Teachers | Centre of Italian studies - Centre of Italian Studies

Meet our teachers

CIS teachers are native Italian speakers with the qualifications, proficiency, training and experience to teach language at any level.

Importantly, they are self-motivated to create compelling classroom materials and keen to share their love of Italian and Italy on a personal basis.
There is no substitute for personal experience.

Elio Guarnuccio - CIS Founder

Elio Guarnuccio - CIS Founder

Patient, full of ideas and a great leader, Elio founded CIS in 1979 when as a young teacher creating his own materials, he saw an opportunity. CIS quickly became a successful language school and publishing company. The first language course that he co-wrote, Avanti!, changed the way languages are taught and how language textbooks are designed. In 2020 Elio launched Lingopont, a new groundbreaking publishing company with high ambitions. Elio’s passion for languages represents not only communication, but also cultural richness, new friendships, personal development and fun times. These are all things that he instills in our school. His hobbies include traveling, Opera, reading, playing golf, and watching sports . Lucio Battisti is his favourite Italian singer and Il Postino is one of the best Italian movies he recommends.


Carla – General Manager & Teacher

Carla – General Manager & Teacher

Spontaneous, resolute and a huge animal lover, Carla has been with CIS since 2017. She believes that CIS is like a "little Italy" where you learn Italian whilst soaking up the typical Italian atmosphere - both friendly and joyful. The subjunctive is her great passion when she teaches. Meet her in advanced classes where you can immerse yourself in Italian literature, cinema and culture, meeting Italian authors, actors and film directors.   Her motto is: “a day without laughter is a day wasted”. Her hobbies include volunteering for rescue farmed animals, reading Italian contemporary authors like Stefano Benni and Elena Ferrante and listening to Italian groups Negrita and Baustelle. Dopo mezzanotte and In guerra per amore are her favourite Italian movies. Born in Siracusa (Sicily)

Verdiana – Teacher and children classes coordinator

Verdiana – Teacher and children classes coordinator

Tenacious, stubborn and proudly Sicilian, Verdiana has been part of CIS team since 2017. When she is in class, she loves using everyday situations to teach common and useful expressions, including vocabulary and grammar. She also adores teaching Italian to the little ones engaging them with plenty of fun and entertaining activities. In her hobbies there is a pinch of Sicily. She loves cooking Sicilian dishes while she listens to her favourite singer Alessio Bondì. I Leoni di Sicilia is her preferred book and Il giovane Montalbano is her favoured tv-series. Born in Palermo (Sicily)

Serena – Teacher

Serena – Teacher

Patient, dreamer and traveller, Serena has joined the CIS team in 2020. She loves teaching to passionate students and creating a stimulating and fun learning environment with them. This is the phrase that represents her the most: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”. Giorgia and Mina are her favourite Italian singers while Margaret Mazzantini is one of her favourite Italian writers. She also loves watching Italian movies directed by Ferzan Özpetek. Born in Brescia (Lombardia).

Marina – Teacher and author

Marina – Teacher and author

Cheerful, curious and adventurous, Marina has been teaching at CIS for 4 years and she considers the school as a window on Italian culture and language. She loves teaching pronouns and you can meet her mainly in the intermediate classes. Her motto is: “less upsetti, more spaghetti”. She likes reading Alessandro Baricco’s books and listening to the Italian group Modena City Ramblers. La Leggenda del pianista sull’oceano is her favourite Italian movie. Born in Verona (Veneto)

Biagio – Teacher

Biagio – Teacher

Fun, engaging and empathetic, Biagio has joined the CIS team in 2020. As a Disney lover, he loves to be creative! He likes to be involved in planning and enriching social and cultural activities. He is strategic and adept at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each student through interaction and encouraging them to advance in their skills.  This is the phrase that represents him the most: “If you can dream it, you can do it!”  Among his favourite italian singers there are Elisa, Marco Mengoni, Giorgia, Alex Baroni and Andrea Bocelli, of course.   He also has a passion for singing and music! Born in Comiso (Ragusa) – Sicily

Silvia – Teacher

Silvia – Teacher

Determined, sunny and creative, Silvia has joined CIS team two years ago. She loves helping her students to gain fluency and confidence in conversation with a mixture of grammar, Italian idioms and fun. Her motto is: “Every day is a new story! Be your true self, dare and smile!”. Silvia adores the Italian writer Alda Merini and Paolo Conte is one of her preferred Italian singers. She is moved every time she watches the film Il Postino by Massimo Troisi. Born in Treviso (Veneto)

Maria – Teacher

Maria – Teacher

Energetic, determined and friendly, Maria is one of the legendary teachers at CIS. She joined the school in 2003 and she has always been passionate about everything Italian from culture, food, fashion and above all family. You can meet her and her loud voice in the beginner levels. She will take you on an amazing journey to discover the beauty of the Italian language with the Tutto Bene course. Maria is crazy for the Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti and she likes watching Italian tv-series like L’Onore e il Rispetto but above all cooking traditional dishes for her family. Born in Melbourne – Family from Potenza (Basilicata)

Elisabetta - Teacher

Elisabetta - Teacher

Happy, determined and passionate. Elisabetta started working at CIS in 2011, she had a break for a few years to exclusively work with children and has returned at the beginning of 2021. Elisabetta's lessons are focused on the learners' needs to maximise their individual abilities for a pleasant learning journey.
Elisabetta loves cinema, travelling, learning languages, literature and music. Her favourite contemporary writer is Isabel Allende. She loves singing, rock and soul music are her favourite. She is passionate about the environment, particularly about reducing waste.
Elisabetta also enjoys cooking, people say that her home-made pizza is very good.


Francesca - Teacher

Francesca - Teacher

Positive, motivated and creative, Francesca has joined the CIS team in 2021 but she has been working as a teacher since 2011. She loves teaching using different techniques to make her classes always fun and dynamic. The phrase that she always keeps in mind is: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. Carmen Consoli and Brunori Sas are two of her favourite Italian singers while Erri de Luca, Marco Malvaldi and Antonio Tabucchi are her favourite Italian writers. 
She also loves cooking, watching TV series and playing tennis.

From Reggio Calabria


Marlisa – Teacher

Marlisa – Teacher

Resilient, positive, persistent, Marlisa has been at CIS for 7 years. You can meet Marlisa mainly in advanced classes where she loves empowering students. Her students find the perfect environment to express their opinions and ideas while they are immersed in the culture and language as much as possible. CIS for her represents a supportive and well-structured environment where students can be engaged, learn and have fun. Natalia Ginsburg and Italo Calvino are two authors she likes. Claudio Baglioni and Fabrizio De Andrè are the song writers she enjoys listening to the most. Born in Castelnuovo della Garfagnana - Lu (Toscana)

Alessandra P. – Teacher

Alessandra P. – Teacher

Reliable, funny and inventive, Alessandra has been part of CIS team for 8 years. She lives in Tassie now, but CIS still represents an important part of her life. She loves starting her classes with a sfida (a challenge), it is something that her students like a lot! Alessandra’s motto can describe her best: “If life does not smile at you, tickle it”. The Italian singer Ligabue is one of her great passions, she enjoys listening to his music and watching his movie Radiofreccia. Luigi Pirandello is her preferred Italian author.

Alessandra – Admin & teacher

Alessandra – Admin & teacher

Friendly, smiling and a great tea lover, Alessandra has been working at CIS since January 2018. She considers CIS as a big family and she strongly believes in the power of a smile. She is one of the first friendly faces you will meet at CIS. Her good mood will overflow you! Alessandra’s favourite Italian movie is Tre uomini e una gamba, she also loves listening to Italian rock music and read Tiziano Terzani’s books. Born in Brescia (Lombardia)

Luciana – Teacher

Luciana – Teacher

Life enthusiastic, music lover and always smiling, Luciana joined CIS in 2020. You can meet her in the beginner classes where she loves engaging the students to develop a passion for learning the language and to learn more about Italy itself. Her favourite readings are Oriana Fallaci’s books and L’amica geniale and Suburra are the Italian tv- series she likes watching the most. Her favourite Italian singers are Eros Ramazzotti and Fabri Fibra. Born in  Melbourne


Giulia – Teacher

Giulia – Teacher

Calm, enthusiastic and creative. Giulia has been with the CIS team since February, 2021. She loves working with students and believes that it is a two-way cultural process - she enjoys teaching them her language and about her country, but she also learns a lot from them. The phrase she feels represents her the most is “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”. She loves Italian songwriters such as Francesco De Gregori and Fabrizio De Andrè while Elena Ferrante is one of her favourite Italian writers. She likes to watch Italian movies starring Elio Germano. Born in Firenze (Tuscany)

Anna - Teacher

Anna - Teacher

Fun with a positive attitude, she put human relationships at the centre of what she does! Anna has joined the CIS team in 2021. She loves human beings and with teaching, she creates empathic relationships. Her lessons are serious and focus on learning with an underlying fun environment. This is the phrase that represents her the most: “Be like the sea: transparent and thoughtless on the surface and deep in the soul”. She loves horse riding and reading. Giorgio Balzano is her favourite writer. She loves being the grandmother of her 3 little babies.

 


Chiara – Teacher

Chiara – Teacher

Romantic, cheerful and a good eater, Chiara has been part of CIS since 2017. Her main goal in class is to spread Italian culture and to teach the everyday language in a funny and engaging way. “We teach what we say, even better what we do, even better what we are“ is the phrase that describes her approach in class and with her students. Chiara loves reading Elena Ferrante and Maurizio De Giovanni’s books. Nel blu dipinto di blu is her best-loved song and L’Amica geniale is her favourite Italian tv-series. Born in Napoli

Sergio – Teacher

Sergio – Teacher

Witty, meticulous and sporty, Sergio has started working at CIS in 2018. He considers the school his second family and he enjoys teaching idioms as he believes they are one of the most interesting aspects of a language, a real mirror of Italian culture, history and soul. His motto is: “Is when we stop seeking knowledge that we become old”. Sergio likes reading Italian classic authors as D’annunzio, Pirandello and Svevo and listening to Articolo 31’s music. La Leggenda di Al, John & Jack is his favourite Italian movie. Born in Milano (Lombardia)

Carmel – Teacher

Carmel – Teacher

Steadfast, friendly, curious, Carmel is one of the historic teachers at CIS as she joined the school when it was founded. You can meet her in beginner and intermediate classes where she loves teaching grammar. CIS for her has always been a place that has given her the opportunity to share her love of language with others and to establish firm friendships. Carmel enjoys watching Montalbano tv-series and reading Paolo Giordano’s book. Nel blu dipinto di blu is her favourite Italian song. Born in Melbourne

Anna – Teacher and author

Anna – Teacher and author

Passionate, creative and stubborn, Anna has worked for CIS for 4 years and she is one of the authors of the Tutto Bene textbooks. She loves being in the classroom as she feels at home when she is with her students. You can never get a glass of wine large enough or a book long enough to suit her! She enjoys reading everything by Elena Ferrante and Paolo Cognetti. The Italian singers she grew up with are Lucio Battisti and Mina. La mafia uccide solo d’estate is her favourite Italian tv-series. Born in Zagarolo - Rm (Lazio)

Francesca - Teacher and author

Francesca - Teacher and author

Enthusiastic and curious, she is passionate about teaching Italian and yoga, her surname “Lavagna” means “blackboard" so her destiny was to be a teacher! She started working at cis in 2013 and she is one of the authors of the TuttoBene textbooks.
Her quote is "il cielo è un punto di partenza, non un limite" which means "the sky is only a starting point, not a limit". She listens to Italian rap music and her favorite writer is Gianrico Carofiglio who has a very engaging way of letting the readers deep in the stories he tells. She suggests to all her students to watch the series "La mafia uccide solo d’estate" directed by Pif.