Did you know that 2013 has been declared the Year of Italian Culture in the United States? We in Chicago are especially fortunate to have a number of high profile events in our own backyard – the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with conductor Riccardo Muti will perform concerts highlighting the work of Giuseppe Verdi; the Field Museum plans a light installation by Northwestern University’s guest artist Marco Nereo Rotelli, featuring scenes from Dante’s “Divine Comedy” on the museum’s façade. Theatre will also be represented in this cultural happening as Chicago Shakespeare Theater joins the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago with the June 2013 American premiere of Inner Voices, a production by Piccolo Teatro di Milano, one of Italy’s most important theaters. This play was written by Eduardo De Filippo, one of the most translated and respected Italian writers in the world.
Chicago boasts of a large and proud Italian community. What better way to rediscover the treasure of cultural roots than learning the language? Silvio Marchetti, director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago (IIC), says, “Knowledge of Italian provides a unique window into a linguistic legacy. Cultural events come and leave a memory while learning another language builds a link between countries which is permanent.”
So if you’d like to order food in an Italian restaurant like a pro or reconnect with a vast cultural heritage, head over to the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago and sign up for their amazing language classes. Not sure how you’ll fare in learning Italian? That’s no problem because the IIC is holding an open house on Thursday, January 17th from 5:30 to 8:00pm. The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago is located at 500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450 – you will be able to scope out your Italian skills with an evaluation test then mingle with native speakers and potential fellow students as you enjoy wine, music and Italian delicacies. There is a range of class levels available from Beginner to Advanced, plus special topic courses such as Italian for Travelers, Book club, cinema or ‘A tavola!’ in which you can learn Italian through your stomach and increase your vocabulary by utilizing the magnificent food of Italy. Whatever way you want to learn Italian, this is the year to take the plunge.