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Trip Report Oh no, not another grammar lesson! Learning italian in Venice - a TR.

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As I write, the title to this trip report is still in the balance - “Not another week at a language school?” or “A week in Venice? - lucky you” or possibly “You’re going to Venice to do what?” but you of course will be able to see what I chose in the end. Why the problem? Well, truth be told, not many people think that spending a week in a language school is going to be much fun, even in Venice. Having done this before [this would be my 4th week at an Italian language school] I knew better but there is still a perception [which I hope to dispel] that time spent in a classroom is time wasted. Learning a language can be fun? Well, yes it can.

Those who have read previous TRs may remember courtesy of the college where I attend Italian evening classes, I was able to go to Rome [two years ago] and Sorrento [last year] so I was thrilled last September to learn that this year, the venue of the trip was going to be Venice, one of my favourite places. The format would be the same as before - a smaller group of “adult learners” joining a larger group of 16-18 year olds who are studying italian as part of their AS/A2 exam programmes, with lessons at the language school in the morning, and excursions in the afternoon. We all have the same teacher, [DT] an Italian who has lived in the UK for quite a long time, but still knows her way round Italy, and is very experienced at running these types of trips, but travelling with a group of teenagers brings a number of challenges, as well as joys, as can be imagined. This time, the group, all girls, gelled very well, so the problems were relatively few, thank goodness [no lads sneaking out at 2am to get drunk, as happened at least once in Rome!]

To keep the costs down, accommodation was going to be in private houses on a bed only basis and because there are no flights anymore to Venice from Bristol [our “local” airport, though even that is a 3 hour drive away from Cornwall] a minibus would transport us to Gatwick for our mid-morning flight but that had worked out quite well last year, so though travelling through the night is always a bit of a trial, I had no real concerns about it. [how wrong could I be?]

Anyway, that’s the background….let the trip begin!

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