I took a three-week course at Il Sasso (group lessons in the morning and a private one hour lesson in the afternoon). The staff were great and the class sizes were small. The teaching was excellent! Montepulciano is a beautiful Tuscan hill town, adding significantly to my overall experience. I will most definitely return to Montepulciano to go to Il Sasso again.
This school is definitely the gem of Montepulciano and Tuscany. I was completely in awe of the level of classes here. They are well balanced with grammar, speaking and listening. As well as lots of interesting activities to make learning experience fun and efficient, like games, "field trip" to the local market to explore local produce and learn new words. Teachers are attentive, knowledgable, intelligent and fun! At this school you feel how much they care about what they do! It was completely enjoyable and unforgettable experience! Grazie mille - Silvia Celli, Cinzia Casagni, Sara Chierchini, Heike Wilms, Eleonora Vieri!
To first begin with a little bit about myself, I have previously studied four other languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German. In three weeks at Il Sasso, I learned as much as I did in one semester of German at an ivy league university. The teachers are amazing, enthusiastic, and you will absolutely be amazed at how much Italian you are able to pick up in one or more weeks. I definitely hope to come back and would encourage anyone to do it. A few words about the town, Montepulciano is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful place to spend a couple of weeks. There were people while I was there as young as 16, and as old as 70, the program really is appropriate for all ages!
So many of us admire Italy for it's beauty, food and culture but when we travel there we look in as outsiders. My experience at Il Sasso made me feel at home in Montepulciano, which is a breathtakingly beautiful town in Tuscany. The faculty at the school are very warm and friendly and they are good teachers. We took a placement test and were put in classes with others of our ability. The morning class runs from 8:45-1 with two breaks. With the longer break the students go to a bar (coffee shop) across the street. The other students were from all over and were a nice mix of ages, although there were quite a few Americans, and everyone had fun together. I was only there for a week but I felt sad leaving my class because we really enjoyed each other. I made great progress in my Italian over the week and what was best was I stopped being shy about speaking. I also felt really comfortable in Montepulciano by the time I left. I'm already thinking about coming back next year.
I cannot recommend Il Sasso enough. It was the stuff dreams and memories are made of. I say that because, I dreamed of doing such a thing and acted upon the desire, then so many memories were made ... which are now part of my soul. All of that, may seem overly dramatic, however, I am a married 52 year old female with a full life at home. It was exciting to take time off for myself and do what I wanted. I was 4 weeks at school and an additional 2 weeks traveling. There are different levels, you are given a quick assessment and them placed in a class. There were different students coming and going each week. They came for 1 week, 2 weeks, 4-6 weeks and even for 3 months. The staff at Il Sasso are kind, patient, encouraging, warm, and helpful. They want you to succeed at learning ... and get as happy and excited (as you do yourself) ... when a "breakthrough" is made. We would have a grammar class and a conversation class. There was a little bit of homework (which I didn't always manage to complete before class). I also signed up for the private lessons, which could be done solo or with a second person. The private (solo) lessons helped me get over the hump/blockade that I had in learning Italian. I really was able to progress as the teacher assessed where I was having the trouble and then really worked on that (what a kind and Patient man Alberto was with me)!!! There are after school activities as also excursions offered to reinforce your learning. You are able to do as much or as little of the extracurricular activities as you would like. I had as much fun after school, as I did in school. If you come on your own and have concern about being lonely or unsafe - in my opinion ... there is not a problem with either here. So much to do, so much to see! I walked in the city at night (sometimes late) by myself with no bother at all. The picturesque town, the surrounding area, the history. I will never get enough. I plan on returning as soon as I possibly can.
What an exceptional experience as a Beginner student last fall, 2017 at Il Sasso. Costanza is an excellent instructor and made me feel comfortable every morning with our lessons. She helped create a learning environment that was stress free and fun. I am returning in early 2018 for more training and of course, enjoying exquisite Tuscany! If this is your first time to the area, consider staying in one of the peaceful and charming agriturismos that are nestled next to Montepulciano.
From the minute I had first contact with the school via email, through to my arrival and for the entire two weeks i was at Il Sasso, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. My interactions with the admin staff via email before arriving were stellar and gave me a lot of confidence in the experience I was about to have. Once at the school and in Montepulciano, things just continued to get better and better. The town was stunning and so full of life and interesting things to do. The school arranged my accommodation and it was perfect. A wonderful little apartment in a beautiful location on the edge of the town. I was incredibly nervous about attending school after so many years away from it. At 65 and a total beginner in terms of the Italian language, I was worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew. From the minute I met the staff and the teachers my fears were put to rest. The program is an excellent one and my teachers Elenora and Sara were incredible!!! The small class size allowed for a lot of individual attention and while Sara and Eleanor were always patient, encouraging and engaging, they were also very persistent in ensuring that everyone participated fully. Shy or not, we were all pushed (in the nicest of ways) to talk. Don't get me wrong, the classes were hard work but fun at the same time and although I had moments where I doubted I would ever speak or understand the language (and thought my head would explode!!!) by the end of the first week,I was both speaking and understanding a lot. The structure of the lessons is perfect, with emphasis on discussion first. Yes there was homework but never too much and the afternoon's optional excursions were excellent. I met so many interesting students from around the world, many of whom had been to the school multiple times. I can understand why and hope to go back again myself. My time at the school (2 weeks) was short and went by in a flash but it really set me up well for the rest of my 6 week ...
I just returned from Italy where I spent 3 months studying Italian at Il Sasso and I cannot emphasize enough what a fantastic school it is. Il Sasso has a dedicated student following; I met students from all over the world; some coming to the school for years. I learned about this school through my local Italian Cultural Center in San Diego. Il Sasso is the language school they recommend to their students traveling to Italy to learn Italian. Over the 3 month period I met students who had been to other language schools in Italy and they said that Il Sasso is superior. Il Sasso is ISO Certified (International Organization for Standardization). The school follows a strict standard of teaching and it works. Each teacher follows the same protocol so the classes are consistent. The teachers themselves are friendly, helpful, upbeat and extremely well organized all while adding their own personal flair to the classroom (thanks to Cinzia, Eleonora, Roberta, Sara and Alberto!) The structure of the group classes is as follows: Monday - Friday you will be at the school for 4 1/2 hours. The first 1 1/2 hours is discussion only in Italian, of course. During this time each student talks about what they did the day before or their plans for the afternoon and evening (this is something you can prepare for the evening before to be familiar with the vocabulary you might need). It’s a chit-chat session guided by the teacher. Then there is a 30 minute break where you have plenty of time to get coffee and food at one of the coffee bars close to the school. The next 1 1/2 hours is a grammar lesson taught entirely in Italian and yet completely understandable even for beginners. Then a 15 minute break. The final 45 minutes is a relaxed session often playing a word game (my favorite was Taboo!) Plan on 30 - 60 of homework each day. To top it off the school is located in the beautiful town of Montepulciano. There are dozens of fabulous restaurants and shops and a weekly open market at th...
I was only able to attend class at Il Sasso for one week this past October, but it was a really great week! After a placement test I quickly settled in with two great teachers in the correct level. Even with only one week both refreshed and improved my Italian. The combination of grammar, conversation and homework was perfect. Everyone at the school was very helpful, whether it was making arrangements to attend, transportation information, or help while I was in Montepulciano. The I wish I had been able to stay another week or two. I stayed in a small apartment (that I found) on Via di Collazo that was a perfect location 5 min. walk to school with a fabulous view of the countryside.
I spent a week at Il Sasso back in June this year and my only regret is that I didn't stay longer! From the quintessential Tuscan hill top setting of Montepulciano to the warm, inviting reception from the school upon my arrival, it really was the perfect place to learn Italian. Classes are small which makes for excellent value for money in terms of learning as much Italian as possible during your stay, and the teachers I had were excellent and extremely professional. My homestay was so good that I dreamed all day about what my host lady was going to serve up for dinner (a phenomenal cook!) and I actually cried when I had to leave. The sign of an outstanding holiday! I would recommend Il Sasso to anyone wanting to learn Italian. I've been to a number of language schools over the years and this one really stands out.