Additional visits at “area archaeologic di vicolo aquila nera” in Citta Alta.

Ever walked behind the library in Citta Alta and wondered what is the story behind the ancient stone walls and stairs you see through the glass doors? How old are they? Who lived back in ancient times and how? Take your chance for a free guided tour (though I am afraid italian only but it is free entrance with experts). New dates either at 16:00 or 16:30, maximum 25 people (must have been a huge amount of people the first visit) on 29th March, 26th April and 31st May. Make your appointment and call +39 035 286 070.


The leaning tower of pizza

Well, the most basic aim of terrorism is to terrorize, so it’s refreshing (and I actually think it’s really important) to see people laughing at it.

Italians have responded with ridicule after an ISIS supporter referred to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa landmark as the “learning tower of pizza”.

The ISIS supporting Twitter account belonging to someone identifying as Abu Abdullah Aritani tweeted: “#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome, we will conquer & establish the justice of #shariah. We will use your leaning tower of pizza to throw off homosexual”.

You can read a few responses that were tweeted by amused Romans here.

‘European classics’ in Roman schools

Recently on the Living in Bergamo Facebook page we discussed this initiative in Rome, which tried to introduce children to a variety of European ‘classics’. Sadly, it appears to be a great idea that was badly executed. I’m also really disappointed in the choice of some of the dishes. Traditional Irish chicken and chips? Not so much, really. What about Irish stew, or some Irish salmon? A dish with lots of lovely, floury potatoes? Soda bread? One can only assume the hot dogs were actually sausages, maybe representing Germany or Austria? Except that a properly made Wurst or Wuerstchen has precious little to do with the ‘wurstel’ the kids were in all likelihood served.

Job opportunity for chefs in Kilkee, Ireland

Lir at Kilkee Golf Club is looking for chefs (head chefs, chefs de partie, pastry chefs). If anyone is interested, or knows anyone (maybe working in a restaurant here in Bergamo or Milan) who may want to move to Ireland for a while, please contact Sandra Quinn through Living in Bergamo ( It is a fantastic restaurant and offers an excellent opportunity for an English-spearking professional in the industry to experience life in Ireland and work in a busy and professional kitchen. At least three years’ experience would be necessary.

A Primomodo update

Primomodo have been in touch to let us know that they are offering a couple of new things for native English speakers … The first you will probably already have heard of, it’s their English spazio gioco. These are English-speaking play groups for babies and toddlers ( 3 to 30 months) and parents (they call it spazio gioco in inglese; the teacher always speaks English with the kids and English or Italian with the parent), you can find more info on their site.

They will also be doing an English breakfast,  a new project they are thinking about — breakfst for mommies/parents/relatives on Thursday mornings; in their family bar they have tables, high chairs and a big play room – the ticket is 5,50 euros per child and there is no time limit.

And in other news, they are looking for new Helen Doron teachers. If you want to know more about Helen Doron a quick google will find you loads of info, but you can also contact Primomodo about it. I intereviewed with them years ago and it seeemd like a warm, friendly, professional environment to work in. The hours really didn’t suit me though (afternoons and evenings), and the teaching style is high energy — so I wasn’t suited to it personality-wise, and with young kids of my own I don’t have that much energy to spare!

The ideal candidate would ideally be a native English speaker, have experience with babies, toddlers and children, and love working with children. If you’re interested, contact them directly.

On the English language … again

I recently read an interesting article in The Atlantic on how tricky spelling is in English, and how this hampers learning in other areas for kids. Very interesting!  I have to admit that I used to be totally mystified by why learning to read was such a lengthy process in the Anglophone world … (I started my schooling in Germany). Now I know a little more. It explains the push to start literacy instruction earlier and earlier (but a link in the article also explains why this is not necessarily a good, developmentally appropriate idea). Lots of food for thought, as always. I can’t find the link now (found it), but it seems that the Italian education minister has announced that Italian-English bilingual instruction in several subjects will become widely available in public schools in the near future, so this raises interesting questions there too. I suppose this is where you debate which language should be learned first, and through which language children should first, formally be introduced to reading and writing (not English, it would seem!). I read about a series of case studies of bilingual immersion programmes in Canada a while back that addressed some of these issues by Jim Cummins, if I’m not mistaken.

Apparently a similar project is already underway in Lombardy. And it seems that the British Council is in on it too.