IIS Blog
Sep 14, 2023

SFIAC Foundation: elevating the Italian community and culture

The role of a non-profit organization
with a clear mission and purpose

The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, known as SFIAC, created the SFIAC Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on community events that enhances the Italian culture and history of North Beach, the neighborhood where the Foundation belongs. The mission is to strengthen the local community and its businesses, by sponsoring events that bring together family and friends through the Italian culture, language, and history in which it was rooted, and by investing in issues and endeavors that elevate local commerce and create opportunities for North Beach to thrive.  

The relationship between Istituto Italiano Scuola and the Foundation is very strong, we believe in the same values, leading to having not only Italian classes in their spaces, but also the classic “Aperitivo Sociale” where students can get the opportunity to know our teachers, our Board of Directors, and meet in person other students.  

To learn more about the SFIAC Foundation, we interviewed Keely Batmale, the Operations Manager of the Foundation. She joined the team in 2021 and she immediately found a family. 

Keely is a very enthusiastic person who shared important thoughts and topics for realities like the Foundation and our School. 


  • When and why did you decide to take part in this Foundation? 

I met the Executive Director in 2021 and heard about the SFIAC Foundation and all its efforts to elevate the community, culture, and history of North Beach and the Italian community in the Bay Area. Its mission stood out to me, also because their events and community have been so welcoming and fun for people of all ages. 


  • What makes the Foundation unique? 

We serve as a central networking station for all things Italian in San Francisco. We pride ourselves in not only knowing the history of North Beach, but also our community’s members and organizations and connecting them with the greater Bay Area community. 


  • Can you tell us a little bit more about the Foundation? Has it changed during these years? 

Our Foundation has been around for a while, but has really taken off in the last two years. This year alone, we are introducing five inaugural events, including the San Francisco Pizza Festival with 13x World Pizza Champion, Tony Gemignani! We have put together a top-notch board of Italian Americans on our Board of Directors, set-up strategic plans, and are about to launch our second Annual Appeal this Fall. 


  • Since we offer some Italian classes at your location, can you tell us about the relationship between the Foundation and our School? Are there other reasons why we are connected? 

Our Executive Director, Nick Figone, joined the board at Istituto Italiano Scuola because we share similarities in our strategic goals. The IIS hosts their Italian language classes in our building two time per week, year-round. We are so fortunate to be able to work together and reach the greater Bay Area community and educate them not only on Italian language, but the culture as well. 


  • In your opinion, which is the best art of representation the Italian culture and values? 

Architecture and design! It is always lovely to see buildings and structures here in San Francisco that remind us of the streets of Italy. Our Foundation works hard to encapsulate the Italian pride throughout the North Beach neighborhood and build off of the designs already here. Next time you are here, take a peek for the Italian flags painted on the street poles. And feel free to come help us repaint at the end of the year! 


  • Which are the most important Italian events in the Bay Area that everyone must attend? 

Our two-day street festival, Festa Italiana and Statuto Race, will be held on June 1st and 2nd, 2024. It’s free for everyone, please come out and enjoy! We are also hosting a Cornhole Tournament with the Olympic Club Foundation on October 20th, and a Christmas Concert on December 1st, 2023, with Pasquale Esposito. 


  • Tell us one thing our students absolutely need to know about you… 

We love visitors! Come by and say hello and meet our Foundation team next time you are in North Beach. We know the best food spots, too! 

“Alone, we can do so little, together, we can do so much”
Helen Keller
IIS Blog
Aug 24, 2023

Meet our teachers: Giulia Clemente

Giulia has many years of experience and has been a teacher at IIS for 1 year. She is very loved by her students and is extremely passionate about teaching.
Read this interview to get to know her better.

Teachers are the key element in a language school and at IIS we take pride in our teachers’ experience and quality of teaching. All our teachers have been doing this job for some time and, most importantly, love teaching and are passionate about helping their students learn our beautiful language. Our students can feel this drive to quality teaching every time they have a class, being it a group class or a private class.  

Please remember that you can take a look at the entire team of teacher at IIS, on our website page About us | SFIIS. 

One of the teachers who is best at sharing her passion for teaching Italian with her students is Giulia. And today we are getting to know her better. 


  • How long have you been teaching Italian? How long for IIS?  

I have been teaching Italian for over 10 years. I started by teaching Italian to immigrants in Turin while I was working on my research project for my master’s degree thesis. I joined the IIS about a year ago when I moved to California from Australia. 

  • Where are you from? How often do you visit your hometown? What do you miss the most? 

I am originally Italian, but I lived for the past 10 years in Sydney, Australia. My hometown is Turin, which I try to visit once a year. What I miss the most is the golden light of September over the river Po, the dehors full of people enjoying a drink and a chat, and being familiar with the faces that I cross on the street. 

  • What made you choose to become a teacher?  

I love all language related things, and I strongly believe that knowing the language of the place where you live, or that you visit allows you greater freedom and the opportunity of a deeper understanding of a culture. I want my work to be meaningful for others. Being a language teacher allows me to help people realize their dreams, whether they are moving to a new country, better connecting with their roots or improving their professional life. 

  • What is your favorite Italian dish? Do you like cooking?  

At present, I am obsessed with baking “baci di dama”, which are two melt-in-your-mouth hazelnut cookies held together with some dark chocolate.  Their name means “lady’s kisses” since the two halves of the cookies resemble two lips that come together for a kiss and are typical of Northern Italy.  Overall, I love cooking, I find it relaxing and enjoy inviting friends over for dinner. 

  • Can you share with our students some tips for learning Italian faster?  

Set aside some time for Italian every day. Five minutes is enough. Listen to a song, or a podcast, read a news update, or a recipe, or combine Italian with other interests/activities you enjoy. Whatever works for you is the right way to improve. Try to meet and talk with native speakers and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Showing up every day: that’s the only way to learn. Have fun and be proud of being willing to learn a different language. 

  • Is there a monument or place that you recommend our students to visit if they go to Italy?  

Visit Turin, my hometown. Turin is full of castles, parks, beautiful museums, hip restaurants, cafés and bars. It is green, romantic, young… We call it the little Paris for a reason. And you won’t find it packed with tourists like other Italian destinations. Visit Palazzo Reale and the breathtaking collection at the Museo Egizio. Have dinner at Cianci and get a glass at Pastis to enjoy it like a local. 

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world"
Ludwig Wittgenstein 
IIS Blog
Aug 3, 2023

Explore the undiscovered Italian countryside

The secret beauty you need to look for when travelling to Italy

At the Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that the Italian countryside is a paradise that offers opportunities to relax in the middle of nature, while tasting delicious local food and wines.  

And in fact, the countryside of Italy is scattered with picturesque places: noble villas with beautiful gardens, vacation farms called “agriturismo” where you can stuff yourself up with genuine and self-produced food, perched villages dominating hilly landscapes, and forests where to hike.  

We believe that if you’re not looking forward to the Italian countryside, you will surely miss a lot in your trips to Italy. It may not be as famous as the biggest tourists’ cities but, it sure has exquisite beauty that cities do not have.  

Voghera is an example of this. It is the main town of the Oltrepo’ Pavese, a geographical area in the province of Pavia that gets its name to its location, in the south of the Po River, the longest river in Italy. Voghera is the native town of our teacher Jimmy. Visitors approaching Voghera pass through an extensive region of cultivated countryside and an uninterrupted set of historic villages and castles, the atmosphere that you breathe here today is still medieval. 

From the interview below you can get some more interesting facts about this town. 


  • What makes your city unique?
    Voghera is a small town, with approximately 40 thousand citizens, but despite that is very renowned in Northern Italy as its geographic position makes it an important railroad junction. On top of that, Voghera is also known for being a wine and industrial center.  


  • What are the hidden gems of your city?
    Voghera’s city center is characterized by buildings of historical interest such as churches and castles. Voghera’s most important and most significant church is the Duomo. The cathedral preserves inside gold brocades and precious furnishings. In addition, there are many fine sculptural and ancient pictorial works. Furthermore, very few people know that Voghera is the birthplace of the fashion designer Valentino. 


  • What are the cultural traditions of your city?
    The city of Voghera holds its patronal festival, referred to as “La Sensia” (the name in the local dialect), which is the oldest event in Lombardy every year. In its early days, it was a very important moment of the year as it was an opportunity for people to meet foreigners and discover new products from faraway places. Originating as a large livestock market and later becoming primarily an agricultural fair, today it is one of the most modern fairs for those in the industry, as well as a city-wide celebration that hosts many food stands and an amusement park with different rides and rollercoasters. 


  • What is a traditional dish of your city?
    The most traditional dish of Voghera is the “Zuppa di Voghera”. It is a cake prepared using two layers of sponge cake, which are later filled with pastry cream, custard, and coffee, then covered again with custard and decorated with chocolate. It might sound like a simple cake, but the traditional recipe is a secret that runs in the local families and with time this recipe was refined to the point that making the real traditional Zuppa di Voghera requires a long and elaborate process. Words can’t describe the taste of it, there’s only one way to discover its goodness and that’s trying it! 


Are you curious enough to plan a trip here? Our school believes that what Jimmy told us it’s the truly gem of an authentic educational experience in your Italian experience.  

“It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.”
Charles Dickens
IIS Blog
Jul 14, 2023

Our Summer movies’ recommendation

“Pane e Tulipani” (Bread and Tulips)

If you’re an Italian language learner looking for a film to practice your skills and learn more about the Italian culture, we highly recommend watching “Pane e Tulipani” (Bread and Tulips). 

“Pane e Tulipani” is a charming romantic comedy about Rosalba, a housewife who gets left behind by her tour bus on a family vacation and decides to embark on a solo adventure in Venice. Along the way, she meets a cast of quirky characters and discovers new passions and possibilities for her life. Rosalba finds in Venice kindness, mystery and opportunities for self-expression; everything that had been missing from her ordinary life. 

Director Silvio Soldini turns Venice, the tourist mecca of piazzas, canals, and stone bridges into a quaint little village out of time telling a warmhearted story of second chances.  

This film is ideal for intermediate to advanced Italian learners, as the dialogue is natural and conversational, and the setting and cultural references offer insight into daily life in Italy.  

You’ll pick up new vocabulary and grammar as you follow Rosalba’s journey, and you’ll be entertained by the witty script and engaging performances. 

“Pane e Tulipani” received critical acclaim and multiple awards, including the David di Donatello award for Best Film. 

Overall, “Pane e Tulipani” is a delightful and entertaining film that is both enjoyable to watch and beneficial for your Italian language skills. Give it a try and immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy and its language.  

Buona visione! 


* This document is for informational and educational purposes only. The digital images used are widely disseminated on the internet and therefore considered to be in the public domain, but whose copyright remains the exclusive property of the right holders. 

“You can map your life through your favorite movies, and no two people’s maps will be the same”
Mary Schmich 
IIS Blog
Jun 22, 2023

A must-read classic Italian novel

“Se questo e’ un uomo” (If this is a man) by Primo Levi

“Se questo è un uomo” (If This Is a Man) is a powerful and poignant memoir that tells the story of Primo Levi’s experience as a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz during World War II. Levi’s writing is simple, yet eloquent, and he masterfully conveys the horrors and humanity of life in the concentration camp. 

While the subject matter of the book is heavy, it offers a valuable perspective on Italian history and culture and reading it in the original Italian can be an enriching and rewarding experience for Italian language learners. 

This book is best suited for intermediate to advanced Italian learners, as the language can be complex at times and the subject matter may be difficult for beginner learners. However, the emotional impact and cultural significance of “Se questo è un uomo” makes it a worthwhile and valuable read for anyone looking to improve their Italian language skills and deepen their understanding of Italian history and culture. 

In addition to its literary merit, “Se questo è un uomo” has been recognized as a significant work of Italian literature and is widely studied in Italian schools. By reading this book, you’ll join the ranks of Italian scholars and gain a deeper appreciation for the Italian language and its rich cultural heritage. 

So, if you’re looking for a book to improve your Italian language skills and enrich your understanding of Italian culture, pick up a copy of “Se questo è un uomo” and dive into the powerful and moving world of Primo Levi’s writing.  

Buona lettura! 


You can find this book at Libreria Pino: 

Se questo è un uomo – Libreria Pino


* This document is for informational and educational purposes only. The digital images used are widely disseminated on the internet and therefore considered to be in the public domain, but whose copyright remains the exclusive property of the right holders. 

“Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable”
Primo Levi
a woman sitting at a table with a plate of food.
IIS Blog
Jun 1, 2023

The Power of Partnerships

Partnerships are an essential part of any successful business.

A stronger force comes from combined sources and contacts.

At the Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that building partnerships is a form of successful education because you can learn from other realities that share the same values and principles. Having a strong community with common goals and working together is important to increase trust and success in your business too. That’s why we interviewed the owner of Sugo, Caterina, to learn about her business and the reasons that led her to interact with our school. 

Caterina has a huge passion for authentic and traditional Italian food. She moved from Italy almost 8 years ago and she decided to open Sugo, a small Italian food business, to sell her tasty lasagna, pasta and much more to all the pasta lovers in the Bay Area. Sugo means “sauce” and she prepares with her team every sauce with care, using only the best ingredients. The dough of her lasagna is rolled out exactly how her mom and grandmothers taught her, respecting the tradition of lasagna served at every family reunion. They sell their food in several farmers’ markets in the Bay Area, but also online through their website and they do caterings for companies and private parties. 


  • When and why did you decide to open Sugo? 

I opened Sugo in June 2018. I have a huge passion for Italian food, I love cooking (and baking) and I wanted to share my food with everyone. 


  • What makes your business unique? 

At Sugo we cook and prepare everything from scratch (even the pasta for lasagna!) using only fresh and natural ingredients. All our foods are made with passion and love. We cook the same way we cook for our families!

  • Why did you choose to sell your products through the Bay Area farmers’ markets? 

We started to sell our products at the farmers’ markets because we love connecting with people, we love the farmers’ markets vibes and it’s very important for us to build a solid relationship with our customers. Farmers’ markets are the best places for this and very soon we found out that they are also great to have immediate feedback from our customers.

  • Can you tell us what are the reasons you linked your business to our school? 

We like being partner to Italian businesses in the Bay Area. We believe that joining our energies, abilities and skills is a great way to create something unique for everyone who is passionate about our beautiful country. 


  • In your opinion, what is the best representation of the Italian culture, art, and values?  

In my opinion, food is one of the best ways to deliver Italian culture and values! Good food is art, culture, lifestyle. Spending time with people around a table full of good food is probably the best way to know each other and build relationships. One of my favorite “weekend activity” is cooking with my best friends and eating together chatting for hours. 


  • Which are the secrets for maintaining a successful business? 

For me, “success” is to do what I like and do it the best way I can. This is my “philosophical” answer, but the real one is to work every day, try new activities, new markets, and new ways to do business and increase sales. And always check the numbers and cut whatever doesn’t bring profit and/or visibility. Customer feedback is always super important and something to pay good attention to. 


  • Tell us one thing our students absolutely need to know about you…

I started to cook when I was about 30 years old, and I never stopped. When I was younger, I didn’t even know how to cook an egg! I believe with passion and love; we can do anything we want.  

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."
Henry Ford
a black and white photo of a man wearing a hat.
IIS Blog
May 11, 2023

Meet our teachers: Mattia Milone

Mattia has been a teacher at IIS for several years.

Read this interview to get to know him better.

Teachers have a crucial role at IIS, so we believe that helping our students to get to know them better is one of the main goals of our Blog. Starting from this article, we will introduce our teachers every few weeks, so that you can learn something more about each of them. 

To start, we recommend looking at our page About us | SFIIS. 

Today we got the chance to have a chat with Mattia Milone, who is teaching both group and private lessons at IIS, both online via Zoom and in person in our new headquarters. 


  • How long have you been teaching Italian? How long for IIS?  

I’ve been teaching Italian for almost 10 years. I started at IIS 4 years ago. 

  • What made you choose to become a teacher?  

What I love the most about teaching my language is that I feel like a deliverer of new ways of communication for those who have never learnt it before. Learning a new language, most of my students say, is like discovering a new side of oneself. It is gratifying for me to witness the moment when they find that out. 

  • Where are you from? How often do you visit your hometown? What do you miss the most?  

I’m from Milano, but was born in Puglia, where now I visit the most when I’m overseas.   

Of Puglia, I miss a lot of things. The list is long: swimming into the sea -we have an Ocean here in Northern California, but we cannot really enjoy it!- certain flavors, sounds of the dialect, focaccia & raffo beer, vestiges of Mediterranean past civilizations… 

Of Milan, I miss going to La Scala – but I find the Symphony here in Oakland almost as great. I also miss the opportunity to walk and see lots of people in the streets, enjoying restaurants open till late. I miss my friends, my familiarity with people and places. I miss the beautiful unpredictability of certain events you can encounter only in Italy.  

  • What is your favorite Italian dish? Do you like cooking?  

It would be easier to ask me what is NOT my favorite Italian dish, and even then, it would be hard to find one. No, I do not particularly enjoy cooking. I enjoy my wife’s cooking. Even though she is American, she cooks like an Italian nonna: same rituals, same patience, same expression of creativity.  

  • Is there a monument or place that you recommend our students to visit if they go to Italy? 

There are many. But if I have to choose one, I would say Castel del Monte in northern Puglia. 

  • Can you share with our students some tips for learning Italian faster?  

Do not get discouraged when grammar seems hard, or when you cannot reproduce the same exact phonetic sounds. Emancipate yourself from any sort of inhibition. Speak even if it is not always correct. The more you speak the more you learn. And, most importantly, have fun! 

“A language is not just words. It's a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It's all embodied in a language”
Noam Chomsky 
a bunch of hot air balloons flying in the sky.
IIS Blog
Apr 20, 2023

A Journey of Discovery Italian Unicity

There are important Italian cities that are worth visiting. 

But the countryside is the pure heart of traditions. 

At Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that travel is a pure form of education because you learn another culture while having the full experience of it.  

Before traveling to another country, learn about its history, customs and some handy phrases and words to help you interact with the locals. But, more than that, a great way to get an authentic feel for the culture is to get in contact with someone who has visited the country before, or better yet, lived there. You can search on the Internet looking for everything you want to know about that country, but you can’t have the real sense of the country is.  

A native can give you an idea of the culture from a local’s perspective, useful advice, or where to find the “hidden gems” in the city, even though it could be a small town.  

There are famous cities in Italy, like Rome and Firenze, but let’s focus more on the countryside, those that better represent the Italian reality and culture.  

For these reasons, we interviewed our teacher, Barbara, to speak about Mondovì, her native town situated between Langhe hills and the foot of the Alps.  

  • What makes Mondovì unique? 

Like many medieval towns, Mondovì’s old center is on top of a hill. From there, you can enjoy a unique view from the Ligurian Alps to the Matterhorn (called Cervino in Italian), at the border with Switzerland. 

  •  What are the ‘hidden gems’ in your city? 

Mondovì is the Italian capital of hot air balloons. The microclimate of the area creates ideal conditions that allows the hot air balloons to fly safely and easily control landing. If you want to learn how to “drive” a hot air balloon, or if you want to enjoy a ride, come over to Mondovì the first week of January for the annual festival, that showcases balloons from all over the world. 

  • What are the cultural traditions of your city? 

Every year in February, the ‘Moro’ and his court, ‘rules’ the town for the week of Carnival. Legend says that the captain of the Moors fell in love with the most beautiful lady of Mondovì and for this reason, he decided to save the town. Every year, for Carnival, the ‘Moro’ and the ‘Bela Monregaleisa’ parade in the streets of Mondovì followed by their court of musicians and ladies in waiting. 

  • What is a traditional dish of your city? 

Mondovì is near the site of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement. Typical dishes are ravioli al plin, bagna cauda, vitello tonnato, and raw meat with white truffle. There is a specific treat for Mondovì: “Monregalesi al rhum,” – chocolate candies filled with rhum. Delicious!  

Through the words of Barbara, you already get some interesting facts about Mondovì. But you can get more, going there and having the whole experience by yourself or with your family.   

Because we believe that language, travel, and social and cultural gatherings are the core of our experiential learning programs, you can’t miss the opportunity to go through realities like Mondovì.  

“One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.”
Henry Miller
a group of people sitting on a couch watching a movie.
IIS Blog
Mar 31, 2023

Italian movies not to be missed

There are several Italian movies that are worth watching.

Here are our top picks for our students.

At Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that a useful tool to learn Italian and improve our students’ listening skills is watching an Italian movie. You can also think of using the subtitles tool, in case you feel not ready to watch an entire movie in Italian. In this case you should watch it a first time with subtitles and then re-watch it a second time without them, trying to check if you can understand more of the dialogues having watched it already a first time with that little help. 

There are big masterpieces famous worldwide, like Federico Fellini’s movies, but we want to focus more on recent films, those that represent better the current Italian reality and culture. Since one of our non-profit goals is to spread the knowledge and love for the Italian culture, we believe that the following movies will help us succeed in our mission.  

Please note that we will give you recommendations on the starting level of Italian for each film, so that you can pick the ones that better fit your Italian learning journey.  


  • “Io non ho paura”, by Gabriele Salvatores.  

Can be watched from Beginners 4 up.

It is an ideal movie for students with little Italian knowledge for its use of simple and easy to understand language. This movie gives a clear idea of life in Southern Italy, helping understand Italian matters less know abroad, like the season of kidnapping in Italy, which lasted over 17 years.  


  • “Smetto quando voglio”, by Sidney Sibilia.  

Can be watched from Pre-Avanzato 1 up.

A movie that is best for our advanced students as it uses a more complex language, and the actors often use dialect expressions. It is perfect to learn more about the Italian drama of unemployment and temporary employment in a fun and entertaining way.   


  • “L’incredibile storia dell’Isola delle Rose”, by Sidney Sibila.  

Can be watched from intermedio 1 up.

A movie unknown by the American public, but extremely interesting to discover something new and totally unexpected about Italy and the Italian lifestyle.   


  • “Habemus Papam”, by Nanni Moretti. 

Can be watched from Elementare 1 up.  

Nanni Moretti is renowned for being one of the best contemporary movie directors, and this movie in particular is able to provide an unconventional and entertaining view on the Vatican and the Church reality in Italy.  

“The movies we love and admire are to some extent a function of who we are when we see them.”

Mary Schmich
a bookshelf filled with lots of books in a library.
IIS Blog
Mar 9, 2023

Italian books’ list

... For all our Italian books’ lovers

Istituto Italiano Scuola is renowned for the presence of reading books in its group’s classes. Our students start reading a book with their teachers from level Elementare and keep reading throughout all our levels.  

We believe that a reading book can be our students’ best friend, a valuable tool to learn Italian while getting involved in a story, flipping its pages with the classmates week by week. Choosing the book for the following level has slowly become a class effort, with the teachers and their students discussing together what to read as in a typical book club.  

Here below some books, we want to recommend to our readers, based on our teachers and students experience, for level Avanzato onwards – you must be proficient in Italy to read these books in Italian! 


  • “L’amica geniale”, Elena Ferrante

The story of two friends, Elena and Lila. The book gives a meticulous portrait of these two women while telling the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, you will read the story of a neighborhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists. 

L’amica geniale – Libreria Pino


  • “Mordi e Fuggi, Il romanzo delle BR”, Alessandro Bertrante

Italy in 1969 had occupied universities, protests, tensions in factories. Alberto Boscolo is twenty years old, comes from a normal family, he is enrolled at the University but wants more. Disappointed by the inconclusiveness of the Student Movement, he approaches what will soon be the nucleus of the Brigate Rosse. The months pass, Alberto participates in demonstration actions, self-financing robberies and the first arson attack, but his sense of dissatisfaction does not subside. He wants to be serious. In a foggy, violent and unforgettable metropolis, the book gives life to a tumultuous and vibrant human story, in which, intertwining fiction and news, we see the crucial facts that will trigger the tragic events that happened in the following years.  

Mordi e fuggi. Il romanzo delle BR – Libreria Pino


  • “Il treno dei bambini”, Viola Ardone

Based on true events, a heartbreaking story of love, family, hope, and survival set in post-World War II Italy. Though Mussolini and the fascists have been defeated, the war has devastated Italy, especially the south. Seven-year-old Amerigo lives with his mother in Naples, in a poor neighborhood. One day, Amerigo learns that a train will take him away from there to spend the winter with a family in the north, where he will be safe and have warm clothes and food to eat. Together with thousands of other southern children, Amerigo will cross the entire peninsula to a new life. Through his curious, innocent eyes, we see a nation rising from the ashes of war, reborn. As he comes to enjoy his new surroundings and the possibilities for a better future, Amerigo will make the heartbreaking choice to leave his mother and become a member of his adoptive family. 

Il treno dei bambini – Libreria Pino


  • “La Ragazza di Bube”, Carlo Cassola

Mara is Bube’s girlfriend, a woman who in the confused post-war years, in a Tuscany still devastated by tragedy, faces reality with strength, an ancient sense of duty and perception of the passing of time. Mara evolves thanks to her love for Bube, who has committed a homicide and gets arrested and condemned. Albeit slowly, time hardens her, making her less serene but more aware of her tasks, while she is waiting for Bube to complete his 14 years imprisonment. 

La ragazza di Bube – Libreria Pino


“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”
Sydney J. Harris