Our Italian language teachers receive high praise from participants

Our Italian language teachers receive high praise from participants

Learning Italian with vibrant and passionate teachers

We are so lucky to have a wonderful team of teachers and praise from our guests this summer has been so strong, I wanted to dedicate a page to them. Over time we will add more and include their thoughts and comments – for now take a look at their histories and experience…

 

 

Alessandro Aucelli

Alessandro was my teacher when I first came to Agnone, and we’ve worked together ever since. From Isernia, he’s an excellent teacher, and our groups have unanimously praised his style and character. Alessandro is fond of saying, “Non ci sono errori, solo ipotesi…”

[ View CV ]

 

 

Filomena Caranci

With an incredibly varied and interesting CV, Filomena is from Isernia, and currently living in Milan. She has a wide experience in publishing, while continuing to teach Italian as a foreign language and working with immigrant community programmes in Europe.

[ View CV ]

 

 

Erminia Forte

Also from Isernia, teaching during the scholastic year in local schools, Erminia has an Arts degree and has completed internships in London at the Tate, and also in Canada. She’s enormous fun and charms everyone with her patience and calm.

[ View CV ]

 

 

Giovanna Di Lullo

Giovanna is from the nearby small town of Poggio Sannita. Currently working in Modena during the scholastic year, we are delighted we can grab her during her summers back in Molise. Giovanna loves working with L&LI – “meeting such interesting people and learning so much from them!”

[ View CV ]

 

 

Lucrezia Oddone

Lucrezia publishes a highly praised and award winning YouTube channel, Learn Italian with Lucrezia. From Rome, she jumped at the chance to join us in a part of Italy that was new to her. A vibrant and focused teacher, we will continue to work with her whenever her schedule allows.

[ View CV ]

 

 

Credit: Sean DuFrene / Photographer

Credit: Sean DuFrene / Photographer

 

Francesca Ricciardelli

Living and teaching at California State University in the US, Francesca is completing her second masters degree. A highly experienced Italian teacher, she also translates and contributes to publications and conferences. We will continue to entice her to Agnone during her summer breaks.

[ View CV ]

 

You can also find out more about our teachers by downloading their CV attached to each section above, or visit Our Team page. All our teachers are of the highest quality, and, no two students are the same when it comes to speaking a second language, so we are very experienced at fitting our teaching to suit your needs.

 

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Baking bread with Mercedes

Baking bread with Mercedes

In the hills of Alto Molise, Mercedes rises at 3.30 to prepare her loaves for the wood-fired oven, using logs from her woods, and grain from her fields. Traditional bread baking for Mercedes, is all about the grain. The ‘pane casaerecio’ of her childhood was nothing like modern bread, even from the best local bakers. Using methods that had been traditional in her family, alternating crops, using only animal ‘stecco’ (manure, no chemicals) and keeping part of their 15 hectares fallow, she was able to produce a high-quality wheat, with only a small amount of gluten. Before long Mercedes was supplying her extended family, then neighbours. She soon found herself with a small group of clients and began to sell in artisan food markets and fairs.

30 kilos of bread are made daily in this little oven and once that is done, Mercedes makes delicious trays of pizza and a traditional breakfast cake, ‘pagnottini’, sweetened with a little local honey. She uses a small quantity of potato in the dough, which keep the bread softer for longer – a very old recipe from a time when bread needed to last weeks. And hers does, in fact, it’s better after a few days.

There’s no sign right now that her children will take up the mantle. It’s a hard day. After a long morning, Mercedes cleans and shuts the bakery, and tends to the vegetable garden and the grain fields – although all the family help with this. Then the house needs cleaning, and there are all the other chores. When the family’s 25 goats are giving milk, Mercedes also makes cheese. Once a year they slaughter a pig to provide the family meat.

Her son would like to continue this work and expand the small holding to make his livelihood and despite being very capable and entrepreneurial – he has been forced to find a job in a factory. This kind of rural livelihood is dying out because laws and heavy taxes make the work pretty much impossible for the younger generation.

Baking was traditionally a womans job – the men tended the land. But today with taxes and laws really working against small farmers, the women are keeping the land all by themselves while the men go out and get jobs in factories, or run their own enterprises. Like our driver, Fernando, who’s really a cattle farmer but has a 9-seater vehicle and a thriving taxi service, while his wife is left to look after and milk their 50 cows. Fernando manages to keep his land going, but needs to supplement their livelihood by driving.

Mercedes is the most engaging and amusing woman, full of insights and observations. It is an incredible pleasure to spend time in the bakery as she works, tasting the crusty pizza with tomatoes and herbs from her garden, and hearing stories of her family and her life. She is cautious about the future, but resourceful.

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A morning of truffle hunting in Molise, the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy!

A morning of truffle hunting in Molise, the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy!

Molise is the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy! Ottavio is from the contrada of Carovili, near Angone. When you mention his name the Agnonese say, ‘who?”. “The guy that hunts truffles,” I say, “Oh him, Ottavio, from Carovill”. Ottavio has lived in Agnone for at least a generation but he will always be from Carovilli, and so will his children. That’s the way it is here. (The master cheese makers, the family Di Nucci have lived in Agnone for 3 Generations, but they’re from Capracotta).

With his very well trained dogs, Eva and Kira, and a special licence in his back pocket, Ottavio goes out every day in the season, May to the end of August and then mid October till the end of January. The dogs have regular checks and are pristinely healthy – they take the truffles in their mouths, so they can’t be sick or ailing. Eva is a springer spaniel, her baby, Kira is mixed breed.

With loads of experience, Eva did most of the hunting, Kira is still learning. It takes 4-5 months to train a dog and practise is key. We went out at 6am when the dawn was just breaking, but Ottavio had already been out earlier with a head-lamp and had a fair haul. Truffles are found in patches, close to large trees, but with little or no ground cover. It was a beautiful day once the early chill wore off and lovely to get deep into the woods. One or two of Ottavio’s favourite spots had been ‘done’ when we got there, probably not by another professional, but someone out to find a private stash for his pasta.

Molise is the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy and these are prized. The most common type is scorzone, which grows both in winter and summer. The bianchetto grows between January and March. The two most prized varieties are Nero preggiato and Bianco, which grow between October and February.

The dogs know just where to find them, their sense is very keen and although the Scorzone sit just below the surface of the soil, the bianco are deep and can take some digging; sometimes so deep it’s incredible they find them at all.

There has been a lot of tree felling in the region, not good for truffles, and Ottavio now has to go deep into the woods. Scorzone fetch about €1000 per kilo, but they don’t weigh much, so that can take a while. The bianco, much rarer, fetch more like €4000 per kilo, but that’s not to say the scorzone are inferior, most chefs prefer them.

Ottavio’s truffles get sold to restaurants mostly – there is quite tight regulation on this too, and you can’t just sell them anywhere. Most of Molise’s truffles get made into crema or olio di tartufo, and other types of pasta sauces. But there is nothing lovelier than taking a fresh truffle, wiping it gently clean and then shaving over a bowl of fresh home-made pasta!

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Let's discuss what works best for you...

 

EnquirePrices

La Mia Strada

La Mia Strada

La Mia Strada - a feature film from Michael DiLauro

 

“And they go down the ancient traturro to the plain. Almost down a silent grassy river following the footprints of ancient fathers… Gabriele D’Annunzio

In the words of the director, Michael DiLauro (biography):

“This feature-length documentary explores the fragile bonds that connect a family from generation to generation, from country to countryit is a filmmaker’s personal journey along the iconic trails that Italian shepherds have used since ancient times. The focal point of La Mia Strada is the shepherd’s trail—the “ancient traturro” referred to by D’Annunzio. It has its origins in the Bronze Age (1800-700 BC), when during seasonal migrations in search of better grazing, shepherds led their flocks along the trail, often through narrow and treacherous terrain. This network of trails, covering more than 250 kilometers, starts in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, extends to Molise and Puglia, and down into the Province of Foggia—the paese of my grandparents.

With family members and friends on both sides of the Atlantic, DiLauro seeks to make a connection between these ancient trails and the one that led to a new world. La Mia Strada is a search for identity; both the filmmaker and those connected by common threads of ethnicity. It explores the experiences and traditions associated with the trattura— the hardships and simple pleasures of the shepherds, the natural beauty of the landscape, the food, the folk art, the music, and the culture of the regions through which the trails pass. During their long months away from home, the shepherds left their cultural mark; creating poems, etchings and songs depicting their harsh and lonely way of life. On the other side of the Atlantic, the shepherd’s stories have little relevance for modern Italian-Americans, yet they speak of a simple, uncomplicated life that so many yearn for. The filmmaker’s journey is a quest to find the bond between yesterday and today, between the ancient and modern.

Over a period of years, DiLauro has conducted dozens of interviews, explored historical sites, sifted through archaeological artefacts, dug through family photographs, and immersed himself in the music, poetry, and oral histories of the Abruzzi, Molise and Puglia regions. His journey has also taken him to many Little Italy’s of The America’s. The film is a link between the ancient and contemporary histories of families divided by an ocean, yet united by an indelible genetic bond.

Read our full biography of Michael Angelo Di Lauro

 

Discover more about La Mia Strada, and di Lauro's other films on iMDb

 

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Our Italian language teachers receive high praise from participants

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Guest Review of Live & Learn Italian by Barbara Gentile – Italian language vacations

This review is by our guest Barbara Gentile (USA)   'The Live and Learn Italian program really lived up to its name' Having spent two weeks in Agnone in June (2018), I can say that the “Live and Learn Italian” program really lived up to its name. Weekday mornings...

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We are thrilled to have been selected by Tutorful as one of the best places to learn Italian in Italy. This carefully researched article - How to become fluent in Italian - Top tools to learn Italian fast - highlights helpful tools such as Best Apps, Best Websites...

Studying with Live and Learn Italian

Welcome to our programme. Not so much a language school, but an experience. When I went to Agnone, no one spoke to me in English, yet everyone was willing and ready to communicate. So I had to speak Italian! It’s not so easy to meet locals in Italy and even harder to...

What to expect on our 5 night Italian cultural and culinary programme

5 nights of Italian food and culture AWAY from the tourist trail. Be immersed in an authentic community, live the slow life, discover ancient traditions.

A guide to Molise, Italy’s smallest province punching above its weight

One of Italy’s smallest, and certainly its youngest province, Molise was once part of Abruzzo. Just above Puglia with 35 kilometres of Adriatic coast, ancient Apennine hill towns, and a wealth of natural beauty, it’s still pretty undiscovered. Those who do come are...

Immerse yourself in Italy

Let's discuss what works best for you...

 

EnquirePrices

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