I have been regularly sending a newsletter for quite a while now.
In fact, I checked my Mailchimp account before writing this post and saw that my very first newsletter was sent in 2015, on March 16th precisely. This means seven years of writing and sending email messages almost every week (the last one I sent was number 332, can you imagine?).
For me, sitting down to write a newsletter every week has never felt like a chore. Probably, it is partly because I have been a fan of writing letters all my life – I used to have penpals everywhere in the world when I was a teenager – but I can honestly say there has never been a time when I was not feeling like writing my weekly Vespa Ride.
When I first began sending weekly newsletters, it was just to inform subscribers of my weekly posts. I used to publish a post on my blog every week and I wanted a way to reach people who might be interested and let them know that there was something new to read.
With the passing of time, the newsletter has changed – and improved, if I may say so myself – and has multiple sections: there is an introduction where I write about my life, the post of the week, a section focused on an Italian song and an analysis of three words taken from its lyrics, a traditional recipe and some facts of the week.
I love writing the newsletter in this format because it gives me the opportunity to write a bit about the things I do and like and also to write about Italian culture and lifestyle from my own point of view. I hate stereotyped views of Italy and my main goal is to give an honest and clear view of what life in Italy is like.
But I also really like having a newsletter because it is a great way to connect with people – and I love doing it, remember the penfriend thing? – and to exchange views about the topics I write about. This has been pretty intense during the pandemic and the first lockdown in 2020 (when we all needed to connect) but I still receive messages and replies to my newsletters every week. And I love it!
The newsletter is also a great way for people to express their opinions regarding my job and my projects. Many people send me messages asking me to cover specific topics or focus on certain aspects of the Italian language and culture, or they just share with me their needs as students of Italian.
And one of the requests I get the most is to write a newsletter in Italian. Since the very first time someone told me about that, I thought this was a very good idea. Reading something in Italian on a regular basis is undoubtedly really useful to practice and improve reading and comprehension skills. But I had to find a nice way to incorporate it into my schedule.
I would never stop writing my Vespa Rides, the newsletter I send every Thursday, in English because I have many subscribers who do not speak Italian nor are interested in learning it and I really don’t want to leave them out. So I had to find a nice idea for a newsletter in Italian.
I have been thinking about it for almost a year and I have finally found what I think is a good structure for another newsletter. It will be called Un giro in Vespa, it will be sent twice a month and each newsletter will focus on a topic, which will work as a starting point for further exploration of various aspects of the Italian language and culture.
The starting point can be a book, a movie, an artist, an event, or a famous Italian character (and a lot of other things) and then I will use the newsletter to dive deeper into the topic to find connections to Italian grammar and vocabulary but also to Italian places that might be interesting to visit.
Each newsletter will be different but each one will contain some key points: an article about the topic of the week, the audio version of that article, a reference to an Italian location (be it a town or an area) that has to do with the weekly topic, a list of books and movies and a downloadable pdf file with additional material to work on.
Basically, each newsletter can be just something fun to read but also something to work on to practice Italian and improve different aspects of the Italian language – and a way to learn more about different areas of the country! If you want to have a better idea of how this newsletter could be, just check this one I sent about a movie set in Venice and this other one about an Italian poet who loved the mountains.
It takes a while to create a newsletter like this and this means that unfortunately, it can’t be free. I have tried to keep the price as low as possible, though: you’ll pay 5.99 USD if you subscribe for a month and 59 USD if you subscribe for a year. Needless to say, you can cancel anytime you want.
By subscribing, you’ll get two newsletters a month (the second and the fourth Monday of the month) filled with Italian some bella vita and lots of study material to practice and improve your Italian and your knowledge of Italy. If you want to subscribe, you can do it here: