Home for the Holidays

In the car on the way from Florence to Nice I was quite worried about whether I would be able to start speaking French again. I tried talking to myself in French, but it was just coming out Italian.  When I had first arrived in Italy and was trying to learn Italian, every time I…

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends. I hope everyone has a long list of things to be thankful for today. We are going to have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner here in Florence tonight. We found a restaurant that serves turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. Jeff likes this but I’m not…

Do you speak Italian?

Before I came to Italy I spoke English and French.  Now after five weeks in an Italian course, I am afraid that I can’t yet claim that I speak Italian and maybe I no longer speak French, at least not as well as I did 5 weeks ago.  Thank goodness that I can still speak…

Does Wine Loosen the Tongue?

We start each day with two hours of grammar. This is a fast moving class, as we learn a new grammatical concept almost every day. While the Italian grammar is complicated we all seem to grasp it, at least in theory. Putting it into practice is another story. This takes much longer. After the grammar…

A Boost of Confidence

When I saw the crowd gathered in front of the building I suspected that I was in the right place. Had it been in England, there would have been a nice straight queue (that’s a line in American English), but this was Italy and queuing isn’t a concept that has caught on here. Just to…

Communication Challenges

I would love to have a video of our class, it must be hilarious.  We are one step above absolute beginner level with a very limited Italian vocabulary. When the teacher asks one of us a question, we start to answer, the mouth opens then we realise that we just don’t have the words.  There…