The Cleveland Italian Language Meetup Group

Sei appassionato di lingua e la cultura italiana? Ti piacerebbe praticare l’italiano ed incontrare nuovi amici che apprezzano l’arte, la musica, il cinema o qualsiasi altra cosa pertinente al Bel Paese? In tal caso, dovresti prendere in considerazione l’adesione al gruppo Meetup di Italiano Cleveland, il cui obiettivo principale è quello di coinvolgere i partecipanti  in conversazioni informali nel corso di incontri organizzati. 

Do you share a special passion for the Italian language and culture? Would you like to practice Italian and meet new friends who appreciate the art, music, cinema, or anything else that pertains to “Il Bel Paese?” If so, you should consider joining The Cleveland Italian Language Meetup Group. The main goal of this group, as its name suggests, is to engage in informal conversations while speaking in Italian as much as possible at organized meetups. 

The CILMG has been around for a little over 10 years. It has consisted of innumerable past events such as “La Befana due giorni dopo” (The Epiphany two days later), “Buon Natale a tutti” (Merry Christmas to all), “Dolcetto o scherzetto” (Trick or Treating), “Il gelato piace a tutti” (Everyone Loves gelato), “Espresso pomeridiano con amici italiani” (Midafternoon espresso with Italian Friends), just to name a few. The latest gathering, “Il tempo è brutto, ma il vino e il cibo sono così buoni” (the weather is bad, but the food and the wine are so good) took place on Sunday, Jan. 19 at a local restaurant. Participants enjoyed their favorite food accompanied by a chat in Italian. 

This amicable club is led by a group of organizers who plan entertaining events at local coffee places, restaurants, libraries, and even the Cleveland Museum of Art. In addition, anyone else is encouraged to propose new ideas that generate opportunities to meet. The meetups usually occur on a weekly or biweekly basis. You are not expected to know Italian perfectly. The members’ language expertise, in fact, is very diverse. There are some natives as well as elementary, intermediate and advanced speakers of Italian. 

To promote the usage of the language, the members are invited to briefly talk about their favorite Italian poem, proverb, piece of art, or song. Other times, the attendees engage in conversations about a short story they read or an Italian film they all watched. Likewise, the agenda also includes answering simple trivia questions related to the Italian language and culture to keep the conversation rolling to the fullest. What if your Italian knowledge is very limited? You can still join! The CILMG also includes other gatherings like Italian-related lectures in English, Italian Film Festivals with subtitles, Opera Concerts, and other Italian festivities occurring in the Cleveland area.

Those belonging to the CILMG come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Each of them has a unique personal story to tell in connection with the Italian language and culture. Some wish to practice the native language of their ancestors. Others want to keep their Italian knowledge alive after graduating from school. There are even speakers of other languages who opt to join to preserve the linguistic and cultural connection they established while working or studying in Italia for a few months or years. 

To join the CILMG, simply log on to and create an account. You will need to include a personal photo for your profile and a brief description of your experience with the Italian language. Then, send your request. Joining the CILMG only involves a $5 fee per year. Once you become a member, you will receive the organizers’ notifications when a new meetup is created. 

 One of the upcoming meetings “Una giornata di giochi da tavola”  (A day of board games) is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Cuyahoga County Public Library. This occasion presents an opportunity to learn new words while also having fun playing Italian games. Some of these include “Tombola” (the Italian version of Bingo normally played during the holiday season), “scopa” and “briscola” both played with “le carte napoletane.” If you are not familiar with these activities, do not worry! This event also comes packed with information so you can learn the rules beforehand. 

 The CILMG has something to offer anyone. It is an additional resource close to home that provides a creative and fun way to stay connected with various aspects of the “bella lingua.” Most of all, it represents a wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours together with friends who commonly admire the beauty and richness of our language and culture.