Special Classes



At CI wine tastings, Italian wine cognoscenti Paolo Del Gatto from the famed Trattoria dell’Arte in New York City serves the group dry white and medium to full-bodied red Italian wines from the many regions of Italy. Participants experience approximately 6 wines (3 red and 3 white), ranging from “Falesco” from Umbria, “Tiefenbrunner” from the Tyrol, “Kris” from the Italian/Austrian border, “Primitivo” from Puglia, “Argiolas” from Sardinia.
Allow CI’s very own sommelier surprise you! First, Paolo has you examine each glass of wine: for example, did you know that orange/amber is an optimal color for a red wine? Paolo reminds the group that aroma and taste are equally important when assessing the quality of a wine. At the end of the tasting participants understand how whimsical wine can truly be and that winemaking is all about culture: “Wine makers in Italy,” explains Paolo, “have their own ideas about what constitutes great wine, often informed by the region the grapes are grown, and their unique methods of vinification.”
Want to learn more? Please join us.



Italian cinema is mostly known for its Neo-Realism period (embodied in the masterpieces by Vittorio De Sica) and the brilliant films of Federico Fellini. Yet, Italian Cinema is so much more. Since the beginning of the history of film, Italian Cinema has continually introduced innovative directors and talented actors, screenwriters, composers, set designers, and costume designers to the world.

Movies:  Magnifica Presenza (2012) by Ferzan Ozpetek, Bella Addormentata (2012) by Marco Bellocchio, Posti in Piedi in Paradiso (2012) by Carlo Verdone, La Grande Bellezza (2013) by Paolo Sorrentino, Baciami Ancora (2010) by Gabriele Muccino, Cesare Deve Morire (2012) by Paolo e Vittorio Tavani, Il mio miglior nemico (2006) by Carlo Verdone, Benvenuti al nord (2012) by Luca Miniero, Pane e Tulipani (2000) by Silvio Soldini, Aprile (1998) by Nanni Moretti, La Stanza del Figlio (2001) by Nanni Moretti, La Messa e Finita (1985) by Nanni Moretti, Caro Diario (1993) by Nanni Moretti, La Prima Cosa Bella (2010) by Paolo Virzi, Habemus Papam (We have a Pope) (2011) by Nanni Moretti, Benvenuti al Sud (2010) by Luca Miniero, Velocita’ Massima (2002) by Daniele Vicari, La Sconosciuta (2006) by Giuseppe Tornatore, Il Covo Di Teresa (2006) by Stefano Sollima, Il Dolce E L’Amaro (2007), and I Galantuomini (2008).

The Cine-Club: 85 Years of Italian Film (1930-2015) allows participants to discover cinematic gems and contemplate diverse themes in Italian life. Represented in the film series are classics, such as: I Tartassati (1959), Il medico della mutua (1968), Il giorno della civetta (1968), Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (1970), and In nome del popolo italiano (1971).

The Italia Today films (1980-present) offer an especially rare look at Italian contemporary cinema and society with films, including: Ricordati di Me (2003), Io e Napoleone (2006), Manuale d’Amore 2 (2007), Il divo (2008), and Bianco e Nero (2008).

The screenings include discussions on history of film and present-day Italian cinema, the protagonists, and themes that the films explore over time: from love and politics to family and immigration – revealing the Italian way of life for more than half a century. All films are in Italian and subtitled. The series is taught by actor, filmmaker and Italian language instructor Riccardo (Riki) Costa.



Decades ago in Italy, intellectual women started what was known as the Salotti Letterari, or literary salons, where artists, philosophers, and writers met to share opinions and exchange and celebrate ideas. Fast forward, the city of Paris gave birth to Café society and soon all over Europe, the Caffe’ Letterari became the meeting point for everyone who wanted to make his/her voice heard.

Today in Italy, the Caffe’ Letterari have evolved into spaces where not only you can enjoy a latte or cappuccino while reading a novel but also are places where you can attend performances, engage in discussions on all subjects, listen to presentations, etc. – all in the name of “Culture.”

Collina Italiana is proud to present its own Caffe’ Letterario. In celebration of Italian culture, especially writers and their novels, and essays, as well as to improve CI students’ Italian language skills and expand on their knowledge of Italy, the instructor leads participants on a unique journey to discover what remains unknown to most and is new in Italy – all of this and more in a cozy salon atmosphere.

Professional actors will also be invited to Caffe’ Letterario for a dramatic reading of a short story or essay by an Italian author and at the end of each performance or reading guests engage students in discussions in Italiano. Participants are provided copies of all material.

Caffe’ Letterario is a window into seeing the real Italy, through the experiences of native Italians. The class, designed for intermediate and advanced students, is conducted in Italian. In keeping with the salon spirit, coffee and pastries are served at every session.


PARLA COME MANGI: Italian Language and Culture Supper Club

Parla Come Mangi: Italian Language and Culture Supper Club is a unique conversation class and a delectable Italian culinary experience. At a monthly sit-down dinner at a select Italian restaurant, a CI language teacher facilitates discussion entirely in Italiano around core themes (tailored to participants’ levels), including: travel to Italy: where to go? what to see?; survival Italian: how to ask for information, how to reserve a hotel room, and how to order in a restaurant or bar; making small talk; la moda: dressing in Italy; Italian conception of romantic relationships; art, music, and literature of Italy; Italian contemporary film; Italian society: regionalism beyond North and South; the Italian family, the role of the church, and Italian educational system; Italian politics, the economy, and current affairs; etc. In addition, the restaurant owners, chef, and staff address the group entirely in Italian for an evening of total language immersion.

The Parla Come Mangi: Italian Language and Culture Supper Club (conversation class and prix-fixe dinner) is $85 per session (including a complimentary glass of wine, tax, and tip). Join one session or the series for an authentic Italian cultural and culinary experience. …Benvenuti e Buon Appetito!

The Parla Come Mangi: Italian Language and Culture Supper Club
Private groups of 8 people or more are welcomed.


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