Ciao! I’m Melissa, the “crazy linguist”
aka la Studentessa Matta!
In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned.” I believe that if you approach things with a sense of humor and forget about inhibitions — that’s right, go a little crazy — you have a lot more fun and learn so much more.
In fact, I even wrote a song about it!
Siate matti con me,
e questo è bello credete a me,
c’è tutto il mondo per voi.
Vivi, sorridi, divertiti!
Apri la tua vita, spiega le ali!
Here’s a little back story on me…
As a student, I traveled to Florence to study art history and painting. I lived with an Italian family but had zero interest in learning the language. None-the-less, despite believing I didn’t have a talent for learning foreign languages, I enrolled in a beginning Italian class. When I returned home, thinking I was done with Italy, I threw away my Italian dictionary, assuming I’d never need it again.
But… Italy had other plans for me!
After launching a successful design career and starting a family, I realized something was missing in my life. That “thing” was the connection I had made with Italy and the friends who lived there. Spending an extended period of time in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, I started to learn the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, I bought a new Italian dictionary and began my journey to fluency — a path that has led me back to Italy many times and enriched my life in countless ways.
I couldn’t resist the pull of Italy calling me back!
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, I dedicate my time to promoting Italian language studies, traveling in Italy, and sharing my stories and insights about art and Italy with others. In fact, I’ve taken many of the things I write about here on the Matta blog and have turned them into THREE novels set in Italy, interweaving historical and contemporary plots. Learn more about Melissa’s novels set in Italy.
A Matta Mindset — Let’s travel & learn together!
In the past couple of years, since beginning the Matta blog, the “Matta” learning concept has grown to include the Matta Youtube Channel, the Matta Audio Podcast. The popularity of the Matta Blog with Italian Schools in Italy has also lead me to organize Matta Small Group Language Immersion Programs in Italy. Now, twice a year, I partner with Italian schools in locations such as Lucca, Arezzo, Montepulciano, Rome, Matera, Lecce, and Bologna and guide like-minded language students a little farther along their path to fluency. I also organize individual Italian language homestay vacations with Italian teachers all over the boot.
There are so many ways to keep
the dream of Italy alive!
Come along on my crazy journey to learn more about Italy and the Italian language. I’ll help you practice the language through written and audio posts. In the process, you will remember new vocabulary and reinforce your grammar skills. You will also learn a wealth of information about Italy’s festivals, food, and wine. Either virtually or in person, you will travel with me to Italy and together we will visit big and small cities, we will make pasta and dance in the streets… and you will also meet all my “matta” Italian friends!
Go a little “matta” like me and open your heart up to Italy!
You may have the universe if I may have Italy.Giuseppe Verdi