Our Teachers


Francesca Gaspari

Executive Director

Francesca was born and raised in Bergamo. She pursued acting for four years and later graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Bergamo. In 1986, she found herself in San Francisco, having followed her heart. She has been teaching Italian since 1990 – joining ItaLingua in 1996 where she continues to teach. In 2001, she became the director and actively infuses the school with her lively and informative teaching style.

She is passionate about music, dancing and hiking in the mountains. One of her most loved destinations is the scenic Pacific Crest trail, where she hikes twice a year. She loves sharing her knowledge of Italian language and culture with the students.


Nicoletta Gherardi

Italian Teacher

Nicoletta was born and raised in Rome, where she graduated with certificates of proficiency in German and English. She worked for nearly 15 years in the Public Relations division of an American company in Rome, while tutoring High School students in both German and English language and literature. In 2001, she moved to San Francisco and has been teaching Italian language and culture ever since.

Emanuela Quaglia

Italian Teacher

Originally from Florence, Emanuela studied Ancient Philology and classic Theater at DAMS University in Bologna. Passionate about art and languages, Emanuela started to teach Italian and her students benefited tremendously from her enthusiasm for Italian culture and her proficiency in multiple languages. Emanuela also worked as performing artist for several years, until she decided to move to the USA to further her education. In 2010, she received three AA Degrees, with Highest Honors, majoring in Web Design, Digital Video and Broadcasting Media at the College of San Mateo. This was followed in 2013 with three Bachelor of Fine Art Degrees with Highest Honors, majoring in Multimedia Fine Art, Fine Art Photography and Traditional Fine Art at California State University East Bay. Emanuela is now an educator in Italian and Multimedia Design. She enjoys art, especially art related fields that are eco-friendly. She is the winner of multiple awards for Painting, Photography, and Art, and is the author of the book ‘Human Traces in the World After Global Warming’. Emanuela is looking to pursue a Master in Digital Media at Harward University. Teacher and student, she thinks that only through education can we open our minds, achieve personal freedom, and improve our skills to better serve the world.

Vania Ferraro

Italian Teacher

Born and raised in Venice, Vania earned a degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Law at the University of Padua. Always interested in different languages and cultures, she traveled extensively through Europe, learning French, German and English while enjoying various job opportunities – from working in an ice cream shop in Germany to leading youth tours in London. When she moved to Milan, she worked in the Human Resources department of a staffing firm, providing service throughout Italy. Once landed in the Bay Area, she embraced the opportunity to teach the Italian language and Italian cooking. She also worked for Google and serves as a medical interpreter at Stanford Hospital. She is passionate about volunteering at different organizations, and is mostly involved with the Boy Scouts of America. She loves reading, learning to play the guitar, yoga, hiking, talking about Italy and teaching Italian!

Mattia Milone

Italian Teacher

Mattia Milone was born in Puglia and raised in Milan, where he studied Italian Literature and achieved his certificate in Teaching Italian as a Foreign language (DITALS). Before moving to the Bay Area, Mattia worked for the classical music publisher Sonzogno while also teaching Italian Literature to high school students. In 2015, he started to teach Italian language to refugees and immigrants with a program funded by the European Union. In 2018, he moved to Oakland, where he lives with his wife. He has a life-long interest in films, books and music. In his spare time, he likes to “passeggiare” with his wife, trying different recipes, swimming, going to movie theaters and record stores.


Alessia Chinnici

Italian Teacher

Alessia was born and raised in Palermo, in sunny Sicily. She has always been passionate about history and languages and followed her passion in her studies, graduating from the University of Palermo in Modern Languages and Civilizations. After graduating, she worked for a while as a private tutor helping high school students, and then spent a few years working as a freelance translator, both in Italy and England. She first came to San Francisco in 2013 where she studied English, American history, and Psychology, while also working as an Italian tutor at CCSF. She joined Italingua in 2020. In her free time, she loves reading her favorite authors, watching movies and cooking Sicilian recipes with her husband, and going for a stroll around the city! She is proud and passionate about her Italian heritage, loves to teach Italian and share her knowledge and passion for Italian culture and language.
Anna Baldi

Anna Baldi

Italian Teacher

Anna is a native speaker from Rome. She has been teaching Italian for the past 30 years and has been in the US for nearly 40 years.
She enjoys teaching Italian as she finds it a very creative way to interact with people who are open to learning all the different aspects of a new culture.
Anna lives in Oakland, CA where she enjoys the warm weather and all the amenities the city has to offer. She likes to travel and loves music, especially playing the piano. In her spare time, she takes daily walks. Even though she enjoys reading Dutch and French novels, her ultimate passions is teaching Italian!

Claudia Corcione

Italian Teacher

Born and raised in Rome, Claudia earned a master’s degree in Philosophy of Language at the University La Sapienza in Rome, and achieved her CEDILS certification at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice in order to teach Italian as a foreign language.

Claudia joined ItaLingua in 2019, and before moving to the Bay Area with her husband, she worked as a private tutor for students at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Previously, she had been working for nine years in Italy as a project manager in the field of language technologies related to artificial intelligence systems.

Claudia has an infinite passion for philosophy, literature, music and art. In her spare time, she likes practicing sports, going to concerts, exploring new places and cooking traditional Italian recipes.


Clara Benali

Italian Teacher

Clara was born and raised in Verona, Italy, where she started her teaching career as a teacher of Humanities in secondary school.

When she moved to California she obtained her Single Subject teaching credential for teaching Italian as a foreign language and for the past 15+ years she has been teaching Italian at different grade levels, from Mommy&Me classes, to kids, all the way up to college, to adults.

In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, painting and playing the ukulele.


Monica Montana

Italian Teacher

Originally from Palermo, in southern Italy, Monica studied Art History at Palermo. She got an M.A. in Visual Art at DAMS University in Bologna.
Passionate about art and Italian culture, Monica went to NY to study Italian-American culture at CUNY College. She started teaching Italian at the College when she was a student. After two years, she decided to move to California in 2017, where started studying UX/UI Design and Web Design. This allowed Monica to have her first experience in the Tech world and put together her passion for creativity, art, and technology. Monica is now working as UX Designer, and in her free time, she loves teaching Italian at Italingua. She thinks there are no limits to learning more and more.
During the weekends, she enjoys doing outdoor activities, reading some philosophy books, going to Museums and concerts. She loves animals and nature.

Alice Rocchi

Italian Teacher

Alice was born and raised in Genoa, a beautiful city by the sea, where she studied foreign languages as a child.

In 2011, she graduated from a Foreign Language Communications course at Genoa University. She later passed a specialization course in Teaching Italian Language to Foreigners cum laude with a score of 30/30. Recently, she obtained a further qualification for teaching English and Spanish in Italian public schools.

She loves teaching Italian because she loves Italy, its language and culture and she likes sharing her knowledge with others. She has varying methods of teaching in different contexts to better target students. Her keyword is flexibility.

She moved to San Francisco in 2022 to follow her husband and she always wanted to live in the U.S. to do an international experience. In her free time, she loves swimming, hiking and traveling with her husband, who defines himself as a World Citizen.


Danait Ainalem

Italian Teacher

Danait was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea, a very small country in East Africa.

Her passion for languages began at a very early age when she attended the International School in Asmara and majored in Literature and Linguistics.

Aftyer school, she worked at Alliance francaise d’Asmara as a French instructor for adults and children. In 2016, she moved to California and received her certification from Itals (Italiano come lingua straniera) from the University Ca’ Foscari. She worked at an Italian International School in San Francisco for the next five years nurturing her love of languages and teaching.

In her spare time, she loves pairing a book with a cup of coffee. A book not to miss would be “A New Earth”, by Eckart Tolle.

Her all time favorite quote is by Friederich Nietzsche: “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play”!



All of our courses are taught by native-speaking Italian teachers.

We do sometimes seek part-time native Italian instructors with the start of each new term to teach Italian or Italian cultural classes in art, music, opera, poetry, cooking, and more.
If you are interested and in the San Francisco Bay area with a valid work permit, please feel free to contact us with your CV or resume.
You must have a valid work permit. As much of the work is part-time, we can not sponsor teachers to get work permits.

ItaLingua Institute
912 Cole Street, #349
San Francisco, CA 94117
p: (415) 362-6025
email: italian@italingua.org

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