Reviews about the Italian language school Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Former students' opinions, suggestions, advices about school, town and ... wine!
Having spent two-weeks at Il Sasso in 2015, I returned in July/August 2016 for a month as it was such an exceptional experience ... and it was once again. I've been learning Italian now for five years at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Sydney and most of my classmates also go to Il Sasso when in Italy, as it is not only extremely professional as a language school, but you are able to immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of a highly sophisticated, yet remarkably small, Italian fortified hilltop medieval village in Tuscany where the Medici went after having to leave Florence. You can really live the dream. Two recommendations: ~ I split my four weeks into two two-week courses and travelled around Italy for a week in between. That stopped it being too intense for me and allowed me to practice my Italian on unsuspecting Italians (who really do appreciate that you are making the effort), and ~ if you are able to visit in Summer in July, you will coincide with their famous arts festival: the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte (www.fondazionecantiere.it). It's an exceptional experience. The school arranges outings, so, as a single traveller, I find my time in Montepulciano at Il Sasso to be quite a social experience with the people you meet there, from all over the world. Or you can keep to yourself. Whatever suits. Highly recommended on every level.
Well if you want to learn Italian, or brush up on your once-learned Italian, this is a wonderful place to do it. Classroom size is small and I had a great experience studying Italian with my amazing (and very patient) instructors Vanessa and Sara. I also went on several of the excursions that were offered and they were well worth it! OK with one exception - the organic farm visit - not a good experience. However, the entire classroom experience and all other excursions were excellent experiences for me and I recommend it to anyone who is considering studying Italian in Italy.
I spent over 2 weeks here this summer learning Italian, from the outset getting this set up was an absolute pleasure, Silvia was truly amazing and made the whole process easy and enjoyable. The location of the school is excellent, very central with lots of great authentic Italian amenities very close by. The school facilitated my preference of one to one lessons and I also took part in the afternoon activities which included a lecture about Italian art and a trip to a second world war site. The quality of the teaching was excellent and the lessons were adjusted regularly to suit my preferred learning outcomes and style. I feel like this is the perfect place to learn Italian in an authentic Italian town and I hope to return there sooner rather than later. Thank you all at Il Sasso for a most enjoyable experience.
Kathy & Jerry (USA)05.01.2017
My husband and I spent two glorious weeks in Monteoulciano studying Italian at IL Sasso Italian Language School. From the moment we walked into the school we knew it was the right decision. Everyone was welcoming and enthusiastic. The student body was international and we enjoyed meeting people from Australia, Switzerland, France, Ireland and Israel. The classes were small, and the teaching method was geared to the group. We had two teachers daily whose styles complimented each other. The classes combined conversation, grammar, Italian culture, reading and games. It was both intense and fun! The school also arranged activities in the afternoons such as movies, wine tasting, cooking classes and trips to neighboring historical sites. The highlights for us were the teachers, the other students and the cooking class with Claudia, at IL Covo and the visit to Val d'Orcia. We loved the town of Montepulciano and the people but after two weeks it was a little confining. Studying at IL SASSO WAS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE and we hope to return for a month on our next visit.
After a few years break from Italian language I enrolled at Il Sasso in preparation for a long stay in Tuscany. The website was informative and the school was close to where I was staying. What a great plan I made! Everyone at Il Sasso was so welcoming and genuinely encouraging that I couldn't help but feel like I was quickly fitting into this new life. Not only that: Montepulciano is such a lovely town and the local businesses welcome students from Il Sasso and helped us to grow confidence with our Italian as well. My beginner Italian progressed to early intermediate with daily private conversation classes and therefore opened a whole new world of engaging with locals in the beautiful hill town region of Tuscany. I can thoroughly recommend the Il Sasso experience.
Anche se avevo frequentato alcune classi al mio college locale, ero un principiante virtuale e imparato di più in questo quattro settimane che ho fatto in anni di frequentare corsi part-time. Quando dico che ho imparato più io in realtà dire mi è stato "insegnato" di più. I miei appunti e materiale scritto richiedono studio a casa aggiuntivo. Le lezioni sono state strutturate e anche se sono in lingua italiana dalla parola andare presto ottenere il blocco di esso. Gli insegnanti sono molto paziente e garantire capire a tutti prima di andare avanti. Non ci sono esami o test alla fine. Alcuni compiti da fare, ma vi verrà voglia di farlo. Spero di tornare di anno in anno per quante settimane posso gestire. Grande atmosfera nella scuola. Ho incontrato molti amici, compagni di scuola e gente del posto.
I spent one week studying Italian in early October on 2016. The school is located in the heart of the historic city center. The teachers are all very professional and knowledgeable, something I greatly appreciate as a retired language teacher myself! Whether you are a beginning-level student or advanced, they have classes suited to your needs. I highly recommend Il Sasso and hope to go back again.
I spent 3 weeks at Il Sasso in Oct/Nov 2016 and enjoyed myself immensely. The school offers students a warm welcome, the teachers are highly skilled, and everything is well-managed. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Il Sasso to anyone interested in learning Italian. Montepulciano is a beautiful little town and the locals are very willing to help you practise your Italian.
I just spent 4 weeks at this school. The first two weeks were difficult for me. I knew absolutely nothing and after 35 years of not being in any school ... wow. I really expected someone would come up and whisper in my ear ... this isn't for you ... you need to go home. But ... it was just the opposite. I had such great support from the teachers and the staff and formed great friendships with people from places like Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, and the US. This experience will stay with me forever. By the third week I finally felt like ... yes ... I've got this! I still have a long way to go ... and can't wait to get back here in April for 4 more weeks! Thanks Il Sasso!
I studied in Montepulciano for 2 weeks. I found every one there wonderful. All the staff at the school are warm, open minded and very enthusiastic not only about the languae but about all elements of Italian culture. I would highly recommend this school.
Estuve estudiando en esta escuela por 3 meses. Comencé sin ninguna base de Italiano y acabe con la habilidad de poder entender y conversar en este idioma. Estoy muy agradecida por este tiempo y con la gente que pude conocer. Recomiendo a quien quiera una buena educación y la oportunidad de conocer la Toscana.
Paul (Nuova Zelanda)03.10.2016
Ho passato tre settimane al Sasso. Tutto era molto buono. Gli insegnanti erano bravi (grazie Alberto e Eleonora), il corso era interressante, gli altri studenti erano amicali e il paese e bello. Il Sasso ha trovato una famiglia molta gentile (grazie Vanna e Danilo) con cui abitavo. In questo modo potevo immergermi nella vita italiana. I spent three weeks at Il Sasso. Everything went very well. The teachers were great (thank you Alberto and Eleonora), the course interesting, the other students friendly and Montepulciano is beautiful. The school placed me with a very warm family (thank you Vanna and Danilo) with whom I lived. In this way, I was able to immerge myself in Italian life.
Il Sasso is an Italian language school in the heart of the historical center of gorgeous, peaceful, small jewel of a medieval city called Montepulciano. The teachers and staff are highly capable, knowledgeable and caring of their student population composed of people from all over the world. I highly recommend it and have made it my goal to return.
Just look at the TripAdvisor score and you'll immediately understand why Il Sasso is the ideal place to learn both the Italian language and culture. I came here for one month and had an amazing experience. The school is structured around the individual student's needs/desires. Let me give you the positives: 1. Instructors: they all are well prepared and cater their styles to the students. You can tell them have a passion for teaching. 2. Location: Montepulciano is ideally located in the heart of Tuscany. The city has immense history and allows students the ability to take afternoon/day trips throughout the region. Additionally, since Montepulciano is smaller than places like Rome, Florence, Milan, the locals all are familiar with Il Sasso and will treat you as a local. Once they know you're a student, they will only speak Italian! 3. Vino: you can't beat an afternoon enjoying a glass of Vino Nobile at one of the local wineries. Throughout the summer they have degustazione (wine tastings) in the city center but you can enjoy these at any winery/wine shop. 4. Food: pecorino, pici, tagliata, cacio e pepe, salumi, etc. They have it all. 5. Culture: the best part of Il Sasso is that they teach you more than grammar. Tuscany is full of history and you have the opportunity to learn about La Fece, Val d'orcia, etc. 6. Homestay: I stayed with a host family and that significantly enhanced my experience. I could go on and on about the positives but those are what separate Il Sasso from other language schools. The only negative is that Montepulciano is a little isolated and it's a little more difficult to get around with public transportation. However, you can get around this by being familiar with the bus station, rent a car or make friends with other students who have a car.
Avevo voglia di migliorare e approfondire il mio italiano e per puro caso ho scoperto "Il Sasso". Le sue insegnanti (Patrizia e Costanza) sono state molto coinvolgenti e creative. Grazie al loro grande entusiasmo e spirito hanno reso le lezioni istruttive e divertenti. In più, la città di Montepulciano è bellissima e offre molte possibilità di svago. È stato un vero piacere e un’esperienza indimenticabile.
Montepulciano è una città bellissima e ci sono molti luoghi interessanti da visitare nelle vicinanze. Gli insegnanti della scuola sono molto gentili e dedicato, e le lezioni coprono la lingua e la cultura. È stata un'esperienza fantastica.
Il Sasso is a wonderful school. I have been studying Italian in the US for about four years, but studying and spending time in Italy makes a giant difference. This was my third time attending classes at Il Sasso: 2013 for two weeks, 2015 for two weeks, 2016 for three weeks. My classroom teachers Sara and Cinzia were wonderful, as usual. Instruction is so organized and well done. Heiki will answer all your questions before arrival and handle anything outside of the classroom experience. Silvia takes care of any classroom needs exceptionally well. For this time around I also had an hour private lesson each afternoon during the first two weeks. I would recommend at least some private lessons. Also, an afternoon wine tasting with Eleanora, one of the teachers, was exceptional. Since I have already put a deposit on an apartment for a three week return to Il Sasso for October 2017, you can certainly assume that I love Il Sasso and Montepulciano.
Hohe Professionalität, großes Engagement, hervorragend ausgebildete und erfahrene Lehrer, die auf die Vermittlung der italienischen Sprache für Ausländer spezialisiert sind, unglaubliche Lernfortschritte in kurzer Zeit und dazuhin lernt man noch sehr viel über die Region und das Land. Ein herzliches Dankeschön an Sara und Costanza, die in diesem Jahr unsere Lehrerinnen waren, und das gesamte Team. Wir kommen seit 2008 regelmäßig hier her und werden auch nächstes Jahr wieder kommen.
I looked at many of the options to try and learn a little of the Italian language and which schools might work best for me. The size of the town Montepulciano and the size and mix of the classes at il Sasso convinced me that this may be my best fit. It turned out to be perfect. The teachers and staff at il Sasso showed a great passion for introducing and sharing the Italian language. The classes were small and creatively taught. The teachers quickly made each of us feel at ease, confident and showed unlimited patience while we worked through some of the mysteries of the language. So take the plunge, sign up and enjoy the learning process. You'll not regret it.
I registered for a week at Il Sasso as part of a two week vacation in Italy. Of course you don't learn a language in a week and this was more of a test for me to see how this works. Well, it definitely works! From the initial correspondence with Heike, through the Sunday evening invitation to "aperitivo" and mingling, and then of course the classes, this was a wonderful experience. I joined a beginner's class with 6 other people from different countries, all more or less at the same level. We had two teachers throughout the course, Constanza and Gaia, both outstanding. Although the class was a lot of fun with much interaction between the students themselves and the instructors, the learning was serious and ordered. The idea is that you only speak Italian in class with English being used very rarely and it works perfectly. You immediately sense that this school has a program based on extensive experience with the teaching of Italian to foreigners and they know what they are doing. Many of the students I met during the breaks spent at the nearby cafe were there for their third or fourth courses and that speaks for itself. I have no doubt that I will return as soon as I can for a longer period.