Archive for May, 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad In Italy

Posted on May 19th, 2014 by Anna in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Choosing where to study abroad for a semester can be a daunting task.  After all, every place has its charms and pitfalls, so how do you know the country you pick is right for you?  For anyone looking to study in Europe, Italy will offer you an educational experience like none other.  Here are the top five reasons you should make Italy your choice for a semester abroad.

1. Location.  Italy is conveniently placed right in the middle of the Mediterranean region, making it a quick flight or less quick train-ride away from anywhere in Europe.  With budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet, you can take advantage of deals to European cities and visit places like Paris and Madrid for as little as €40 per roundtrip.

cuisine2. Food and Wine.  Naples is the food capital of the country, but essentially anywhere you go in Italy you will be assailed by diverse, imaginative, and delicious cuisine.  Even old favorites, like pasta and pizza, will blow you away with how fresh and flavorsome they are when cooked in their home territory.  Wine is abundant, cheap, and of good quality, and 18 is the legal drinking age in Europe.  And, astonishingly, thanks to their liberal use of olive oil, Italian food is much healthier than standard college fare most undergrads live off of, so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight.

3. Fashion.  All fashionistas, whether students or fanatics of fashion, will agree that Milan is one of the world’s great style capitals, the heartland of such beloved brands as Prada, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana.  Throughout all of Italy, dressing well is a necessity as primal as basic hygiene, and simply walking down the street is sure to expose you to daring new getups.  While this can be intimidating to some, it can also be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and inject some new life into your own sense of style.

architecture4. Art and Architecture.  It’s no secret that Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance, boasting the residency of famous maestros such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonnarotti, and Filippo Brunelleschi.  As such, anyone with a passion for the visual arts or the aesthetics of design owes it to themselves to visit the birthplace of Europe’s first great enlightenment.  See world famous paintings, such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” at the stunning Uffizi Gallery Museum.  Stand in the grandeur of such legendary works as the gothic cathedral Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiori, the Laurentine Library, or the Florentine Pieta.

5. Language.  Simply listening to the Italian language spoken is a musical and transcendent experience, and it remains one of the most popular languages to learn because of this.  If you head to Italy with the foundations of the language under your belt, you will be amazed at how much you learn simply by being immersed in the language constantly.  Get started today by checking out our different levels of Italian courses, or send us an enquiry for more information.

Top 7 Italian Movie Quotes

Posted on May 5th, 2014 by Anna in Uncategorized | No Comments »

For a culture so rich in both language and cinematography, it’s no surprise that Italian film offers the world some of the most famous and widely repeated movie quotes.  For those looking to improve their Italian listening sills, or for the lover of international cinema, here are a few of our favorite quotes from great Italian movies.

Enzo_Staiola_in_Bicycle_Thieves1. “My dears, happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone.”  8 ½—Considered by many to be Federico Fellini’s masterpiece, 8 ½ is a quasi-autobiographical work, the lament of an artist who feels he is past his prime.  Fellini explores the themes of life, love, truth, and beauty and in relation to the modern lifestyle.

2. “There’s a cure for everything except death.”  The Bicycle ThievesA classic of Italian cinema, The Bicycle Thieves is an emotional look at post-WII depression era Italy, with the snappy sense of humor, grimness, and appreciation for beauty that is quintessentially Italian.

3. “Buongiorno, Principessa!”  Life Is Beautiful—Roberto Benigni’s shockingly funny and heartrending drama of a family torn apart by the Holocaust won him three Oscars.  A movie of hope, humor, and love even in the darkest times, this is a must-see for anyone.

Fellini_plaque,_Via_Veneto4. “Life isn’t like in the movies.  Life is much harder.”  Cinema Paradiso—A film that is both a coming of age tale and a love song to all cinema, Cinema Paradiso tells the story of Salvatore Di Vita as he experiences youth, friendship, love, heartbreak, and an artistic calling that helps him endure it all.

5. “It is not always easy to explain our country to foreigners.  In Italy the slowest trains are called ‘fast’ and the evening news comes out in the morning.”  Il Divo: the Spectacular Life of Giulio AndreottiTelling the story of Giulio Andreotti, the Italian Prime Minister who served seven terms since 1946, here is a detailed and intricate look at the political workings of the Italian government since WWII.  Both comic and horrific, it examines the corruption and violence inherent in Andreotti’s political scheming.

6. “We’re all on the brink of despair.  All we can do is look each other in the face, keep each other company, joke a little.  Don’t you agree?”  The Great Beauty—Another critically acclaimed work by contemporary director Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty looks at the absurdity of existence through the eyes of a jaded, elderly writer.  Witty and sumptuous in the tradition of classic Italian film, this will appeal to lovers of Fellini’s films.

7. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”  The Godfather—While Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia masterpiece is technically an American film, no list of famous movie quotes is complete without a mention of its many renowned one-liners.  Other good ones include, “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes,” and, “Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli.”

Anyone interested in watching these films for themselves will find themselves entranced by the rich and thought-provoking of Italian cinema.  Send us an inquiry to get started learning Italian for yourself, or check out our different Italian courses for yourself.