Learn Italian at Casa Belvedere

Fall 2022 – In-Person Italian Language Program
All classes will take place from Sept. 19 to Dec. 12
(no classes on Oct. 10 – Columbus Day)

Language Class Cancellation Policy:
50% of course tuition will be refunded should you decide to discontinue your Italian Language Classes after your first lesson; no refunds thereafter.

All classes will be held in person at Casa Belvedere.

Both children and adults benefit from learning a second language. Research shows that children who learn a second language are better at solving problems and are more creative. They learn how to read faster and are generally more confident than other children. The multiple cognitive benefits translate to higher scores on standardized tests. As for adults, some studies show that stimulating the brain with a new language can slow age-related cognitive decline.  Learning a second language in a class setting has the added benefit of fun socialization.


Looking for an after school activity?
Look no further and have your child learn Italian with us!

Children Italian – Tuesdays at 4 pm
2 six-week sessions – Register for 1, 2 or both.
$140 Member / $150 Non Member 

Session 1: Sept. 20 to Oct. 25
Session 2: Nov. 1 to Dec. 13
(no class on Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving week)

Parliamo Italiano – These classes focus on introducing Italian language to children. They offer an interactive approach to the language, designed to get students comfortable speaking Italian. During our sessions, we explore and experiment with basic vocabulary and expressions. Worksheets and videos are also used during the sessions to assist in learning.


This is a fun immersion language program designed to develop or reinforce your communicative skills in Italian. Each course focuses on conversational skills at different levels as well as underscoring grammatical basics that are essential to communicate in Italian. You will receive the details of the lessons each week. Participants will meet in person, for 8 weeks. With practice and repetition, you will absorb the finer details of the language that can last a lifetime!

$330 Member / $360 Non-Member


Italian 1: Francesco Bonavita, Monday 7:00-8:30 pm
This course is for beginner students who wish to learn Italian and discover the culture of Italy. Through a thematic approach, students will develop basic communication skills and enrich their vocabulary and practical expressions. Students will learn to converse in Italian in various situations: shopping, ordering a meal, interacting among speakers of Italian, talking about oneself, obtaining information about people and things and so on. The emphasis of the course will be to empower the students and help them gain the necessary confidence to communicate in Italian.


Italian 2: Francesco Bonavita, Monday 5:30-7:00 pm

This course is designed for students of Italian who have completed one semester of study or more and are interested in expanding their proficiency in speaking Italian. Students in this class will refine their skills through the development of various themes such as the self-portrait, the family, shopping, Italian food and recipes, leisure time, visiting Italy and so on. This course is also ideal for students who have been away from Italian, and are interested in refreshing their language skills.

Intermediate/Advanced Italian – Corso di Lingua e Cultura Italiana Avanzato (for Italian-speaking students): Maria Bonavita, Monday 7:00-8:30 pm

This course is designed for students who have a good proficiency of the Italian language and wish to expand their knowledge of the language. Students have the opportunity to read and discuss contemporary Italian literature and social issues. The class is conducted solely in Italian and students are given the opportunity to engage in discussions, make presentations, and debate issues in the target language while exploring the beauty and richness of Italian literature.

Italian for Travelers in a Nutshell – Maria Bonavita, Monday 5:30-7:00 pm
2 six-week sessions – Register for 1, 2 or both.
$165 Member / $180 Non Member

Session 1: Sept. 19 to Oct. 31 (no class on Oct. 10)
Session 2: Nov. 7 to Dec. 12

These mini language courses will give travelers the opportunity to learn essential words and phrases that will enhance the traveling experience in Italy. This course can also give previous students the opportunity to review, practice, and broaden their acquired knowledge in the language. Students will gain fundamental knowledge in the following topics: greetings, travel, food, shopping, asking for information, and dealing with emergencies.

Children Italian Language Teacher • Stephany Di Gesaro 

My name is Stephany Di Gesaro and I am 32 years old. I have been teaching Italian for 10 years and I also teach the history of Ancient Rome along with English as a second language. I graduated from CSI with a bachelors in Italian education grades 7-12 in 2012 and earned a Masters from Touro in TESOL in 2015. I also went to high school in Sicily when I lived there throughout my adolescent years because my parents found it very important to raise their kids where they were born along with my entire family. Living in Sicily made me love the language even more so, because I experienced it first-hand.

I truly enjoy teaching my students about the Italian culture and traditions. Whenever I get a chance I try to plan trips to Italy for my students so that they can also experience and immerse themselves into “la dolce vita”. As a first generation Italian-American, specifically Sicilian, I try to fit in as many traditions as possible into my daily life. I find it important to never lose that love and passion for what my parents taught me when I was a child and continue to do so.

I cannot wait to share my love and experience with children at Casa Belvedere. La vita va vissuta… Italian style!

Adult Italian Language Teachers • Maria & Francesco Bonavita

Maria Bonavita was born in Rizziconi, a small town in the province of Reggio Calabria. She majored in Italian and French at Brooklyn College. She holds two Masters degrees, one in Italian and the other in Educational and Community Counseling from CUNY. She is a dedicated teacher who worked hard to promote Italian language and culture at the high school level as well as colleges and universities on Staten Island. She wrote an article on classroom strategies in the teaching of Italian that was published in Italica, and collaborated with her husband on the publication of an intermediate textbook in Italian. She has been very active in the American Teachers of Italian New York City chapter, and for the last decade she has conducted beginners and advanced courses in Italian at Casa Belvedere.

Francesco Bonavita was born in Rome and has dedicated his life to teaching foreign languages. He holds a BA degree in French and a minor in German. He studied for his Master degree in French at the University of Wisconsin and completed his Ph.D at CUNY in Comparative Literature on the Italian Renaissance. In addition to Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese, he has also taught Japanese. He has brought the language experience at the high school level, as well as colleges and universities. He taught at Kean University and at New York University as a supervisor of second language methodology. He published articles on second language learning and is the author of Giadino italiano, an Intermediate Italian test published by Pearson, and has a blog, www.thewondersofitaly.com wherein he writes on Italian cities, as well as the Etruscans.

Gift Certificates Available

Give the gift of a Casa Belvedere experience to family and friends.

A cooking class, language class or any of our cultural programs make a great gift for anyone on your list. Don’t forget to grab one for yourself and join them!