Reviews about the Italian language school Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Former students' opinions, suggestions, advices about school, town and ... wine!
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 ...
Ana Maria (Brasile)07.08.2015
Minha recomendação é fazer o curso durante a semana e nos fins de semanas visitar as cidades em volta, Siena, Assis e outras. Os restaurantes da cidade de Montepulciano são ótimos e preços bastante razoáveis. Eu amei a cidade, as pessoas e a escola!!!
I spent 3 weeks immersed in Italain language training. Classes were small and all the students were well matched. I loved all the instructors.
Studying foreign languages is my passion and during the last 20 years I have been to numerous schools across different countries, so I think I have a fairly good base to compare and Il Sasso was hands down among the best experiences I had so far. Extremely professional, attentive, supportive, but first and foremost with one goal in mind - to help you max out your time at the school and make sure you will get the optimal does of Italian you can absorb. I had 5h of individual classes a day and during the two-week course my goal was simple - I wanted talk and improve it as much as I could. I have to say, that from the very first minute I was really impressed with the approach of my teachers. While they were immersing me in spoken Italian they did manage to smuggle quite some grammar, which normally really try to avoid. One does not work without the other and this is was definitely the perfect approach for me. Having said that, I am sure, that should you be looking for a different one - like focusing more on reading, writing or grammar - they will be more than happy to accommodate, but do expect they will smuggle the remaining elements in due course ☺ OK, but that's my experience - let me talk about the results. Within just two weeks of intensive classes I managed to turn my passive, elementary Italian to an active intermediate one. I speak Spanish, so it did help, but most of the excellent result is definitely the approach and methodology of the amazing teachers at Il Sasso. Whether you want to just give it a try for day, do a longer 1, 2, 3+ weeks course solo or in a group or maybe polish your intermediate Italian and get it to an advance level, Il Sasso is the place for you. Give it a try and I am sure you won't regret it!
Il Sasso is an excellent language school. I attended the school for one month this past spring. The teachers are wonderful and the classes well organized, fun and focused. Montepulciano is a great town to call home and the countryside is beautiful - a hiker's paradise. I highly recommend Il Sasso!
Per riassumere Il Sasso è una scuola di lingua eccezionale, che consiglierei a chiunque di qualsiasi età che desiderano imparare l'italiano. Gli insegnanti sono altamente qualificati, entusiasti e in grado di trattare con una gamma di diverse nazionalità, età e le aspirazioni degli studenti (Grazie Cinzia, Sara, Constanza e Silvia)! L'amministrazione della scuola è eccellente e la parte anteriore della persona di casa, Heike, è una leggenda. C'è nessun problema lei riesce a risolvere, e la sua capacità di parlare 4 o 5 lingue correntemente è di enorme aiuto. La scuola si trova in posizione centrale nella splendida cittadina di Montepulciano, e il benvenuto danarose e incoraggiare gli studenti nel loro tentativo di praticare la propria italiano. Ho viaggiato a mezza via tra il mondo due volte per frequentare la scuola e in quasi 80 anni di età si richiede un impegno significativo. Anche io sono una recensione molto critico, come la mia professione era insegnare inglese di madrelingua irrequieti. Ho consigliato la scuola a molti amici qui in Australia Occidentale che hanno accettato che Il Sasso "perfetto" da un punto di vista professionale ed è molto divertente, ( e per l'ottimo rapporto qualità/prezzo.)
Il Sasso is a great language school with tradition and full of great and very nice people. Teachers are amazing and I enjoy this place very much. Montepulciano is probably the nicest town in Tuscany with familiar and friendly atmosphere. Definitely I will come back.
Da qualche anno stavo cercando il posto giusto in cui sarebbe stato possibile condividere i diversi ambiti che costituiscono il mondo italiano. Per grande fortuna, l'ho trovato quando sono entrato nella scuola Il Sasso. Ci ho trovato una squadra d'insegnanti dediti a far conoscere la loro lingua, la loro cultura, la loro storia e anche i diversi aspetti della vita politica italiana. Mi sono sentito tanto a mio agio per imparare e far progredire la mia conoscenza dell'italiano e della vita italiana, che dopo questa prima esperienza, non vedo l'ora di tornare ogni anno per tre o quattro settimane sui banchi della scuola. Per chi ama l'Italia e ne ha la possibilità, la porta da aprire e quella del Sasso.
After searching for a long time to find a small / family style Italian Language school in Tuscany - I found "Il Sasso". I have been attending classes at Il Sasso, in Montepulciano for two years now and will be back again in June for three weeks. This is a wonderful school with small classes and an excellent, efficient Administrator Heike - from beginners to advanced students - for all age groups I always felt very comfortable and my language skills improved with the help of the great Insegnante's: Eleonora, Sara, Gaia, Carolina - and of course my language is improving, the accommodation in the historic town is great, only a couple of minutes away from the school - another thing; once meets a lot of interesting people from all over the world at all age groups - and we are still in touch.
When I first decided to follow the dream to learn Italian, I researched and read reviews of many schools all over Italy. Based on reviews and my thinking that I might find a school in a smaller city/town more beneficial, I narrowed my choice to Tuscany. One review in particular about Il Sasso and the homestay experience convinced me to go ahead and book the full immersion experience for 4 weeks. That was back in May 2013 and what a fabulous 4 weeks!! I had no prior language experience so started in beginners class with 5 other intrepid travelers. The teachers were incredibly skilled, kind and patient and made the classes so fun and enjoyable with a mix of vocabulary, grammar, listening and most importantly speaking exercises so that our confidence grew day by day. The school also organised a programmer of varied afternoon activities including travelling to nearby towns, Siena, Cortona, Assisi, to cooking classes, visiting local cantina's to sample the wonderful "Vino Nobile". Montepulciano itself is a "secret gem", the shops, restaurant's, bar's, cafés and very welcoming and appreciative of the visitors Il Sasso bring to their town and are very happy to allow you to practice and gently help you with your Italian skills. It was wonderful to receive a Buongiorno on the way to school from the locals you had interacted with in the shops etc, so that you really began to feel part of the community. I personally loved the homestay experience, not only for the language practice but my hostess was a wonderful lady happy to share her Italian way of life and language and oh the wonderful food!!!!!! I travelled from Rome where you can take a train from Roma Termini and arrive in Chiusi in 1,hr30mins to 1hr50mins depending on which of the many services you choose. You can then take a bus right outside the station to Montepulciano (50 mins), total cost as little as € 13, you would need to take a taxi if arriving at Chiusi on a Sunday. If you do not wish to use public transport then the school are happy to arrange for one of the drivers they use to pick you up from whichever airport you choose. I subsequently returned to Il Sasso and Montepulciano in Feb/Mar of this year, this time for 6 weeks and again had an incredible experience! The town and the school were much quieter in the winter, which I feel certainly worked to my advantage at school as for 3 weeks I was in class with 1 other student who had tested to the same level as me and 1 week I had a 2hr private lesson every day as I was the only student at my level - a great opportunity for me to improve and practice my weaker grammar skills, so I would certainly recommend a winter trip! I am currently sitting in Piazza Grande writing this, having been lucky enough to return to Montepulciano a week ago for the Summer. I guess that statement says it all - I wholeheartedly recommend that you come to Il Sasso and Montepulciano to begin that dream to learn Italian, what do you have to lose - well from my experience perhaps just a little bit of your heart!!
Il Sasso is located in a very special place and also counts with a group of very special teachers, trained to deal with people from different cultures and languages, creating a very special learning atmosphere and making the learning process easy and enjoyable. I recommend it to anybody who intends to learn the language and at the same time to know a little about the local customs.
I've attended Il Sasso numerous times, staying anywhere from one week to two months. The teaching is excellent. I progressed from a complete beginner to the advanced class. As a more mature student, I appreciated the fact that most of the attendees were over 30 and serious about learning. My apartments were always comfortable, often with stunning views of the countryside. There are a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. The locals are friendly and welcoming, something that one does not find in other Tuscan towns that have been overrun by tourists. On occasion we traded language skills. I highly recommend the school. After studying at Il Sasso, I've had Italians say to me "parli bene".