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Super User

Yes! You can use your Skillsfuture credits to attend one of our Italian Language courses. All you need to do is to sign up for any of the courses on this website and receive the pro-forma invoice needed to claim Skillsfuture. Here you can browse all of our Italian Language courses. Once registered, you can proceed to pay for your course and subsequently request to be credited back through Skillsfuture at this page:

Feel free to contact us if you need help with the procedure.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 04:59

Timeline of Italian independence

Although the Kingdom of Italy was officially proclaimed on March 17, 1861, the events leading to that can be traced back to 1849, when Venice fell to the Austrian forces after a rebellion was crushed.

It took 9 long years for Napoleon III and Cavour to fight back against Austria. The joint effort redistributed the control over Lombardy, Venetia, Parma and Modena (back to Piedmont) and Savoy and Nice (to France) in 1858.

In 1859 Sardinia stretched towards central and northern Italy culminating in the biggest annexation until that point, with Tuscany, Parma and Modena joining the United Provinces of Central Italy first, and Sardinia next. At that point Italy was getting closer to unification, with only 4 states in existence: the Austrians in Ventia, the Papal State (later known as Vatican), the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

In February 1860 Victor Emmaniel II became the King of Italy, leading a parliament. On May 6th, that year, Giuseppe Garibaldi left Genoa with the Expedition of One Thousand, a unification movement heading south. A few days later they reached Marsala in Sicily and subsequently he self proclaimed ruler over the island of Sicily. From there Garibaldi led his army back north, annexing first Basilicata, then Naples, where in September he was welcomed as a liberator.

Meanwhile Victor Emmanuel II led the Sardinians into the Papal State from the west, forcing them to meet with Garibaldi from the south. At that point Garibaldi hands over his power to the king, which a few months later, on March 17, 1861, proclaims the Kingdom of Italy.

Camillo Benso di Cavour died in June 1861, having seen his hard work paying back, with only Venetia and Papal State being not yet annexed to a unified Italy.

While diplomacy was at work in the Papal State, Victor Emmanuel II met with Napoleon III in 1864 to discuss a gradual withdrawal of French troops from the Papal State within 2 years.

In 1865 the capital city was moved from Turin to Florence. Throughout the second half of 1866, Italy continued war against the weakened Austro-Prussians for the liberation of Venetia. Eventually the Austro-Prussian signed the armistice to keep France out of the war and cede Venetia to France, which promptly handed it over to Italy.

In September 1870 negotiations failed to peacefully hand Rome to Italy. An Italian army then entered Rome and after a plebiscite, Rome was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy, completing the unification. In June 1871 the capital city was officially moved from Florence to Rome.

The Italian alphabet, unlike the English one, counts only 21 letters. Officially K, J, W, X and Y are not part of the Italian alphabet. However, Italians can recognize these letters as they commonly appear in words that have been adopted as part of the Italian language. For instance the word yogurt is commonly used in Italian language too, and has no direct translation.

Another example is the water closet that in Italian language is spelled like in English as WC, however it is pronounced “viccì” (sounds like veet-chee) because the letter W in Italian language is often pronounced as V, not as U. In fact another way to refer to the WC is to call it “Water”, but pronounced it as “Vater”. Similarly the name Walter is pronounced as Valter. A fun fact is that Darth Wader from Star Wars has been renamed Lord Fener in the Italian version, because of the unique way Italians pronounce the letter W. In fact, Darth Wader would have sounded too close to the pronunciation of WC, making the character not as scary as he was supposed to be.

The word Xylophone is translated in Italian language as Xilofono, with the X being pronounced as a strong “ks”. So, strangely enough, although X is not in the Italian alphabet, there are indeed words containing the letter X. In Sardinia there is also a town containing a letter X, Arbatax.

Words like Joker have also become part of the common language, although when playing popular card games, other words such as “Matta” or “Pinella” are used to describe a Joker card. Yet Jack and King remain the same, with the letters J and K being used commonly.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 03:41

Italian Regions and Capoluoghi

There are 20 regions (Regioni) in Italy. The most North one is Trentino - Alto Adige and the most South one is Sicily, which is also the biggest island in Italy. In terms of population, Lombardia is the biggest region, with 10 million people, while the smallest one is Valle d’Aosta with only 125 thousand inhabitants. Valle d’Aosta is also the smallest region in size, with only 3,261 sq/km and with the lowest population density at 39 people per square kilometer.

On the other end of the spectrum, Campania is the most densely populated region in Italy with an average of 424 people per square kilometer, just 2 people more than Lombardia. Regions are also divided into municipalities called Comuni. Lombardia has 1,507 comuni and it is the region with the largest number, followed by Piemonte with 1,181.

Each region has a main city called Capoluogo di Regione. Here is the list of Italian capoluoghi by region:

  • Valle d'Aosta: Aosta
  • Piemonte: Torino
  • Liguria: Genova
  • Lombardia: Milano
  • Trentino Alto Adige: Trento
  • Veneto: Venezia
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia: Trieste
  • Emilia Romagna: Bologna
  • Toscana: Firenze
  • Marche: Ancona
  • Umbria : Perugia
  • Lazio: Roma
  • Abruzzo: L'Aquila
  • Molise: Campobasso
  • Campania: Napoli
  • Puglia: Bari
  • Basilicata: Potenza
  • Calabria: Catanzaro
  • Sicilia: Palermo
  • Sardegna: Cagliari
Tuesday, 05 May 2020 09:08

Name the parts of the face

Tap or click each target to display the italian words for: Beard, moustache, eye, eye-bags, eyebrows, button, buttonhole, collar, forehead, nose, lips.






















unsplash-logoReza Biazar
Monday, 06 April 2020 08:42

Message from the President


A very warm welcome from all of us here at the APICS Italian Cultural Centre

My name is Jahan, I am an Italian living here in Singapore for over 25 years. Our Association for the Promotion of Italian Culture in Singapore (APICS) has its roots seeded back in the 70s. Back then the Italian community in Singapore was very small, but we believed that we could have grown and shared the values of our culture in Southeast Asia.

Fast forward more than 40 years and here we are. Our Scuola Italiana (Italian school for children) is a pillar of the ever growing Italian community in Singapore. Our language programs are recognized as some of the best in the region, thanks to the accreditation of Italian Universities. Our cooking classes are fun and always in demand. Our corporate programs have become an institution for both Italian and international businesses.

We welcome you to APICS. Join our social events to get in touch with our community. And if you want to know more about our culture, consider enrolling in one of our courses.


Jahan Rezai (President)

Italian Language School, Singapore

APICS Italian Cultural Centre is the specialised Centre for Italian language & culture in Singapore, our roots originate since the 1970s.

Our teachers in APICS and the Italian Language School are qualified, screened native Italian speakers with extensive experience in teaching Italian as a second language. APICS is the only official exam centre in Southeast Asia to offer both the CILS and CELI exam certifications, offered respectively by the University for Foreigners of Siena and the University for Foreigners of Perugia. These certifications are internationally-recognized and will be a highly valuable addition within a CV.

APICS courses are designed to bring participants from beginners to advanced through structured immersive modules.

APICS is also the organizer of the Italian Supplementary School (Scuola Supplementare Italiana) for children ranging from toddlers to teenagers.

Italian Language Schoool and APICS are independent non-for-profit organization and go beyond language courses. We provide a large array of social, educational and other cultural activities connected with Italian culture in Singapore.

Join APICS community on social media if you are interested in any aspect of the Italian language & culture