Before I ever dreamed of a life as a full-time author and digital storyteller, I was a linguist with a specialization in 2nd language acquisition. After obtaining a Masters Degree with honors from Columbia University, I spent 20 years traveling the world, plying my trade as an English teacher and teacher-trainer. As a result, I have well-informed and deeply entrenched opinions on what makes a good language learning environment. And I'm here to tell you that the folks at italianme Scuola di Lingua e Cultura Italiana have nailed it.

Learning a language means understanding its nuances and you can't do that if you don't immerse yourself in the culture too. In the words of General Manager and Director, Francesca Bertocci:

“We believe that learning a new language is gaining a new identity. You will live in Florence with us, not like a tourist, but like a real Florentine."


discover the Italian in You at italianme

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Italianme Scuola di Lingua e Cultura Italiana was founded May 2016, by three long-time collaborators and Italian language teachers: Francesca Bertocci, Nadia Bruno, and Carmen Frittelli. Their combined decades of experience teaching Italian language and culture to foreigners is their school’s secret sauce. All three truly understand the meaning of excellence in language education.

Life in a new language comes with ambiguity, which is scary, especially for adults. It comes with risk-taking, which means making mistakes. Adult learners of a new language need to feel safe. Francesca, Nadia, and Carmen welcome and communicate with their clients from the moment they first write for information. 

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The three co-founders also know that learning a language only partially happens in the classroom. Then you have to use it – in the real world. So, the teaching approach at italianme is fun and relaxed. Classes are limited to the mornings and delivered in four 45-minute segments, when the elements of functional communication are practiced alongside the grammatical nuts and bolts. Then Florence becomes the place where you put it all together.

That, and all the fun extras italianme provides in the way of outings, cooking demonstrations, and other cultural activities. It’s all about great activities in a beautiful setting.

One of the activities on offer is Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave, which Francesca helped to translate into Italian -- we're talking every button, glossary item, direction, dedication, and credit. She's so excited by what we're doing at Time Traveler Tours that she led the charge to enable our publication of both Italian and dual-language app, e-, and audiobook editions. It's a mutual admiration society!

"The App is a great idea, something new, never seen before,
a perfect way to experience Florence not like a passive tourist, but in a modern and very interactive way.
Like the italianme approach!

Also, it's fun for the whole family and that’s awesome!!"

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Italianme is located in the heart of Florence, nestled inside an old palace, the Antica Torre, on one of the most beautiful streets in the city. Students have access to the roof terrace where they enjoy one of the most exquisite views over the rooftops. To. Die. For.

Class sizes are kept small, no more than eight students. This makes it possible for instructors to dedicate the time required by each student.

At the end of the morning, teachers package and send lesson materials to students by email, so they don’t need to carry around heavy books as they head out to enjoy the sites of Florence.

Every member of the italianme family has a background in teaching. This means everyone in a leadership role understands the unique needs of students and the problems they may confront along on their journey to becoming bi-lingual and bi-cultural.

Carmen Frittelli handles courses in Art History as well as all the Extracurricular activities. She is so passionate about Florence that she decided to live on the hills overlooking the city, so that every morning she can wake up to the view of its iconic sites. Her favorite place is Piazzetta del Limbo (nearby the school) – a small, intimate and quiet square.

Nadia Bruno is the director of Education and is also responsible for customer relations. She’s got her finger on Florence’s pulse, always aware of all that’s going on around town. You can find her on the streets of the center of Florence, where she loves to take long walks along the Arno River, enjoying the reflection of the city in the water.

Francesca Bertocci loves Florence because of its historic significance in both Italy and the world. She calls it, “a jewel: small, perfect and precious.” Her favorite place is the Oltrarno, “because the squares and narrow streets remind you of ancient times, but at the same time, you feel the flow of contemporary culture. Her favorite work of art is Michelangelo’s David. “I never tire of staring at its amazing figure and perfect details.”

For more information and/or to book your language stay in Florence visit www.italianme.it.


italianme will be the official sponsor of TTT&T's upcoming #HistoryHero Blast (blog and podcast)

Stay tuned for launch news in 2018


Francesca’s #HistoryHero is Margherita Hack. A Florentine born in 1922, Hack was an astrophysicist and the first Italian woman to administrate the Trieste Astronomical Observatory, which she did from 1964 to 1987, bringing it to international fame. She advocated the use of Italian in the university setting, rather than the exclusive use of English as was common at the time. She felt one could express nuanced ideas and concepts best in their mother tongue, so why not do so? 

Who's your #HistoryHero? Let us know in the comment section below!


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