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Reviews

Reviews about the Italian language school Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Former students' opinions, suggestions, advices about school, town and ... wine!

Carol (USA)

04.07.2016

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.

Rainer (Germania)

20.06.2016

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.

Bill (USA)

30.05.2016

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.

Daphna (Israele)

18.05.2016

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.

Nancy (USA)

09.05.2016

I spent four weeks at Il Sasso in March and April 2016. I had a fantastic experience! I was fortunate to experience numerous instructors during my stay and each was equally as professional as the other. I found all instructors able to assess my level and needs. Learning was made fun with the combination of serious and intensive lessons along with playful group games. Classes and activities were well organized and planned. Little to no English was spoken during class times – this made for a great immersion! I went solo for these four weeks and always felt assured, confident and involved in everything Montepulciano offered. A wonderful town to enjoy Italian culture and foods. Oh, and the wine!!!! I left CA as a chardonnay drinker and now I am hooked on Italian reds… I will return!

Alison (Inghilterra)

22.04.2016

I can only echo what so many others have said about what a great school IL Sasso is. The teachers are so talented at identifying what students need to do and giving us the confidence to speak. Thanks to Costanza and Cinzia for this year. Heike as administrator is so organised and unfazed and found us a great apartment in the town. And a big thank you to Silvia for organising a trip to the stunning La Foce. Montepulciano is a star in its own right and it is lovely to eat and shop locally. Go there if you want to learn or improve speaking in Italian. Thanks again IL Sasso.

Adriana (Brasile)

24.03.2016

Eu e meu marido passamos uma temporada de 80 dias em Montepulciano, e um de nossos programas foi estudar italiano. Frenquentamos a Il Sasso, escola de italiano para estrangeiros, durante duas semanas. Destacamos a qualidade da didática utilizada, a diversidade de métodos para apresentação e fixação do vocabulário e da gramática, bem como o profissionalismo dos professores, o que permitiu um rápido e eficiente aprendizado da língua. A localização da escola é bem central, com boas instalações. Também foram oferecidas diversas atividades extra classe de caráter histórico, cultural, gastronômico e da viti-vinicultura local. Ao fim do período, estávamos em condições de nos comunicar com razoável fluência em italiano, inclusive com os alunos de outros países que também frequentavam a escola. Parabéns à Costanza, Roberta e Silvia, que foram excelentes professoras. Certamente a Il Sasso será a nossa escolha para a realização de um curso avançado.

Pauline (Svizzera)

24.03.2016

My teenage daughter (13) needed a boost for her school marks. First test after Sasso 9.5 out of 10! I also totally enjoyed my tailor made course. Serious learning in fun atmosphere.

Joe (USA)

11.02.2016

I cannot imagine a better choice than Il Sasso for Italian immersion studies. I returned for the third time this past October (2015), stayed for a month and cannot wait to go again. Learning a foreign language can be a vulnerable experience, but the entire Il Sasso experience is so utterly supportive and intimate that it feels as seamless as learning our mother-tongue was in childhood. And learn you will! All of the instructors are amazingly talented people and have an uncanny ability to comfortably inspire and elicit ever-more Italian conversation from everyone regardless of their proficiency level. Besides the excellent classroom instruction, there are also interesting daily afternoon outings that greatly enrich the socio-cultural experience. At day's end the learning need not stop, as many students opt (as did I) to live with a local (Poliziano) family and continue to delve into the learning about this extraordinary land and its remarkable people. I could not more enthusiastically recommend Il Sasso. It is a great choice. You wlll not be disappointed.

Mary (Inghilterra)

11.02.2016

It could be a very daunting task as an adult, to start learning a language from scratch. However, even on the first day of a course at Il Sasso, any fears will soon be put to rest. The staff are all dedicated to provide students with both the solid grammatical foundation as well as the ability to recognise, understand and use Italian as it is really spoken. They are so helpful and kind and they go out of their way to make sure every student feels welcome and that they provide an environment that is conducive to learning. The staff have a wonderful ability to group students together of a similar ability and encourage you to speak Italian words and sentences that you never thought you could string together! I have now visited Il Sasso three times and plan to return again soon. It is wonderful to be in a class of students of different ages from all parts of the world, who all have the common aim of wanting to learn more about the language and people of Italy. The secretary is so helpful and always very prompt in responding to inquiries and providing all the necessary information needed in planning a trip, from queries regarding travel to accommodation and also trips during the stay. I would not hesitate to recommend this language school, the fact that so many students return again and again speaks for itself. And all with the added bonus of being in a beautiful hill top Tuscan city.

Mark (USA)

18.12.2015

As a former diplomat I've been exposed to a lot of language instruction. The staff at Il Sasso are easily in the top 95% of instructors I've encountered. Excellent at sizing up strengths/weaknesses and developing individualized teaching strategies. The family accommodations Il Sasso facilitates are user friendly and represent an amazing bargain, particularly with 1/2 board. At every stage of the process, my expectations were exceeded.

Brianna (USA)

15.12.2015

Il Sasso is an amazing Italian language school! I spent three months studying at the school. During that time, I learned so much about the language and the culture. I picked up so many conversational skills while studying at Il Sasso. The teachers, staff, and faculty were impeccable. Classes were so comfortable and the teachers are so encouraging. I will most definitely return to Montepulciano to go to Il Sasso again. I feel that Montepulciano is my Italian home and Il Sasso is my Italian family. Please go to this amazing school to have the joy of learning Italian at the best language school!

Lois (USA)

15.12.2015

I researched Italian immersion schools for years and kept coming back to Il Sasso as the best place to go. Finally this year, I attended and was delighted with the results. I was initially concerned about how I would be taught Italian in a total immersion environment but my concerns were quickly allayed. The teachers are masterful at teaching you Italian IN Italian. It was remarkable. I attended for 5 weeks and can't wait to return! As for accommodations, I chose to do a home stay to keep the immersion going away from school, and was happy I made that choice. And Montepulciano is simply magical. I felt like I was living on a movie set. So beautiful and the people were very welcoming. Also the area around Montepulciano is filled olive groves and vineyards, with many wonderful areas to walk or bike, and lovely surrounding Tuscan towns. Also Sienna and Florence are easy train rides away. I visited both while there. I HIGHLY recommend Il Sasso for anyone who is serious about learning Italian in a gorgeous, welcoming setting! I am definitely going to return!!!

Penny (USA)

09.12.2015

This fall I spent 2 weeks at Il Sasso, after being there for one week in 2014. I hope to return next year, as it is for me a very invigorating experience. The teachers do a great job of making the class both challenging and fun for all students, and I appreciate the high expectations that they have for themselves and for us. My husband was with me, and while he didn't attend classes at the school, he was quite content to explore the area by visiting the nearby towns, going to the spa just down the hill, and going birdwatching with a guide.

Gary (USA)

24.11.2015

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.

Gary (Australia)

09.11.2015

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.

Peter (Australia)

03.11.2015

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.

Desley (USA)

19.10.2015

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!

Richard (USA)

15.10.2015

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.

Rob (USA)

23.09.2015

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.

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