Sundays with Schoolhouse Moms Interview 12 with Alessandra

Name: Alessandra
Occupation: Biologist
Affiliated website/business: [email protected]

How long have you been in Rome and what brought you here?
I was born in Rome, so I've always been here.

Where are you from and how many languages do you speak?

I'm from Rome and I speak two languages.

Have you lived anywhere else other than Rome?
No, I haven't.

Tell me about your family background and structure:
I'm originally from a family of four, but my husband and I have just one daughter. She's three.

How does your family approach language in your home?
Although she speaks Italian, we have her watch cartoons only in English. Aside from that, we always review the names of the animals, colours, numbers and very short sentences together in English.

Which language is your child more dominant in and why?
She's more dominant in Italian because both of her parents are Italian and because she's not attending an English school.

How do you think languages are best learned? How did you learn the languages you speak?
The best way to learn English if you don't have a parent who can speak to you daily in the language is to attend an English/American school or to have a full-time English-speaking nanny to care for you while you're young. I personally attended private English courses when I was 25 years old.

What schoolhouse course option are you considering for the fall and why?

I'm considering the afternoon course (once or twice per week) since my daughter is attending the public materna school. I would have liked the whole afternoon for the whole week, but the total cost would be too expensive for us.
Maybe a good alternative would be to send her a couple of times a week in the afternoon to the schoolhouse, then organize a playgroup once or twice a week with a couple of her friends at your home or their homes...that would drop the price but still provide a group learning environment and give you the frequency you'd like.

Now the fun stuff...

You speak and understand English well--how did you learn it?

I can speak and understand English pretty well even if I'm a little bit "rusty". I attended a language school in Rome when I was a young adult.

What are your top 3 favorite restaurants in the city?
Il ristoro degli angeli, Sicilia in bocca, Zen sushi

What's your favorite place to hang out?
I really like to hang out at parks or at the beach.

Any good recommendations for a date night out?
Yes, at any beachside restaurant or at the "terme" (spa) towards Viterbo

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
I'd really like to live in Europe, like Denmark or Sweden, for work purposes. Otherwise, It'd be great to move to New Zealand.

If you have a little bit of time to yourself, how do you normally spend it?
It depends on how much time I have! Generally speaking, a good massage, snooping through the flea market, or relaxing in a park.

What's your favorite app?

I have an old telephone...

What website do you waste the most time on?
Definitely news websites: (, and holiday sites (,

Favorite children's book?
The Dalmatians

Favorite song of all time?
Follow You Follow Me

What was the last book you read and how would you rate it?
Love in the Time of Cholera; it is a very romantic story...

Anything else you want to add? Shameless plug?
Yes, my husband has a very nice cottage with a breathtaking view of the forest on the Dolomites. We enjoy and spend much of our summer and Christmas holidays there...but we don't keep it only for ourselves...we normally lease it.

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