Learn Sicilian


Learn Sicilian | CCI Buffalo

Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo is pleased to announce we are offering Sicilian language lessons again in 2022!

Location: 2351 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14216


To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the CCI is requiring class participants to provide proof of vaccination. If participants are not vaccinated, they must wear a mask for the entire class duration. Please be advised that class location is subject to change based on Erie County mandates and CDC recommendations. If language lessons must transition to an online format, participants are entitled to a full refund if they do not wish to take the class online. For more information about CCI’s language lessons and COVID, please contact Toni Marie Di Leo at 716-432-9512.

Sicilian I Class

Instructors: Angelo Coniglio & Maria Garozzo Payne

When: Mondays September 26th – December 19th 2022, at 6:00 PM

NOTE: FIRST 20 registrations will be accepted

If you are interested in taking the Sicilian classes, please contact instructor, Angelo Coniglio and answer the questions listed below.

  1. What is the ancestral town of your Sicilian forebears?
  2. Do you speak any Sicilian, and at what level?
  3. What are your reasons for learning Sicilian?

Email answers to afconiglio@aol.com, and please include your full name in your response.

Sicilian Conversation Class

Instructors: Angelo Coniglio & Maria Garozzo Payne

When: Saturdays September 24th – December 17th, 2022, at 11:15 AM

Class cost is as follows:

  • $120.00 for CCI Members
  • $175.00 for non-members

To register send a check to CCI Buffalo, 2351 Delaware Ave. Buffalo NY 14216. If have any questions, contact Toni Marie Di Leo at 716-432-9512 or email her at ccibuffalo@gmail.com.

This page is dedicated to
Dr. Renata Giacobbe

Meet the Instructors!

Angelo Felice Coniglio

Angelo Felice Coniglio

Sicilian Instructor


Angelo Felice Coniglio is the youngest son of parents who emigrated from Serradifalco, Sicily in 1913 and 1914. Sicilian is Angelo’s first language, and when he began grammar school, he spoke no English. Angelo is a retired civil engineer who worked concurrently as a professional engineer and adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo School of Engineering for 25 years. Since retiring, Angelo has developed extensive experience in the genealogy of Sicilian immigrants writing genealogy columns in print and digital media and lecturing internationally. Angelo is a volunteer librarian at the Williamsville LDS Church’s Family History Center, and he will be developing a genealogy study program for the CCI’s new story booth.

To read more about Angelo’s take on the Sicilian language, please visit http://www.conigliofamily.com/TheSicilianLanguage.htm.

Angelo also invites the CCI community to check out his historical novella, titled “The Lady of the Wheel,” set in Racalmuto, Sicily in the 1800s.

Email: afconiglio@aol.com

Maria Garozzo-Payne, MPA

Maria Garozzo-Payne, MPA

Sicilian Instructor


Maria Garozzo-Payne’s grandfather emigrated from Brucoli (Siracuse), Sicily in 1924. Her grandmother emigrated in 1950, and her mother followed in 1955. Maria’s father also emigrated from Catania, Sicily in 1958. Maria grew up in a three-generation household where Sicilian was the primary language, and her grandmother ensured that she never spoke in English to her grandchildren. Maria is a retired public servant of 35 years for the City of Buffalo with a master’s degree in public administration. She most recently worked as a principal accessor for the Department of Assessment and Taxation. Maria’s family still resides in Italy and Sicily, and she travels abroad as much as possible. On her most recent trip to Sicily, Maria was told that people that grew up speaking “Old Sicilian” are national treasures for having preserved the Sicilian language of the 1920s.

Maria currently serves on the CCI Board of Directors, and she has been taking Italian language lessons for several years. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to share my love of the Sicilian language with people who are eager to learn it!”

Email: casapayne@aol.com