Program Director -
Giuseppe Tassone moved to Seattle from Italy in 1993. He has been the director of the Italian Language Program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 1998 and the PLIDA coordinator since 2011. He is a language educator, coordinator, and advocate of Italian language and culture. He has a background in economics and finance (B.A. in Economics), but chooses to specialize in Italian language and culture (M.A. in Italian Studies). He has 20+ years of experience teaching, developing curricula, coordinating, testing, and assessing in public and non-profit organizations (e.g. Seattle University, University of Washington, Shoreline College). Several years ago, Giuseppe decided to combine his passion for economics and the Italian language to research and write his own Italian for Business textbook. In 2016, Hackett Publishing Company published the finished product of his labor, a book entitled, Un buon affare, Italian for Business. This has been his biggest publication to date. It was preceded by two books, Ricordati di me and Buongiorno Notte - Italian Films Series by Edizioni Farinelli, as well as reviews and/or contributions to several Italian language textbooks, such as Da Capo, Oggi in Italia, Avanti, Piazza and most recently Sentieri (3rd edition), an innovative leading textbook. Giuseppe’s personal interests are: reading, traveling, cinema, economics, politics, playing and listening to music, swimming, biking, gardening and cooking.
Laura Ciroi has been teaching with the Italian language program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 2003. She was born in Palmanova, in Northern Italy, a star shaped fortress built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice to protect the territory from the invasions of the Hapsburg and the Ottoman Empires. She was raised speaking Italian, French and Friulano (her native Northern Italian dialect). Laura received a Laurea in Linguistics from the Università di Udine where she specialized in Spanish and English literature. Since then she has lived and worked in Holland, Switzerland, Spain, England, America, and Italy.
Marina Gagliardi was born and raised in Bari, the largest and more important city of Puglia. Her interest in the study of foreign languages started at a very young age and led her to pursue a Laurea in Translation Studies from the renowned SSLMIT - School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators - at the University of Trieste, specializing in English/French-Italian technical and scientific translation. After spending a few years in Italy working in the travel industry, she moved to the United States with the opportunity to teach Italian language at the University of Washington as a Teaching Assistant while earning her MA in Italian Studies. Marina currently lives in Bothell, and has been teaching with the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since November 2013. She is fluent in French, loves teaching, traveling, reading, and cooking her favorite foods from her hometown's culinary tradition.
Tommaso Nencetti was born and raised in Florence, Italy. In the cradle of the Renaissance, he developed a passion for languages and pursued his interests for Italian, English, Spanish and French at the Volta Language School in Florence, where he excelled all the way through his graduation in 2007. He expanded his knowledge and teaching skills with further courses in Florence and a two-year experience in the UK. Keen on languages, geography, history, music, fashion and sports, he continues his now 10-year teaching career in Seattle, WA where he relocated in 2015, sharing the passion and appreciation for culture, background and heritage of each language.
Nicla Riverso is a native of Napoli, Italy. She has a Laurea in Materie Letterarie (degree in humanities) and a Laurea in Pedagogy (degree in education) from the Università degli Studi di Cassino. She earnead her M.A. in Italian Studies and her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. She taught Italian litearature and history in secondary schools in Italy for eight years and has taught as a teaching assistant and lecturer for French and Italian Studies and Comparative Literature departments at the University of Washington for ten years. She has published on Sarpi, Dante, Ariosto, humanism and literacy.
Patrick Zambianchi was born in Switzerland, where he grew up speaking the three national languages: French, Italian and German. After earning his M.A. in English literature from the University of Lausanne in 2005, Patrick moved to Seattle where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He has taught a variety of classes in comparative literature, French and Italian at UW as well as other colleges in the Seattle area. His mission as an instructor is to bring language to life in the classroom so as to provide an honest look into the cultures that speak it. In his free time, Patrick enjoys hiking with his dog Luke in the great Pacific Northwest, reading, gardening and traveling.