Dear parents,

I am so happy to start a new school year together.  I want to introduce myself for who don’t know me. I am Dr. Munaò and I am so excited to be the Italian teacher at Fort Foote ES. Learning a foreign language is very important for the formation of skills, to allow our students to be competitive in the global job market. When a child knows a foreign language, he/she can interact with people from different ethnicities; they will be able to use it in their trips, job search, and social life.

News & Events



Easter traditions in Italy: painted hard-boiling eggs, given them as gifts and eaten on Easter Sunday.

There is some evidence that, even in ancient Roman culture eggs decorated with vegetable dyes using onion skins, beets and carrots were given as gifts during the spring festivals.

Chocolate Easter eggs have now overtaken decorated eggs in Italy as the most popular gift at Easter.

Italians take everything chocolate very seriously - and Easter eggs are no exception.

They range from the tiny, solid milk chocolate to the massive, showy hollowed out eggs containing sometimes quite elaborate gifts. All of them will be wrapped in foil or, more commonly, cellophane; most will have at least decorative ribbon, often massive bows.


Father's Day (festa del papa`)

It is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) since the Middle Ages. This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19 is often still used for it, though many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the U.S. date, which is the third Sunday of June.


Archimede from Siracusa (Sicily)

Women's Day (March 8th) 

In Italy, fathers, colleagues, husbands and boyfriends gift women with this yellow flower, and no excuse are allowed: on March 8th you will find Mimosa sellers at any corner in Italy! The particularly of this flower is that it blossoms prior to any other, flourishing in the very first days of March, as a herald of the spring to come.


Carnival in Italy (or “Carnevale”) is a tremendous winter festival, usually complete with masks, music, parties and parades, with huge paper mâché caricatures of politicians, animals and other figures and floats.

This year, Carnevale is between February 08th and 13th. Mardi Gras (“martedì grasso”) is the last day of Carnevale.

Starting as a final celebration before Lent begins, Carnevale is as popular in Italy now as it was in the 1200s, with thousands of Italians and visitors from all over the world coming to see Italy dressed in full costume.

The most famous Carnevale celebration takes place in Venice with extraordinary masks and masquerade balls. The Carnival in Venice was first recorded in 1268.

But Venice certainly isn’t your only option. Carnevale is celebrated throughout all of Italy, with each city being sure to add its own personal touch to the traditional party. 

Viareggio, located on the Tuscan coast, has one of the largest Carnevale celebrations in all of Italy.

Acireale’s Carnevale is considered one of the most beautiful carnivals in Sicily. Parades take place in the town’s Baroque historic center, with allegorical paper mâché floats and famous flower floats. The flower floats feature characters and images made exclusively with flowers, adding both beauty and a lovely scent to the festivities!



La Befana: this was the feast that the children used to wait for throughout the year, in the times when Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) was unknown in Italy.

In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas or Santa Claus.

A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany or in Italian La Festa dell'Epifania.

In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. The child's family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for the Befana.


Project for 3rd to 6th grade students
Supply List

-       1 plastic 2 pocket folders (where they collect and organize works and vocabulary during the year for future reviews): for grades 2 to 6;
1 journal/notebook (only for the Italian class): for grades 3 to 6;
sharpened pencils: all grades;
colors (crayons or color pencils..... markers are usually not permitted in my class): all grades;
glue stick (no liquid glue, please: all grades.



The history of pizza begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced flatbreads with toppings.

The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza developed in Naples, when tomato was added to the focaccia in the late 18th century.

The word pizza was first documented in AD 997 in Gaeta (close to Npaples) and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy. Pizza was mainly eaten in the country of Italy and by emigrants from there. This changed after World War II, when Allied troops stationed in Italy came to enjoy pizza along with other Italian foods.



Italians kick off the Christmas season  (and start decorating) on the Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.

Christmas Tree at Colosseum

Christmas is a major holiday in Italy… which means Italians celebrate lots of great, unique Christmas traditions! Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) with loved ones. But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays.



This yeasted, egg-rich cake is baked in eight-pointed molds, producing its distinct shape. Although pandoro originated in Verona, its production has spread across Italy thanks to industrial production and now it is the most  widely consumed Christmas sweet. The cake is traditionally served dusted liberally with powdered sugar.


This roughly cylindrical yeasted sweet bread may have originated in Milan, but industry has transported bad factory-made versions across Italy and the world. Some traditional bakeries still make panettone in the traditional way, dedicating more than two days to the lengthy process of naturally fermenting, proofing and baking the dough, followed by a final 24-hour resting period. In such cases, a thin, browned crust gives way to a soft, spongy interior studded with candied fruits and raisins.


Torrone is a broad category of sweets that has found its way, in one form or another, to every corner of Italy. From soft and chewy blocks of nougat to hard, dental work–threatening nut brittles, torrone’s origins are variously ascribed to Greek, Roman, Arab and Spanish conquerors. The most common incarnation features whole toasted nuts sheathed in an amalgam of egg whites, sugar and honey.



In Italy, November 2 is the day dedicated to the dear ones who passed away: la Festa dei Morti.

In Sicily there is the custom of preparing gifts for children, who are told that gifts are brought by the deceased relatives. In the morning, the children will find gifts under the bed: toys, but also sweets, as “i pupi di zuccaro” - sugar dolly.

Frutta di Martorana
The Martorana fruit is a typical Sicilian sweet, similar to marzipan but sweeter and tastier, made with the ground almonds and sugar; its preparation and packaging creates perfect imitations of fruits and sometimes vegetables or fish. The product is included in the list of traditional Italian food products of Sicily.
Image result for bambole di zucchero siciliane

Flowers: The chrysanthemums are considered messengers of good, joy and prosperity throughout the world, while in Italy they are associated with mourning and sad contexts. This depends on the fact that the Day of the Dead happens to coincide with the flowering of chrysanthemums in autumn, and that is why in the Italian and partly European civilization it became eventually associated to sorrow and death. This tradition and use for century has made this flower unpopular with many, and presenting bouquet with chrysanthemums would be very bad omen.


October is Italian-American heritage month.


Casa Italiana Ente Gestore  http://www.entegestore.org/ 

Istituto Italiano di Cultura
c/o Ambasciata Italiana

Sabrina Cannavo Munao,
May 8, 2018, 9:23 AM
Sabrina Cannavo Munao,
Feb 16, 2018, 8:01 AM