A dream it was, and a dream it is ... as it was only just the beginning of very fond memories that just keep flooding in. What can I say, that has not been said, for Il Sasso is a dream that you never want to end. From the first point of contact, to the very end, Il Sasso ensured all my needs were met. From Heike, Silvia, Sara and all the school, you will not find another that is such a jewel. They tick every box, and that is quite rare, because this school really does care. It took me a while to figure out which school I wanted to go, as I only had a week to give it a go. There was no doubts to have after my first point of call, as Heike was always there to answer my calls. If it wasn't for her, I'm not sure where I would have gone, as she makes your stay easy, with all that she does. And when I had an emergency, she knew how to respond, for this is what she does, she goes above and beyond. To add to my fortune of an unbelievable stay, Silvia and Sara were my teachers that blew me away. They had their own style, and I was totally amazed, as how much I learned within a day. And from what I can see, and from what everyone has said, this school is the best ... enough said. And then there was the accomodation, to add to the experience, with views to die during my tuscan experience. Politian is the name on everyone's tongue, as Giacomo and Maria just did so much. From my endless questions to the emergency one night, there is no doubt about it, they are one of a kind. So let me just say, after all I have said, it's only when you trial another and realise this school knocks them for dead. From their professionalism, ambedience, style and caring nature, your mind will not wonder when filling out another application. Because I just can't wait for my next adventure ...
Due to a recent job layoff, I was blessed with the rare opportunity to take 6 weeks off and study Italian in Tuscany. I chose Il Sasso due to the many glowing reviews here on Trip Advisor and now it's my turn to add one more. First, I must preface my review by saying that my situation was a bit different from most students in that I attended the school during a slow time of the year and after my first week there were not enough students at my level to have the normal 4 hours of group instruction, so I was switched to 2 hours of private instruction. This turned out to be ideal for me and I'm very glad Il Sasso offers this as an option! The teachers are excellent (I had Patrizia, Costanza and Sara) and the instruction is top notch! They really gear the lessons to your language level and interest. It may sound a little daunting to hear that all of the lessons are conducted in Italian, but it really is the best way to learn and you'll be surprised by how much you actually understand. My accommodation was a lovely little apartment within a minute walking distance (uphill!) to the school. It was small and cozy and really made me feel like I was part of the town and not just a visitor. Of course I can't forget the school's secretary Heike. She was of immense help both before and after my arrival in Montepulciano doing everything from arranging my housing to helping me make an appointment with the doctor when I got a nasty spider bite. The only thing I regret about my stay in Montepulciano (aside from the fact that I had to leave!) is that I went so late in the year. I was there from Nov 11 to Dec 22 and there were very few students. I think my experience would have been more enjoyable if I could have shared it with more people. Montepulciano is a beautiful town, but as a previous reviewer stated, be sure to bring comfortable shoes and get ready to walk some hills!
I chose to go to a language immersion school by myself in the heart of Tuscany. I was pretty nervous making my way to Montepulciano not really knowing what to expect given I did not know any Italian (except a few words here and there I could remember from studying 20 years ago in school). The teachers and staff at Il Sasso were wonderful. I couldn't figure out how they would keep to only speaking Italian to a beginner like me and still be effective. But it worked really well and I learned a great deal. I had several teachers because I was there for 6 weeks but Cinzia and Sara were my core instructors and they are remarkable. Using stories, role-playing, real life examples, humor, pictures and lots of practice they fostered a fun and very effective learning environment. In addition, Heike, Alberto, Patrizia, Silvia and others were very attentive and organized outside the classroom. The apartments were close and comfortable and the actitivites after class were fun and informational. Montepulciano is beautiful and offers a relaxing environment to learn in - everyone in town knows the school well and is supportive that you are learning to speak Italian. Bring comfortable shoes to walk the hills as there are plenty of them!
I have been to Il Sasso numerous times. Thanks to the teachers there, I am able to converse with Italians, read the paper and even make telephone reservations. My first time there, alone, as a beginner, I was extremely nervous. Within a week, I felt comfortable and at home. The school is well orgnanized, the apartments charming and the cultural acitivities fascinating. What I love about the school is the diversity and maturity of the students. I have meant people from all over the world that I am still in touch with. The greatest reward of all is when an Italian says "parla Italiano molto bene".
Helen & Ira (USA)30.10.2012
We spent a week studying at Il Sasso. My husband and I have gone to other language schools during our many Italian trips. Il Sasso is by far the best. The quality of the instruction is very high - the teachers are skilled at weaving the class into a working whole, with everyone participating and enjoying the learning. Yes, there is homework every night, too, but not too much. The town is lovely even though there is not one flat street in the entire place (so plan accordingly for your shoes - my husband almost skateboarded around a corner before he changed out of leather-soled shoes). Some excellent restaurants, and within easy reach of many other lovely places to visit.
Great teachers, private lessons are great as they will focus them on your particular level and needs.
I've just spent nearly three weeks at Il Sasso and can highly recommend it. The school is situated in the Centro Storico di Montepulciano, one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. Being of a certain age, I was relieved to find a mixture of ages and backgrounds. At break time everyone congregates at a little caffe near the school and we quickly bonded over a coffee, making plans to visit various places nearby and have dinner together. I made friends I will definitely keep in touch with. The standard of teaching is excellent especially bearing in mind that they have students of different age groups, different countries and cultures and with varying expectations. The teachers are also very warm and friendly and want to do their best for you. Many people return year after year which speaks for itself. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
I stepped out of my safety zone and took off for Italy and a week of Italian classes at Il Sasso. I'm so glad I did. The instructors and the atmosphere at Il Sasso is wonderful. Everyone is very encouraging and the they make learning italian fun. I was by myself but in a small village like Montepulciano you are never alone. Every evening I ran into other students and we would socialize over a glad of wine. The apartments the school rents are wonderful and a bargain. Mine was a only one street over from the school and was tastefully decorated and large. The markets around Montepulciano have all the necessary staples you'll need for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I enjoyed going out for dinner each night.
Im Mai 2012 nahm ich mir eine Auszeit und besuchte für 3 Wochen Il Sasso. Ich landete nach dem Test am ersten Morgen im Fortgeschrittenenkurs, wahrscheinlich weil ich schon einmal vom Konjunktiv gehört hatte und eine vage Vorstellung vom Kondizional hatte. Die Lehrer waren unglaublich bemüht den Unterricht so interessant wie möglich zu gestalten. Ihr tägliches Eisbrechen am Morgen ist hohe Kommunikationskunst und funktionierte immer. Jeder Aufenthalt im Flur der Schule führte zu einem Gespräch mit Mitschülern oder den Lehrern, die immer freundlich und redefreudig sind. Zeit für eine Plauderei war immer. Das Gebäude der Schule ist zentral, die Bar gegenüber. Mein favorisierter Ort in der Schule war die Terrasse über einem Stadttor mit Blick bis zum Trasimenersee. Mein Apartment war 2 Minuten von der Schule entfernt über einem edlen Restaurant mit Blick auf dessen kleine Terrasse – also mittendrin in Montepulciano, 2 Schritte von der Loggia dell'Erbe mit Wlan Skypen war auf Steinbänken des 16.Jahrhunderts sitzend jederzeit möglich. Besser kann man für 42 Euro nicht unterkommen. Die Atmosphäre der Stadt bezaubert bei jedem Spaziergang aufs neue. Jeder Augenblick ist gut für die Seele und man freut sich einfach in so einer schönen Umgebung sein zu können. Zur Schule gehört eine Osteria, dort schmeckt alles, dazu bekommt man noch Prozente und außerdem kann man dort auch prima alleine essen gehen. Man trifft in Montepulciano immer Bekannte aus der Schule und kann sich zum Aperitiv in der Bar "… e lucevan le stelle" verabreden und sich als Cavaradossi fühlen. So nett wie die Lehrer waren die Mitschüler. Die Aktivitäten am Nachmittag waren sehr abwechslungsreich. Auch Sonderwünsche fanden ein offenes Ohr und wurden möglich gemacht wie zum Beispiel Besuch des Gartens von La Foce. Auch die gute Seele der Schule "La nostra Heike" muss unbedingt lobend erwähnt werden. Sie ist die Schaltzentrale und dabei so unglaublich hilfsbereit, einfach unkompliziert und erfrischend nett, dass man sich immer freut an ihr vorbei zu gehen. Mittags hatte ich noch eine Stunde Einzelunterricht, um meine Sprachblockade etwas aufzuweichen. Sowohl Sara als auch Alberto gaben alles und ich machte wirklich Fortschritte. Der Vormittagsunterricht in der Gruppe war genauso kurzweilig, selbst die Grammatik machte Spaß. Danke für eure Geduld Costanza, Eleonora, Roberta und nochmals Alberto. Es war wie eine Zeit bei Freunden und ich werde ganz bestimmt ein Wiederholungstäter. Ich empfehle den Aufenthalt in Il Sasso wirklich ausdrücklich und uneingeschränkt.
Il Sasso not only met my expectations, but exceeded my expectations. My two weeks there will live in my memory as a highlight of my life, I'm sure. Being immersed in Italian was a sometimes challenging experience, yet I felt as if the teachers had the exact right formula to teach and speak on my level while taking me just to the edge of new learning without pushing me off the cliff!! I came away with more knowledge and more confidence. I know I will most certainly return, hopefully for another two weeks. If you are looking for an Italian language school in a beautiful location with top-notch staff, this is it. Don't even hesitate!
Ja, ich gebe es zu, ich bin ein Wiederholungstäter: seit vielen Jahren fahre ich im Sommer ins wunderschöne Städtchen Montepulciano und besuche einen 2wöchigen Kursus bei Il Sasso. Die Schule stellt sich individuell auf mein Lernniveau ein, stellt eine kleine Gruppe von studenti aus aller Welt zusammen und los geht's mit Lernen. Konzentriert und doch mit viel Spass und Humor üben wir uns darin, die wohl schönste Sprache der Welt zu verstehen und anzuwenden. Interesse an italienischer Kultur, Alltagsgeschichten, Musik, Theater und möglicherweise auch an gutem Essen und köstlichem Wein? Die persönliche Atmosphäre der Schule, die ausgezeichneten Lehrpersonen und die internationale Zusammensetzung der studenti sorgen für ein entspanntes Lernklima. Kurz: Ideales Lernen und Geniessen!
Without reservation I highly recommend Il Sasso. The school is very well run and does not use an "invariable" recipe to learn Italian. The classes are small (mine had four students), and the placement according to the students' prior knowledge of the language is very accurate so that members of a class can function together successfully. The teachers are flexible and very well educated. They are also extremely kind and patient when you consider that they hear the same mistakes, over and over, year after year. Il Sasso is truly the best Italian school I have ever attended. I've been there three times. Special accolades go to Heike, the multi-lingual administrator, who seems to be able to find out and arrange anything and everything.
I've spent 2 weeks with il Sasso on intermediate level. The teachers were wonderful, patient, always with smile. Everything is much easier to understand. I liked the activities organized by the school, especially walk through Montepulciano (you must see the theatre - it's wonderful). I've lived with italian family, which gave me opportunity to exercise my italian intensively after the classes and I met I have to come back for sure :-)
I studied Italian for one week at Elementary level within Il Sasso and cannot recommend the school highly enough. It is extremely well-organised, all the staff are very friendly and helpful, the teachers are great (in particular giving very clear explanations of language points) and I learnt a huge amount in such a short space of time. The class size was very small (4 students in my case) which meant lots of individual attention and opportunity to practise speaking, which was exactly what I needed. I stayed with a host family which was situated very close to the school, and my room was great, with a spectacular panoramic view across the surrounding countryside. The afternoon social programme activities were also really great - a chance to explore Montepulciano and the really beautiful surrounding area. All in all, I had a great week and would recommend the experience to everyone.
I have spent 4 wonderful weeks studying Italian with 2 excellent teachers, Sara & Costanza, that make even the hardest work seem like fun, are patient, clear, helpful and encouraging, while demanding, and most important - are such nice people! The school offers multiple fun after school activities, and the entire staff is very caring and nice, always ready to help. Overall, it was a great experience, both in learning Italian and in getting to know this beautiful part of Italy a little better. I hope very much to repeat it soon.
This was my second visit to the school as an intermediate learner. The teachers are very patient (which is important for a slow learner) and professional and helpful, and the range of skills amongst pupils is managed well and in a flexible way to offer the best support and guidance.
８月から１２月までの４ヶ月、ホームステイをしながらこちらの学校でイタリア語を学びました。 語学面でのサポートはもちろん、生活面においても大満足の４ヶ月でした。 授業は、イタリア語の習得レベルに合わせたクラスに分けられ、少人数で行われます。そのため先生は生徒のことをひとりひとりしっかりと見てくれます。週に何度か行われる午後のプログラムでは、伝統工芸の工房を見学したり、トスカーナ料理を学んだり、ワインの試飲会を行ったりと、現地の文化を肌で感じる機会が沢山あります。 ほかの生徒さんは２週間や１ヶ月の滞在が多いようで、４ヶ月の間にも様々な国の方と知り合うことができました。年齢も職業も様々な中、話は尽きずいつも楽しい授業でした。 先生方も経験豊富で、安心して授業を受けることができました。勉強面に加えて生活面でも相談に乗ってくださるので、困ったことがあればすぐに助けてもらえる環境でした。 町の人はみなとても親切で、小さな町を２週間もうろついていると顔も覚えてくれて、お店の前を通るだけでも挨拶をしてくれたり世間話をしてくれたりと、とても居心地のいい場所でした。 ホームステイ先の家族はとても面倒見がよく、おいしいイタリアの家庭料理を一緒に作ったり食べたりするうちにやっぱりマンマの料理がいちばんなのだと実感させられました。 モンテプルチアーノは季節ごとに違った顔を持つ町ですが、いつ訪れてもきっと楽しい滞在になると思います。
I have just completed my second 2-week course of instruction at Il Sasso. The first was in May 2011. Learning a new language is never easy, but the instructors and staff at Il Sasso make it pleasant and almost fun. During my 2 visits I have had a total of 4 instructors. All were highly skilled at helping me learn in a relatively stress-free environment. And they were genuinely nice people. Through the school, I rented an apartment that was quite comfortable. The administrative staff at the school was thoroughly helpful in all matters. Il Sasso is centrally located in Montepulciano, my favorite hilltop town in Tuscany. I plan on returning next year for (at least) another 2 weeks.
My cousin and I have travelled to Italy 3 times to study italian. We found Il Sasso to be fantastic! The school itself is lovely and bright and open. The administration are friendly, helpful and caring people. Our two teachers, young and vibrant, Sara & Cinzia were amazing teachers and we grew close to them in just a week's time. The classes are small, so you learn and are able to have time to learn. The setting of Montepulciano is dream-like, truly a gem of a Tuscan town, with good food, lovely shops and the most breath-taking sunsets! We stayed at a nearby villa apartment that was fantastic, that the school put us in touch with. I will return to this school one day and highly recommend this experience for anyone wanting to learn to speak italian and also have a local Tuscan experience, with the wine, food, cheese-making, and music festivals. There is an international music school in the town, so there are many young people there, but when we went in September it was off-season and not crowded at all. We loved every minute of it, and wish we had stayed for a longer time.
Il Sasso embraces the concept of learning by immersion from day one. The environment itself is very laid-back. The place is run very hands-on and the course instructors are very dedicated and in-tune with the needs of the participants. It really is a fun way to learn, and the area is replete with plenty of other activities to keep you engaged or if you feel like kicking back, there is no better place than the tiny hilltop hamlet of Montepulciano to just relax and take it all in.The course is extremely high-quality and the teachers clearly know what they are doing. I would suggest no less than a two-week course for first-timers. I have been told that the one-on-one lectures are highly-recommended, but only after taking the classroom lessons first to have a base to start from. Montepulciano is a very quiet and intimate setting and the setting could not be more perfect for a vacation/language course. I will be back for a month the on my next visit!