Summer in Milan
by Patricia Camuzzi
I had no idea that people I met years ago on a trip with my parents to Italy would become a part of my life today. It all started years back when my grandfather used to tell my father all about our family coming from Italy & Switzerland before they arrived in Chile. My father did not believe the “stories” my grandfather used to say thinking the old man did not know what he was talking about. When my grandfather passed away, my father decided to do some research and verify whether what my grandfather had said was true. It turned out that all the stories were true.
My last name, Camuzzi, is Italian. It turns out that there are Camuzzi’s that still live in Italy. My father planned a reunion for all the Camuzzi’s to get together. My parents both learned to speak Italian before we went, but I had not learned it. We spent time in Intimiano for the most part and also went to Milan and Como. At the reunion it turned out that my father was the only male Camuzzi and the rest were all women! I took this trip during college and as a young adult continued with my life but still always remembered how fascinated I was with my trip to Italy for the Camuzzi family reunion. I fell in love with the country, the people, and of course the food!
Now I currently am in law school. Last fall when my parents were visiting, my father had an idea of possibly interning in Milan this coming summer for an Italian firm of one of the Camuzzi’s we had stayed with during our family reunion. My parents had kept in touch with the people we had met. My father emailed them and they wrote back saying they would be happy to have me work there this summer.
Immediately I thought to myself, okay now I will need to learn Italian in about 7 months. I looked in the yellow pages and did some research into places that offered Italian classes. I came upon the Italiano Language Center. From the first time I spoke to Al I felt completely at home. I knew I wanted to take classes with the Italiano Language Center. Right from the start Al was very flexible with my schedule as a student. I decided to take private lessons figuring it would be the best approach to try and learn as much as I could before I left for Italy.
In October I began taking classes twice a week with Elena and Al. I can’t say enough good things about the both of them. They are both excellent teachers, who are dedicated to their students. Elena & Al truly care about how their students learn and are very innovative with their teaching style. They both are constantly thinking of ways to improve the center or come up with new ideas for classes. Elena & Al try to maintain a family atmosphere amongst the students and plan several get-togethers throughout the year and parties for all the students to attend.
Since I will be working in a law firm they have helped me with legal terms and directed a lot of my Italian education toward business style conversations. They have also helped me tremendously by preparing me for daily life and learning common expressions used in Italy that one would not necessarily find in a book or dictionary. I am so glad that I found Elena & Al and that I decided to learn Italian with them. They have truly enriched my Italian experience. I am now beginning to attend group classes and when I return from my trip to Milan I plan to start attending more of them.
I look forward to reporting back from my summer in Milan!