Learn Italian at Casa Belvedere

Spring 2021 – Italian Language Program
The Spring 2021 session started on April 12, 2021.


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!

Virtual 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 between the sessions to assist in learning.

Classes will begin on Monday, April 12

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

Children Italian: Mondays 4:00 to 5:00 pm (age 8-14)
This class aims at introducing Italian language and culture to children and young adults. It offers a communicative approach, designed to get children to speak from the very onset of the program.


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 through interactive Zoom sessions or 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 Monday, April 12
$300 Non-member / $270 Member

Adult Conversation 1: 
Mondays  7 to 8:30 pm
Students will develop basic communication skills, learn vocabulary and practical expressions in Italian.
Adult Conversation 2: Mondays 5:30 to 7 pm
This course is designed for students who have completed Conversation 1, as well as others who have had a basic background in the study of Italian and are interested in expanding their proficiency in the language.

Classes will begin on Tuesday, April 13
$300 Non-member / $270 Member

Tuesdays 7 to 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 further.

Children’s Italian Language Teacher • Beatrice Alecci

Beatrice was born in an ancient Etruscan city called Tarquinia, near Viterbo, 50 miles north of Rome. She attended college in Rome, got married, and lived there for 10 years, where she worked as a certified teacher for the Italian education system.

Later on, Beatrice moved to New York, starting her American career as a teacher of the Italian language. She taught for 15 years, working in a high school in the morning and at the College of Staten Island in the evening.

With four children and a busy life, she developed a deep passion and enthusiasm for the Italian language and culture. Every day she wrestles with keeping Italian strong and alive in her house, while also spreading Italianità everywhere around.

In September 2019, Beatrice became Program Director at Casa Belvedere, the perfect place to promote Italian language, culture, and heritage, moving beyond the language classroom and into the community.

If you’ve visited Casa Belvedere recently, you already know who Beatrice is. She’s the one who welcomes you with a hearty “Buonasera!” and invites you to come in, get comfortable, and get ready to enjoy a culinary experience in one of our cooking classes, or a cultural presentation during our Tuesday evening cultural program.

If you’ve dropped off your children for a cooking class, Beatrice was the one who invited you into Cucina Colavita. She is also the person who introduced herself at your children’s first Italian lesson, and now teaches them Italian.

Beatrice continues working hard to keep people connected to their Italian roots, not only for them, but for their children and grandchildren.

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!