The Pirandello Italian Language Center (PILC) was founded in 1973 when the Italian Foreign Ministry approached Boston high school teacher and immigrant from Vicenza, Ernesto “Tino” Valdesolo, to start a cultural program for Italians living in New England. Financial assistance was promised only if Tino could self-fund the program and keep it together for the first year. “Tino” applied himself passionately to the task and succeeded in convincing Scalabrinian priests, Father Joseph Fugolo and Father Dominic Rodighiero, to host the program at the Sacred Heart Parish in the North End. The PILC has been hosted there, and Tino has been managing it continuously ever since. Financial support from Italy has since subsided but Tino has still overseen the classes supported by a growing yearly participation.
Originally established for children and adults of Italian descent, the Pirandello Italian Language Center (PILC) program has helped thousands of second, third, and fourth-generation Italian-Americans connect with their heritage. Since our inception in 1973, we have presented Boston's Italian community with a realistic picture of contemporary Italy and its rich historical and cultural traditions.
PILC continues to offer Saturday morning immersive language classes (10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) to students starting at 4 years old and their parents and friends. Now part of Saint Leonard's Parish, the school boasts a diverse and enthusiastic membership taught by talented, native-speaking instructors.
Our program is a beacon of Italian culture and partners with local Italian businesses and like-minded organizations to support our collective mission of maintaining and celebrating Italian heritage and customs in the North End.