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 and teacher
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
Marina – Teacher and author
Verdiana – Teacher and children classes coordinator
Serena – Teacher
Stella - Teacher & Admin
Reliable, smiling and enthusiastic. She joined the CIS team in 2022 and she’s been always passionate about teaching Italian grammar and culture, fashion and food. She has an obsession with authentic Italian gelato and her hobbies include travelling and going to yoga and pilates classes. Stella loves strolling at the beach or in the parks and she likes watching Italian movies starring Claudio Santamaria. Subsonica is her favourite Italian music band. She believes that “everything happens for a reason”. Born in Milan
Biagio – Teacher
Erika - Teacher
Active, outgoing and positive. Erika joined the CIS team in 2022 after being an Italian tutor for more than two years in Australia where she arrived in 2018. Food & wine lover, Erika also adores spending time at the beach surfing or just relaxing with a book. Alessandro Baricco is her favourite Italian author. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Born in Asti (Piedmont)
Florin - Teacher
Passionate traveller, theatre lover and always ready for new challenges. Florin joined CIS in 2022. Let's meet him in the intermediate classes where his focus will be on fun communication based on functional language. He loves using the target language in a natural context and getting to know the students. His favorite readings are Luigi Pirandello's plays such as Enrico IV and Così è se vi pare. His favorite movie is Il Postino (the Postaman) and he likes to listen to Renato Zero and Lucio Dalla! Raised in Rome.
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.
Cristiano - Teacher
Passionate, curious, and with a research background in Australia, Cristiano joined the CIS team in 2022. He believes that learning a language requires cultural immersion, spontaneous connections, and authentic communication. A traveller at heart, Cristiano has used his skills in European languages to connect with people from dozens of countries. Some of his favourite Italian novels include “Timira” by Wu Ming 2 & Antar Mohamed and “La dismissione” by Ermanno Rea, whereas Italian filmmakers he usually recommends are Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Claudio Caligari. He loves indulging his passion for urban photography while listening to old school Italian rap. Born and raised in Napoli.
Stefano - Teacher
Friendly, patient, a great communicator and listener, Stefano has joined the CIS team in 2022. His goal is to create enjoyable and interesting learning experiences for curious and passionate students who want to discover Italian from “A” to “ZETA”. Stefano’s interests range is very wide and varied. He cooks and bakes a lot of Italian food and has an obsession with everything Disney. He loves singing Italian songs from all Sanremo Music Festival playlists available with friends and finds solace in fantasy sagas on the page and on the screen. He is an avid reader, adores musicals and plays and goes to the gym most mornings. And much more! Stefano was born in Brescia (Lombardia) and moved to Melbourne 10 years ago.
Emily - Teacher
Silvia – Teacher
Maria – 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
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
Sergio – Teacher
Marlisa – Teacher
Alessandra P. – 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
Antonio - Teacher
Book collector, History aficionado and avid pasta eater. Antonio joined CIS in 2017. He loves to create a fun and interactive class using academic online games, music, films and books. Antonio strives to live by the words of his late English teacher “Go out there and change some lives!” Antonio's favourite writers are Natalia Ginzburg and Eugenio Montale. He listens to Ricchi e Poveri and Fedez and enjoys watching Caduta Libera, LOL and Uomini e Donne. He loves spending time with family over Sunday lunch. Born in Melbourne. Family from Sassari (Sardegna) and Catanzaro (Calabria).
Giulia – 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.
Carmel – Teacher
Salvatore - Teacher
Warm and versatile. Salvatore has worked at CIS, on and off, for over 20 years. Born in Catania, he has taught Italian at various Melbourne schools since 1984. He brings the Italian world into the classroom so that students walk outliving the language. He is also an experienced careers counsellor, advising High School students on future career choices. He lives in inner Melbourne and loves walking the Yarra River tracks to keep fit and healthy. His favourite holiday spots are Far North Queensland and Taormina in Sicily.