Ficarra, Messina (Sicily)

My grandfather was born and raised in Ficarra, Messina (Sicily) and eventually migrated to America in 1909.  He passed away many years prior to my birth (and when my father was only seven), so I never really had any exposure to the Italian language or culture.

A few years back, I made the decision to immerse myself into learning the Italian language. I tried various learning resources (Rosetta Stone, Babbel, etc.) that for whatever reason, did not work for me. I became increasingly frustrated and ultimately gave up.

Fortunately, a couple of years later, I stumbled across the Duolingo website. Seeing that it was supposedly a different style of learning (and it was FREE), I decided to give it another shot. I was instantly glad that I did! I was absorbing and understanding the language in a way that I had not with the others.

After a few lessons, I started to write down vocabulary checklists for each lesson and to create paper flashcards in an effort to increase the amount of words (and irregular verb conjugations) I needed to memorize.

This ultimately led to the creation of this website, to more easily access these lists and to expand on what I personally considered some of the very few shortcomings of Duolingo.

“Tips” and “Notes” found throughout this site are provided by a combination of native speakers, other learning sites, and fellow students of the language. These should be considered “generalizations” and/or “personal observations” that vary from person to person, region to region, and context to context.

Please contact me by e-mail at if you have any problems, questions, suggestions or requests on how to improve the site for your learning benefit. You can also message me in the chat window at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Keep in mind …… I am AT BEST, an intermediate as it pertains to the Italian language. However, I do continue to learn each and every day, just like all of you. — Grazie!!