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Su di noi — About Via Optimae


My name is Alex and I originally started this site to share the materials and resources that I used (and continue to use) in the study of languages and culture, and Italian in particular.

My intention is to show the fun and engaging side of study as well as create a community of like-minded learners from around the world that can encourage each other and exchange ideas.

What's in a name?

VIA means 'street or way' in Italian— I wanted to evoke the idea that this a place to gather, and also a way of thinking or doing.

OPTIMAE comes from Latin and the AE is pronounced like the ‘ay’ in “say.” It means "best" and a form of the word is used in the famous Latin phrase "HIC MANEBIMUS OPTIME." According to legend, a Roman centurion uttered this phrase during the Gaul invasion of 390 BC, convincing the Romans to stay and saving the fate of the city. It can be translated as "Here we'll stay excellently," and nowadays, it's used to evoke the ideas of optimism and devotion to a cause, place, or ideal.

Here's hoping we all stay (and do) excellently!
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Featured testimonial:

I normally don't reach out to the Italian learning sites I visit, but I have to say that your welcome email message was so nice, and your site is just amazing!...I am blown away, not only because of your content and the way you have organized it, but by your diagrams and "hidden answers" - I love the visual-ness of it (if that is a word), because I am a visual learner - your charts and bold fonts for clarity are wonderful.