How serious are we about learning Italian?

Pretty serious it seems.  I wandered into the kitchen (dining room, lounge) the other day and saw the note below taped up above the kitchen sink.  It’s the stuff we need to learn this week – the irregular verbs avere and essere and all their various permutations.  Sigh.

The note on the wall.

Back to school

There’s a degree of nervousness around the cottage today.  It’s the first Italian lesson this afternoon which means a double stress.  Firstly we have to apply our brains to something other than – pool day or not a pool day – and secondly we actually have to be somewhere at a pre arranged time.  Almost like a meeting.

But as with all things Italian there is a twist.  And the twist was an invitation we got from our language school to lunch last Wednesday.  It was an opportunity to get to know the staff and some of the other pupils before starting lessons.  Everyone bought something for the meal and we spent 2 hours chatting in a mix of Italian, English and occasionally other obscure languages as required.

The students are all nationalities, ages and backgrounds.  Everything from an Australian art student brushing up her Italian on the way to the Venice Biennale where she is one of the hosts at the Oz site, to a retired Irishman who was taking a group from one of the local Sinese contrada to have lunch with the Irish ambassador in Rome on Saturday.  He had learnt Italian at the school previously and was just taking a few “top up” lessons in anticipation of the visit.

Anyway, enough of this writing, I must go and get my school books ready.