La vita e Croydon: Italian masterclass comes to Coulsdon

By - Thursday 11th September, 2014

A celebration of Italy will be brought to Croydon by two businesses: Alesha Allen’s Italian Masterclass and Nonna Rosa’s Café. Together they are inviting Italian enthusiasts to visit the café in Coulsdon on Saturday 20th September to find out about resident Italian courses, listen to Italian music, take part in Italian games, and sample free Italian food and drink. 

Croydon’s very own little Italy.
Photo by Alesha Allen, used with permission.

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Location: 108 Brighton Road, Coulsdon, CR5 2NB
Time: 2.30 – 4.30pm

Alesha’s Italian Masterclass is a local business, which started in 2012 with lessons held at an Italian restaurant in Purley, and recently moved to Nonna Rosa’s café in Coulsdon.

The Italian Masterclass explores innovative teaching ideas, and aims to equip its students with a high level of Italian, through learning about Italian food, music, politics, literature, regional dialects and TV programmes. During the lessons, students are able to try a range of Italian snacks and drinks prepared by the cafe owners.

Alesha Allen, the school owner, studied Italian at Old Palace School in Croydon and at Oxford University, and lived and worked in Rome for five years.

She says, ‘I love sharing my passion for the language, history and culture of Italy with my students. I really want to create a fun and interactive environment for them to learn in, hence holding the lessons in Nonna Rosa’s café. My students get to practise Italian with the owners, as well as being able to try the Italian food and drinks made there. I’d like to welcome anyone interested in Italian to come along to the open day, hear more about the Italian Masterclass from myself and some of my students.’

Enid is an Italian Masterclass student from the start, she comments, ‘I have learnt so much in the last two years, and recently got to practise on a trip to Venice. I feel very proud! The course is an excellent mix of conversation, language learning and culture. And for those of us who enjoy the structure of grammar, Alesha is happy to teach that aspect too. We have great fun in the lessons with a lovely mix of students and no pressure to ‘compete’. I really enjoy the lessons and the food too!’

Another student from South Croydon agrees, ‘I have found the lessons a really happy and comfortable way to learn a language. It’s very nice to learn in such relaxed surroundings. The teaching is excellent and I have learnt lots in a very short period of time – and met some very nice people! I recommend the lessons highly.’

The next Italian course will start on Thursday 2nd October for 10 weeks, and any students who sign up at the open day will receive a discount on the course price. To find out more go to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Release provider: Italian Masterclass



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  • Anne Giles

    My husband Steve used to lunch at Nonna Rosa regularly when he worked in Coulsdon. My only problem with the place is they don’t have a loo.