Italian Newsletter - Winter 2023

To the Italian Community at UC Davis and beyond,

Salve a tutte e tutti! My name is Viola Ardeni and I write on behalf of Italian@UCD.

Our Winter courses of Italian language and culture are all underway. We offer ITA 002 Elementary Italian (cosa avete studiato questo mese?!), ITA 031 Beginning Italian for Spanish Speakers (vi divertite nel corso di italiano?!), ITA 022 Intermediate Italian (ora che leggete un giornale italiano…cosa ne pensate?!), ITA 101 Advanced Conversation, Composition and Grammar (raccontateci i segreti delle fiabe italiane!), and ITA 115 Studies in the Cinquecento (avete già un sonetto rinascimentale preferito?!). If you are one of our students, I’m sure you could answer my questions! If you wish you (still) were one of our students, our Faculty Advisor for Italian, Professor Eric Russell, and our Italian Peer Advisor, Siena Costanzo, would be happy to guide you to begin or continue your Italian journey at UCD. Feel free to reach out!

As many of you know, Italian@UCD also extends beyond our campus, and the time to apply for a study abroad opportunity is now. To spend a month in Italy in the summer, enroll in Jay Grossi’s hands-on course in Rome, “Art, Culture, History in the Eternal City.” The program has no language prerequisite and is full, but the waitlist is open. Do not delay and sign up! Instead, to spend next Fall and/or Spring in Bologna, enroll in the UCEAP program at the Università di Bologna. This program brings you at one of the world’s oldest universities with other UC students…and students from all over Italy! Apply by March 1 for the Fall or May 31 for the Spring semester.

If you wish to connect to Italy but remain in California, consider an internship opportunity. Innovit, the Italian Innovation and Culture Hub in San Francisco, is looking for two interns for their desk reception and to support community management. If interested, send your resume at this address. Otherwise, La Scuola, an Italian immersion school in Oakland, is looking for a variety of short and long-term roles. Check them out here!


  • All the C.I.A.O. (Club Italiano Americano Organizzato) weekly meetings! They take place on Tuesdays, at 6:10 pm, in 522 Sproul.
  • The monthly Italian Conversation Hour! The next one is happening on Friday, February 17, at 2:00 pm in the Sproul courtyard. All levels of Italian, and folks interested in a chiacchierata, are welcome.
  • A fundraising event! C.I.A.O. President and Vice-President Aracely Medina Garcia and Lena Molteni invite you at Blaze Pizza on Wednesday February 22 at 6:00pm to eat some pizza and “cause a scene for a good cause”! 20% of proceeds from your meal will go to C.I.AO.
  • The Winter Italian Film Night! Join us on Tuesday, February 28 at 6:30pm, in The Grove 1390 for the screening of Autumn Beat (2022) by Antonio Dikele Distefano on the diverse world of Italian rap. You may catch the trailer here if you’re curious.
  • A scholarly conversation! Professor Patricia Gaborik will visit us on Thursday, April 6 to talk about Fascism and theater. More details to follow.


In Spring 2023, we will offer ITA 003 Elementary Italian (ITA 002’s natural continuation), ITA 032 Beginning Italian for Spanish Speakers (also ITA 031’s natural continuation), ITA 023 Intermediate Italian (dub a clip in Italian!), ITA 105 Intro to Italian Literature (take manageable bites out of this delicious tradition!), ITA 113 Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia (read one of the world’s most famous books in Italian!), and ITA 198 Dialects and Contemporary Italy (the only way to adopt a dialect).


Questo mese, abbiamo intervistato…Grace Delmolino, Assistant Professor of Italian.

[alt text] headshot of Prof. Delmolino wearing a blue blazer with green foliage in the background


  • What do you study?

I study Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca, and medieval literature and culture more generally. I’m writing a book called Medieval Consent, which is about consent in the Middle Ages in the context of sex, marriage, and politics.

  • What do you like doing in your free time?

I’m a competitive weightlifter and my goal for 2023 is to squat 315 pounds.

  • What is your favorite thing about teaching Italian language and culture?

I love seeing the creativity and enthusiasm that students bring to their work. I feel very honored and privileged that students are willing to share so much of their insights and perspectives on the world in their discussions and writing.

  • What is the first thing you will do next time you are in Italy?

Probably order a cappuccino poco spumato and drink it standing up at the bar.

  • Do you have something to say to our readers?

I always love to see students for my office hours!! Feel free to stop by to talk about Dante and weightlifting.


…il santo degli innamorati era nato in Umbria? Il suo ardore per le unioni coniugali lo rese interessante al papa, che fece così nascere…la festa di San Valentino! Scopritelo qui.


L’esperienza di questo è mese è di…Darlene Chen, one of our Italian tutors.

Italian tutor Darlene Chen standing near a hello kitty statue inside a store

How has the studying and learning of Italian language and culture informed your life here and your time at UC Davis?

Studying and learning Italian at UC Davis has had a super positive effect on both my academic and personal life. Learning about the Italian language and culture has exposed me to many great new experiences, like improving my language skills, trying new food, listening to music, reading books, and making friends! Se volete parlare, visitatemi alle ore di tutoraggio, mi piacerebbe conoscervi! :)

That’s all for now. We’ll be back in Spring with more events, reminders, and testimonials from the Italian community at UC Davis and beyond.

A presto!

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