News & Events

Buona Befana a Tutti!

Date 01.05.2019

On January 6th of every year Italians celebrate the 12th day of Christmas, locally known as Epiphany. On this day, it’s rumored, that the good witch La Befana delivers Christmas presents and treats to all of the children of Italy.

The legend of Befana began thousands of years ago and remains to this day a tradition practiced by Italian children and their families. As the story goes, one day, the three Magi left their country bearing special gifts of gold, incense and myrrh for the new-born Jesus Christ. They were guided by a star across many countries. At every village that they passed, people ran to meet them and accompany them in their journey.

But there was one old woman who did not join the Magi. She claimed to be too busy with her housework and promised to join them later when she had time. The next day, she realized her mistake and frantically ran after the Magi with gifts for the child, still clutching her broom. But it was too late – the Magi were long gone.

Ever since then the old woman has been known as “La Befana” or simply “Befana.” On the eve of January 6th, Befana flies from house to house on her old broomstick and delivers all the gifts she didn’t give to the Holy Child to good girls and boys.

In fact, Befana’s name is the Greek word “epifania” or “epiphany,” and is significant because the religious feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th.

Find out more about La Befana!



Italian Classes in Burbank & West LA Starting Soon! Register by Jan. 8 to receive discount

Date 01.04.2019

Fondazione Italia’s winter session of Italian language classes for kids and adults at our Burbank and West LA language centers start on Saturday, January 12.

To view our selection of classes and schedule visit class locations.

Receive $45 off if you enroll by January 8th.

New Year’s Food Traditions in Italy

Date 12.29.2018

Italians celebrate New Year’s Eve, known as the Vigilia, Capodanno or Festa di San Silvestro, with a cenone (big feast), often featuring foods symbolic of wishes for the coming year, and washed down with plenty of Prosecco or spumante (“sparkling wine”). Felice Anno Nuovo!!!

Lenticchie (Lentils)

The star of many New Year’s dinners throughout Italy is lentils; with their coin-like shape, they were traditionally believed to bring prosperity in the new year. They are commonly served with either cotechino or zampone.


Pork is considered a lucky New Year’s food because it’s so fatty and rich and the classic accompaniment for New Year’s lentils in many parts of Italy is cotechino. Originally from Modena, a town in the Emilia-Romagna region, cotechino is a large sausage made from pork rind, meat, fat, and spices. It’s usually sold partially cooked or raw, and then simmered over low heat and sliced into rounds before serving.

Risotto in bianco (White risotto)

In Piemonte and Friuli, grains of rice represent coins, and while cooking, rice grows in the pot the way that you’d like your wealth to multiply in the new year, so a traditional New Year’s dinner includes a risotto in bianco (white risotto).

Tortellini or Cappelletti in Broth

In the Emilia-Romagna region, tortellini or cappelletti, small filled pasta dumplings, are often eaten on New Year’s in a rich, meaty broth. Capodanno, one of the several Italian names for the new year, literally means the “head of the year” and cappelletti means “little hats,” so perhaps that’s why it’s an appropriate way to “cap off” the old year and begin the new one

Sfincione (Sicilian-Style Pizza)

In Sicily, a New Year’s treat that “non può mancare” is sfincione, a thick-crust, rectangular pizza made with onions, bread crumbs, and caciocavallo cheese, the ancestor of what is known as “Sicilian-style pizza” in the United States.

This makes a great finger food for New Year’s Eve parties

Veneziana or Pandoro

Veneziana is a sweet, buttery leavened cake similar to classic Italian yeasted Christmas cakes (Veronese pandoro or Milanese panettoneminus the candied fruit and topped with crunchy pearl sugar and slivered almonds and traditionally enjoyed in Venice on New Year’s Eve. Long, thin slices of star-shaped pandoro are also often served at New Year’s Eve parties, dusted with powdered sugar and perhaps dipped in melted dark chocolate.

Auguri di Buone Feste – Happy Holidays!

Date 12.23.2018

Fondazione Italia wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Silvia Chiave is Italy’s new Consul General in Los Angeles

Date 12.21.2018

Silvia Chiave, Italy’s new Consul General in Los Angeles, knows very well what it means to be an Italian abroad as she spent most of her childhood between France, Senegal and Venezuela, where her parents moved for work. Find out more about her here.

Kids Italian Holiday Art Workshop in OC – Dec. 15

Date 12.01.2018

Leave your kids with Fondazione Italia and go do some holiday shopping! Led by Italian art teacher, Ylenia Mino, children ages 4+ will be inspired to create holiday art and make arts & crafts gifts.  Activities will be presented in Italian and English. Your kids will be learning Italian through creativity! Materials included in workshop fee.

Saturday, December 15
1:00 – 2:30 pm
$20 per child (4+ years old) – $5 0ff with PROMO05 code
Orange County Language Center


Italian Frequency: your Italian music radio in the West coast!

Date 11.28.2018

Tune in to Italian Music Radio! Host, Sara Marnielli, takes you on a journey into the rich variety of Italian music styles and genres, retro and current. The radio show is presented in English and Italian.
 Italian Frequency airs Mondays, 6:15-7.30 pm
Podcast of each transmission is available for 2 weeks each show originally airs.

Kids “Project 28” Italian Music Workshop in OC – Dec. 8

Date 11.25.2018

This music workshop conducted by Italian music teacher, Marco Bazzi, is based on Italy’s “Project 28” program that espouses teaching music through listening, the practice of drawing and creative image processing, sound painting, sound cartoons, silent cinema, and games. The objective of Project 28 is the development of a capacity for attentive listening and free and creative re-elaboration of the sound as the foundations to explore traditional musical language. In this workshop geared to kids ages 8 to 12 years old, students will participate in music activities that express the value of sound and will discover the evocative power of music through pictorial and linguistic association. Students will transform everyday objects (pencils, books, desks) into instruments and learn that music is all around us. All proficiency levels welcome. Workshop will be presented in Italian and English.

Saturday, December 8
1:00 – 3:00 pm
$20 per child (8 to 12 years old only) – $5 off with PROMO05 code
Orange County Language Center


Happy Thanksgiving! Buona Festa del Ringraziamento!

Date 11.22.2018

Fondazione Italia wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Kids Italian “Superpowers of Music” Workshop in Burbank- Dec. 1

Date 11.18.2018

This music workshop held at our Burbank Language Center is aimed at all children aged 4+ who want to know, observe and experience the superpowers of music! Teachers, Ingrid Pagliarulo and Daniele de Cario, will lead kids in fun games, experiments, stories, and musical activities aimed at developing auditory perception, basic musical skills, tapping into child’s own artistic and musical potential, and understanding ways to communicate feelings and emotions through music. Discover the fantastical world of music with us! Presented in Italian. All proficiency levels welcome.

Burbank Language Center
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Fee: $15 per child (ages 4+) – $5 off with PROMO05 code