Lessons in Italian

24 Oct


In the spring of next year, we are planning to go to Italy.  My husband has a classmate who has lived in Italy for many years, and she is organizing a class reunion…  in a villa… in Tuscany.   Can you come up with any reason why we wouldn’t we want to go?   Neither can I!

italy map

Likely because he is pretty darned pragmatic, that same husband signed us both up for beginner’s Italian lessons via Ashland’s Parks and Recreation programs. However, since his work schedule is pretty full, he has had trouble making it to class.  In fact, I also missed the first class because I misread the schedule. Instead of arriving at 5 PM for class, I arrived a few minutes before 7 PM… which meant I was showing up for the first class of Advanced Italian!

Imagine my surprise when I walked in, thinking I was early, to hear the instructor loudly exclaim, “Ciao Bella!”  She then followed that with a rapid-fire series of questions.  My deer-in-the-headlights look must have given her some indication that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and soon she had me all straightened out.  What was wonderful is that I left feeling sorry that I had missed my first class rather than embarrassed by my error.

Since then, I have been to three more classes (with five to go!) and have learned a little bit more each week.   Italian is such a beautiful language to listen to and I look forward to becoming more fluent as time goes by.   Who knows?  Maybe by the time we get to Italy, I will actually know how to speak in Italian.


If that happens, then it will be in large part due to our delightful teacher la professoressa, Ms. Rountree.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is making the class fun.   And because yesterday she told us that today is her birthday, I baked her an Apple Crumb Crust Pie.  When I gave it to her, I spoke these words: Buon Compleanno e Tanti Auguri per Prossimo Anno.

Mille Grazie Signora!

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”  Mark Twain

10 Responses to “Lessons in Italian”

  1. Ali Ross October 25, 2013 at 7:52 AM #

    Karen, you will love it. My gran daughter is fluent and is graduating from Stanford with her major in Italian I would love to take more Italian language courses where do I find a contact number? Been to Italy twice can’t wait to go again

    • pieadaygiveaway October 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM #

      I went to the Ashland Parks and Rec site on the City of Ashland’s site… but you can also call: 541-488-5340. Ms. Rountree is amazing. She speaks Spanish, Italian, and French (and of course, English). I hope you get to Italy again! We are using air miles… Can’t wait!


  2. Wendy October 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM #

    Walker and I took lessons in beginning Italian from Monica Rountree in preparation for our three months in Italy way back when. It was a wonderful experience, then at RCC. She is an amazing teacher and person. Enjoy your reunion and hope you have a wonderful time. Of course you will! And I imagine Monica enjoyed your gift and the intentions that came with it, too! Do you stay at the Villa the whole time or do you do you have some extra touring time, too? Hope so!! Bella Italia calls!

  3. Gary Einhorn October 28, 2013 at 7:22 AM #

    Better late tan never , I say Karen. Prego! Sounds great. I hope Emile can make some classes!


  4. Sylvia October 28, 2013 at 7:44 AM #

    Hello Karen,

    Emile forwarded your post to me. I loved reading it and am soooo glad you’re enjoying Italian lessons. Listen to Italian music too, and watch Italian film classics with English subtitles if you can. It IS a beautiful language. If you can roll your “r”s you’re halfway there!

    Also, if you want to impress your teacher, next time you want to wish her good luck, surprise her with “In bocca al lupo!” It literally means “In the mouth of the wolf” (as in shooting the wolf). Not a very animal-friendly expression, but it’s the most common way to wish someone good luck on an exam, for a job interview, etc.. The “wishee” should answer “Crepi il lupo” (may the wolf die). Sorry that doesn’t sound very nice, but neither is “break a leg” in show business… 😉

    In bocca al lupo per le lezioni!

    A presto,

    • pieadaygiveaway October 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM #

      I will have to try that phrase on la professoressa! We are both excited about the trip… Thank you for organizing it! Or should I say, ”

  5. Tonie Bouyer October 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM #

    Hey Karen,

    I did a 12 tour though Italy with Gate One Travel a few years back and had a wonderful time! Yes, you will love it, and you will be surprised at how many folks speak English (with the exception of some of the smaller places)… however, it will be a plus to know Italian. I’m so excited for you guys!

  6. Alexandra October 30, 2013 at 8:37 AM #

    How wonderful!! I should find something similar in New York to prepare myself — I cannot wait for April!!!



    • pieadaygiveaway October 30, 2013 at 9:40 AM #

      Dear one, You need to get a ticket. Let’s talk later about using our miles… xxoo Mom

  7. Monica Rountree November 10, 2013 at 12:52 AM #

    oooh…Karen! Finalmente I found your site! Bellissimo, e grazie mille again for that delicious pie! I shared it with some of the lucky ones in my Spanish class, and also with my daughter! We both loved it:) I hope you are studying for la classe la prossima settimana, si? Buona domenica e a mercoledí! La professoressa

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