News & Information

SuniEvents-Festa di Carnevale!
SuniAbout Our Teachers
Lara Carnovali:
I am very happy to be teaching at the Scuola
Italiana di Portland…
SuniCommunity Links
More resources for your
exploration of Italian Culture
in Portland,OR.  Continue


Scuola Italiana Announces Fall Term Schedule for Children & Adults and Open House Event 

Portland, OREGON August 1, 2014 – Scuola Italiana di Portland is pleased to offer a wide array of Italian language opportunities for both children and adults.  Fall term begins the week of September 8, 2014.

SAVE-THE-DATE: Our next OPEN HOUSE will be held on September 6, 2014 from 10 am – NOON. For more information, please email

Children’s Programs:
Io e la Mamma Playgroup – This FREE playgroup is for children 18 to 36 months old. Classes are located in the Pearl District. The schedule is pending, but if you’re interested in learning more, please contact and we can notify you when the schedule is finalized. Classes are generally offered on Fridays from 10:00 – 11:00 am.

Italian Preschool in the Pearl – Operating Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, our Reggio Emilia inspired immersion school is a real gem! Native Italian teacher, Lara Carnovali, instills a love of learning and language in her students as she guides them through daily preschool activities. Our preschool teaches the basic preschool concepts, but with the exceptional advantage of learning them in a second language too!

Sunday Classes at The International School Location – Beginner to Intermediate level classes for children ages 3 to 12 years are available at our International School location on Sundays between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. Classes are divided by age group. Native Italian, Pina Di Rosa’s warmth and energy creates the ideal learning environment for her students! Come and meet her at our open house. Want more information now? Please contact us.

After School Lessons at Catlin Gabel School – OPEN TO PUBLIC – Beginner and advanced level lessons for children are currently offered at our Catlin Gabel location. Children entering the second grade become eligible for this program. Lessons at this site are taught by our experienced native Italian teacher, Lara Carnovali. Lara has created a dynamic and engaging program that keeps her students happy and progressing in their language skills.

Adult Program:
Adult students have a wide selection of classes from brand new beginner to higher level intermediate available. Placement tests are required for all incoming adult students with prior Italian language experience. Request a placement test.

Adult Language Program at First United Methodist Church – Our adult language program is taught by two of the best Italian language instructors in the area. Dominique Doré is our beginner level instructor. Dominique has been with us for a year now and she’s created quite a following. We often have waiting lists for her classes as she’s very popular with her students. If you are interested in a new beginner class, act quickly or you find yourself on a waiting list!

Native Italian, Alessandro Mastrorocco, teaches all of the intermediate and advanced level classes. Alessandro has a master degree in Political History and taught contemporary history and politics in Milan before relocating to the US. His classes incorporate Italian movies, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes restaurant experiences. It varies from term-to-term.

More information about Scuola Italiana programs can be found on our website, FAQS, or by emailing

Registration paperwork can be accessed here; Calendar of classes here.

Community-Wide Italian Event needs YOU – August 21 – 23, 2014!

Portland, OREGON July 11, 2014 – Each year, through the effort of many dedicated individuals, the doors to Italy are thrown open wide and the welcome mat rolled out in Pioneer Plaza. The Festa Italiana is by far the largest local Italian American community event held in the Portland metro area. Its blend of old world with a modern twist delivers something for everyone. The event continues to evolve and fresh, new perspectives and ideas are always welcome. Interested in becoming a part of this popular event? Read on…

As with any large undertaking, there is a huge need for volunteer support – from the initial planning to onsite help – there are many different ways to get involved. Whether you are an Italian American, a native or simply an Italophile who is in love with the culture and language, you are invited to plug into the local Italian community and share in the behind-the-scenes excitement of this celebrated, annual event.

Volunteer shifts are available from Thursday, August 21st through Saturday August 23rd between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. You can sign up through the Festa Italiana website at or if you have additional questions, you can email Michelle Ordway the volunteer coordinator at or call her at 503-250-2356. All volunteers are automatically entered into a special raffle just for showing up!

2014 Festa d’estate – Happy Days with an Italian Flair – August 12th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

Portland, OREGON July 11, 2014 – Whether you are a car aficionado or an Italian buff, the Italian Businessmen’s Club’s Festa d’estate will ‘make you happy’!  Held at George Passadore’s 1950’s era car barn, this summer social’s theme is Happy Days with an Italian flair.  Stroll through the fantastic collection of beautifully restored retro autos and other vehicles, and then enjoy a light dinner and entertainment by Mike Maffei.  Tickets are $25 in advance of the event, $35 at the door.  Only a limited number of tickets are available, so act now or you may miss out on this entertaining and unique opportunity. Proceeds from the event are used to support Italian education in Portland. More details.

Scuola Italiana Preschool – A Language and Learning Jewel in the Pearl District

Portland, OREGON May 30, 2014 – Portland’s one-of-a-kind Italian language preschool is accepting registration for the 2014 – 15 school year. The Reggio Emilia, Italian immersion program is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Children ages 3 to 5 years may enroll from one to five days per week. The preschool is located at 1542 NW 14th Ave in the Zimmerman Community Center, in the Pearl District.

Time is running out to visit the preschool before it closes for the summer on June 12th. To arrange a visit, meet the teacher, and learn more about this excellent program, please email or call 971-270-0471.

An exceptional program: Scuola Italiana Preschool is taught using one of the most respected approaches to education worldwide, the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach fosters children’s intellectual development using the principles of respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment.

A professional, native Italian teacher: Lara Carnovali is an experienced, native Italian teacher who came to Scuola Italiana from Milan, Italy. Lara has crafted a wonderfully appealing program that employs a background integrated curriculum in which lessons/activities/crafts etc. are organized around a central theme. This type of curriculum has been proven to engage and inspire children in active learning. More importantly, they LOVE IT!! The program provides ample opportunities to develop social skills, improve motor skills, acquire Italian language, and gain basic number and letter knowledge. The program includes all of the same elements of preschool with the added advantage of second language exposure.

The bilingual advantage: Learning a second language brightens a child’s future by opening and expanding the mind, literally! Language learning enhances cognitive skills, creative problem solving, and even lends itself to a greater acceptance of diverse cultures and customs. Studies show that children with proficiency or exposure to a second language at an early age often demonstrate superior problem-solving skills and enjoy better school performance then peers without language exposure. In today’s global economy, being bilingual is a competitive advantage.

Low student to teacher ratio: To provide the very best learning environment, Scuola Italiana preschool maintains a 4:1 student teacher ratio and limits class size to no more than 12 students. This allows the teacher to focus closely on students and maximize learning. A native Italian assistant is present in most every class, which allows students even greater exposure to the language.

Scuola Italiana operates mission is to promote the Italian language and culture to children and adults in a student-centered environment, nurturing responsible, global citizens by providing cross-cultural understanding and fostering a deep appreciation for world civilizations that intersect with the Italian culture.

Established in 2006, Scuola Italiana is the only Italian language school for children in the Portland metropolitan area. In addition to preschool, the school also offers after-school, weekend classes, and summer camps for children. The school also offers an adult immersion program.

Open Enrollment for Children’s Summer Camps and Adult Classes

Portland, OREGON May 30, 2014 – Are you looking for enriching summer activities for yourself or a child? Enroll in an Italian camp or class and discover the charming culture and lovely language of Italy.

CHILDREN: Our summer camps increase the summer fun factor to delightful levels of pleasure and excitement! Scuola Italiana summer camps are created for children ages 3 to 12 years old. Campers explore language and culture by cooking, playing, singing, dancing, creating art, speaking, and so much more. Picnics, mini-adventures and local excursions are built into every camp. Experienced native and native-fluent teachers provide an authentic Italian encounter for your child. You can learn more about the individual summer camps here. Camp season begins in the week of June 23rd. Register early to reserve your spot in camp!

ADULTS: The nine-week summer term for adults begins the week of June 23rd. These immersion style classes meet for two hours, one day each week. Beginner to intermediate level classes are now open for registration. Let our native and native-fluent instructors immerse you in the language and culture of Italy this summer. View the schedule, download registration forms, and learn more about our program here.

Have more questions? Please email or learn more about us on this website.

Like us on facebook to see what we’re learning in our camps and classes – Scuola Italiana di Portland: The Italian School of Portland.

Spice up Spring with a little Italian – Adult language classes begin April 1st!

Portland, OREGON March 19, 2014 – From the brand new beginner to the more advanced intermediate level student, Scuola Italiana di Portland has multiple classes from which to choose.

Interested in advanced level studies? With four or more students, we can form an advanced level class.

To learn more about our adult program, and to access registration and schedule information, please visit our Adult Classes web page.

Have questions or wish to test into a class? Email

It’s Carnevale Time – Children’s Costume Party is March 1st; Adult Costume Party – March 7th!

Portland, OREGON February 22, 2014 – It’s Carnevale time here at Scuola Italiana, and we are looking forward to celebrating this festive Italian holiday with YOU! We have two entertaining parties planned this year; an exciting children’s costume party for the younger crowd and a more age- appropriate costume party for adult supporters.

First up is our children’s event, which provides a magical afternoon of high energy games, delicious Italian goodies, and a clown show featuring BJ the Clown! This party is on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton (4450 SW Saint Mary’s DR). We moved to this new, larger space to increase the number of guests we can have, so please be sure to invite all of your friends and family! The event will include a small silent auction to support Italian language and culture in Portland Metro.

Admission is $15 for children two and older, adults are free. RSVP to: or call 971-270-0470. Tickets may be purchased online at:, or by mail at PO Box 6507, Portland, OR 97228. Please be sure to RSVP to help us have enough prizes and goodies on hand!

Next up is our adult party, and it’s gearing up to be a lively, good time! Join us and rub elbows with the Italian community…dance to the Italian top 40…place a bid or two on some of the best Italian restaurants in Portland and celebrate all things Italian!

The event is Friday, March 7th from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Caffe Umbria. Mix, mingle, munch or dance the night away as you support Italian language and culture in Portland.

Admission is $30 per guest and includes hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and silent auction. No host bar available.  RSVP at: or call 971-270-0470. Tickets may be purchased online at:, or by mail at PO Box 6507, Portland, OR 97228. Please RSVP
Net proceeds to both of these cultural events will be used to promote Italian language and culture for children & adults throughout the Portland metro area.

Our Reggio Emilia Preschool is Now Open Five Days a Week

Portland, OREGON July 26, 2013 – Beginning this fall, Scuola Italiana’s preschool will increase its hours of operation to five days a week. The Reggio Emilia Italian immersion program will now be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.

The preschool is located at 1542 NW 14th Ave in the Zimmerman Community Center. An open house will be held at this location on September 8, 2013 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. RSVP to

Beginning its fourth year, the Scuola Italiana preschool embraces a Reggio Emilia inspired approach to teaching children. The Reggio Emilia model is based on multi-sensory, child-directed learning.

This full immersion program is taught by native Italian, Lara Carnovali, who is an experienced teacher from Milan, Italy. Lara also uses a background integrated curriculum, which allows young students to learn in a context that makes sense to them. Lesson plans are organized around a central theme and are designed to inspire and engage students in active learning. The program provides ample opportunities for children to develop social skills, hone motor skills, acquire Italian language, and gain basic number and letter awareness.

For more information, visit, email, or attend the school’s open house and meet Lara Carnovali.

Please Join us for an Evening of Fine Wine and Delicious Fare at Gallo Nero

Please join Scuola Italiana di Portland for a “Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Dinner” at Gallo Nero. The dinner is Monday, September 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM. Each course will feature a delicious pairing of cuisine, prepared by Florentine chef Davide Filippini, and fine wine from the Chianti region of Tuscany. Italian Consul and co-owner of Gallo Nero, Andrea Bartoloni, will speak briefly about the local Italian American community and the unique role that Scuola Italiana plays within that community. Tickets are $100 per person, of which $40 is tax deductible. RSVP today at; seating is limited.

After School Italian Lessons at Catlin Gabel School are Open to the Public

Portland, OREGON July 18, 2013 – For the past two years, Scuola Italiana di Portland has offered Beginner and Advanced level Italian lessons for children, grades 2 to 6, at Catlin Gabel School, located on the west side of Portland. While Catlin Gabel School is a private school, our after school lessons are open to the public.

The classes are taught by Lara Carnovali, an experienced, native Italian elementary school teacher. Lara creates an encouraging, dynamic, collaborative, and FUN environment in her classroom. Students are often taken by surprise to discover class is over. They’ve been so wrapped up in the activities that they’ve lost track of time!

Beginner students read, write, and speak the language as they move through thematic units designed to engage them in hands on learning activities. These activities facilitate growth in vocabulary and grammar skills and guide them toward higher levels of language proficiency.

The advanced class is designed to maximize student learning experience in a creative and collaborative environment, and to guide students in becoming fluent in the Italian language. Throughout this course, students work together in pairs and small groups as they participate in fluency-based activities such as language games, crossword puzzles, read alouds, and creative writing activities. It is through these various activities that students gain the skills necessary to effectively communicate in a variety of real-life contexts and become fluent in the language.

View the complete 2013 – 14 After School Schedule here. The link is near the bottom of the page. Register for classes here.

For more information, visit our website or email

Let YOUR Child Discover Their Inner Chef at La Gioia della Cucina Summer Camp!

Portland, OREGON July 16, 2013 – Starting next week, July 22 – 26, a delicious adventure begins for our littlest campers, ages 3 to 7 years, at La Gioia della Cucina (The joy of cooking)! Following that, we’ll offer this tasty camp for the older kids, ages 8 to 12, on July 29 – August 2.

Campers get ready to embark on a lip-smacking journey of Italian cuisine with Maestra Carlotta. Together the class will explore different Italian regions through its tasty food, starting with creamy polenta from the North to the well renowned Italian pizza from the South. Activities sprinkled throughout the camp include walking excursions to local sites, art projects, games, picnics, and more!

Summer camps are held from 9am to 1pm, Monday through Friday, in the Zimmerman Community Center in NW Portland, 1542 NW 14th Ave (between Quimby & Raleigh).

For more information or to register for camp, please visit our camp page or email

Save-the-Date: Scuola Open House on September 8, 2013

Portland, OREGON July 16, 2013 – Please join us for an Open House on Sunday, September 8th between 10:30am– 12:30 pm at Zimmerman Community Center, 1542 NW 14th Ave, Portland, 97209.

Meet the teachers of our adult and children’s programs. Learn more about our Reggio Emilia preschool, Mommy and Me playgroup, after-school and weekend classes for children, and our adult immersion program.

For more information or to RSVP, please email

First Annual Summer Camp T-Shirt Contest a Hit!

Portland, OREGON July 16, 2013 – With many creative entries to choose from, the first annual summer camp t-shirt contest was a success!  Thank you to all who participated in the contest.  It was amazing to see the talent and creativity that abounds in the youth, ages 3 to 12, who submitted entries.

The winning entry came from…Mattea!  Mattea is an advanced Piccoli student in one of our weekend language classes.  Her awesome design was chosen as the 2013 winning entry and will be featured on our summer camp t-shirts.  Mattea has also earned herself a t-shirt!

We hope to hold this contest again next year, so all you budding artists out there, it’s time to start planning your 2014 summer camp t-shirt designs.  We can hardly wait to see what you come up with next time!

Scuola Italiana to Offer Five-Day Preschool Program in Fall 2013

Portland, OREGON February 20, 2013 – Scuola Italiana’s full immersion, Reggio Emilia inspired preschool program will increase the number of days it operates from three to five, beginning in fall 2013. The hours of operation will remain the same, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. An after-care option is available for busy and working families, who may need extended care. The preschool, located in the Pearl District, operates out of the Zimmerman Community Center, 1542 NW 14th Ave. For additional information or to schedule a visit, please contact

Summer Term for Adult Students – Registration is Now Open

Portland, OREGON May 17, 2013 – Registration is now open for summer term, which is scheduled to begin June 24, 2013. If you’d like to visit a classroom before the next term, please email to make the necessary arrangements.
Registration Form
2012 – 13 Adult Class Calendar

2013 Summer Camp T-Shirt Contest

Portland, OREGON March 13, 2013 – All children ages 13 and under are invited to take part in our 2013 Summer Camp T-Shirt Design Contest. Winning design will be featured on our 2013 summer camp t-shirt. Deadline to enter is April 30, 2013. Complete details here.

Scuola Italiana Summer Camps – The Place to be for Summer Fun!

Things are heating up here at Scuola Italiana as we excitedly look ahead to the summer camp season. We’ve got several wonderful themes to choose from and our two experienced Italian teachers are eager to lead campers on an Italian adventure or two…or three…or…well you get the idea!

Whether your child wishes to eat their way through Italy in a cooking camp, discover Italy’s natural beauty on a road trip, or frolic along the Italian Riviera, we’ve got the camp for them. We offer beginner to advanced level camps for children, ages 3 to 12 years.

Learn more about our summer camps at: Contact us at

Scuola Italiana Offers Free Italian Language Play group in the Pearl District

PORTLAND, OREGON October 1, 2012 – Scuola Italiana’s Italian language Mommy and Me playgroup has begun its 2012 – 13 play session.  This FREE playgroup is open to all children ages 18 to 36 months.

Io e la Mamma Playgroup introduces Italian language to children through play, song, dance, game, and simple craft.  The group meets on Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 am at the Zimmerman Community Center, 1542 NW 14th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 (between Quimby and Raleigh).  Drop-ins are always welcome, but an RSVP to will reserve space in the class and allow you to be notified in advance should a session be unavoidably cancelled.

There are many benefits to learning a second language, especially at a young age. In addition to developing a lifelong ability to communicate with more people, bilingual children experience better overall school performance and enhanced problem-solving skills. Studies show that children who learn a second language early in life are more likely to become native-fluent in the second language.  Being bilingual can even provide a competitive edge in our increasingly global workforce.

Established in 2006, Scuola Italiana is the only Italian language school for children in the Portland metropolitan area.  In addition to Io e la Mamma Playgroup, Scuola Italiana provides a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool, after-school, weekend, and evening language classes for children and adults, and summer language camps for children.  Each year, Scuola Italiana holds an annual Festa di Carnevale, an authentic Italian costume party for students and supporters.

Scuola Italiana di Portland’s mission is to promote the Italian language and culture to children and adults in a student-centered environment, nurturing responsible, global citizens by providing cross-cultural understanding and fostering a deep appreciation for world civilizations that intersect with the Italian culture.

For more information about classes or to RSVP for Io e la Mamma Playgroup, please email

Upcoming Play Sessions

October: 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2012

November: 2, 9, 16 & 30, 2012

December: 7, 14 & 21, 2012

January: 25, 2013

February: 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2013

March: 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2013

April: 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2013

May: 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 2013

June: 7 & 14, 2013

Scuola Italiana to Add Classes in Hillsboro
PORTLAND, OREGON July 20,2012 – Are you interested in taking Italian culture and language lessons in Hillsboro?

As early as fall 2012, we may begin to offer classes in Hillsboro.   Classes offered will be based on expressed interest in the Hillsboro and surrounding communities.  Classes are may include the following:

  • Beginning Class for Children
  • Advanced Class for Children
  • Beginning Class for Adults

In order to make the final decision, we need to hear from all interested parties.   Please pass this information along to others.  Let us know what you think at
with your comments and suggestions.

Scuola Italiana di Portland accepts new enrollment all year!

La Scuola Italiana di Portland is an Italian language and cultural enrichment program that expands students’ language abilities and cultural perspectives in a fun, creative environment.

We offer beginner, intermediate and advanced classes for adults, children ages 3 through 12 and a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool for 3 to 4 year olds.

La Scuola, a 501-c3 non-profit organization, has grown from a small group of dedicated families to a thriving children’s language program with over 30 students. If you have a love of the Italian culture or simply the desire for you or your kids to discover the richness of learning a second language, we invite you to join us.

The Scuola Italiana di Portland is now accepting new enrollments.