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Italian language school

michele29

10+ Posts
Can anyone recommend an Italian language school for an intermediate- advanced speaker? One with a two week option in or near a city is preferable.

grazie
 

susan

100+ Posts
I studied many years ago (back in 2001 I think) at Saena Iulia in Siena for a couple of weeks. I just checked their website and it looks like most of the same people work there. Mauro is still the director. He was very helpful. I also studied at another school in Siena during a different summer, but preferred Saena Lingua. Of course the other school may have changed by now as it was back in 2000.

I have also taken classes (private) with Andrea Quarantotto through Bolognalingua in Bologna in 2011. After spending time taking classes, both in Hawaii and in Italy, my lessons with Andrea worked out perfectly for me as they were tailored to my individual needs and I did not need to spend time trying to understand foreign Italian accents from the other students in my class. Of course I have forgotten so much of what I learned now! I really enjoyed my week studying with him.

I would recommend both depending on what you are looking for. Loved both locations. Of course both of my studies were not very recent so things may have changed.

If you do decide to inquire with either, please let them know Susan from Hawaii says hello. I no longer live in Hawaii but they will know me (if they still remember me) from there.
 

michele29

10+ Posts
I studied many years ago (back in 2001 I think) at Saena Iulia in Siena for a couple of weeks. I just checked their website and it looks like most of the same people work there. Mauro is still the director. He was very helpful. I also studied at another school in Siena during a different summer, but preferred Saena Lingua. Of course the other school may have changed by now as it was back in 2000.

I have also taken classes (private) with Andrea Quarantotto through Bolognalingua in Bologna in 2011. After spending time taking classes, both in Hawaii and in Italy, my lessons with Andrea worked out perfectly for me as they were tailored to my individual needs and I did not need to spend time trying to understand foreign Italian accents from the other students in my class. Of course I have forgotten so much of what I learned now! I really enjoyed my week studying with him.

I would recommend both depending on what you are looking for. Loved both locations. Of course both of my studies were not very recent so things may have changed.

If you do decide to inquire with either, please let them know Susan from Hawaii says hello. I no longer live in Hawaii but they will know me (if they still remember me) from there.
 

Tim W

100+ Posts
I studied many years ago (back in 2001 I think) at Saena Iulia in Siena for a couple of weeks. I just checked their website and it looks like most of the same people work there. Mauro is still the director.


This is related to this topic - I promise! Driving home a couple of weeks ago, a book being read on the radio was A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar. I didn't knoow anything about the book, and I turned on half way through, so only found out the title later, but it was obvious which city was being described.

I got hold of a copy, and frankly, didn't really enjoy it that much as it has huge sections of Sienese art which really doesn't interest me.

To get to the point - in the book he starts referring to a language school, and Mauro the director, and being taught by Sabrina - and I realised that it was Saena Iulia. It's been 12 years since I was there - I did 2 spells of 2 weeks each, and another of 4. I loved it and maybe one day I'll go back - as much as for the experience as the learning. Siena remains probably my favourite city anywhere.
 

ellen

100+ Posts
A friend and I went to Centro Italiano in Naples for two weeks a few years ago. Although there were a few English speakers in the class (from the Navy base) it was a diverse language group (French, Korean, Portuguese native speakers) so Italian was the only language everyone had in common.

The downside of going with a friend was that we mostly spoke English when not in class, I guess we weren't disciplined enough to try for full immersion as they suggest. We did have a lovely lunch one day when the owner of the empty restaurant we selected for lunch realized why we were in town and decided to spend the meal teaching us Italian, refusing to speak English with us.

 

Marlene

10+ Posts
I second both the recommendations for Saena Iulia in Siena and the Lucca Italian School. They both offer group and individual lessons at several levels - plus extra activities, which are fun. Both are located in towns with lots to fill your free time. I can also recommend Scuola Palazzo Malaise in Ravenna. I found the instruction there a bit more serious and the activities a bit less engaging. Here's my Ravenna trip report from 2018 https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/three-weeks-in-ravenna-may-2018.3778/ which also has links to my Lucca trip reports from 2016 and 2017.
 

Valerie

100+ Posts
We took classes in Ascoli Piceno way back when, because we wanted to be in a place where we'd have to use the language every day, where few people would speak to us in English (versus cities that are used to foreign travelers). It really accelerated our learning and usage, and helped us get over our fear of speaking (and making mistakes).
 

ElizaN

10+ Posts
I have a close friend who studies every summer at the language school in Montepulciano. She is a teacher herself, and speaks very positively about the teachers and small class sizes.
 

SMJ

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I went to the Koine School in Florence in 2010, and enjoyed it very much.
There were only 3 of us in the class, and the instructor spoke no English, till the very last hour of the week!
So, in 2012, I signed up for the Koine School in Lucca.
It was vastly different , and I wouldn't recommend it at all.
Big classes, no waiting if you couldn't keep up or didn't understand, and some people I met abandoned their classes early as they were not helping them to learn.
Lucca itself however, is delightful, and I've heard great things about the Lucca Italian School.
 

Marlene

10+ Posts
Sorry about your experience with Koine in Lucca. Next time try LIS (https://www.luccaitalianschool.com/#) (see my comments in the post above). When I did my research a few years ago, the word was that LIS was far superior to Koine in Lucca. I also had a positive experience with Koine in Florence many years ago before they reorganized and moved.
 
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