Meet Our Team

IDEA Programs has an amazing, collaborative team of directors, faculty organizers, instructors and staff, all of whom are dedicated to helping students succeed in gaining invaluable academic, skills-based and cultural experience in our program.

Anna Sbampato

Program Director

Marco Micoli

Resident Director

Giovanni Pacor

Music Program Director

Nicoletta Ventresca

Faculty Adviser

Maurizio Bicocchi

Faculty Coordinator

Elena Avesani

Italian Language Instructor

Anna Biondani

Italian Language Instructor

Mirca Bottacini

Italian Language Instructor

Monica Erbesato

Painting, Art of Fresco Instructor

Roberto Girardi

Photography Instructor

Giovanna Guandalini

Italian Language Instructor

Andrea Zaffaroni

Italian Art History Instructor

Elena Sbampato


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Anna has more than 20 years of experience as Program Director and channels her love of the beauty of Verona through the opportunities that she creates for students to engage in and learn from both the cultural and professional community in Verona.


With a strong background in commerce and a particular interest in Italian opera and the arts, Anna is recognized as a leader in the local business and arts community.

Marco has been a Resident Director for 5 years and specializes in the areas of online technology and outreach and developing on-site visits for students with professionals in Verona. He spent 10 years in the United States teaching, mentoring and promoting study abroad to students at the university level.  


With a degree in Architecture, proficiency in English and as a native of Verona, Marco offers our students an expert viewpoint of the many layers of history and culture of the city.

Nicoletta has more than 10 years of experience as a faculty member at the university level in the United States and specializes in course development and faculty advising for our program. She has been recognized with numerous awards for course design and for innovations in teaching and technology.


With masters degrees in Italian Language and Linguistics and as an American with Italian heritage who loves both cultures, Nicoletta guides our students in their intercultural studies. 

Maurizio has taught Italian for 20 years and is a committed and effective faculty coordinator. His training as a Counselor with a specialization in Psychosynthesis allows him to best address and help minimize aspects of culture shock and initial orientation that students may experience abroad.

With degrees in Radiophonic Journalism and Diction and as a travel, cinema, theater and sports enthusiast, Maurizio encourages students to pursue their many cultural interests.

Elena has taught Italian for nearly 10 years and teachers her language courses with a much appreciated blend of patience and humor. She has a secondary specialization in Italian Literature and a creativity and talent for illustration and calligraphy, which she often shares with her students.


With degrees in Italian Language and Literature and as a nature lover who travels the city with her beloved bicycle, Elena enjoys getting students outdoors to discover the city.

Anna chose teaching the Italian language to foreigners as a way to communicate the beauty of the language and culture to students from different backgrounds. She has practiced yoga and meditation for many years and is also an active volunteer at events that promote social tolerance and inclusion. 

With a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures and a focus on humanistic approaches in teaching, Anna provides an engaging, student-centered language learning environment.

Elena is the administrative assistant who works directly with our Program Director and Faculty Adviser to support the pre-departure, arrival, course scheduling and departure aspects of our study abroad program. Her experience in client services is key in rendering our student experience stellar.


With a degree in Languages and Eastern Asian Culture and a focus on Japanese Studies, Elena is an avid reader and has a passion for music, art, travel and encountering new cultures.

Andrea is an art historian and authorized culture guide who has taught art history for more than 20 years to international students with profound knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm. His great passion for art and nature guides him in immersing his students in the art landscape of the city.  


With a degree in Classic Literature and a specialization in Art History, Andrea enjoys sharing the world of art history with students from all levels of study and background.

Roberto has taught photography for 16 years and is a professional photographer and graphic designer for multiple businesses in and around Verona. His dedication to learning and innovation in his field has brought him to present contemporary expositions in Verona, Rome and Naples. 


With a degree in Photography and Design and with a strong interest in cinema and travel, Roberto encourages his students to "spoil themselves with positive culture" while abroad.

Monica has taught painting, scenography, design and specialized courses in antique techniques in painting for more than 20 years to Italian and international students of art. She has created frescoes for stately villas, homes and public buildings and at renowned art exhibits in Italy and abroad.

With degrees in Art, Painting and Scenography from the renowned Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona, Monica aims to inspire a new level of awareness and artistry in her students.

Mirca demonstrates her passion for teaching the Italian language by integrating activities in her classroom that help students express themselves in multiple contexts. She has a specialization in Counseling in the area of Education and is training in holistic techniques and therapy for well-being.

With a degree in Modern Languages and a background in studies in Italian cinema and culinary traditions, Mirca is able to connect with students using many creative forms.

Giovanna has found her passion in teaching Italian and English to international students and she utilizes this linguistic knowledge in her role as a certified translator. Her prior role in the tourism field provided her with years of interaction with languages and cultures from around the world.   


With a degree in Languages and Literatures in English, French and Spanish and a specialization in Comparative Literatures, Giovanna serves as a model of multiculturalism.

Giovanni is a progressive, devoted orchestra director specialized in opera directorship who has served as artistic director at the Arena in Verona, as musical director at the Klagenfurt Theater and as general manager at the National Opera of Athens and at the Carlo Felice Theater in Genova.


With violin and orchestra direction diplomas from the Vienna Music Academy and in choral direction from the Venice Conservatory, Giovanni is an accomplished leader in music.

IDEA Verona

Stradone Provolo, 16
Verona, Italy 37123

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