Our Teachers

Meet our teachers: a professional, fun and interesting group of people leading all Italian events around town. 

Patti Franklin Nelson

Founder of Italian For Fun, Patti Franklin Nelson has been speaking and singing professionally in Italian since the age of 19.  Born in an Italian neighborhood of upstate New York, it was destiny for Patti to be connected with Italy.  She studied in Europe and then served with a Christian organization for ten years, both in Italy and India.  She then lived and worked in the music business for another ten years while living in Torino, Northern Italy. Patti now lives with her husband, Gary, in Nashville. 

She travels back to Italy each year to bring music and inspiration!  She started Italian for Fun! to spread the beauty of Italian language and culture in Tennessee.

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Viviana Luison

Viviana, originally from the small town of Azzano Decimo (near Venice, Italy), moved to Nashville, TN in 2003 and lived with a local family as their au-pair (a fancy word for nanny) for two years. Her initial thought was to stay in the States for 1 year and than move somewhere else but instead, as she likes to say, “life happened”. She then graduated in 2009 from Tennessee State University with a BBA in consumer marketing and has since held positions in completely different industries. Her need to keep in touch with her roots and a curiosity for wines brought her to 100% Italiano in 2009, a newly founded wine distribution in Nashville, TN.  At the same time, she met Patti Franklin Nelson, founder of Italian for Fun and now is one of the teachers and promoters of “everything Italian in Nashville”. Passionate about learning and educating people, you might bump into Viviana leading an Italian conversation group at Nucci’s in Cool Springs or teaching an Italian Wine 101 class across town. Her husband Steve Porter is also a student of Italian For Fun!