The ICC is proud to employ some of the best professionally trained instructors. All of ICC courses are taught by native-speaking Italian teachers, who have been part of the Italian language teaching scene for several years.
Michela Di Bella: Teacher, Director of Language Programs and Board Member
From: Alimena, Palermo, Italia
Michela was born and raised in a small town in the beautiful Madonie’s park, Alimena, located in Palermo province. She studied at the University of Palermo. After she got married, she left the beloved Sicily and moved North, to Magenta. She worked in Milano for many years writing software programs. She came to San Diego for a family vacation, fell in love with the place and has now been living here with her family since 1999. She started teaching Italian for Poway Adult Education in 2000 and for the ICC in 2005 and she LOVES it! She shares with her students all the passion and love she has for Italy and for Italian Culture and Art.
Silvia Arnone Metzger: Teacher and Board Member
From: Genova, Italia
Born and raised in Italy, she obtained her “Laurea” degree from the University of Genova where she worked as a researcher until she moved to California.She has traveled extensively. She has worked as an interpreter and translator and has been teaching Italian for over 20 years at all levels in institutions and Universities in the San Diego area and in Australia and Italy. Silvia has been involved with the Italian Cultural Center since the beginnings of the organization and has served on the Board as Vice President and President for several years. She particularly enjoys teaching at the Italian Cultural Center, where she finds the students very interesting and stimulating because they are motivated and eager to learn the Italian language and culture. She has been teaching Italian at ICC since 1989.
Gabriella Pozzoli: Teacher and Board Member
From: Napoli, Italia
Born and raised in Italy, she obtained her Laurea degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures. In Napoli she was teaching English in High School and Elementary school.
After moving to Maryland, she started teaching Italian Language in Washington D.C.for adults and US diplomatic and Military Personnel, and she also taught Italian in adults classes in Maryland. After her daughter was born she moved with the family to San Diego. Since then she has dedicated herself to raise her daughter, but not for a second she forgot about her passion, teaching. She is currently teaching Italian to children and adults at the ICC. Her passions are reading and cooking. “I consider myself lucky to work in the friendly atmosphere of the ICC. Everytime I have classes my spirit gets happy, I meet new and interesting people who enrich my life and at the same time I help promoting my Country.”
Simonetta Carr: Teacher
From: Reggio Emilia, Italia
A native of Reggio Emilia, Simonetta has spent her youth in Milan. For most of her life, she has lived in different countries of the world, where she has continued to teach Italian and work as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. She has now settled in San Diego, where she works as a fulltime mom (of eight!), and part-time teacher and translator.
Rossella Chiolini Bagley: Teacher
From: Pavia, Italia
Born and raised in Pavia, a town located in Lombardy just south of Milan, in Northern Italy. Rossella has been actively involved with both the ICC and House of Italy for over 9 years. She obtained her Master’s degree from SDSU in Spanish Language and Literature and is passionate about teaching both Italian and Spanish. With her natural ability to educate and tutor, Rossella transforms her classes into fun. “I am truly blessed to be surrounded by wonderful students who share not only the desire to learn the Italian language but who also embrace and love Italian culture.”
Luca Dal Pubel: Teacher
From: Vicenza, Italia
Born in Vicenza, in the north-east of Italy, he earned his Laurea in Law at the University of Bologna and his Master’s Degree in Negotiation Conflict Resolution and Peace-building at CSU Dominquez Hills. He teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Arbitration at San Diego State University. Over the years, Luca has developed several study abroad programs on conflict resolution, international relations and diplomacy in partnership with San Diego State University, Universidade do Oporto, Universita’ di Trento, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Universitat de Barcelona. He also participated in different projects sponsored by the European Union to promote the use of mediation in cross border disputes. His passions are surfing, international politics, writing, and of course “calcio” (soccer). He has been teaching Italian at ICC since 2003. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Law Applied to Information and Communication Technology.
Paolo Calabrese: Teacher
From: Napoli, Italia
Paolo was born and raised in Napoli, a city of volcanic drama. The city is raw, passionate, secretive, generous, dilapidated, glorious and corrupting. In this heady atmosphere, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Law with a dissertation on International Law at the University of Napoli Federico II, the oldest public non-religious University in the world. In Italy, he counseled and represented clients on Corporate, Labor and Intellectual Property Law. He contributed in seminar “Being Communicator” in collaboration with Napoli city council. He participated in the 3rd edition of the forum “Euro Maghrebin de la Jeunesse” as Italian representative in Oujda, Maroc. During those years, he developed a strong passion for Intellectual Property Law. Following his motto “Nihil est magnum somnianti””Nothing is impossible for dreamers” he decided to move to California where this matter is born and advanced. He graduated from University of California San Diego with an Intellectual Property Certificate. He also holds an ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate. Currently working in San Diego on Trademarks, Copyrights and Patent Law. Influenced by his vibrant home town, he loves to teach the Italian language through music, acting, food and art because he has a concept of Italy that is not so much of a Nation, per se, but rather an ingredient of the human spirit that he detects in everyone, Italian or not!
Paola Baracco: Teacher
From: Torino, Italia
Born and raised in the city of Torino in northern Italy, Paola received from the Universita’ degli Studi di Torino the Literary Arts Degree. She also achieved a Master in Communications Technique at the University of Leeds (UK). In Italy she worked for 12 years for several worldwide Advertising Agencies as a Director of Client Relationships . She moved to San Diego in 2004 and had two kids. In the meantime she started teaching Italian in private Schools, Cultural Center (in La Jolla) and Elementary Schools. She joined the ICC in 2010 and at the same time has been teaching Italian at Washington Elementary School since then. Her passions are kids, painting, reading, yoga.
Eleonora Contaldi Innis: Teacher
From: Torino, Italia
Eleonora was born in the beautiful city of Torino in the Piemonte region of northern Italy where she lived until 2007 before moving to San Diego. She was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree and her Master’s Degree in English and French Languages and Literatures at the Università degli Studi of Turin. While in Italy she taught English, Italian and French in private schools and businesses. In 2008 Eleonora started teaching Italian at ICC and has been highly committed to the Italian Cultural Center since then. While teaching ICC classes for adults Eleonora worked in conjunction with the Fondazione Italia to help build and grow the Italian language program for children at Washington Elementary School and Washington Pre-school. Since 2011 Eleonora has been committed to teaching French and Italian at Southwestern College all the while enjoying teaching evening classes at ICC. Eleonora is very passionate about her profession and is a highly dedicated teacher. She finds teaching to be a fun, rewarding and fulfilling experience. Among her hobbies, Eleonora enjoys her time reading, hiking, traveling, and singing Neapolitan songs. During her frequent trips back home she enjoys performing gospel music with her gospel choir in her beautiful home town.
Antonio Iannotta: Teacher
From: Benevento, Italia
Born in Desenzano del Garda (BS) in the North of Italy, raised in Sant’Agata de’ Goti (BN) in the South, Antonio got his University Master’s degree and his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from University of Salerno. He has published essays on cinema, TV series, comics, theory of media, and a book about Samuel Beckett. He moved to San Diego from Napoli, where he lived for six years and where he worked as Communications Director for International Festivals. He also lived and worked in Milano and Roma. He thinks language is the most important aspect of a culture and he feels honored to be able to teach Italian at the ICC. He is also the Artistic Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival.
Paolo Beuzer: Teacher
From: Udine, Italia
Paolo is from a little town in the northeast of Italy called San Pietro al Natisone in the province of Udine, region of Friuli, land of amazing Italian white wine. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at the University of Parma, his Masters at the University of Trieste and his PhD at the University of Paris. He has lived in Spain, Germany and France before moving to San Diego in 2013.
In addition to Italian, he fluently speaks English, Spanish and French and some German so he is familiar with the process of language learning from both a student and teacher’s perspective. He is very grateful for the opportunity to teach the Italian language and culture at the ICC.
A native of Milan, Ombretta is a professional interpreter and translator. She fluently speaks Italian, English, Spanish, German and is good in French and Portuguese too, although she didn’t study these last two languages in school. She also worked for Fiera Milano, the largest exhibition and congress center in Italy and one of the largest in Europe; she managed a travel agency for over ten years, specializing in sport travels and is a freelance journalist and media contributor. Riding and languages are her true passions, but she also enjoys cooking and swimming.
Giuseppina Hazen: Teacher
From: Catania, Italia
Giuseppina was born in Catania, a culturally eclectic city located on the eastern coast of Sicily. She earned her Laurea degree in “Foreign Languages and Literature” at the university of Catania. After moving to the US, she continued her studies in Virginia where she attended a MS in Secondary Education at Old Dominion University (ODU). Meanwhile, she worked for Norfolk Public School, and subsequently, joined ODU as an adjunct instructor of Italian. “I found it extremely rewarding and fulfilling to help my students reach their goals and succeed academically while sharing the language, culture and traditions of my country”. Due to the demanding nature of her husband’s job that required them to move often and the needs of a growing family, she decided to temporarily leave teaching and focused on raising her children. In 2015, her family settled down in sunny San Diego, where “I can finally enjoy outdoor activities with my family all year round and, once again, pursue my passion for teaching and sharing the love for my country”.
Lily Martone: Teacher
From: Napoli, Italia
Lily was born and raised in Napoli, the 3rd largest Italian city and birthplace of the original wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. She earned her Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Moderne at University of Naples “L’Orientale”. She moved to USA with her husband in 1999 after falling in love with San Diego during their honeymoon. She also lived in Cary, North Carolina and Houston, Texas before returning permanently to San Diego area where she and her husband are raising 2 sons. In Cary and Houston she taught Italian to students eager to learn her native language and Italian culture. As a “vera Napoletana” she is truly passionate about family, traditions, history, cooking and “calcio”. Among other interests, she loves running, reading, watching sports events and spending quality time while entertaining family and friends with a glass of wine, espresso coffee, delicious pastries and her husband’s famous and authentic pizza and homemade bread. Lily has a true passion for her “amata Italia” and she is very excited to continue to teach and help people who are interested and love the Italian language and its culture.