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language course in Italy, recommendations?

language course in Italy, recommendations?

Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 129
language course in Italy, recommendations?

I would like to improve my Italian by taking a 1- or maybe 2 week course in Italy. I've researched some options but there are so many organisations that offer programs that I don't know which one I should choose!

I want to go together with my boyfriend and we both already speak (basic) Italian. I'm looking for a program during which we will also have some time off since it will also be a holiday for us. We would like to go to either Venice, Florence or Sicily but are open to suggestions.

Anyone who has done this and who has recommendations?
vakantie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,392
Solemar Sicilia offers two week classes in Cefalu and the tiny village of Mongerbino. They also offer accommodations in seaside hotels and apartments. I did it a few years ago and had a great time. Classes are in the morning and you have the rest of the day free. www.solemar-sicilia.it

There's another course in Taormina, the Babilonia Language School, which offers similar short term courses. I've seen their brochures but never took a course there. I think you'll love either place.
panecott is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:27 PM
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Posts: 129
thanks for your response! I checked out the website and it looked nice. Very decent prices as well!

When I clicked on your name I noticed the other thread on language schools (I don't know how I could have missed that! I did do a search before posting...). I saw that you also did a course with the Dante Alighieri institute in Rome. Would you say that the quality of the lessons given compared?

Sicily appeals more to me because I've never been there and I think it would be great for a holiday but I also want to make the most of the lessons since we'll we putting valuable free time into it!

Looking at the website it seems to me that the Dante institute is geared more towards college students and that the institute in Sicily attracts all ages. Would you say this is true? We're both 30 and would like a somewhat mixed group.

Did you like Cefalu? How touristic is it?

Many questions, I hope you have time to answer!
vakantie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Hi vakantie,
It's hard to compare the two because I took the Dante Alighieri course over 20 years ago and it may have changed since then. But the students were all ages, tho' mostly young adults, and very international. We had students from all over the world and the class had about 15 people. It was a month long course with classes in the morning. It was a fabulous experience. We lived in a pensione near the Spanish Steps, took weekend excursions and lived La Dolce Vita.

I went to Solemar about 6 years ago and I can see from the website that it's still much as it was, with the same owners.
I was there in early September and there were just a few students in my group. But we had an excursion with the group from Mongerbino and it was a lot larger. They all said the apts. were wonderful. The group was mostly German, which is typical of Sicily, because the island is very popular with northern Europeans, and ages were mixed.
Cefalu is a beautiful town. It's popular with tourists, but it's not touristy. I loved it there and was never bored in the two weeks I was there. Then again, I love all of Sicily!! There's a sandy beach right in the town, and some hotels are on the beach, and you can do a lot of exploring from there. I think it's the perfect spot to combine study and vacation.
The courses were comparable as far as quality. Like anything, a lot depends on the instructor and I was lucky in both cases. You get course materials and brief assignments, and of course, just being there helps with learning the language. The courses are for foreigners so English is not spoken, but with a little knowledge of Italian you'll be fine. They give you a little test to place you on the right level. And the price is definitely right!
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.
panecott is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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If you haven't already, check the http://www.slowtalk.com site, as many posters there have done Italian language courses.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 1st, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Panecott, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It was very helpfull. The class in Cefalu sounds very good to me! Now I have to wait and see what my boyfriend thinks. We will decide where to go next week! I'll let you know!

WillTravel, thanks for the url. I didn't know the website and will definitely check it out!
vakantie is offline  
Mar 1st, 2006, 12:32 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,862
I am off to a language school in Siena at the end of this month, so it is too early to comment.

What I wanted to comment on was Cefalu - I was there in October, and loved the town. It is in a beautiful setting, has a good beach, and some great restaurants. Had I realised there was a language school there, I might well have decided on going there.

I wrote a sort of journal on my Sicily trip -but there is a reasonable amount on Cefalu. If interested it is at http://www.microbes.plus.com/october12.htm
willit is offline  
Mar 1st, 2006, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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You're welcome, vakantie. I look forward to hearing your decision.

I enjoyed reading your journal on Sicily, and your photos.
This discussion is making me want to go back!
panecott is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2

What did you think of the language program you did in Siena? I'm looking to do a 4-week program -- currently considering Siena, Lucca and Florence, but I'm leaning toward Siena as a more personal, "smaller-town" setting for school, and then a stay in Florence afterward.
krismas is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 08:19 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Krismas, I did two weeks at Saena iulia in Siena (www.saenaiulia.it), and I could not recommend it highly enough.
I was very apprehensive, but found everybody extremely helpful and patient. I wrote up some notes on the school on the slotravel website - <http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a...31#5711005631>

I really liked Siena, and the apartment found for me by the school was excellent.

I suppose the strongest recommendation I can make is that I plan to go back as soon as I can, possibly in autumn, possibly spring next year.
willit is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Thanks so much! Your notes on the program are very helpful -- Saena Iulia is definitely looking like a top pick!
krismas is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 353
My husband and I have attended il Sasso Scuola di Italiano in Montepulciano twice. It was a fine experience each time, and we enjoyed Montepulciano very much. We will be returning this fall. The school will give you a test on the first day to see what level you belong in; they also offer private turoring if you desire. The teachers are very helpful. The school will help you find living accommodations in Montepulciano. The website is www.ilsasso.com.
roamer is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 240
If you want full immersion try the Progetto Lingua school in Viterbo, where few local people speak English.
Mary Jane
vetralla is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 27
Anone stay at the solemar in Cefalu?
Wondering how the accomodations were, specifically, the holiday flats
mdciti is offline  

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