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Learning Italian in Italy

by Nick

We have been learning Italian for two years. We want to improve our skills and would like to go to a school for two weeks. There are lots advertised on the internet, but word of mouth is always better to go on. Our special requirements are these;
1: We are in our sixties and don't particularly want to be in a class made up entirely of 18 plus yr olds.
2: We want to go to a city. But maybe one which is not overwhelmed by tourists speaking the same language as us.
3: We can go outside of normal holidays.
Can you advise?

Maria's reply: It is always nice to get an easy question!! I used to teach at various schools in the past and I actually have a guide to learning Italian on our other site. The school I recommend that meets 100% your requirements is the Italiano Porticando.

To read my guide and view the list of other Italian schools I can recommend click here. Funnily enough your requirement for a city not overwhelmed with tourists is exactly that which I always recommend to people.

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Italian Schools

Hi - I am an Aussie female (senior) travelling alone, and hope to depart on a cruise leaving Venice 16th June,2015. I have studied Italian language to pre-intermediate level, and was hoping to improve this either by attending a language school for approx. 2 weeks prior to departure, or a homestay in order to immerse myself in the language and culture, etc. Do you have any recommendations for me ?

Maria's reply: What a wonderful idea Colleen. There is no better way to learn Italian than in Italy. My husband did that many years ago (before he met me) and he reckons that he learnt more in those two years in Italy than he'd learnt in a year previously.

Also, I used to be a language teacher in Italy myself and I have actually visited a lot of schools in order to help people to choose the right language school or homestay option. I've a dedicated section on my husband site that has all the options - you can see it by clicking here.

You'll notice that most of the schools are in regions that are less touristy and that is deliberate. The reason is that if you are in a region where there are few other tourists and many locals don't speak English you'll be obliged to speak Italian and it guarantees you a full immersion experience.

Not only that but the regions where the schools are located are all beautiful and guaranteed to give you a taste of the "real" Italy. None of the schools are in a town, village or city that has been changed to any major extent by tourism.

Most of the places that I feature are language schools but there is one homestay option. It is absolutely superb - you'll find it under the Piedmont Schools section of that page. A number of people have written to me, after doing the homestay option, to tell me that it was a life-changing experience.

The lady who runs it, Lucia, is a warm and wonderful person and you really enter into her world and experience what life in Italy is really like. Not only do you become a part of her family you also get to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Italy, scenery that most tourists never see including Italy's lovely Lake Orta. I've attached a photo taken in Orta San Giulio, which is a little town on the shores of the lake. I hope you like it.

The choice is yours though so I'd advise you to browse through all the schools listed there and if you have any questions you are most welcome to contact me. You can do that on this page here.

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