For a number of years I thought about taking classes at Il Sasso. When I finally was in Italy for a while I emailed and got a last minute spot. They were incredibly responsive and lined up a fantastic apartment with an amazing view over Tuscan vineyards. I was going to just spend a week but quickly decided to stay for all the remaining days on my trip. I think 3 weeks would be ideal and there is so much to do in the area. I had a car which is easy to park in and drive around Montepulciano. I am hoping to make taking Italian at Il Sasso an annual experience. It would be worthwhile for any level.
I studied Italian at Il Sasso, the school for foreigners, in Montepulciano for 2 weeks. The teachers were friendly, knowledgeable, and able to teach small groups very successfully. Anyone one who wants to learn Italian, from beginner to experienced students should go to Il Sasso for at least a week or two. The pace of learning is geared to getting you up to speed with Italian in a relaxed but progressive atmosphere. Their approach is systematic and at times great fun. My spoken Italian improved dramatically. I will go back again in a heartbeat when I next go to Italy at the start of my holiday for a quick refresher course.
I spent 3 weeks in September-October this year at Il Sasso. This was my fourth visit in as many years, because I love the environment of learning and culture provided by the school and the town. I would recommend the experience to anyone wanting to learn to speak Italian. The classes are small (4-7 people in my experience) which means everyone has the opportunity to participate and therefore learn. The wide range of nationalities and age of students (< 20 to > 70 years in my classes) helped create an interesting and stimulating experience both in and out of class. The teachers are highly qualified, enthusiastic and perceptive about individual student's abilities and learning a language-thank you this year to Roberta, Sara and Eleonora, but in previous years Cinzia, Alberto…..). They also bring a sense of humour and love of Italian culture to their teaching that makes learning enjoyable, interesting and relevant. The emphasis in the classes has been on developing conversation but with a steady progression of enough grammar as a background. Heike at the front desk, whose motto appears to be "problems are there to be solved" has always calmly and efficiently managed my enrolment, accommodation and other questions whether online or during the course. I would recommend staying with a local family, as I have done each time, if you want to try a more complete immersion in the language and culture. I have also enjoyed many of the schools extra-curricular activities, conducted in Italian, both inside the town and in the surrounding countryside. The town, although small, has musical events, artisanal stores and beautiful buildings. Many people are prepared to help with the language, especially if they know you attend the school. In summary I think that the key to learning a language is to immerse oneself in the language and culture with good teachers in a welcoming environment and Il Sasso and Montepulciano provide all of these things.
I attended Il Sasso for 3 weeks in 2014, and 2 weeks in 2015. I'm already organising to go back for 2016 - I just have to work out how many weeks I can be away from work. The teachers are all wonderfully helpful and kind and it's lots of fun! There are "extracurricular" activities, such as cooking classes and visits to interesting places, and the whole town is willing to help you with your language. The owner of a cafe helped me with my homework! I thoroughly recommend it!
Rules of Italian grammar can be read or imparted in a classroom anywhere in the world. Fortunately, that is not at all what Il Sasso is about. By sponsoring an atmosphere of spontaneity and discovery, the school facilitates immersion in the sounds and pronunciation of conversational Italian. This pedagogical strategy equips students to engage Italians in everyday exchanges, probably the best route to a sense of competency. The range of students is exceptional: it extends from retired expats to youths seeking adventure from all corners of the globe. No one arriving on their own should feel lonely, because the school sponsors a range of extracurricular activities in the vicinity. This is a thoroughly professional facility recommended by Italy’s cultural representatives. A positive sign is that the school attracts a considerable number of repeat enrollments from alumni. Even for older learners set in their private ways, for immersion I would recommend the school’s option of living with a family in Montepulciano. In support of this choice, the staff has decades of experience with families in town, and it will not steer you wrong. Although Montepulciano at some times of the year is justifiably a popular tourist destination, the town preserves its own historical networks of friends and warmth. There is an upside to the tourism: it supports varied book shops as well as artisanal stores. For its size, the town is home to an extraordinary concentration of cultural institutes and music events. To be sure, if you think that Italian is mastered best by lots of mechanical homework, you should look elsewhere.
Attending Il Sasso was an amazing adventure! I studied there for 3 weeks in May. I learned so much about the culture, the food, and the local history. And, of course, the beautiful Italian language! The teachers are extremely knowledgeable, patient, and creative. They incorporate different types of learning aids and games to increase your comprehension and make it fun! The local shopkeepers in town are more than happy to chat with you in Italian, further reinforcing what you learned in class. Speaking of the town, Montepulciano is a charming area with a rich history and interesting sites to see. My experience at Il Sasso was excellent right from the start. When I first contacted them to inquire about the program, Heike cheerfully responded quickly and answered all of my questions thoroughly. This positive experience continued when I arrived at school. All of the teachers are so happy to help you with anything you need. I highly recommend Il Sasso to anyone considering learning Italian. It is an experience that you will not forget.
Have studied in Perugia, Cortona and here in Montepulciano. Il Sasso is the best. Great teachers. Organized and responsive. Plus it is a great place to be. Highly recommend!
I have just completed a wonderful two-week course in Italian at Il Sasso. For the past four years, I have been studying Italian in Sydney, just one day per week, and the two-weeks at Il Sasso not only dramatically improved my Italian, but also gave me the confidence to begin to speak in Italian. It was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. I found the school to be extremely professional in absolutely every aspect: from management down, it is exemplary, and all personnel are the nicest, caring people you could ever expect to meet. I went to Il Sasso on my own, and never felt intimidated nor lonely nor wanting for companionship. I could not recommend it more highly. In evidence of this, I am returning in 2016 to undertake two two-week courses with a week's break in between to tour around Italy and force myself to speak more Italian. You will have fun whilst learning Italian. Don’t just think about it, do it!
I have attended "Il Sasso" in Montepulciano (Tuscany) for two weeks in July 2015 and I have met with excellence on all levels. The school's secretary has been helpful from beginning to end and has answered all my questions and requests competently and without delay. Upon my arrival my apartment was ready and I was given all the necessary information for the first day of school. I have attended regular lessons for two weeks and private lessons (2 hours, twice weekly) with competent and caring teachers. Classes were never larger than 4 students and teachers used a variety of approaches to get their message across. In my advanced class we used both literary and non-literary texts, we did listening comprehension, discussed poetry and newspaper articles and we discussed, learnt and applied Italian grammar in many different ways. The school has an intensive and interesting program of visits to interesting places, group activities (cooking, singing) viewing of films and many more. The highest praise however goes to the teachers, of whom I have the greatest respect. They all work with great passion, with competence and with a treasure of knowledge to benefit the students. I have benefitted from my visit to "Il Sasso" not only on the level of language competence, but have been treated with respect, kindness and warmth.
I attended Il Sasso for two weeks in May 2015 following the advice of my italian professor in London, and would definetely recommend to anyone looking to actually learn italian and have an amazing break in Tuscany ... - In terms of lessons: the team at the school was super helpful and accomodative in finding a course that was right for me ... I ended up taking private lessons and was perfect as I wanted to focus on communication and in two weeks I actually progressed a lot. - The location: out of a fairy tale ... both Montepulciano and the surroundings ... If you have the opportunity to rent a car I would also definetely recommend you do so in order to explore the whole region which is incredibly beautiful and especially if you are keen on a bit of nighlife on weekends, you might want to head to Rome or Florence. The school also organizes tours so you get to see a few bits of the region. - The classmates: A very diverse crowd in terms of geographies and everyone is there with the same purpose and similar mind set, so you have a bit in common even if the age range varies ...