Where we are
Live and Learn Italian is located in Agnone, Molise – 210km southeast of Rome and 150k northeast of Naples.
It is an authentic, traditional and rural community, far from tourism, in Alto-Molise, in the Provincia di Isernia, between Abruzzo and Puglia.
850 m above sea level, Agnone in the summer stays fresh and cool, the local population is around 2000.
Come and explore la vera Italia!
Live and Learn Italian
Via Vittorio Alfieri, 1, 86081 Agnone IS, Italy
Agnone: The birthplace of my grandfather…
Leonida Marinelli (Wikipedia), who left his family at the age of 19 to further his studies in the United States going on to an important career in human radiobiology. His first cousins are owners of La Fonderia Pontificia Marinelli, the world’s oldest bell foundry (since 1040AD) and western Europe’s oldest surviving family business.
A medieval town, off the beaten track, it’s a community eager to share long-standing traditions – gastronomic, cultural, and artistic. Learning Italian here myself, I was inspired to create this programme.
Discover family-run businesses producing excellent cheeses, salamis, olive oil, honey, wine & other regional specialities.
With no foreign tourism - the Agnonese are keen to engage with us - to cook, & to share traditions & history of their town.
Who we are
Founder of Live and Learn Italian
I first visited Agnone as a child of 8, quickly coming under its spell. We returned several times as a family, then, in the summer of 2012, I came to learn Italian with Alessandro and fell in love with the place!
I really wanted to share the experience so the following summer I brought a few others back with me, and Live and Learn Italian was born. Every summer the project grows and deepens as I get to know more of the community, find hidden gems, and weave personal stories into the programme.
Meet the Team
SIMONA MARRAS - Teacher
After graduating from Genoa University with a degree in Philosophy, Simona studied French Language and Literature at Strasbourg University. In both France and Italy she taught in French and international schools while raising two sons.
Later qualifying to teach Italian as a foreign language, she now hosts students in her homes in Sicily and Genoa.
LUCA ZIPOLI - Teacher
Native of Rome, Luca has a BA in Humanities and a MA in Italian Literature (U of Pisa). Currently a PhD candidate in Italian Literature, Luca has taught Italian as a foreign language at both Princeton and NYU.
Passionate about his culture and language, he organises summer intensive programmes in Tuscany for American Universities.
LUCREZIA ODDONE - Teacher
From Rome, Lucrezia holds a DITALS qualification (U of Siena), a BA in Applied interlinguistic Comunication (U of Trieste) and a MA in Modern Languages for International Communication (U RomaTre).
An online tutor and content creator for Italian language, culture and lifestyle platforms, her hugely popular YouTube channel “Learn Italian with Lucrezia” is a fantastic source for learners of Italian.
FRANCESCA RICCIARDELLI - Teacher
From Campobasso, Francesca lives in LA and teaches at California State University from where he received her MA in Italian studies. She holds a 2nd MA in teaching Italian as a Foreign Language (U of Venice) and is currently working on a PhD in Language Sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.
MARINA CAMBIANO - Teacher
After many years in London, Marina returned to her native Sicily to continue teaching Italian as a foreign language and English to Italians. She loves to discover the hidden gems of Italy and her own city, Palermo. An active walker and hiker, Marina also hosts language and cultural visits around Italy.
CARLO SERAFINI - Local Host
Artisan cheese maker, wine producer, maker of salami, generally green-fingered, and an excellent cook, Carlo brings people together. Dinners at Carlo’s have our local young helpers all vying for a place at the table. His knowledge and passion for local traditions bring something extra to our programme.
SILVANA DI TORO - Local Host
Silvana is our go-to person for just about everything; a registered guide and talented presenter and actor, her very personal local tours bring history alive; a fantastic cook, Silvana inspires even the most timid to get working in the kitchen; group meals are produced without drawing breath – and having worked for years with local schools she has the right contact for everything.
WALTER BORRELLI - Guide
After obtaining a degree in Environmental Science, Walter began his working life in the Nature reserves of Molise. In 2011 he began working with il Presidio Turistico di Agnone giving tours in the centro storico and at the ancient Sannite monument of Pietrabbondante.
He is a registered Molise guide
ALESSANDRA CAPOCEFALO - Guide
Alessandra is a food writer, an official olive oil tester and Molise enthusiast. She contributes to many food blogs, travel guides and food and wine festivals, and is passionate about sustainable tourism. An expert on the food and culture of the early Samnites, she also holds a degree in Roman Archaeology and continues to work on regional excavations.