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Italian Meetup | Buon Ferragosto
Let's celebrate Ferragosto (qualche giorno in anticipo pero). August 15 is Italy's biggest summer holiday. We'll mark the occasion with a group dinner, conversation (in Italian and probably English), and a prize or two. Join us! There's no agenda for the meetup, just talk about whatever you want. There's no set fee or menu either -- it's order on your own and individual pay. The restaurant is fast-casual, so order at the counter and then join the group at the tables. We don't have reservations but the venue has several long tables as well as a separated dining area. Buon Ferragosto!

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What we're about

Practice your Italian, meet others interested in the Bel Paese, and have some fun.

We meet at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of each month at various locations in Columbus. In addition, we have occasional special event meetups.

Our focus is practicing the Italian language. Which also includes culture, food, film, art, sports, travel, etc. In general, members have an intermediate level of Italian proficiency. But if you are a beginner, don’t let that stop you. All levels and ages are welcome.

The Meetup doesn't offer classes, but check out ITALIA IN OHIO ( http://www.italiainohio.com ). You'll find courses that accommodate all kinds of students. From those who are brand-new beginners, to those who learned a little Italian at home, and even those at a higher conversational level.

To learn more about the ITALIAN MEETUP, see the FAQ below, check out the past meetups, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/italianmeetup. (http://www.twitter.com/italianmeetup)

This Meetup group was founded March 28, 2005.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who can join?
Anybody. Membership is open to all. Of course it helps if you have an interest in Italian and/or Italy.

What do I need to do to join?
Just sign up on the website. You'll get automatic e-mail reminders about meetings and events. Be sure to check that your settings allow for emails.

Is there a membership fee or dues?
No, there aren’t any dues. But we do have a “busta” occasionally at meetups. In Italian, busta means envelope or sack or bag. Our busta is a way to collect donations to have some operating funds for the benefit of the entire group for things like name badges, room rental, copies, etc. If you have some spare change or an extra buck or two, consider contributing to the busta. Our patron is the founder (and original organizer) Philip Grandinetti, who pays the monthly website fees.

Is there a fee to attend meetings?
The majority of Meetups are free to attend. When we hold a Meetup at a café, restaurant or coffee shop, attendees are encouraged to support the business. These local businesses allow us to use their meeting rooms for free with the expectation we’ll be making purchases.

Sometimes we’ll host a special event, for example the Pranzo di Natale, where payment must be paid in advance. Complete details are always provided on the website.

Is everyone of Italian descent?
No. But bonus point for those who are. [j/k]

How old are the Meetup members?
We’ve never checked ID. There’s a mix of ages, from college age and the occasional high-schooler to retired. Depending on the activity, we've also had elementary school kids (for example at the annual potluck, to play Tombola in January, etc).

I don’t know anyone who speaks Italian. Will it be weird coming to a Meetup by myself?
No, not at all. In fact, most of the members come alone. Besides, we're a friendly group.

What should I bring to my first Meetup?
A little enthusiasm and you're good to go. But also be sure check the agenda for that meetup for any special instructions--you might have to print something or, for example, bring an item for "Show & Tell." Depending on your proficiency you might want to bring an English-Italian dictionary. (I'm partial to the WordReference app.)

What’s up with the RSVP? My schedule is always iffy.
We like to get a general count so we know how many seats are needed. Sometimes, for example when a restaurant needs a headcount by a certain date, we put a deadline on the RSVP date.

Can I bring a friend to the Meetups?
Sure. Just be sure to note the +1 (or +20) when you RSVP.

Can I bring my kids?
It's up to you. There are times when it might not be a good idea to bring a child -- for example if his/her behavior will be a distraction or if the agenda or location are not appropriate for young ones. When an event is posted we try to provide as much information as possible so you can determine whether it is suitable. Just like any situation, you need to be mindful and respect others.

Do you teach Italian?
In the past we have conducted courses designed for beginners. We no longer do that. BUT we partner with ITALIA IN OHIO (http://www.italiainohio.com/), which offers a range of classes (beginner, intermediate, travelers, kids, etc). Generally at the monthly meetup we'll talk about a grammar point, or verb tense, or share favorite idioms, note special vocabulary or pronunciation, etc. It often comes up naturally as we practice Italian together.

There's a really great local Italian wine bar/band/film/restaurant/exhibit/show/singer/fill in the blank. Can we organize our group to go?
YES! And there are a couple of ways:

Post it to the website as a message. List the details and provide links for additional information. It would be an informal gathering, no RSVPs required. But members could indicate their plans, make arrangements to meet, ask you questions, etc. by replying to that thread.

Send an email to Cheryl (one of the organizers). Together you can figure out the logistics and then she'll post the details on the website.

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