ILF Calendar of Events

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2020 Teacher Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2020 Recipients of the Teacher Recognition Awards.  Due to the strong pool of nominations, four outstanding teachers of Italian will receive a reward of $500 each.


NameSchoolCity, State
LOUISE D’AMOREStaples High SchoolWestport, CT
DIANA FERRARADe Anza CollegeCupertino, CA
GINA GALLOBristol Central High SchoolBristol, CT
KAREN MURANOCloonan Middle SchoolStamford, CT

The Italian Language Foundation is very grateful to its committee of dedicated and experienced teachers of Italian who judged the nominations:

Bruna Boyle

Mario Costa

Lucrezia Lindia

Ryan Calabretta-Sajder

Un ringraziamento italo-americano | An Italian American Thanksgiving

Written by Domenic Campagna Setaro, a Fordham University 2020 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy & Romance Languages; Domenic studied Italian and studied in Milan, Italy through Fordham’s Semester Exchange Program. He is currently working at Morgan Stanley as a Virtual Engagement Associate.

Thanksgiving in its pure, American form has more ties to Italian culture than one might think.

Domenic Campagna Setaro

Thanksgiving — it is a holiday that is intrinsically American.  Coming from a family of Southern Italian immigrants, I often get asked by my friends in both the United States and Italy how Italians celebrate this American holiday.  The answer is quite simple: we italianize the festivities.  One of the beauties of being Italian in the U.S. is that we proudly allow our culture to permeate across all aspects of our lives — even if these aspects have nothing to do with Italy.  However, Thanksgiving in its pure, American form has more ties to Italian culture than one might think — you gather around the dinner table, count your blessings, eat an abundance of delicious food, and spend quality time with your loved ones.  These pillars of Thanksgiving represent core values in Italian culture, which are often centered around la tavola and la famiglia.  After all, Italians have a miniature Thanksgiving every Sunday at Nonna’s house, so this holiday, although not celebrated in Italy, is a perfect match for Italians.

The Setaro family celebrating Thanksgiving 2017 at Nonno and Nonna’s house in Watertown, Connecticut.  Nonno and Nonna emigrated from the towns of San Lupo in 1963 and Guardia Sanframondi in 1969 respectively, both located in the Southern Italian province of Benevento.

On my typical Italian-style Turkey Day, roughly 30 people get the golden ticket invitation to Nonna’s Italian-American feast.  On the table, you’ll see the typical Thanksgiving delicacies right next to our Italian cultural favorites — turkey and homemade cavatelli, pumpkin pie and tiramisù, the list goes on and on.  Of course, before we can dig in, we all join together in prayer, thanking God for once again bringing us together to celebrate our family, our friends, and our food.  As comes with any Thanksgiving, our festivities are supplemented by political banter, family photos of everyone dressed in their Sunday…well Thursday best, and the exciting discussions of what we plan to buy on Black Friday.  However, our italianized Thanksgiving is not complete without our annual foosball tournament, where we spend far more time and energy than necessary playing our cherished table game in Nonno’s basement, which serves the function of a game room, wine cellar, garage, and storage unit all at once.

The Italian Diaspora created such a unique amalgamation of Italian and American cultures in the United States, and Thanksgiving is one of the highlights of this blend.  I could not be more thankful to be Italian-American, and, although I won’t be celebrating Ringraziamento in our typical way this year, I will still be thanking God for blessing me with this wonderful family that has given me countless reasons to be grateful.

“The Italian Diaspora created such a unique amalgamation of Italian and American cultures in the United States, and Thanksgiving is one of the highlights of this blend.”

Domenic Campagna Setaro

How AP Italian helped me be successful in college

Written by Marissa Provenzale for ILF

My name is Marissa Provenzale and I am an undergraduate student at Marquette University in the Diederich College of Communication. My senior year of high school, I participated in an internship with Redoro Frantoi Veneti, an olive oil company in northern Italy. During my time in high school, I was able to apply the principles I was learning in my dual credit Entrepreneurship class, such as the importance of creating a lean Business Model Canvas and how to identify customer segments to my group’s project: exploring the possibility of opening a bruschetteria in our community. Additionally, utilizing the language for presentations in the United States and abroad helped me improve my language proficiency for the AP Italian and Culture test. In college, I have used what I learned about teamwork during the creation of the business plan, interior design concept, and menu. Specifically, the importance of interdependence was the biggest skill I learned while working closely within my group. Reinforcing the importance of work distribution and equal participation from members has helped me become a leader within my college group projects and my sorority. Overall, what I learned about interdependence has left me with healthy collaborative teams in college with no strain on a single individual.

The life long skills that come from AP Italian

The Italian program at Prospect High School and the international internship with Redoro Olive Oil Company in Verona has completely changed my life and perspective on the world. Working with my peers to best use Redoro’s products and display how olive oil can also be used in cosmetics and skin care was invigorating and exciting. I learned how to prepare for a professional presentation in front of a panel of judges, communicate with others while tackling a language barrier, and speaking aloud to audiences. These acquired skills have helped me tremendously in college and looking back on the experience, I can not believe I presented for an Italian company! Professor Scolaro developed our Italian in person and than helped further prepare us for our presentations in Italy completely in Italian. This professional experience was way more engaging than what I could only learn in the classroom. Using my language in Italy also assisted me on the AP Italian exam. I was better prepared to speak out loud and my nervousness was very little while taking the test.

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