High-quality language courses and sociocultural gatherings

Istituto Italiano Scuola (IIS) in San Francisco, founded in 1998, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Italian language and culture in Northern California and beyond through special events, workshops, and Italian language courses.

Unlike many other language schools, IIS emphasizes its role in building a community, providing a comprehensive experience that goes beyond mere grammar to foster a deep understanding of Italian culture.

The institute offers nearly 70 courses per term for all levels, from beginners to advanced, covering grammar, conversation, literature, Italian for travelers, and citizenship test preparation, available both online and in person. IIS also aims to build a community of individuals connected to Italy, extending these opportunities to everyone, not just San Francisco residents.
Quality of teaching
All courses are given by professional instructors that are native Italian speakers and hold a degree from Italian universities. Students will learn Italian from mother speakers, specialized in teaching to foreigners.
Community and partners
IIS aims at creating a community of members passionate about Italy, who gets together to learn Italian and enjoy experiences Italian related. There is also a wide range of partners, locally and nationally, who offer exclusive discounts to the members of IIS community.
Stimulating and engaging offer, online and in person
IIS promotes the Italian language and culture with a broad range of courses, from beginner to proficiency, along with special events and workshops. Several classes and events are held in our school in North Beach, in the heart of the Italian community of San Francisco.

Let our students speak for us!

Truly a gem of a school
Erin Yu
"SFIIS runs a fantastic org and program - truly a gem of a school. The staff are warm and wonderfully efficient. I've done both in-person and online classes, and plan to continue for as long as I can. They cover all levels of Italian proficiency, with an engaging mix of private lessons, themed classes (e.g. Italian for Travelers), and regular Term classes. If you can, I highly recommend going in person for at least some lessons - they have a wonderful office in sunny North Beach."
Cannot recommend this online foreign language program for toddlers enough!
Andrea DiSandro
"First and foremost, let me sing praises for the incredible teacher, Francesca. She possesses a remarkable talent for not only teaching but captivating young minds. Her ability to blend learning and play seamlessly is nothing short of amazing. [...] What's truly heartwarming is witnessing my daughter's enthusiasm for her weekly class. [...] As a family that values multilingualism, I can confidently say that this virtual program stands head and shoulders above the rest. [...] I am beyond impressed and immensely grateful for the positive impact this program has had on our family. If you're seeking a top-tier virtual language learning experience for your little one, look no further. This program is truly amazing, and I wholeheartedly endorse it to any parent seeking to enrich their child's linguistic abilities.
Beginners 1 experience
Jeffrey Jordan
"I just completed my first course with Istituto Italiano Scuola and was quite impressed. It was both rigorous and fun in balance, inspiring me to learn and take my Italian further than ever before. I'll be back for the next level course."
Leslie Hughes
“What I like most about participating in a literature class with the Istituto is having classmates with whom to discuss our books. I like hearing their opinions and responding to them. Reading is a great pleasure of mine, but sharing a book makes reading an adventure. With a teacher guiding us we improve our language skills and become more self-confident expressing ourselves. I’m grateful for the opportunity!”
The best way to maintain and improve my language skills
Dennis Abbe
“I have been taking classes at the SFIIS for years because, short of a long stay in Italy, it is the best way to maintain and improve my language skills. But more than that, I enjoy being with the other students and my instructor(s), many of whom are now good friends. In my class we read classic and contemporary Italian literature, and our instructor keeps us up to date on Italian culture and even politics. The experience on Zoom is almost as good as the in-person classes; Barbara is amazing in her use of the tools to run a lively, efficient, and fun class.”
I've made life-long friends through SFIIS classes
Dede Heitman
“The SFIIS school offers the best, well rounded Italian languages classes in the Bay Area. With native speakers as teachers, the classes provide a comprehensive, natural and fun way of learning. Everyone feels welcome, no matter the level. The teachers are encouraging, entertaining and enthusiastic about their language and culture. As a bonus, I've made life-long friends through SFIIS classes. Please join our Italian language learning community!”

Native Italian speakers

Our instructors are all native Italian speakers and hold degrees from Italian universities. They are qualified and passionate educators focused on helping students, applying real-world experience, and focusing on each student’s success.

The goal is to expose students not only to the Italian language but to an entire culture and its complexities and nuances.
Alessia Pesciaioli
Alice Rocchi
Antonella Mattia
Antonia Mosca
Barbara Gautero
Elena Olivari
Enrico Lavezzini
Estella Fucelli
Francesca Ribaudo
Gianna Di Dio Russo
Jimmy Hypi
Luigi Imperatore
Mattia Milone
Romana Ricci
Valentina Ottaiano
Valerio Mirarchi

Dream team

Meet our staff who oversees all programs and related activities for the IIS and builds relationships with our nonprofit community. They coordinate our business planning, accounting, and internal organization work.
Martina Di Biase
Executive Director
Michela Belluta
Office Manager
Mariantonia Cambareri
Marketing and Events Manager
Camilla Molteni Faoro
Marketing Assistant
Work with us
We are always looking for new teachers to add to our team.
Feel free to contact us if you want to join the institute.
Contact us

Board of Directors

Meet our board of directors, a fantastic executive committee that jointly supervises the activities of our organization.
Nina Lualdi
Karen McMillan
Curtis Schuhmacher
Recording Secretary
Deborah Keith
Social Secretary
Nick Figone
Jordi Moncada
Christine Pagani
Paola Rossaro
Walter Stella