IIS Blog
Mar 9, 2023

Italian books’ lovers

... 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. 

  • “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.  

  • “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. 

  • “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. 


“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.” - Paul Sweeney

Sydney J. Harris
IIS Blog
Feb 14, 2023

Getting to know our school story and mission

Getting to know Istituto Italiano Scuola

Istituto Italiano Scuola was founded in 1998 serving the Bay Area with the mission of teaching the language and promote the culture of Italy in Northern California and beyond. 

As a non-profit organization, we are committed to providing a stimulating and engaging environment in which to learn Italian, while simultaneously exposing students to the rich diversity of Italian culture and tradition.  

Therefore, we promote the Italian language and culture with the broadest range of language courses in the Bay Area, from beginner to proficiency, along with special events and workshops. 

High-quality education with social and cultural gatherings creates a truly immersive environment that ensures the learning of the Italian language and a brief experience of the Italian lifestyle.  

We truly want our students to experience the essence of the Italian culture, learning from our experienced instructors, who are native Italian speakers and hold a degree from Italian universities.  

We envision a world where performance and entertainment are combined so people experience joyful moments within their busy lives. 

“The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

Sydney J. Harris
IIS Blog
Jan 17, 2023

Welcome to the very first blog post of Istituto Italiano Scuola!

Why starting a blog?

The purpose of this blog is to share with our students and all the people passionate about Italy knowledge on the Italian language and culture, as per our own mission as a non-profit.

You will read articles written by our teachers and special guests, sharing interesting information about Italy and its traditions; curiosity about our workshops; details on our special events.

And don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about: our goal is to share as much information about Italy as possible, promoting the Italian language and culture.

It will be our way to make you feel part of our community even more!

We hope you will enjoy reading our blog and feel free to comment on any one of our posts, we love hearing what you think about what we’ve been talking about!

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”
Abigail Adams