Exploring Sicily’s fascinating and diverse culture through films

This week students of Italian and local folks attended a lecture entirely in Italian delivered by Elisa Pianges from Babilonia, Centro di Studi Italiani in Taormina, Italy. Elisa’s love and knowledge of photography, cinema, and Sicilian culture –coupled with her obvious gift as a language teacher–made for a particularly engaging and enriching presentation. After the lecture, students had the opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming full immersion summer travel course in Taormina.








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The Chapman community gathers around its piazza for an Italian evening

Join us for the 7th annual Paul’s Piazza Pasta Party and Columbus Day Celebration on Wednesday October 26, 2016, 5-7pm. An evening of festivities featuring live musical performances, artists and Italian cuisine.


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“A Trip to Sicily through Film.” Join us for a compelling presentation and to learn about studying in Taormina

Professor Elisa Pianges and other staff from Babilonia, Center for Italian Language and Culture, will visit Chapman University to deliver a presentation exploring Sicily’s fascinating and diverse culture through films set in the island. The lecture will be in Italian. After the presentation, Babilonia’s staff will be available to answer any questions regarding the upcoming travel class in Taormina. Refreshments will be served.

Join us this Wednesday, October 19th, 7:00PM – 8:30PM in Argyros Forum 201.


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New Orange-Milan Language Exchange Tandem Program

Students of Italian at Chapman can now participate in a newly established Italian-English Language Exchange Tandem Program in collaboration with Università Cattolica of Milan. This is a terrific opportunity to increase familiarity and fluency in Italian, learn more about today’s Italian youth culture, and get to know an student from Italy. Please contact Dr. Pacchioni at pacchion@chapman.edu for any questions.


A photograph of one of the magnificent cloisters composing the campus of Università Cattolica in Milan.  

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Business & Culture at La Serata

This past Wednesday evening, students of Italian Studies gathered together to enjoy the first La Serata of the 2016-2017 academic year. Professor Emanuela Panebianco organized the event around the theme of “Business & Culture”, specifically highlighting the similarities and differences between Italian and American business cultures.

The evening began with special guest Mr. Andrea Landi, president of Landi USA. After a brief Italian video explaining the key aspects of the company, Mr. Landi talked about his experience as an Italian business professional working in the United States. It provided an opportunity for students to practice their Italian listening and comprehension skills outside of the academic setting, as well as gain a glimpse into one example of an Italian company thriving in the United States. The evening continued with fun communicative activities including a skit performed by Emanuela Panebianco and students Nina Walther, Noah Rulison, and Ann Mullee giving an entertaining and insightful example of what can go wrong if two business cultures clash.

The next La Serata will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at 7pm.

Ci vediamo presto!

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A professional development opportunity for teachers of Italian at Chapman University

Chapman Italian Studies will be hosting its 3rd annual Italian Teacher Training workshop on January 21, 2017, 2-5pm. The workshop will be delivered by Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, author of widely used textbooks for Italian cultural courses, such as: L’Italia dal fascismo ad oggi: percorsi paralleli nella storia, nella letteratura e nel cinema (Guerra Edizioni 2005) and Caleidoscopio, an Italian Language and Culture Intermediate Textbook (Pearson Education, 2014).


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The Inauguration of Chapman University 13th President Daniele C. Struppa infused with Italian poetry

On Thursday evening Dr. Pacchioni opened the event A Celebration of Creativity in the Arts with a recital of Giacomo Leopardi’s “L’infinito” , followed by original music by Sean Heim, a conversation with the film director Werner Herzog, and a dance choreographed by Alicia Guy.

During the investiture ceremony on Friday, President Struppa’s speech drew inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy in presenting a view of learning as a continual journey. The speech was preceded by Dr. Pacchioni’s reading from the final canto of Il Paradiso. Watch the entire investiture ceremony here (recital beginning at 26:40).

Both events took place in the magical ambiance of the Musco Center for the Arts.



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Melissa Marino selected as future leader of NIAF on Campus

592B0CF1E47C450A98EE1111F5662E27Melissa Marino has been selected by the National Italian American Foundation to join the Italian American Leadership Council (IALC) Fellow Program. Melissa Marino is a Santa Barbara native receiving a BFA in Theatre Performance and a BA in Italian Language and Culture at Chapman. She studied abroad in the spring of 2015 in Milan, Italy, and loved all of the amazing gifts and culture Italy had to offer–so much so that she eventually declared a second major in it. In 2016 she received Chapman University’s Italian Studies Council Academic Excellence Award. She is also the Vice President of the Italian Club on campus, where she truly enjoys helping the Chapman community grow. She will be graduating in the Spring of 2017.

Though there are numerous Italian American social, fraternal, linguistic and academic organizations on campuses throughout America, there has never been a unified strategy to their organization and management. In order to address this absence, NIAF has created NIAF on Campus, a NIAF Italian American Leadership Council (IALC) Fellow Program. This initiative aims to support the engagement of future generations of Italian Americans in the leadership of our community by designing a unified, grass roots, and collaborative strategy between NIAF and university Italian groups all over the country. Together with the other fellows, Melissa Marino will lead the discussion and design of a new “NIAF on Campus” strategy and support its the implementation for many years to come.

Congratulazioni Melissa e un grosso ringraziamento per la tua dedizione ed entusiasmo!

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La Serata – Join us this fall

Open to all who want to improve their language skills, learn about the Italian culture, share their talents, speak with native speakers, and socialize with members of the local community and other students!


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A Journey to Sicily: Immersion in Taormina (summer 2017)

Chapman Italian Studies is launching a new travel course in Taormina, Italy, next summer. Students interested in participating can contact Dr. Pacchioni at pacchion@chapman.edu

16-0476-taormina-travel-poster_webSicily presents a prime opportunity to experience cultural hybridization at its best and most beautiful. Due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean basin, the island of Sicily has been invaded over the centuries by many civilizations from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Byzantines and Arabs and later to the Christian kings of Europe, each leaving a mark on the culture and traditions of the island inhabitants.  This cultural and linguistic immersion experience will be based in the archeologically rich and elegant town of Taormina, considered an unmissable stop on the Grand Tours of the 19th centuries and since then visited by many important artists and filmmakers. Students will engage in a rich curriculum integrating daily linguistic coursework, excursions to sites of naturalistic and artistic importance, and cultural activities familiarizing them with traditional and contemporary aspects of Sicilian life.

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Earthquake emergency: a message from the National Italian American Foundation 

A major earthquake has devastated several villages in the mountainous area between Monti Sibillini and Gran Sasso, where the regions of Lazio, Umbria, and Marche meet. As we send good thoughts and prayers to the victims of this disaster, it’s time to consider the importance of community and mutual support. The many photographs of victims attempting to reconstitute the warmth of community in this time of crisis in the piazzas and other places speaks loudly of the need we all have for each other.073937788-4ec4254e-81d6-4470-9c73-b78cdde07b32142132555-e85d49d8-d5e9-4070-9455-557e9442eb2d

Especially moving is a video of a girl being saved from the ruins of a building. May this tragic experience lead to a greater respect for the sacredness of human relationships and for better living conditions in the future.

Below is a message from the National Italian American Foundation for those of us able to provide support.

” As many, if not all of you know, yesterday morning a large part of central Italy was struck by a devastating earthquake. This tragic disaster has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, and words cannot convey the deep loss that has affected so many of us. Our hearts and prayers are with them and the rescue workers who are frantically trying to save the remaining victims trapped under the rubble. Please help the National Italian American Foundation, and our partners throughout the Italian American community to raise funds for our Italian family.

To help in ANY amount, please visit www.ItalianAmericanRelief.org. Every last penny of your generous donations WILL be put towards the relief efforts in Italy.

In the short 24 hours since the earthquake, NIAF staff has been working fervently around the clock. We are in contact with local authorities as well as the Embassy of Italy to finalize the details of the relief fund, and as soon as we have any updates as to the specific project we will be funding, we will share them on our website and social media. Our Italian American community can do a great deal of good in the coming days and weeks, and we hope you will be a part of this effort.

Please pass this link along to as many friends and family as you can and please join in our prayers for our Italian family. Best,

NIAF Staff,
Julia Streisfeld, Assistant Director of Programs
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
1860 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Direct: 202/939-3114
Main: 202/387-0600
Fax: 202/387-0833
E-mail: jstreisfeld@niaf.org
On the web at www.niaf.org “

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Dr. Pacchioni delivered a talk at Spalding University’s MFA Creative Writing Residency Program in Rome


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Seeking new opportunities for CU students at Università Cattolica of Milan

Last week Dr. Pacchioni visited Università Cattolica in Milan and met with staff of the International Education office to discuss study abroad and exchange program developments between Cattolica and Chapman Italian Studies.

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Dr. Pacchioni speaks at the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Italian in Naples


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Eat, Cook, Learn! An Educational Culinary Evening with the Bairds

The Baird family generously hosted a cooking class for Dr. Paduano’s course “ITAL 340: History and Culture of Food in Italy” last Sunday. Students had a chance to prepare together a few tasty dishes of “cucina povera” such as gnocchi al pesto and polpettone, while learning about geographical and historical factors shaping the traditional cuisine of Italy. A very big thank you to Joe and Linda for a pleasant and memorable evening together. 


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