Reviews about the Italian language school Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Former students' opinions, suggestions, advices about school, town and ... wine!
For many years I have holidayed regularly in the Montepulciano area and I have always wanted to register with Il Sasso to improve my Italian. This time I took the opportunity to do so and I'm very glad I did. Tuition was provided every morning from 8.45 to 13.10 with 2 breaks (these gave a good opportunity for students to meet each other at the caffe conveniently located nearby!) Students completed a short written 'test' in advance to gauge their level of ability and this in conjunction with discussion with the course organisers helped ensure they were allocated to a class which was appropriate to their degree of 'fluency' in Italian. Tutors were very experienced and there were lots of opportunities to practice and improve conversation. Important aspects of grammar were well taught using lots of clear examples. I have studied Italian for many years but there is no doubt that after this short course at Il Sasso my knowledge of Italian (in particular the use of the Subjunctive (Congiuntivo)) and confidence in speaking it, have improved considerably. Montepulciano itself is a beautiful city with lots to do, il Sasso itself is located very near to the Poliziano Caffe/Patisserie Il Sasso can organise accommodation and also organises social events for its students. All in all a very positive experience, I thoroughly enjoyed my week, I can strongly recommend Il Sasso and will register again for a course in future.
Die Schule, der Ort und vor allem die Leute bietet die besten Voraussetzungen für das Erlernen dieser Sprache. Alles sehr gut organisiert und sehr sehr nett, freundlich und kompetent. Mir wurde die Schule empfohlen als " die beste" - und es stimmt tatsächlich.
Le due settimane al Sasso erano molto utili e piacevole. Ho imperato non solo problema importanti grammaticali ma anche fatti interessanti sulla cultura e la vita italiana. Gli insegnanti (Patrizia, Alberto e Roberta) sono molto gentili. Studiare l'italiano è un divertimento a Montepulciano. Grazie e arrivederci.
I have taken Italian lessons several places in Italy and at home in Texas, but Il Sasso is by far the best language school. I first spent a week there in 2013, but this time I returned for a whole month, and I still can't believe how much more comfortable I am with the Italian language, especially speaking. Il Sasso is located in the heart of a Tuscan hill town with breathtaking views, known worldwide for its wine: Vino Nobile. The classes are small, and each student takes a test on the first day for proper placement. The directors at Il Sasso make a real effort to put you in the right class so that you can learn at the proper rate, rather than feeling either bored or inadequate. Indeed, for one of my four weeks I was placed in a private class because I was the only one on my level. At first, I felt nervous and ostracized, but, in the end, private lessons were exactly what I needed to build my confidence. The structure of the day at Il Sasso is optimal. Classes begin at 8:45 am. We usually study a new lesson on grammar and practice it until 10:15. Then we get a pausa of thirty minutes, during which the students migrate to the coffee bar across the street, run by the affable Alessandro and Silvia. Next we practice more reading and vocabulary, followed by a fifteen-minute break, and then the last 45 minutes of class is giocare: to play games. We play l'impiccato (hangman) or Taboo, or mime words and try to guess them, etc. It's a great way to practice, but it also builds a sense of fun and friendship among the students and teachers. To a one, the teachers are amazingly friendly, patient, warm, and encouraging. Eleanora and I bonded over our rescued cat stories. Hers is named Mosé (Moses). Costanza taught us that the @ symbol is called la chiocciola in Italian, meaning snail. She also taught us my new favorite Italian word: ninanana, which means lullaby. Still, our teachers hold us accountable. You can't get away with just throwing out words but must speak in complete sentences. You can't plug in the English words for what you don't know because your fellow students speak languages from all over the world. Whenever I was speaking and mixed up the masculine or feminine endings, one of my teachers, Alberto, would mime with his hands an O for masculine and a curvy woman's body for feminine. He made me laugh, and laughed with me, which makes everything easier and more fun. One day in class, Henrietta from Denmark, started laughing. The more she laughed, the redder and more embarrassed she became, which caused us all to laugh even more. Alberto called her laugh: ridere del cuore, laughter of the heart. Humor, the universal language we all share, bonded us together. Sadly, you'll never get that from Duo Lingo or Rosetta Stone, as helpful as those online programs are in building vocabulary. Language is above all about human interaction. Il Sasso also organizes optional activities for every day of the week, from excursions to nearby towns, such as San Quirico D'Orcia and Bagno Vignoni, to Iris Origo's famous gardens at La Foce, to showings of Italian films, such as Il Nuovo Cinema Paradiso and Benvenuti al Sud, cooking classes at the local restaurant, Gattavecchi, wine tastings, and even a passeggiata to the nearby hill town of Montefollonico. Perhaps the hardest part of attending Italian classes at Il Sasso is when it's time to leave. As we said our goodbyes, we were all plotting our returns.
Sadly only spent a week in class ... I wanted more! Classes are fun, instructors encouraging and you will make great school friends!!! I would highly recommend for people of all levels. In addition, the afternoon excursions are a total blast! Can't wait to return to Montepulciano for more!!
I returned to study at Il Sasso in 2017 this time for two weeks, after a great experience in 2016. Once again I can't say enough about the high quality of the instruction - I'm a retired language teacher, so I know good teaching! - the welcoming ambiance, and the activities the school plans for its students. If you're looking for a charming and less hectic location in which to learn Italian, you can't go wrong with Il Sasso!
La scuola è meravigliosa. Gli insegnanti sono gentili e pazienti e abbiamo avuto un sacco di divertimento, soprattutto quando siamo andati al mercato.
In the course of one week with group and private lessons I learned more than two years nightschool. Wonderful people great activities and a nice central location for other visits.
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.