Six weeks in a language school in a foreign country in the middle of winter is a serious commitment. Il Sasso had been recommended by several people in New York as a great school, and safely far enough away from the major cities where too much English is spoken. I arrived in early January to brutal weather and empty streets, but was warmly welcomed into the Il Sasso family. We decided to take all-morning classes, and have our afternoons free to roam the countryside. There were several evening activities available at the school, like lectures and cooking classes, but as we were not staying in the town itself, we only participated in a few of these. The time of year proved to be a blessing, as the streets belonged to just us and the locals, and though the weather was stark, it was beautiful, with most restaurants and shops open. The other students were lovely, though quite a few of them were more advanced and therefore in another section. Though I had had some prior Italian lessons, "beginner level" was where I started and there was grammar, vocabulary, homework, and eventually conversation every day. I made great leaps of progress as Cinzia and Roberta taught with patience, kindness and humor. They were seriously professional, knew what they were doing and had a knack for each student's capabilities ... which is a real gift. I could not have asked for better teachers. When I go back, which I surely will, it will probably be for a shorter time, but I would double-up the class schedule and take morning classes and afternoon privates. This may sound intense, but atmosphere is so congenial and the results were so good, that I wish I had done that for the six weeks I was there!
As so many others have said, Il Sasso distinguishes itself among the many language schools to be found in towns across Italy. I've attended a few elsewhere and I was impressed by Il Sasso, not only by the overall attitude of both warmth and professionalism, but the particular expert resources they can bring to bear to offer specialized, "culture" courses. I attended a language class focused on wine and can recommend it to anyone with an interest in wine and some elementary knowledge of Italian. Both the instructor/restauranteur and the sommelier who were my instructors were extremely knowledgeable, cordial and helpful. Complementi a tutti!
Marina & Christian (Finlandia)
We stayed four weeks in Montepulciano in January 2011 and were most satisfied with the language courses at il Sasso. We spent every morning in a small group and had one hour of private lessons in the afternoon. Many afternoons other programmes were arranged such as lectures, visits and movies. The teachers were very professional and there was a good balance between grammer, textual exercises and spoken language. The atmosphere in the school was good. We feel that our Italian level now is much higher than at the outset and that we are able to use the language in any upcoming situation thanks to il Sasso.
Wanda & Richard (USA)
We have attended Il Sasso six times between August 2003 and September 2010, for two weeks each time. We began with no experience in the Italian language. Although the immediate immersion in the language could be intimidating, the competence, patience and persistence of the teaching staff serve to create an excellent learning environment. Students are placed in classes of varying sizes (ours have been from 3 to 10 students) based on their ability. The teachers incorporate Italian history, customs and traditions, subjects in which the teachers are very conversant, especially in matters pertaining to the beautiful city of Montepulciano and the surrounding area of Tuscany. In addition to the excellent teaching staff, Heike, the administrator, arranges local tours, wine tastings and other activities. She also arranges for local lodgings and answers a myriad of questions posed by the very diverse student population, coming from many different countries. We certainly intend to return to Il Sasso for yet another two week session.
This was our third visit to Il Sasso and while I did not think it was possible, it gets better and better each time. Heike (and the entire staff) are top notch professionals yet extremely warm and ensure that every student feels right at home. The instructors are superb - they teach with a level of passion that is contagious, and they tailor each lesson to the student's level of understanding. On top of all of this, there is no place more beautiful than Montepulciano - to live and be a part of this incredible place (whether for a week, two weeks, a month or more) is a dream come true. We are certainly planning on returning - for many years to come!!
I love Il Sasso! The school is a wonderful place to learn Italian, and the teachers inspire to go on with courses in Norway. They are all very well educated and pedacogical, and also with a great sense of humour!
I just spent a week at Il Sasso with my teenage daughter and it was an incredible experience in a beautiful Tuscan town. The teachers were extremely patient and flexible and taught to their audience depending on the makeup of the students. Both written and conversational Italian are covered. Classes were small and included an international mix of students and ages and the coffee breaks at the local bar were a great way to get to know other students. Heike arranged a cooking evening for us which was a highlight - cooking (okay, watching Diva cook), speaking Italian and eating with a lively and interesting group of people was the icing on the cake. If you can only go for a week, do it... but 2 or more weeks is the way to really improve your language skills. Montepulciano is a lovely, small town with friendly people and we felt like we actually lived there instead of just being tourists. We can't wait to go back!
Ļoti iesaku skolu "Il Sasso" Montepulčāno itāļu valodas apguvei! Mācījos šajā skolā 2010. gada vasarā, un varu teikt tikai to labāko par mācību organizāciju. Skolotāji ir ļoti pieredzējuši un mācību stils ir ļoti enerģisks. Varu teikt, ka divu nedēļu laikā manas itāļu valodas zināšanas ievērojami uzlabojās . Mācīties palīdz arī tas, ka skola atrodas ļoti skaistā vietā Montepulčāno pilsētiņā Toskānā, un no mācībām brīvajā laikā var iepazīt skaisto apkārtni ar brīnišķīgo dabu un kultūras pieminekļiem.
Very well prepared, funny and clever teachers teaching useful words and expressions, concentrating on the practical use of grammar, and also enriching your knowledge about Italy. Groups are small, so you can practise speaking a lot. An inspiring school in a beautiful setting. It is worth every penny!
Nel passato ho frequentato corsi diversi da scuole di lingua Italiana. Tutte erano buone, però l'ultima - Il Sasso a Montepulciano - mi è piaciuta di più. I professori erano molto bravi, le lezioni divertenti, i materiali di buona qualità, la località perfetta (nel centro di Montepulciano). Inoltre, la famiglia dove stavo alloggiato (la famiglia Guerri), mi è piaciuta tantissimo.