Just finished two weeks with my wife in the school. Really we could not ask for more. The teachers, the attitude, the atmophere. We learnt in two weeks like we learnt in a year of once a week lectures. I recommend with all my heart.
I have just been to Il Sasso and it was the most unbelievable experience I have had. Very professional.The teachers are amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of learning this gorgeous language.
I have just completed the four week intensive course at Il Sasso with a home stay. Before arriving at Il Sasso I had been studying Italian for one year but had learnt very little. Within just a week at Il Sasso I had pretty much covered everything I had learnt in a year back home. The classes are fantastic and the teachers really encourage you to learn and better yourself in the Italian language. After a month at the school I can confidently have a basic conversation with Italians and am able to understand a lot of the content of certain conversations. My advice would be to have realistic expectations of what you want to learn after your period at the school. After completing the intensive course I would say that beware of how tiring studying for 6 hours a day is. Also your private lessons will conflict with the majority of the schools afternoon activities so if you want to go on them do not do the intensive course. If you are committed to learning the language a homestay is the only option for you. The family I lived with were fantastic, extremely patient and encouraging even when I said the most stupid things to them. I visited a lot of the schools apartments when going round friends homes and all of them were really nice and close to the school so if you prefer that to a homestay the accommodation is great as well. There isn't a huge amount to do in the town so think about your reasons for studying Italian. If you want somewhere where you can go out every night then perhaps look at language schools in bigger cities as you won't really find anywhere in Montepulciano. There are lots of bars and restaurants though and people at the school were always happy to go for a drink or meal in the evenings. If I'm able to go away for this time again I'd return next year, it's a really great experience!!!
I just came back from a four-week stay at Il Sasso, and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. From the beginning, the staff was incredibly kind and helpful. Heike always responded promptly to any questions I had about the classes, fees, or getting to Montepulciano. The classes were just wonderful! I opted for the Course Standard +, which consisted of approximately 4 hours of group class and one hour of private lesson every day. I had Sara and Costanza as teachers for the group lessons. They were both wonderful and knew exactly what to do so that the students understand the grammatical concepts covered in each class. It was also helpful to be exposed to two different teachers, as I got used to different styles of teaching and speech. Overall, the class were on an appropriate pace with enough repetition for students to really absorb everything covered. For the private lesson, I had Costanza again. And she was wonderful! The focus of the private lessons was more on reading and conversation, so Costanza and I just talked about whatever topic Costanza prepared for. She was personable, funny, energetic, and incredibly sympathetic even when I made countless errors (especially at the beginning). Once again: she's awesome! And I'd recommend any beginners to go for the Standard + option (instead of just doing the basic group lessons), as the private lesson helped me develop conversational skills that are completely different from understanding grammar. By the end of the four weeks, I could comfortably hold a conversation with a native Italian speaker (with the Italian person speaking slowly, of course). And Montepulciano is a wonderful place to stay! It's a very Tuscan town, but big enough to keep you occupied. It also has tons of good food and great wine, if you're into that sort of a thing. It is also fairly close to a lot of interesting cities/and towns. During my 4 weeks, I went to Assisi, Piensa, Monticchiello, Rome, Florence, and Siena. I also know people who...
Fulfilled fantasy of mine to to feel like I was living in Italy. First shock, seeing my apartment with balcony and spectacular view of the countryside for the first time. Second was meeting the fascinating fellow students. Yes, mostly women. The age range was 19 to 70! Students were from all over the world. Always people to do things with, hang out with, laugh with, etc. Oh, the school and staff. All in Italian which was fine since I needed help understanding when people spoke to me in Italian more than the actual speaking of it. Teachers are friendly, helpful and engaging. Montepulciano is beautiful!
I wanted to make a study vacation and was looking for Italian Language schools in Tuscany - Montepulciano - Il Sasso - Communiction with Heike was perfect and from my arrival to my departure this school, with a family style environment make everybody feel comfortable - Alberto / Patricia / Silvia in Admin and my charming, strict teachers; Gaia / Carolina / Roberta / Sara / Eleonora all did their very best to improve my rusty Italian. Having been there for 4 weeks also gave me a chance to visit Firenze / Siena / Pisa and Pienza - at the same times I had the opportunity to meet colleagues at all ages / Nationalities and we are keeping in touch via FB or e-mails. I definitely will be back in 2014 - maybe not in July - but in either Spring or Fall - High grades for the fabulous team at Il Sasso - Grazie Mille - Ciao Gerhard
Last summer I spent a month studying Italian at the Universita per Stranieri in Perugia, and although I enjoyed it and learned a lot, I learned so much in just one week here at Il Sasso in Montepulciano. Especially if you are older than college age, I recommend Il Sasso. Montepulciano is the perfect hill town with enough going on to be interesting. It doesn't have its soul sold to tourism and is still a viable Italian town with plenty of locals. The classes at Il Sasso are small, and the teachers are fabulous. Il Sasso also organizes trips to the nearby La Foce gardens, a hike to Montefollonico, cooking classes, Italian films, etc. I learned so much and can't wait to return next summer. Vorrei ritornare al Montepulciano e Il Sasso prossima estate!
I can only say great things about Il Sasso Language School. From the time I first contacted the school and spoke with Heike until the last day of school, they were always there and willing to make your goals a success. ALL the teachers are excellent. They have endless energy, are very friendly in class and outside of class and know exactly each student's level of knowledge and how that student can best learn. I loved the way the classes were conducted with lots of interaction and speaking (In Italian of course) between the students. We were not just listening to a teacher and doing drills in a book. Montepulciano is the perfect town, lots to see and do, fantastic restaurants and the locals make you feel welcome. I was there on my own and it was fun hanging out with the other students after hours. I met people from all over the world that are now called "friend".
Il Sasso offers first rate classes with the option of additional activities. I only stayed two weeks, and I wish I could have stayed longer. The classes are challenging, especially since the instruction is all in Italian. At times, I was quite frustrated with myself, but the teachers WANT to help. Montepulciano is a beautiful, safe city. It's the perfect place to spend several weeks. We stayed in an apartment that was rented through Il Sasso. I would love to return to Il Sasso!
My wife and I were at Il Sasso for three weeks this March/April and we will go back! Many reasons: 1. Our teachers - Sara and Costanza - were great! 2. We had never spoken Italian but made real progress - we have a foundation for self study. 3. We love Italy and knowing at least some Italian makes it that much more enjoyable. 4. Montepulciano is a small town and it is fun to have the locals getting to know you. 5. We met many interesting people and made many new friends 6. I like the travel and learn experience. There is never a dull moment 7. We had a beautiful apartment with beautiful views that changed ith the light and the weather. Drawbacks? The "compiti" ;=)