Learn Italian at Casa Belvedere

Fall 2021 – Italian Language Program
The Adult Fall 2021 session starts the week of September 27, 2021.
The Children’s Fall 2021 session starts the week of October 4, 2021.

All Casa Belvedere guests over age 12 are required to show a photo ID &
one proof of vaccination in order to be admitted to any indoor event or program at Casa Belvedere.

All course offerings 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!

Classes will begin on Monday, October 4th.

10 CLASSES • $250 Non-member / $225 Member

Children Italian: Mondays 4:00 to 5:00 pm (age 4-8)
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 10 weeks. With practice and repetition, you will absorb the finer details of the language that can last a lifetime!

Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 28

$300 Non-member / $270 Member

Italian 1: Francesco Bonavita, Tuesday 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, Tuesday 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, Tuesday 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: Maria Bonavita, Tuesday 5:30-7:00 pm

Being able to communicate with the people of the country you are visiting, makes your traveling experience more enriching and personal. This course will not only aim to have students communicate basically with the people of Italy, but it gives a preview of the most beautiful locations to visit. Students will be able to express themselves in such situations as family encounters, restaurants, hotels, shopping, asking for directions, and so on. Interacting personally, in the Italian language, will add excitement to your trip. This course is ideal for those who plan on traveling to Italy for vacation or business and for anyone who wants to learn the basics of the Italian language.


Children’s Italian Language Teacher • Adriana Emmanuele

Adriana was born in Brooklyn to an Italian father and Cuban mother. Growing up, she learned Italian and Spanish at a very young age as it was the only way she could communicate with her grandparents.

At the age of 5, her and her family moved to her father’s town of Licodia Eubea in Sicily for a year. Every summer after that, they spent two months there soaking up the language and culture of a small little village very different from Brooklyn! Because of those unforgettable experiences, Italy always takes first place in her heart.

After graduating college, Adriana began teaching Italian for the Department of Education and now works as a guidance counselor at Wagner High School. Although she loves being a counselor, she misses being in the classroom and sharing her love of Italian language and culture with students of all ages.

Adriana is very grateful to be able to share her love of all things Italian with her husband Louie and children Marcella and Calogero. We love to listen to Italian music, watch Italian TV, cheer on the Juventus soccer team and of course cook absolutely delicious Italian food!

She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to teach once again in the most beautiful of settings at Casa Belvedere. She looks forward to hopefully sparking a love of language and travel in the students she will be lucky to have.

Adult Italian Language Teacher’s • 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!