Santo Sammartino, now in his 20th year at SYA, teaches history and both Latin and Greek languages. A published author, he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Tuscia University. His favorite hobby is biking and he encourages future SYAers to follow their heart and attend SYA Italy. His students would agree. 

Santo Sammartino

From the Classroom

A group of SYA high school students sit around a table creating theatrical masks.

Making theatrical masks with local expert Daniela Lai.

An SYA high school student makes a theatrical mask out of grey clay.

Making theatrical masks with local expert Daniela Lai.

Making theatrical masks with local expert Daniela Lai.

A group of SYA Italy high school students stand outside in the rain and mimic a marble statue behind them.

SYA Italy's interpretation of "Il ratto delle Sabine nella loggia dei Lanzi a Firenze."

SYA Italy's interpretation of "Il ratto delle Sabine nella loggia dei Lanzi a Firenze."


A Virtual Tour of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum at the Time of COVID with Santo Sammartino, SYA Italy History, Latin and Greek faculty. 


Join Santo Sammartino, SYA Italy’s history, Latin and Greek teacher, or a conversation on the art of getting along and how the Italian lack of identity has become the identity.


SYA Italy: History and Latin and Greek Languages

B.A. and M.A., Tuscia University

What areas of history do you enjoy teaching most and why?
I enjoy teaching Classics (Ancient Greek, Latin and Ancient Art History) because I feel that studying the foundations, is very formative both for students and for me as a teacher.

Can you describe one transformational moment for you while teaching at SYA? 
I cannot think of one particular moment, but rather of one state of mind, something that occasionally happens during the experience of teaching, a special moment of energy, in the classroom or during field trips, that creates empathy with the students. The moment when you feel that communication, that connection, is happening.

What advice would you give to a student interested in studying a foreign language?
First of all to find your own motivation inside. Without personal motivation it is very hard to enjoy the process of learning a language.

What  is your hope for this generation of students?  
Not to hurry, but learn to enjoy the moments. I feel that society puts too much pressure on this generation, however, accomplishments without the joy of everyday learning can be frustrating.

If you could ask any historical figure anything, who would it be and what would you ask?  
I would ask Julius Caesar why he suddenly decided to go around Rome without bodyguards, knowing that the city was filled with enemies ready to kill him.

Where's your favorite place you've traveled to? Why?

Rome continues to be my favorite place. The historical stratification of the city is an unbelievable source of surprise!