Link to the CCRI Home PageCommunity College of Rhode Island

     In our participants' words ....

The region of Umbria, Central Italy           

Students in Foligno, 2009
"A cherry tree, Summer 2009

"The Program in Italy was the trip of a lifetime. From visiting the Vatican City to the Coliseum, from Villa d'Este to Palazzo Farnese, from Orvieto to Spoleto, Perugia and Assisi, the trip was spectacular. I was always learning, my questions were always answered and I used the knowledge I gained in class every day... From simple phrases of description and explanation, I quickly learned to appreciate the beauty of the Italian language and its musical tones... From the start of my lesson I fell in love with the Italian language  and dedicated myself to using as much as my vocabulary and imagination would allow."
Elizabeth VanBroklin, 2009

"The visits supplied very adequate information on the cultural and historical aspects. Every place we went to was full of interesting facts and history. All of our guides were very helpful and informative. Could not have been better! The cooking class well exceeded my expectations on every level".
Lindsay VanBroklin, 2009

"My trip to Italy did indeed prove to be a feast for the eyes, body and soul. It was a special gift and a blessing to have been privileged in this lifetime to experience it. I was doubly blessed to have been able to share all of it with my two young daughters."
Patricia VanBroklin, 2009


Students with Chef Lorenzo at the "mercato" in Piazza del Popolo, Orvieto, 2009
"This program has made me think about the value of travel and even though it can be costly the experiences are priceless. I think travel will be a priority in my life. I also am glad to realize that I am open minded and willing to try new things ... This trip has really made me appreciate life and opportunities to make the most of it! Grazie!"
Natalia Di Fusco, 2009

"This program provided a completely fulfilling experience for me. I felt it to be completely diverse in offering so many different aspects of Italian culture. Prof. Mansella was wonderful in providing a wealth of information and guidance."
Carlynn Woolsey, 2009

"The program was extremely fulfilling! The most attractive aspect was the cultural excursions and seeing all the amazing artwork and Italian life. I would recommend the program to everyone and the gelato!"
Blackmar, 2009

Students in Civita Bagnoregio, 2008
"The Italian courses were well organized given the fact that students of varying levels of knowledge of Italian were in class together. Nevertheless, the Professor's sensitivity to addressing each individual's needs along with her commitment to the study of Italian was remarkable. Classes absolutely met my expectations. But it is important to note that besides the actual classroom experience, the ongoing experience of living in Italy and dealing with everyday life situations where one was constantly afforded the opportunity to use the Italian language was of inestimable value."
Charles Mansolillo, 2008

Students in Perugia, 2008
Frank and Chandra, San Giovenale, Orvieto, 2008

"Everything was effective ... the class presentations, guest speakers and lectures. The whole trip was informative and well planned."
Ian Sanborn, 2008

" I have been enriched spiritually and emotionally. My marriage to Chandra in February and this trip this summer have been awesome. My soul and heart have been filled with so many sunrises and sunsets on this trip ... The people we have met and interacted with on this trip and the cooking class have been extraordinary ..... Thank you for taking us into the rainbow. The various hews of color exposure, richness and emotions could only have been accomplished by your endless energy of passion for what you love the most".

Frank Capasso, 2008

"Prof. Mansella has provided with her excellent leadership a program that has demonstrated professionalism in every aspect. The daily organization of the multi schedule provided to us students incorporated enjoyable tasks to fulfill our academic objectives. This complex program has been fine tuned to cater to individual needs and interests... The program was Extraordinary! "

Chandra Rodrigues, 2008


On the terrace al bar Montanucci, Orvieto, 2008
A classroom activity, Orvieto, 2008
"Dear Prof.  Mansella,

I wish there was a way to tell you how much this trip and experience has meant
to me. This program became so much more than I ever expected and I am so unbelievable grateful for all your effort, patience, and time. You have not only helped me discover a new language and country, but also a new part of myself."
Katie Valdivia, 2007

"In every way the classes exceeded expectations. Classes were held formally in the hotel conference room and then after break, continued at Montanucci's over espressos. This was particularly advantageous to the learning process, in that we were among natives, living like natives, and learning on the go. Informal instruction was conducted anywhere and everywhere on excursions as Prof. Mansella related what we were doing and seeing at any given time to the Italian language, culture and history."
Concetta Nicolosi, 2004-2009

"I have wanted to travel to Italy for a very long time. My four gandparents, my father and his sibilings were immigrants from Italy. The program provided me with experiences that I will never forget. The grandeur of Italy was a gift for me to experience."
Joyce Rizzo, 2007


Students at dinner, Zeppelin Restaurant, Orvieto, 2007
Ponte delle Torri Bridge, Spoleto, 2007

"Dear Professor Mansella,

Your wonderful, caring spirit, patience and expertise of the language and culture of the Italian people has enabled me to have a trip that brought back to my roots. I have been touched emotionally and spiritually. Learning the language brings back wonderful memories of my parents, grandparents and so many others ...."
Nicolette Ciano, 2007

"After the first week, not only were some of us speaking in Italian to shopkeepers, waiters and others, but we felt comfortable chatting up with people in the streets and wherever we happened to go." 
Ana Marinelli, 2007

"Cara Maria,

Mille grazie per tutto il tuo lavoro per fare questo viaggio il piu` memorabile che io abbia avuto! Veramente e` stato un piacere partecipare con tutte le persone nel gruppo, con Concetta, Chiara e specialmente con te - una persona professionale che aiuta tutti. Sempre tieni in mente di fare il bene per gli altri. Spero di contribuire al tuo programma in qualunque modo che possa. Tante belle cose e cari saluti e auguri per tutto. Un abbraccio forte,"
Dora Waters, 2007

Students at lunch, Orvieto, 2007
Students at San Giovenale, Orvieto, 2006

       "Working with a top chef, in a professional kitchen; guided by our incredible, passionate, dedicate founder; nestled in an Italian hamlet with good people. Paradise. I was blessed with a true understanding of the Italian culinary tradition as well as immersed in the rich culture that created it."               
Connie Nicolosi, 2004-2009

"My life is now enriched and forever changed after studying Italian Heritage, Elementary Italian II and cooking in Italy. The language and culture will forever be engrained in my life and , if may also say, my soul."

         Diane M. Cardon, 2006

“The program surpassed all my expectations.  Students came out of the on-site learning experience with a great desire to continue on. More than one trip is required if the desire to learn is greater than just curiosity."
Prof. Rosendo Brito, 2006


By staying in Orvieto, I can see that this is a quite and peaceful little city. Everyone is very friendly and make you feel like you are part of the town." 

Danielle Antonetti, 2006

"Sagra degli gnocchi" Sugano, 2005

"Learning a foreign language is a lot of fun. It helps us to understand each other better and gives us the  confidence and strength to succeed in a world that is getting smaller and smaller."

    Julie Santos, 2005


Students in Cortona, 2005  

"Fabulous experience at Bagnoregio, the "Sagra dell'oca e Sagra degli gnocchi", and the play at Ferento. Talking with the people there was invaluable in understanding the culture."
Claire Giannamore, 2005

Students in Montecchio, 2004
 Donn in Civita Bagnoregio, 2004

"Of course, along the pastoral roads to everywhere are fields and fields of girasoli (sunflowers).  Their name means turning around the sun—gira (turn around), sole (sun).  These are the floral hallmark of Umbria and Tuscany.  On a cloudy day their heads droop down toward the earth as if they’re crying.  On sunny days, they perk up reaching for their brilliant yellow namesake in the bluest of skies having a party as they dance and sway to the music of the venticello (breezes).   Of course, the best olive oil and wines come from the vineyards and olive groves nestled in the Umbrian and Tuscan hills.  We see these as we travel to our destinations, along with monasteries and palatial villas (gotta have one!).  Even the dogs here are adorable, calm and well-tempered.  They’re so smart:  they understand Italian!"
Concetta Nicolosi, 2004-2009

" It was the most fulfilling experience! Being immersed in the life of an Italian town truly enhanced the learning process. The course work motivated me to do more, explore more, and get more involved with local people, engaging them in conversation, ordering food, shopping."        
Donn Gennari, 2003, 2004

Outside the Duomo in Orvieto, 2003
Students in class, Orvieto, 2003


"It was wonderful experiencing the culture of Orvieto as someone who is part of the city, not just a tourist...that was how Prof. Mansella taught the class. She wanted the classroom to be outside of the classroom."  
Prof. Debbie Lilli, 2003

"This program provided one of the most and best experience. We did see more that I expected. The quality of Prof. Mansella's presentations was excellent. The guest speakers she chose were very informative and enlightened our perspective of Italian life."
Natalie Vecchio, 2003, 2004

Students in Corso Cavour, orvieto, 2003
"The immersion of the educational process with the culture provided an incredible learning environment… Students and professors studying together created an immeasurable bonding experience, and Prof. Mansella's unselfish extension of her time and effort highlighted the adventure."       
Prof. Barbara Sepe Reall, 2003

"We had the utmost integrity as Americans in a foreign country, and that was definitely Prof. Mansella's leadership and influence, that was her vision of what it should be like and it definitely met those expectations."  
Prof. Cherie Markward, 2003

 Tony and Stephanie, Orvieto, 2003
"I appreciate the flexibility of the conversational culture class. An enormous amount of vocabulary, grammar and cultural situations was covered in a very short time. The heritage class opened many new avenues of knowledge. It gave me a foundation for further independent exploration of Italian culture and literature….The excursions to various towns and social/cultural activities were very stimulating and informative: Etruscan art at Tarquinia, the development of Middle Ages, Renaissance art through visits to Assisi, Perugia, Florence, Rome. Our guide was terrific in presenting the connections and relationships especially between art, literature and language."                      
Stephanie Trudeau, 2003 
Students in class, Orvieto, 2003

"I would encourage anyone thinking about enrolling in the program to do so. It's such a unique experience in that not only would you learn the Italian language and culture, but you will be able to enhance that experience via the many colorful and worthwhile excursions included as part of the program".
Prof. Theresa Squizzero, 2003, 2006

"The program provided an excellent experience. The most attractive aspect was to learn the language in the country where it is actually spoken. I was well satisfied with the way that the excursions and cultural activities complemented the objectives of the courses. The guides were very informative and provided a great amount of interesting information." 
Prof. William Squizzero, 2003, 2006

Dr. & Mrs. Martin Salween, Pasticceria Adriano, Orvieto, 2003

"Classes exceeded my expectations, due entirely to their impeccable logic and structure. I feel much more comfortable conversing in Italian, and my knowledge of Italian culture is certainly richer… Excursions and cultural activities exceeded my expectations! My three weeks in Italy with CCRI were the next best thing to living, eating, and talking-to and with an Italian family in Italy. I could not ask for more."
Jane Salwen, 2003

"The instruction's presentations were excellent. The guest speakers were perfect selections…Absolutely terrific course… In every respect this is an outstanding program that provides a rich experience in teaching Italian conversation enriched with splendid trips to great places and events."            
Dr. Martin Salwen, 2003

Link to the CCRI Home Page

This page developed and maintained by Maria C. Mansella . Send comments and suggestions to © 2003, Community College of Rhode Island - All rights reserved.