friendly Italian village

Old May 16th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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friendly Italian village

I would like to spend 3 months in Italy where I would be comfortable alone for most of my stay. My husband would come for periods of time but not stay the entire time. My purpose is to immerse myself in the language so I might take a class, but do not want the class to be the focus of each day. I have been studying Italian for more than 10 years but feel it's time for an immersion - as fluent as I am ..I'm not really fluent!
We (husband and I) spend the month of January 2010 in an apartment in Trastevere area of Rome. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay but found that with a few exceptions the locals were not particularly friendly toward us either in Rome proper or in our neighborhood. We have spent long periods of time in Venice and felt more welcomed there but I'm not sure I want to stay in Venice for 3 vision is a small, friendly village with easy train/bus access to other parts of Italy. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks, Giannetta
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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How small is "small" in your vision? I ask because it would relate to the "easy train/bus access" and whether you'd even find a language class. My first thoughts are Perugia, Bologna, Padova, but these are not small towns.

Also, what time of year?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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WOuld be happy to travel a bit to your language class, if you took one, say 30 mins on the bus to a bigger town?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Perugia is definitely one place to go. Or Lucca.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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A moderator at SlowTalk took an Italian language course at this school in Castiglioncello:
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:26 AM
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I think what I mean by "small town" would be a town the size of Lucca - Lucca centrale, not outside the wall.. Bologna felt larger than I would like, Padova would be an asset as it's so close to Venezia. We have spent time in each of the above. Perugia is in the midddle of such a large industrial area we found driving in competition with the trucks a bit hairy. I believe Perugia has a well know language school. I like the idea of a place like Castiglioncello as it seems more like a village.
The time of year for my stay is flexible. The only months I will not go to Italy are June/July/August. The less touristy months during the winter are good as long as I'm not in a snow belt! Rome was chilly, off and on rainy in January which was not unexpected. As I am a photographer the winter sky was a plus. Yes, traveling 30 minutes to a class would not be a problem for me.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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I highly recommend that you check out both Pistoia, which is right next to Lucca (which has a language school) and Chiavari, which is a lovely town on the beautiful stretch of the Ligurian coast with a language school.

Both have excellent train connections, although if you are keen on having day-trip access to lots of 5 star cultural sights, Pistoia is the better bet for that. If you would enjoy nature, hiking and the sea (plus pesto), Chiavari is a charming small town, with access to Genova and many smaller venues of fascination, by train and a very good bus system. Chiavari is a lovely small town whose historic center is full of porticoes, making it a nice all-year round destination. And buses from there into the hills will, I guarantee you, have you speaking nothing but Italian!

You can google up pictures and information about both towns, and there language schools.

Have a great time wherever you go!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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I have a good friend that runs an immersion language school in her B&B home in the northwestern area of Italy. The B&B is called Le Poiane and is located in Moncasacco, Piacenza.

Le Poiane is a four-floor chalet with a breathtaking view on the green Apennine hills of northern Italy, in the heart of the fertile area beyond the Po River.

The little hamlet of Moncasacco, nestled snugly among clusters of trees, provides the perfect peace and quiet for either a relaxing vacation or efficient home-immersion language study and concentration. It is a convenient one hour trip from Piacenza and Pavia, which offers the beauties of medieval castles and Renaissance monuments.

Eloise is the daughter of the famous Argentinian poet, artist and founder of the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, Rafael Squirru. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian. Active in the language field since 1980, she has worked in such public and private institutions and companies as Pavia University, Siena University, Centre of Italian Studies of the University of London, Heineken, Unilever, Dolma Master Foods and ENI Data Milano. She is a published author, translator and educator, as well as a great chef. In addition, she does narration work in a variety of video documentaries. Most importantly, she is a wonderful hostess with her B&B, Le Poiane.

As a bed and breakfast, Ms. Squirru offers full service at very affordable rates. Due to the location, guests are able to take in the true flavor of Northern Italian culture and life, at a much more leisurely pace than found in the large cities and conventional tourist areas.

As an immersion language school, students are provided with full room and board in a private room; three hours of daily of individualized instruction; a variety of socio-cultural activities and more. This is all provided at a cost that is very affordable. Individual or group tuition, living full-board with the tutor's family and in the tutor's home, gives the students a chance to live the language at a practical level. Homestays with Eloise include local visits and excursions, meeting friends, neighbors and professional colleagues.

You can contact her directly at:

[email protected]

You can also find information on her B&B at:


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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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Oh My! Zeppole and Dave - thank you. Each of you have given me great choices and I am about to follow up. I will let you know what I decide. I have to say that the B&B and living the language is inviting but the area around Pistoia and Chiavari on the Ligurian coast sounds equally tempting..again, I appreciate your help and now feel I will end up in a good place.
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