Category Archives: Blog

Asilo italiano – Italian Preschool 2018/19 Enroll Now Open!

ABC tre colori

Did you know the the brain is NOT neurologically set to learn just ONE language? In fact it has the capacity to learn many languages simultaneously. Studies have shown that speaking two or more languages produces a kind of intelligence that goes beyond language. In fact, speaking two languages fluently transforms the most important operations of the brain in quite ingenious ways. The result is a sharper and more flexible brain.

Young children learn languages best through on-on-one interaction with real people. They also acquire language by living it and talking about important things in their life. At La Piazza di Carolina our classes are kept small so that we may provide that one-on-one experience. We also create an environment that is meaningful and relevant to the young child. Our immersion program is dedicated to channeling bilingualism and aiding the family in their goal to introduce it at a young age. Read more about our program.

Spring into Italian! Session begins March 24th


Join our 10 week spring session of Italian classes for babies, toddlers, and children 6mo-12yrs. We also do middle and high school tutoring.
At La Piazza di Carolina we pride ourselves on being committed to the Italian language, applying methodologies and philosophies that support a full immersion learning environment with the goal of getting our students to speak, read, write and understand Italian. Check our current class schedule or call (914) 262-0945 for more information. You can register on our secure online form.
Parliamo italiano!

Il presepio napolitano

Molto sentita soprattutto nel meridione d’Italia, la tradizione del presepe che la rappresentazione scenica della nativita’ di Gesu’ Bambino e in quasi tutte le case accanto dell’albero di Natale, lo si prepara con molta cura. Tutta la famiglia partecipa allla sua realizzazione dove oltre alla grotta in cui insieme al bue, all’asinello, a San Giuseppe e alla Madonna viene posto Gesu’ Bambino alla sua nascita’, ci sono anche scene di vita quotidiana come la contadina che munge le caprette, il falegname che pialla il legno, la donna che porta una cesta piena di pane, i bambini che giocano, il vecchierello che fuma la pipa, il pescatore che tira la rete, il tutto illuminato da piccolissime luci che rendono questo piccolo paesello molto suggestivo.
Via San Gregorio Armeno una stradina di Napoli, famosa in tutta Italia dove si costruiscono dei presepi bellissimi e in questo periodo quasi impossibile andarci perche ci sono tantissimi visitatori.


maschere di scuola d'infanzia

March 3, 2018 – 1:00 PM / 03:00 PM

Greenville Community Church

(914) 262-0945

Il Carnevale è la festa più amata dai bambini. The famous Italian festival, Carnevale, is the most beloved holiday for children in Italy. Join us at La Piazza di Carolina as we celebrate in italiano a cultural and festive party for children.

We will have stations for mask making, face painting, cookie decorating, Arlecchino mosaics, balloons, Italian children’s music and much more!

Come in costume!   $15 per child

Register Now or phone (914) 262-0945 for more information

Che gelo!




Brrr! Il freddo ci ha tenuto in ostaggio! Non si esce di casa in temere di gelare. Qui a New York si subiscono le temperature real-feel sotto 0° F, -16° C.


(The cold has taken over! We can’t go out of our houses in fear of freezing over. Here in New York we are experiencing “real-feel” temperatures of below 0°F.)

Santo ghiacciolo! (Holy icicle!)

frozen branch


Ma se si dovreste uscire per forza, si consigliato vestirsi con strati di vestiti. Io per esempio mi metto prima pantaloni e camicia termici di seta, poi pantaloni e maglietta con maniche lunghe, poi sopra una maglia di lana, poi un gillet di piume d’oca, e finalmente un giubbotto di piume d’oca sopra. Inoltre, anche mi metto un cappello di pelliccia, sciarpa di lana, guanti di pelle con fodera di cashmere, stivali Uggs, e se riesco poi muovermi con tutta questa roba adosso, esco! Ma chiariamoci bene i miei cari lettori, piu’ probabilmente mi troverete sotto le coperte con telecomando in mano anziché uscire in questo pazzesco freddo!


(But if you must go out for sure, it is advised that you dress yourself in layers. For example, I first put on thermal silk underwear, then pants, then a long sleeved knit shirt, on top of that a wool sweater, then a down vest, and finally a down jacket. I also wear a fur hat, a wool scarf, cashmere lined leather gloves and my Ugg boots, and only then if I am able to move with all this stuff on i’ll go out! But let’s be perfectly clear my dear readers, you will most likely find me under my covers with the remote in my hand instead of going out in this crazy cold!)


Enjoy some cold-related vocabulary in Italiano

il gelo

 bitter cold


to freeze

il ghiacciolo


i pantaloni termici

thermal underwear

le  maniche lunghe long sleeves
la maglia di lana wool sweater
il gillet vest
le piume d’oca down feathers
il giubbotto jacket
la pelliccia fur
il cappello hat
la sciarpa scarf
la fodera lining
gli stivali boots
la neve snow

Granturco, Maize, or Pannocchia?

Corn is a human invention, believed to be originally cultivated in Central Mexico, where it is referred to as maize. The Indians througout North and South America depended upon this crop for most of their food. It eventually reached the Eastern part of North America about 1000 years ago.

When the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 corn would have certainly been part of the menu, but cranberry, sweet potates and pumpkin pie most likely would not have been on the table.

Maize spread to the West in the 1500’s cultivating early in the Veneto region then arriving in Naples, Italy in the 1600’s. It became the base of the farmer’s food supply, used predominantly in polenta.

There are many terms for corn in Italian and it is my mission here to explain the differences, because I know you’ve been dying to know.

Maize means corn the term used in British English therefore used in Europe (Italy).

Granturco is a name given to corn as a result of improper translation from the English who called it WHEAT OF TURKEY, or grano dei tacchini, because of its resemblance to a turkey’s neck wearing a Turkish turban on its head, which could also be interpreted as grano di Turchia.

Pannocchia di granturcomeans corncob


Pannocchia (f) pertaining to the cob or ear, is another word for spiga, the female flower head which holds the kernals. It is improperly called pannocchia, which is actually the male flower head.   The cob is the spiga (f) (see below)

Spiga (f) is the female flower head, the cob, which holds the kernals le cariossidi

Pennacchio (m) male flower head at the top of the stalk

stocco/fusto is the stalk or stem fo the corn plant


So there you have it, your break down of corn in Italian, all just in time for Thanksgiving.

Buone feste!

Ylenia Mino; painting for peace and joy

Ylenia Mino is an Italian artist who has exhibited her art at La Piazza di Carolina. She was born in a small village at the foot of the Italian Alps, and had a strong inclination towards art at a young age. This artist developed her talents working with an Egyptian oil painter and broadened her horizons through classical studies. As she started to emerge with her own style, for which she is quoted in Arte e cultura as “often very close to reality but sometimes they have a touch of impressionism”, Ylenia began to showase her work around the world at different exhibitions. Drawing her inspiration from the works of several well known artists like Van Gogh, Degas, Leonardo da Vinci, and Klimt, she also pulls from the reality of the world around her; landscapes, everyday life, photographs, and her own faith in God. But Ylenia does not only spend time working on her paintings, she is also known to have collaborated with different galleries and support global charities. Her vivid, colorful, and observant work is a true expression of her passion and dedication to bring joy to others through art. 


To take a look at Ylenia’s work and to learn more about her upcoming exhibitions click here!

I burattinai della Piazza di Carolina

Our last day of Italian Camp was completed with the premier of our puppet show! For two weeks, our 6-11 year old campers worked very hard memorizing copioni (scripts) and practicing with i burattini (the puppets). The performance told the story of una bella principessa (a beautiful princess) who was loved by three different men; il principe (the prince), il cavaliere (the knight), and l’arlecchino (the harlequin). However this story did not follow traditional fairy tails, and the princess was in love with the harlequin instead of the handsome prince or noble knight. When the regina (queen) and the re (king) put their faith in the hands of a confused wizard (il mago) the chaos continued! These campers did a wonderful job perfecting the voices of their burattini and taking direction when showtime rolled around. Overall our performance was a great success and we are all very proud of our little burattinai (puppeteers). Ci mancherete!





Il giorno del gelato!

For our final day at Italian Camp we celebrated our hard work with some gelato! Our wonderful gelataio (ice-cream man) Michele pulled up to La Piazza di Carolina in his vintage, 1960’s stylecamioncino del gelato(ice cream truck) delighted to serve our campers. But before we ate our frozen treats we all had to learn how to ask politely for una coppa(a cup), un cono (a cone), or un ghiacciolo (an ice pop). One at a time our campers told Michele “Vorrei questo per favore”(I would like this please), and pointed to the signs he had layed out for us. What a wonderfully sunny day for some cool gelato!







Our campers also spent some time learing about i gusti (the flavors) of gelato, here are some of our favorites;

  • cioccolato (chocolate)
  • vaniglia (vanilla)
  • limone (lemon)
  • melone (melon)
  • menta (mint)
  • fragola (strawberry)
  • nioccola (hazelnut)
  • pistacchio (pistacchio)
  • stracciatella (vanila & chocolate chip)

Sing about gelato with this song by Enzo Ghinazzi (Pupo) – click here

Il Corpo Umano!

Wednesday at Italian camp we learned about Il Corpo Umano (the human body)!! We started learning new voabulary through song and dance with the Italian version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” (Testa Spalla Ginocchia e Piedi), watch it here and view the lyrics here! At craft time we practiced these new words by constructing and labeling some new friends out of paper. We also played a few games with Signore Testa di Patata (Mr. Potato Head) to test our knowledge. What was special about the vocabulary was discovering irregular plurals. In Italian, nouns follow a pattern determined by their gender and number, however some nouns break this pattern when plural.

Here’s a list of some body parts that have irregular plurals;

  • La mano (hand) / Le mani (hands)
  • Il Braccio (arm) / Le braccia (arms)
  • Il ginocchio (knee) / Le ginocchia (knees)
  • Il dito (finger) / Le dita (fingers)
  • Il labbro (lip) / Le labbra (lips)

Nostri studenti sono bravissimi!

corpo sophiacorpo