italian 1)

Graphic created at Tagul

Weekend Italian: Bite-size language chunks of Italian survival phrases and high-frequency words to kick-start your language learning. Grab a cup of coffee and spend a little time this weekend learning Italian!

Italian for Travelers: Hellos, goodbyes and how are yous

Imagine: You have dreamed of a week in Italy for years and today, you find yourself there, at last. (<3>!)

File:Hotel Ca Sagredo - Grand Canal - Rialto - Venice Italy Venezia - Creative Commons by gnuckx (4965536379).jpg

Image Credit

Checking into the hotel, the first word you will likely be greeted with is buongiorno (hello/good morning) or perhaps buon pomeriggio (good afternoon), depending on the time of day. As you come and go during the week and the staff gets to know you better, they may switch to the more informal salve to say hello or even the least formal ciao — used for both hi and bye.

Outside your hotel, the city streets are bustling. “Pronto…” you…

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Visit to Museo della Misericordia

“Misericordia di Firenze” The Venerable Confraternity of Mercy of Florence, is one of the most enduring civic institutions, being born during the 1200s.

Since its inception the Confraternity has provided to transport the sick in hospitals and to organise funeral services; moreover, among the tasks of the Misericordia there was the donation of dowry to the poor girls, the release of the prisoners from the prisons for debt, the provision of subsidies to indigent patients and for the burial of the poor.

Today, the Association is called to face new emergencies, offering a wide range of services: patients transportation, health care, social residences for the elderly, family counseling, specialist clinics, civil defence, free rental of medical equipment, food aid.

mis 1

In february the refurbished Museo della Misericordia will reopen to the public, and of course we have already planned an activity to visit the museum. Our teacher Caterina has already had a preview (behind these doors) in order to prepare the visit of our students…

As for now, you can enjoy a virtual tour here

A present

Some students are so kind with us that give goodbye presents when they leave. Usually chocolates, sweets, books, souvenirs… but also small artistic works, like these drawing of the german student Gerhard. DSCN1561

I appreciate this kind of present because I like to draw sketches too, and I know it is sometimes difficult to separate from its own work, however small, and to offer it as a present really means something very personal. Moreover, here you have two very special corners of Florence, in all its beauty … Happy to share it with you !

Gargoyle of the Day: Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

Nice post about “our” Santa Maria del Fiore, il Duomo !

A Scholarly Skater

3301437352_5e8366aa60_z Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze (Florence). Photo by Tommasso Cattabrini via Flickr (creative commons)

Today’s grotesque came to my attention via Atlas Obscura, a fantastic place to find fun, quirky facts and interesting locations to visit. This little bull figure lives on one side of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. The church is heavily-laden with sculptural decorations of many styles and subjects, but this bull has a story separate from the rest. According to Atlas Obscura, there are two popular explanations for the bull’s existence:

According to one version of the animal’s creation, it was said to be a tribute by the builders to the draft animals that were used during the building’s construction work. However there is another story that is a bit more curious, petty, and funny.

The local legend says that during the construction of the cathedral, one of the stonemasons had an affair with the wife of…

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Exams and Diplomas


Today we have received from Accademia Italiana di Lingua (AIL) the results and the diplomas of the last exams of some of our students – all of them succesful.

AIL is a non profit organization which – since 1982 – organizes exams of Italian as second language, at all the levels of the ELP (from A1 to C2, plus two commercial italian exams), in various countries.

As Scuola Toscana is member of this organisation, the students at Scuola Toscana can prepare and sit for these exam. It is a great idea to complete a cycle of studies, because with this AIL official diploma one can really prove where is arrived with her/his studies.

Moreover, it is interesting and motivating to do a preparation course together with some friends and then feel the thrill to participate in the exam… find more information also here !