Meet our teachers

CIS teachers are native Italian speakers with the qualifications, proficiency, training and experience to teach language at any level.

Importantly, they are self-motivated to create compelling classroom materials and keen to share their love of Italian and Italy on a personal basis.
There is no substitute for personal experience.

Elio Guarnuccio - CIS Founder and teacher

Elio Guarnuccio - CIS Founder and teacher

Patient, full of ideas and a great leader, Elio founded CIS in 1979 when as a young teacher creating his own materials, he saw an opportunity. CIS quickly became a successful language school and publishing company. The first language course that he co-wrote, Avanti!, changed the way languages are taught and how language textbooks are designed. In 2020 Elio launched Lingopont, a new groundbreaking publishing company with high ambitions. Elio’s passion for languages represents not only communication, but also cultural richness, new friendships, personal development and fun times. These are all things that he instills in our school. His hobbies include traveling, Opera, reading, playing golf, and watching sports . Lucio Battisti is his favourite Italian singer and Il Postino is one of the best Italian movies he recommends.


Carla – General Manager & Teacher

Carla – General Manager & Teacher

Spontaneous, resolute and a huge animal lover, Carla has been with CIS since 2017. She believes that CIS is like a "little Italy" where you learn Italian whilst soaking up the typical Italian atmosphere - both friendly and joyful. The subjunctive is her great passion when she teaches. Meet her in advanced classes where you can immerse yourself in Italian literature, cinema and culture, meeting Italian authors, actors and film directors. Her motto is: “a day without laughter is a day wasted”. Her hobbies include volunteering for rescue farmed animals, reading Italian contemporary authors like Stefano Benni and Elena Ferrante and listening to Italian groups Negrita and Baustelle. Dopo mezzanotte and In guerra per amore are her favourite Italian movies. Born in Siracusa (Sicily)

Stella - Children classes manager, Teacher and Admin

Stella - Children classes manager, Teacher and Admin

Reliable, smiling and enthusiastic. She joined the CIS team in 2022 and she’s been always passionate about teaching Italian grammar and culture, fashion and food. She has an obsession with authentic Italian gelato and her hobbies include travelling and going to yoga and pilates classes. Stella loves strolling at the beach or in the parks and she likes watching Italian movies starring Claudio Santamaria. Subsonica is her favourite Italian music band. She believes that “everything happens for a reason”. Born in Milan


Serena – Teacher

Serena – Teacher

Patient, dreamer and traveller, Serena has joined the CIS team in 2020. She loves teaching to passionate students and creating a stimulating and fun learning environment with them. This is the phrase that represents her the most: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”. Giorgia and Mina are her favourite Italian singers while Margaret Mazzantini is one of her favourite Italian writers. She also loves watching Italian movies directed by Ferzan Özpetek. Born in Brescia (Lombardia).

Biagio – Teacher

Biagio – Teacher

Fun, engaging and empathetic, Biagio has joined the CIS team in 2020. As a Disney lover, he loves to be creative! He likes to be involved in planning and enriching social and cultural activities. He is strategic and adept at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each student through interaction and encouraging them to advance in their skills. This is the phrase that represents him the most: “If you can dream it, you can do it!” Among his favourite italian singers there are Elisa, Marco Mengoni, Giorgia, Alex Baroni and Andrea Bocelli, of course. He also has a passion for singing and music! Born in Comiso (Ragusa) – Sicily

Marina – Teacher and author

Marina – Teacher and author

Cheerful, curious and adventurous, Marina has been teaching at CIS for 4 years and she considers the school as a window on Italian culture and language. She loves teaching pronouns and you can meet her mainly in the intermediate classes. Her motto is: “less upsetti, more spaghetti”. She likes reading Alessandro Baricco’s books and listening to the Italian group Modena City Ramblers. La Leggenda del pianista sull’oceano is her favourite Italian movie. Born in Verona (Veneto)

Verdiana – Teacher

Verdiana – Teacher

Tenacious, stubborn and proudly Sicilian, Verdiana has been part of CIS team since 2017. When she is in class, she loves using everyday situations to teach common and useful expressions, including vocabulary and grammar. She also adores teaching Italian to the little ones engaging them with plenty of fun and entertaining activities. In her hobbies there is a pinch of Sicily. She loves cooking Sicilian dishes while she listens to her favourite singer Alessio Bondì. I Leoni di Sicilia is her preferred book and Il giovane Montalbano is her favoured tv-series. Born in Palermo (Sicily)

Erika - Teacher

Erika - Teacher

Active, outgoing and positive. Erika joined the CIS team in 2022 after being an Italian tutor for more than two years in Australia where she arrived in 2018. Food & wine lover, Erika also adores spending time at the beach surfing or just relaxing with a book. Alessandro Baricco is her favourite Italian author. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Born in Asti (Piedmont)


Florin - Teacher

Florin - Teacher

Passionate traveller, theatre lover and always ready for new challenges. Florin joined CIS in 2022. Let's meet him in the intermediate classes where his focus will be on fun communication based on functional language. He loves using the target language in a natural context and getting to know the students. His favorite readings are Luigi Pirandello's plays such as Enrico IV and Così è se vi pare. His favorite movie is Il Postino (the Postaman) and he likes to listen to Renato Zero and Lucio Dalla! Raised in Rome.


Francesca - Teacher and author

Francesca - Teacher and author

Enthusiastic and curious, she is passionate about teaching Italian and yoga, her surname “Lavagna” means “blackboard" so her destiny was to be a teacher! She started working at cis in 2013 and she is one of the authors of the TuttoBene textbooks.
Her quote is "il cielo è un punto di partenza, non un limite" which means "the sky is only a starting point, not a limit". She listens to Italian rap music and her favorite writer is Gianrico Carofiglio who has a very engaging way of letting the readers deep in the stories he tells. She suggests to all her students to watch the series "La mafia uccide solo d’estate" directed by Pif.

 


Cristiano - Teacher

Cristiano - Teacher

Passionate, curious, and with a research background in Australia, Cristiano joined the CIS team in 2022. He believes that learning a language requires cultural immersion, spontaneous connections, and authentic communication. A traveller at heart, Cristiano has used his skills in European languages to connect with people from dozens of countries. Some of his favourite Italian novels include “Timira” by Wu Ming 2 & Antar Mohamed and “La dismissione” by Ermanno Rea, whereas Italian filmmakers he usually recommends are Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Claudio Caligari. He loves indulging his passion for urban photography while listening to old school Italian rap. Born and raised in Napoli. 


Stefano - Teacher

Stefano - Teacher

Friendly, patient, a great communicator and listener, Stefano has joined the CIS team in 2022. His goal is to create enjoyable and interesting learning experiences for curious and passionate students who want to discover Italian from “A” to “ZETA”. Stefano’s interests range is very wide and varied. He cooks and bakes a lot of Italian food and has an obsession with everything Disney. He loves singing Italian songs from all Sanremo Music Festival playlists available with friends and finds solace in fantasy sagas on the page and on the screen. He is an avid reader, adores musicals and plays and goes to the gym most mornings. And much more! Stefano was born in Brescia (Lombardia) and moved to Melbourne 10 years ago.


Emily - Teacher

Emily - Teacher

Enthusiastic, determined and infinitely curious. Emily-Rose joined the CIS family in 2007 and today teaches adult, children’s and private classes. She is self-confessedly obsessed with language learning as a way to explore foreign cultures authentically and be able to relate to people all over the world. Born into an Italian/Croatian family in Melbourne, Emily lives between Melbourne and Italy — most recently, in Sicily for the past 2 years. She loves sharing all aspects and curiosities of Italian culture with her students. You’ll often find her feasting on Sicilian focaccia or cannoli, listening to Tiziano Ferro or the latest Sanremo Music Festival playlist. In class, Emily aims is to bring structure and enjoyment to the adventure of learning Italian. She draws on students’ own strengths and curiosity to make the class a stress-free space where fun is the focus, communication is key and students make steady progress towards sounding authentically Italian!
 

Silvia – Teacher

Silvia – Teacher

Determined, sunny and creative, Silvia has joined CIS team two years ago. She loves helping her students to gain fluency and confidence in conversation with a mixture of grammar, Italian idioms and fun. Her motto is: “Every day is a new story! Be your true self, dare and smile!”. Silvia adores the Italian writer Alda Merini and Paolo Conte is one of her preferred Italian singers. She is moved every time she watches the film Il Postino by Massimo Troisi. Born in Treviso (Veneto)

Maria – Teacher

Maria – Teacher

Energetic, determined and friendly, Maria is one of the legendary teachers at CIS. She joined the school in 2003 and she has always been passionate about everything Italian from culture, food, fashion and above all family. You can meet her and her loud voice in the beginner levels. She will take you on an amazing journey to discover the beauty of the Italian language with the Tutto Bene course. Maria is crazy for the Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti and she likes watching Italian tv-series like L’Onore e il Rispetto but above all cooking traditional dishes for her family. Born in Melbourne – Family from Potenza (Basilicata)

Elisabetta - Teacher

Elisabetta - Teacher

Happy, determined and passionate. Elisabetta started working at CIS in 2011, she had a break for a few years to exclusively work with children and has returned at the beginning of 2021. Elisabetta's lessons are focused on the learners' needs to maximise their individual abilities for a pleasant learning journey.
Elisabetta loves cinema, travelling, learning languages, literature and music. Her favourite contemporary writer is Isabel Allende. She loves singing, rock and soul music are her favourite. She is passionate about the environment, particularly about reducing waste.
Elisabetta also enjoys cooking, people say that her home-made pizza is very good.


Francesca - Teacher

Francesca - Teacher

Positive, motivated and creative, Francesca has joined the CIS team in 2021 but she has been working as a teacher since 2011. She loves teaching using different techniques to make her classes always fun and dynamic. The phrase that she always keeps in mind is: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. Carmen Consoli and Brunori Sas are two of her favourite Italian singers while Erri de Luca, Marco Malvaldi and Antonio Tabucchi are her favourite Italian writers. 
She also loves cooking, watching TV series and playing tennis.

From Reggio Calabria


Sergio – Teacher

Sergio – Teacher

Witty, meticulous and sporty, Sergio has started working at CIS in 2018. He considers the school his second family and he enjoys teaching idioms as he believes they are one of the most interesting aspects of a language, a real mirror of Italian culture, history and soul. His motto is: “Is when we stop seeking knowledge that we become old”. Sergio likes reading Italian classic authors as D’annunzio, Pirandello and Svevo and listening to Articolo 31’s music. La Leggenda di Al, John & Jack is his favourite Italian movie. Born in Milano (Lombardia)

Marlisa – Teacher

Marlisa – Teacher

Resilient, positive, persistent, Marlisa has been at CIS for 7 years. You can meet Marlisa mainly in advanced classes where she loves empowering students. Her students find the perfect environment to express their opinions and ideas while they are immersed in the culture and language as much as possible. CIS for her represents a supportive and well-structured environment where students can be engaged, learn and have fun. Natalia Ginsburg and Italo Calvino are two authors she likes. Claudio Baglioni and Fabrizio De Andrè are the song writers she enjoys listening to the most. Born in Castelnuovo della Garfagnana - Lu (Toscana)

Alessandra P. – Teacher

Alessandra P. – Teacher

Reliable, funny and inventive, Alessandra has been part of CIS team for 8 years. She lives in Tassie now, but CIS still represents an important part of her life. She loves starting her classes with a sfida (a challenge), it is something that her students like a lot! Alessandra’s motto can describe her best: “If life does not smile at you, tickle it”. The Italian singer Ligabue is one of her great passions, she enjoys listening to his music and watching his movie Radiofreccia. Luigi Pirandello is her preferred Italian author.

Luciana – Teacher

Luciana – Teacher

Life enthusiastic, music lover and always smiling, Luciana joined CIS in 2020. You can meet her in the beginner classes where she loves engaging the students to develop a passion for learning the language and to learn more about Italy itself. Her favourite readings are Oriana Fallaci’s books and L’amica geniale and Suburra are the Italian tv- series she likes watching the most. Her favourite Italian singers are Eros Ramazzotti and Fabri Fibra. Born in  Melbourne


Antonio - Teacher

Antonio - Teacher

Book collector, History aficionado and avid pasta eater. Antonio joined CIS in 2017. He loves to create a fun and interactive class using academic online games, music, films and books. Antonio strives to live by the words of his late English teacher  “Go out there and change some lives!” Antonio's favourite writers are Natalia Ginzburg and Eugenio Montale. He listens to Ricchi e Poveri and Fedez and enjoys watching Caduta Libera, LOL and Uomini e Donne. He loves spending time with family over Sunday lunch. Born in Melbourne. Family from Sassari (Sardegna) and Catanzaro (Calabria). 


Anna - Teacher

Anna - Teacher

Fun with a positive attitude, she put human relationships at the centre of what she does! Anna has joined the CIS team in 2021. She loves human beings and with teaching, she creates empathic relationships. Her lessons are serious and focus on learning with an underlying fun environment. This is the phrase that represents her the most: “Be like the sea: transparent and thoughtless on the surface and deep in the soul”. She loves horse riding and reading. Giorgio Balzano is her favourite writer. She loves being the grandmother of her 3 little babies.

 


Carmel – Teacher

Carmel – Teacher

Steadfast, friendly, curious, Carmel is one of the historic teachers at CIS as she joined the school when it was founded. You can meet her in beginner and intermediate classes where she loves teaching grammar. CIS for her has always been a place that has given her the opportunity to share her love of language with others and to establish firm friendships. Carmel enjoys watching Montalbano tv-series and reading Paolo Giordano’s book. Nel blu dipinto di blu is her favourite Italian song. Born in Melbourne