Reviews about the Italian language school Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Former students' opinions, suggestions, advices about school, town and ... wine!
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)28.02.2011
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)25.02.2011
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.
Da quatro anni faccio in estate un corso di due settimane al Sasso. Lo trova sempre ottimo. Siamo suddivisi in gruppi piccoli, e allo stesso livello di italiano. L'insegnamento della grammatica è chiaro e conciso, seguito dagli esercizi pertinenti. La conversazione, dopo aver letto un testo, o su un qualsiasi soggetto, è vivace, interessante e ben adatta ai bisogni individuali degli studenti. L'ambiente al Sasso è amichevole e rilassante, e gli studenti di diverse età si accordono molto bene. E senza dubbio, Montepulciano è una città incantevole, che si trova nel cuore della bella Toscana!
Shona (Nuova Zelanda)18.10.2010
I came to Il Sasso because it was recommended to me by 3 different people who all said that it was great. This is my second school in Italy and I have really enjoyed the experience here. The 'welcome' drinks ensure you meet others very quickly and students are very well looked after throughout the course. There is always someone to help with problems in life outside the school which is important when you are a stranger and don't yet speak Italian. The heavy focus on speaking Italian even while learning grammar was hard for me, but the teachers ensured it was also a lot of fun. And Montepulciano has been a truly wonderful town to explore and to practise my new language skills in the excellent restaurants, bars and shops. For me, talking with the 'locals' has been one of the best experiences, - they have been so patient and friendly.
Ich habe im August zwei Wochen in Montepulciano verbracht, organisiert von der Sprachschule "Il Sasso". Der Unterricht ist hervorragend strukturiert, die Lehrer gut ausgebildet, so dass man wirklich mit viel Vergnügen lernt und auch was davon hängenbleibt. Wunderbar auch mein schönes - und preiswertes - Appartment, das mir die Schule vermittelt hat. Nachmittags konnte ich die einmalige Landschaft der Toskana erleben und abends mit meinen Mitschülern aus aller Welt das Essen und nicht zuletzt den guten Wein geniessen. Zwei wirklich perfekte Wochen. Ich kann jedem, der die Sprache lernen möchte nur diese Sprachschule empfehlen. So macht Lernen Spaß!
Montepulciano is a picturesque, historically alluring and friendly hillside town in southern Tuscany, made even more interesting by the Scuola Il Sasso and the Italian lessons given there. I first noticed the school advertised in an Italian magazine and found their website on the Internet. It is a wonderful website full of information about the town and school and I was drawn to it immediately. After a few inquiries I knew it was the school for me - lessons in the morning, activities in the afternoon/evening, and inexpensive but clean and comfortable accommodation. I had my own apartment with a small private garden where I could hang my laundry under the Tuscan sun! The owner was a delightful and generous lady. The classes were interesting and with only 5 students in the class, we bonded with our teachers and classmates and were sad when the lessons came to an end. It was a incomparable week with an historical tour of the town; cooking lessons with a delicious menu at a villa with a spectacular view just outside of town; and a degustazione (tasting) of the best wines in the region. There was plenty of time to explore the surrounding couyntryside as well. Alberto, Silvie and Heike were most helpful and efficient at getting me settled and into the appropriate class for my lessons and it surprised me how much I learned in that one week. I would return in a heartbeat for more lessons.
Mi trovo sempre bene a Montepulciano, anche al Sasso. Ci sono andata la prima volta nel 1997 per studiare l'italiano e avevo la bellissima memoria. Sicuramente si puo studiare l'italiano con calma e si può godere la vacanza in Toscana!
Montepulciano ist ein bezauberndes, mittelalterliches Städchen in der Toskana - bekannt für gute Weine, alte Bauwerke, die umgebende Natur und kulturelle Highlights wie das Musikfestival "Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte". Genau der richtige Ort, um neben italienischer Kultur auch die Sprache vor Ort zu lernen! Ich hatte im Sommer 2010 einen Anfängerkurs (14-tägiger Gruppenunterricht) der Sprachschule "Il Sasso" gebucht. Die Sprachschule vermittelte mir auch ein wunderschönes Appartment in der Altstadt, das ich gemeinsam mit einer anderen Sprachschülerin bewohnte. Wir haben uns dort sehr wohl gefühlt, weil wirklich alles vorhanden war, was man zum Leben braucht: ein separates Bad für jede für uns, eine Küche inkl. Ofen und Spülmaschine, ein großes Wohnzimmer und dazu sogar noch eine große Veranda mit herrlichem Ausblick in die toskanische Landschaft! Mitbringen sollte man sich allerdings bequemes Schuhwerk (man läuft immer bergauf oder -ab über grobes Kopfsteinpflaster) und im Sommer leichte Kleidung - es kann sehr heiß werden! Was den Unterricht angeht so hätte ich mir keine bessere Sprachschule als "Il Sasso" wünschen können. Mein Kurs war eine internationale, kleine Gruppe, wir versuchten von Anfang an möglichst viel "nur" auf Italienisch zu sprachen. Meine Lehrerinnen waren sehr nett, jung, humorvoll und motiviert, und für die kurze Zeit habe ich wirklich viel gelernt. Außerdem ist die Organisation bei "Il Sasso" absolut zu loben - ich war zu jeder Zeit perfekt informiert über die Abläufe, Zusatzangebote vor Ort, das Rahmenprogramm der Schule, die Nutzung der öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel, etc - man fühlt sich wirklich sofort willkommen und gut aufgehoben! Alles in allem kann ich sowohl die Stadt als auch die Schule wärmstens empfehlen. Wenn ich kann, komme ich gerne wieder!
C'est avec plaisir et nostalgie que j'évoque les jours passés dans votre école pour plusieurs raisons. D'abord parce la méthode d'apprentissage de la langue est interactive et intéressante et m'a permis de progresser et de m'exprimer avec aisance, grâce aux professeurs qui ont pu garder notre attention vive pendant de longues heures sans jamais nous lasser bien au contraire. En effet après une séance de 4h nous avions envie de poursuivre encore l'enseignement. C'est ce que plusieurs d'entre nous ont fait en prenant un supplément de cours l'après midi. Par ailleurs les activités et les excursions organisées par l'école m'ont permis de découvrir une région où le patrimoine culturel et artistique est particulièrement riche et envoûtant. J'ajouterai à tout cela un accueil chaleureux et attentionné, des logements impeccables, et des qualités exceptionnelles de la famille d'accueil que j'ai eu la chance de rencontrer. Voilà je pourrais m'étendre encore sur le sujet et parler de la beauté de Montepulciano et ses environs: une succession de cartes postales... Mais je m'arrête là pour transmettre mon bon souvenir à toute l'équipe de Il Sasso.
Per me, la scuola Il Sasso è stata una vera e propria sorpresa. Nessuno mi aveva parlato di questa scuola nella città di Montepulciano. Con sincerità, la scuola, il personale, i corsi sono di grande qualità. L'accoglienza è molto personale gli studenti sono integrati nel proprio gruppo. Les petits groupes permettent un enseignement individualisé et l'enseignant (e) n'hésite pas à procurer un matériel supplémentaire pour solidifier les acquisitions. Chaque aspect, soit la conversation présente à tous les cours, soit la grammaire sont vues et approfondies selon les besoins. Les activités, visites dans et hors la ville, sont un complément à l'apprentissage. Mi farà piacere raccomandare la scuola a tutti che pensino a studiare in Italia.
Il Sasso è un posto dove ci si sente bene e dove un sogno diventa realtà. Le lezioni sono di altissima qualità, gli insegnanti sono chiaramente specializzati nel far sentire bene gli studenti. Dopo la lezione c’è una grande varietà di escursioni e attività. In più, un incontro annuale di amici che vengono un po’ da tutto il modo e tutto questo in un posto così suggestivo come "Montepulciano". Io direi: ci vediamo l'anno prossimo!
Diane & Sarah (Australia)09.11.2009
We enjoyed our visit with Scuola di Italiano “II Sasso" at Montepulciano in July/August 2009. We found the staff and students friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the challenge of learning "italiano" and we would like to return to "II Sasso" at Montepulciano one day.