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Italian language course in September 2021

Italian language course in September 2021

Old Apr 25th, 2021, 08:37 AM
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Italian language course in September 2021

Dear Fodorites,

I can hardly believe that it's been over a year since I last visited this forum. With my vaccination dates lined up I am very, very cautiously thinking of traveling again.
I have been taking Italian language lessons for about six years now. Have attended two courses, one in 2015 in Turin and one in 2018 in Bologna.

It's been decades since I last visited Venice and Firenze; the crowds have kept us away. We are thinking that it might be a while before the cruise ships return to Venice (if they ever will) so now is perhaps the time to go (COVID circumstances permitting).
  • We have about three weeks to spend in Northern Italy in September.
  • As we live in Europe we plan to travel by car to Italy.
  • We are thinking of using Padova as our central place to stay.

1. Language school: the choice is between Venice, Verona or Padova. Any recommendations???
2. We would like to rent an apartment (with terrace or small garden) in any of the above cities.

Just the sheer thought of being able to travel in itself is such a treat! Non veto l'ora!
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Old Apr 25th, 2021, 01:38 PM
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I studied in Venice at Istituto Venezia and can recommend it.

I was not an absolute beginner (like you, I had had several years of classes at home plus a course in Rome once), so tested into an intermediate class. Though we were all intermediate students, we definitely had very different strengths, which I think makes it more challenging for the instructors. Nonetheless, it was a fun learning experience. I liked going to school in the mornings and having my afternoons free to explore. In my case I was there for the Biennale d'Arte, so that took up most of my afternoons.

https://www.istitutovenezia.com/
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Old Apr 25th, 2021, 11:48 PM
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Thank you very much for your suggestion Leely2. I have looked at the school's website and got a good impression. I noticed the school is located on Dorsoduro which is centrally located. Did you book your accommodation via the school, did you stay with a family or rent your own apartment? I did the latter in Bologna and found that it gave me a lot of freedom. In Torino I stayed in a beautiful B&B, located in an historic palazzo. It was wonderful and the owners couldn't have been nicer, but in the morning I had to wait for (the extensive) breakfast to be served. I am not a great one for big breakfasts and would have preferred to go outside, have a cappuccino and croissant in one of the small café's and immerse myself in the "couleur locale".
Thanks again!
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 12:27 AM
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annhig has taken Italian lessons and can probably give you good advice. I think she went to a school in Venice, but I may be wrong!
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 12:26 PM
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I chuckled when I saw the title of this post.

I had always wanted to learn Italian, so I went to an Italian class in a nearby senior center. After a fairly short time, I asked myself "What are you doing, woman? You are not satisfied with your Spanish, you are not satisfied with your German, though it's much better than your Spanish, and now you are starting another language with which you won't be satisfied.

Then it occurred to me that I could audit German classes at Gonzaga University, since I'm a G.U. graduate. So I did that. It was fun. I took four classes over a two year period and really enjoyed them. But I'm still not satisfied with my German.
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 02:18 PM
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Elisabeth, I booked my own accommodation. I need my freedom, lol!

FWIW, I believe annhig attended the same school in Venice that I did.
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 06:49 AM
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You might take a look at InClasse--they have several campuses or affiliates but I took a week-long course in Verona. Small class, a range of "intermediate," a lovely environment. Pleasant/skilled young women teachers. I booked my own lodging but another person in the class did a homestay through the school. The class had an afternoon field trip to Sirmione on Lake Garda.

That said, I'd love to take a class at the institute in Venice.
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 12:53 AM
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Thanks all for your suggestions and shared reflections, I really appreciate all the help I can get.

Pegontheroad: I know just what you mean! Over the past years I often had exactly the same thoughts about why I didn't just continue sprucing up my spoken French. I am however very happy with Italian even though I often get exasperated with the grammar and the speed with which Italians speak!

AnnW: I'll also seriously consider Verona. Thank you for suggesting it.
Yes, I also prefer to have my freedom so private lodging is what I'll be looking for.
I have sent a PM to AnnHig with whom I have been in contact before over the past years.
Thank you all again!
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 12:48 PM
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hi Elisabeth,

It was lovely to get your PM and i've sent you a reply, but I thought I should come here and give you the "benefit" of my experience such as it is! Leely was right in that I have also been to the Istituto in Venice in fact I've been twice and enjoyed it both times. It's big enough to have classes for all levels [though as Leely says that doesn't mean that you'll all be at the same stage exactly] but small enough that you can get to know a few people so that there is someone to go out to have a cafe with in the mid morning "pausa" which is fun. i also liked that they have activities on in the afternoons and I very much enjoyed the evening cookery class when i was there about 18 months ago which turned out to be my last visit to Venice, sadly.

The Istituto is in a corner of Campo Santa Marguerita so to the north of Dorsoduro and not that far from the Ca Rezzonico vaporetto stop on the Grand canal or the San Basilio stop [which is very close to where the Istituto accommodation is situated and might still be an option for you as i think that they are small apartments] and Zattere stops on the Zattere so you don't need to restrict yourself to staying near the school. In fact the first time i was there I was staying in San Marco and I caught the vaporetto to Ca' Rezzonico every morning, and the second time I was on the Giudecca and caught the boat to the Zattere stop. In both cases it's about a 5-10 minute walk depending on what route you take.

As for your other options I really don't know Verona well enough to comment but Padua strikes me as an excellent option though I've not been to a school there. The city has a great deal to see and being a university city should have very good teaching. It also has terrific rail links to lots of interesting places, not just Venice but Vicenza, Ferrara, Verona, and Bassano del Grappa which are all within about an hour on the train or less.

Hope this helps - please don't hesitate to ask if there's anything else I can help you with.

[BTW this is the link to the accommodation provided by the Istituto which someone I know who stayed there said was very comfortable and convenient]. https://www.istitutovenezia.com/acco...e-courses.html
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
hi Elisabeth,

It was lovely to get your PM and i've sent you a reply, but I thought I should come here and give you the "benefit" of my experience such as it is! Leely was right in that I have also been to the Istituto in Venice in fact I've been twice and enjoyed it both times. It's big enough to have classes for all levels [though as Leely says that doesn't mean that you'll all be at the same stage exactly] but small enough that you can get to know a few people so that there is someone to go out to have a cafe with in the mid morning "pausa" which is fun. i also liked that they have activities on in the afternoons and I very much enjoyed the evening cookery class when i was there about 18 months ago which turned out to be my last visit to Venice, sadly.

The Istituto is in a corner of Campo Santa Marguerita so to the north of Dorsoduro and not that far from the Ca Rezzonico vaporetto stop on the Grand canal or the San Basilio stop [which is very close to where the Istituto accommodation is situated and might still be an option for you as i think that they are small apartments] and Zattere stops on the Zattere so you don't need to restrict yourself to staying near the school. In fact the first time i was there I was staying in San Marco and I caught the vaporetto to Ca' Rezzonico every morning, and the second time I was on the Giudecca and caught the boat to the Zattere stop. In both cases it's about a 5-10 minute walk depending on what route you take.

As for your other options I really don't know Verona well enough to comment but Padua strikes me as an excellent option though I've not been to a school there. The city has a great deal to see and being a university city should have very good teaching. It also has terrific rail links to lots of interesting places, not just Venice but Vicenza, Ferrara, Verona, and Bassano del Grappa which are all within about an hour on the train or less.

Hope this helps - please don't hesitate to ask if there's anything else I can help you with.

[BTW this is the link to the accommodation provided by the Istituto which someone I know who stayed there said was very comfortable and convenient]. https://www.istitutovenezia.com/acco...e-courses.html
Grazie mille all and in particular Annhig for all your shared information. After I have had my vaccinations I will review the situation in Italy and will decide when and where to go. In the meantime I will continue to "dream about Italy".
P.S. For all your lovers of the Italian language, have you heard of a website called Vaporetto Italiano?
It's run by Francesco, a young teacher of Italian from Ferrara. I find his lessons molto divertente ed educative and I learn a lot from him. Ciao tutti!

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Old May 2nd, 2021, 09:15 AM
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Ciao Elisabeth, thanks for your kind words and grazie per il link a Francesco who is new to me. i will have to suss him out. Something you might be interested in is Easy Italian News which gives you written and spoken news in Italian 3x a week. It has the advantage that it is read relatively slowly and there is a transcript to follow if you want at the same time. I find it a good way to find out what is happening in Italy and the italian view on the rest of the world. https://easyitaliannews.com
Let's hope we can all get back to Italy soon!
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
Ciao Elisabeth, thanks for your kind words and grazie per il link a Francesco who is new to me. i will have to suss him out. Something you might be interested in is Easy Italian News which gives you written and spoken news in Italian 3x a week. It has the advantage that it is read relatively slowly and there is a transcript to follow if you want at the same time. I find it a good way to find out what is happening in Italy and the italian view on the rest of the world. https://easyitaliannews.com
Let's hope we can all get back to Italy soon!
Buongiorno Ann, thank you for this suggestion and yes, I am familiar with Easy Italian News and watch it often. The beauty of tutorials via Youtube is that you can change the speed of the spoken text and choose to have the subtitling in Italian. Che magnifico!
There are many more on-line tutorials in Italian, all of which keep me motivated and enthusiastic to continue with my lessons hoping that one day international travel will be safe again. In the meantime this forum helps enormously with lots of information to check out, very inspiring indeed. Ti auguro uno buona giornata!
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 08:05 AM
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"veto" is that dialect? I'd use "vedo" but I know nothing.

I use italki to access contact with native Italians to swap English and Italian, plus a little paid for chat when life is heavily lockdowned. Anhig has written well of her courses. I'd also listen to radio, for example Un giorno da pecora on youtube every day and read a book you know well in your native language but translated into Italian. Good luck.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
"veto" is that dialect? I'd use "vedo" but I know nothing.

I use italki to access contact with native Italians to swap English and Italian, plus a little paid for chat when life is heavily lockdowned. Anhig has written well of her courses. I'd also listen to radio, for example Un giorno da pecora on youtube every day and read a book you know well in your native language but translated into Italian. Good luck.

Thanks Bilboburgler for your suggestions and comments.
Vedo che ho fatto degli errori di battitura. Mi dispiace!
Non veto l'ora! > non VEDO l'ora.
Una buona giornata.

My level of Italian is only A-2 but nevertheless I am particularly interested in your experiences with Italki. That might be a welcome way to fill the long Summer gap between lessons. Would you care to explain more? I could send you a PM.
Have a nice day all!





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