News & Events

Il Piccolo Violino Magico – International Violin Competition in Italy for Young Violinists

Date 01.15.2021

Il Piccolo Violino Magico is an international Violin Competition for young violinists up to 14 years old that will be held in July in Italy.
Deadline to apply is April 15, 2021

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La Befana Comes Tonight! – Jan. 5

Date 01.05.2021

On January 5th throughout Italy, excited children prepare for a late-night visit from La Befana by hanging up socks to be filled with small delights. Befana, a grandmotherly woman who resembles a kindly witch, brings gifts to good little children, depositing them in stockings hung above the hearth, then tidying up a bit before taking her leave.

Befana arrives after children have gone to bed on the eve of the Festa dell’Epifania (Feast of Epiphany), which is a celebration of the visit of the Three Kings or Magi to the newborn Christ child in Bethlehem. It’s thought that her name derives from the word “Epifania.” Another theory posits that an important figure from Italian folklore is a Christian version of an earlier Roman goddess, Sabine (also known as “Strenia” and “Bastrina”).

While the ancient goddess connection is probably accurate, Befana has been transformed through the ages from her likely ancient Roman origins. The medieval figure conceived of in 13th century Rome is very similar to the grandmotherly Befana children adore today.

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Fondazione Italia’s Winter 2021 Classs for Kids & Adults Open for Registration!

Date 12.17.2020

Check out our toddler, kids, teen and adult language class offerings for 2021! Courses start the second week of January. Registration opens January 1, 2021.

Kids Course Schedule – The AP prep course is back!

Adult Course Schedule – We are offering a host of NEW classes from phonetics to art to comic books!


Felice Anno Nuovo!

Date 12.30.2020

Italian Government K-12 Italian Language Grant 2021-22 Application Now Available!

Date 12.21.2020

Italian government funded Italian language grants are available through Fondazione Italia to K-12 schools throughout Southern California. Italian language grants are offered in an effort to promote and support the teaching of the Italian language and culture in schools outside of Italy. Public and private not-for-profit K-12 schools throughout Southern California, New Mexico, Nevada or Arizona offering or intending to offer Italian during the school day, or as an elective course in the 2021-2022 school year are invited to apply.

Please note that a grant cannot be awarded for fee-based after-school programs. Grant funds may be applied towards the Italian teacher or teaching assistant pay, or to purchase Italian books/didactic materials needed for the program.

Download Application

Deadline is February 1, 2021

National Italian Exam 2021 for Middle & High School Students

Date 12.17.2020

The NIE Committee is delighted to announce the opening of the registration for the NIE 2021 and the launching of their new website.  On the NIE website, teachers and parents will find site step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on how to register their students and administer the exam (in person or remotely) as well as other important information. 

 What is the NIE? 
It is a web-based proficiency and performance assessment that measures written and aural interpretation skills in alignment with the ACTFL Performance Descriptors and the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. The National Italian Exam is part of the larger family of national language examinations offered by other language associations (AATG, AATSP, AATF) and is now included in the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principal) National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2020-2021.

Who can participate?
Middle school and high school students in the USA can participate in the contest. Home-schooled students, students who have studied Italian outside a traditional school setting, and college students could also participate in the competition but should contact the NIE director to determine the exam level ( More information on this page. 

What are the conditions to participate? 
Teachers should be AATI members in good standing. Non-members could also participate, but with a higher fee. Visit this page to become/renew your AATI membership.
For the 2021 school year, the NIE can be administered remotely following a proctoring protocol. Learn more here. 

What do I need to know before registering my students?
Before registering students, teachers should familiarize themselves with the structure of the exam, in particular, they need to consider the exam levels and categories, as well as the typologies of students that are participating Visit this page. 

How do I register for the exam?
The NIE is delivered electronically on the web platform Lingco. Teachers and students need to register on this platform to participate. Visit this page.

What is the fee to participate in the contest and how do I pay for the fees?
Teachers and schools can pay online with credit cards / Paypal, or using checks. For more information on fees and payments, visit this page.

How will our students be awarded? 
AATI offers an extensive regional and national prize program that consists of monetary prizes, study-trips to Italy, medals, and certificates to award students of all different language proficiency to celebrate their accomplishments. Visit this page. 

If you have any questions,  do not hesitate to contact The NIE Committee at

Italian Language in the United States Video

Date 12.17.2020

Each year thousands of students in the U.S. learn Italian in high school, college, or with Fondazione Italia! Italian is the language of art, music, science and business. Check out this wonderful video made but the Italian Embassy in Washington to celebrate students learning Italian language and how it connects them to future opportunities.

National Italian American Foundation Scholarships 2021 Applications Now Open!

Date 12.14.2020

NIAF’s scholarship applications are now open! NIAF offers 29 different scholarships with various criteria, ranging from $2,500-$12,000, in the fields of Italian language & culture, medicine, engineering, business, law, music & more!

Applicants must…

  • Be enrolled in a US accredited institution of higher education on a full time basis for the Fall 2021 semester
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0 (or the equivalent). (Some scholarships require a lower GPA for eligibility. Students in a pass-fail system are also eligible.)
  • Be a United States Citizen or permanent resident alien.
  • Have Italian American ancestry. To be considered Italian American, the student must have at least one ancestor who has immigrated from Italy
  • Have an active NIAF Membership. Student may use their parent, guardian or grandparent’s membership. Become a member here.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2021

Learn more about available scholarships.

Apply Today!

Dual-language teacher shares remote-learning approach

Date 12.08.2020

Online breakout rooms are helping a class of 25 second-graders keep up with their studies in Spanish and English, says dual-language teacher Jocelynne MacKay. The Massachusetts educator acknowledges the challenges of distance learning, but says she’s learning to use various technology tools to support students, such as programs that allow students to record videos of themselves while reading and practicing their language skills.

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