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" ;=)
I have just returned from 8 wonderful weeks at Il Sasso – definitely 2 of the best months of my life! I chose this school because of all the glowing reviews, and also because I wanted to go to a small town rather than a city. I felt that I would be less likely to be spoken back to in English in a small town where everyone knows the school, and what people had said about the locals encouraging you to practise really appealed to me. I hoped I would feel comfortable more quickly in a small place, and I definitely did! To begin with I must mention Heike, the secretary at the school. She answered my very first email, sent months before I arrived, quickly and efficiently. And that was the same with each and every email I sent thereafter (and I sent a lot of emails!!). She gave me all the information I could possibly need, and really put my mind at ease. I was travelling alone for the first time and was nervous, so that was great. And when I got to the school she was just as wonderful; always efficient, and always incredibly friendly and supportive. She's the absolute perfect person for the job, and I'll really miss her! Secondly, the teachers. I was lucky enough to have Sara for the full 8 weeks, which I was thrilled about, but I also had Silvia, Costanza, Roberta and Alberto, all of whom are completely amazing and massively warm and friendly, and always smiling! They get everyone in class talking, but at no point does that make you feel stressed or uncomfortable. The class sizes are small, which helps, but the teachers are so patient and encouraging. Your confidence really grows each time they utter a "brava!" or "perfetto!" after something you have said! It's quite a terrifying thought as a beginner wondering how on earth it can be possible to understand the teachers when they speak in Italian. But it's fine! They talk quite slowly and use many actions; they have so much energy! At the end of every morning you go away amazed at how much you have learned in 4 hours! I ...
My wife and I attended Il Sasso for 4 weeks during May. We had a wonderful time learning Italian in a friendly and happy atmosphere. It had been a long time since we had been in formal education and we were thus a little apprehensive but we needn't have been. At no time were we made to feel that our basic skills were inadequate. We received excellent tuition from numerous tutors who were real enthusiasts. After the 4 weeks at the School we both felt that we had come a long way from being 'struggling tourists' to being able to understand what was going on. We intend to return in 2014. In addition to the language training the tutors were also delighted to share their knowledge of the local area giving us both an opportunity to explore the region. It would be remiss if I did not mention the first class administrative support we received from Heike who retained her sense of humour notwithstanding the ceaseless barrage of questions and queries received from the students.