Italy

The Educational Experience

Full-Immersion Italian Language Vacation

Citta della Pieve, Umbria, Italy.
$5200  per person. Call for information.
Eight (8) participants, maximum.

2019 Trips: April 7-14; June 8-15

Beginner and Intermediate

Reserve Now for 2019 trips

Come live in Italian in Italy with us, we will speak/eat/travel in Italian only all week. You will live in an elegant hotel (Hotel Vannucci) with us in a sophisticated yet off-the-beaten-path small Italian city. The entire week is full immersion in Italian.

Immersion will allow you to quickly improve your Italian, we have orchestrated interactive experiences for the entire week with local Italians. You will have local excursions and two Italian classes every day from 9:00-5:00. We eat (or make!) dinner together, in italiano naturalmente, from 8:00-10:00 every night.

There are only two levels: Beginner or Intermediate (+). All students in your group have similar levels, and we will work toward your specific goals. All materials (video/audio/text) are prepared for you and included in the experience. You will be gently pushed to interact with Italians all week; our expert team will make using Italian fun and rewarding.

Your entire experience in Italy with us is curated and ultra private. Two Italian teachers/guides are present all day, every group has a minimum of 3 students and a maximum of 8 students. You will accumulate over 50 (fifty) hours of high-quality interaction in Italian throughout the week; you will do this across all modalities: speaking, listening, reading, writing.

The accommodations and meals are carefully selected for our clientele, we will go to the best restaurants in Umbria (provided that no English is spoken at the establishment). All lodging and meals are included in the experience, and wine is also included. Un po’ di vino will help enhance your knowledge of Italian/Umbrian culture.

Based on your preferences, the daily excursion may be:

  • Saffron cultivation and meal preparation on a small “Zafferano” farm. Saffron is an important product from the region. A local gentleman farmer, Stefano, will walk us through his saffron fields before we make some zafferano dishes with his wife in their lovely farmhouse.
  • Tour and tasting at an Etruscan cave converted into a vineyard/cantina. This vintner, Fabio, was a physician before dedicating his work to the family’s cantina. Fabio and his wife, Monica, will lead us on a tour and tasting through the cantina, tunneled from Etruscan caves under their house.
  • Pappardella production: Located in the stunning valley, Val D’Orcia, this stone mill is run by local Tuscans. We will walk through their grain fields, mill some grain with them, shape the flour from the mill into pappardelle, and then enjoy the fruit of our labors.
  • Painting lessons: paint and frame your preferred backdrop. This excursion is organized by us with the region of Umbria. After a few days in Umbria, we will decide as a group which backdrop to paint. After we set up our easels we will be guided by a painting instructor in Italian to capture the beauty of the landscape.
  • Italian cinema viewings/discussions with renowned film critic. Tom and the film critic will describe some scenes from the finest work of Fellini, DeSica, Benigni, Rossellini, etc., before we watch a 10-minute clip of the film. We will discuss your reactions to the clip before moving on the the next classic.
  • Orvieto’s underground city. The Renaissance jewel, Orvieto, sits majestically above its valley. It was first settled by the Etruscans around 500 B.C. Underneath today’s striking city lies the imprint the Etruscans made. A private tour guide in Italian will take us through some of the thousands of tunnels the Etruscans dug for safety and food.
  • Food-market shopping and cooking with our personal chef. Our friend, Sabrina, who regularly caters for notable villas in Tuscany, invites us to her family’s country house to prep our lunch together. We will then savor our creations together on her family’s terrazza, overlooking the hills of Umbria and Tuscany.
  • Pienza’s pecorino. Pienza, a touchstone of the Renaissance’s urbanism, is an unforgettable hilltop gem. We will enjoy a private tasting of some of the many flavors of pecorino that Pienza is known for. Our friend, Matteo, will guide our taste buds to recognize the many flavors in his cheese shop.
  • Chocolate making in Perugia. The petite capital of Umbria, Perugia, is a network of stunning piazzas connected by tiny alleys. Perugia is also known for her chocolates. Our friend, Giancarlo, will take us through his family’s small chocolate facility and he will guide us as we make a reproduction of the world-famous Baci.

Typical Day

07:00am-9:00am: Breakfast

Breakfast served in hotel; hotel staff instructed to only serve you in Italian. Options for private walking/biking tours available. Our expert Italian teachers are there to chat if you want.

9:00am-10:30 am: Morning lesson/prep for excursion

Every excursion is task-based. Our morning lesson will prepare you for some of the language you may require on your excursion. You will be given your task before we leave, e.g., “Record at least five new words you learned on our private tour of the Etruscan caves-turned-winery.”

10:30 am-1:00pm: Excursion

All excursions take place in the surrounding Umbrian or Tuscan countryside. As you are guided in Italian, you are also prompted to “complete” your homework, you will report on your excursion during the afternoon lesson.

1:30pm-3:00pm: On-site lunch

Pranzo, tutto in Italiano. On most days, we will lunch by the site of our excursion.

3:30pm-5:00pm: Afternoon lesson

Italian lesson in hotel conference room. All students will report their task in Italian. Teachers will provide grammar and vocabulary lessons after every student presents. The afternoon lesson will also function as a wrap-up for all questions from the day’s excursions and on-site lunch.

5:00pm-8:00pm: Free time

Our expert Italian teachers are available for un gelato or to accompany you to fare shopping if you want to stroll and chat with them.

8:00pm-10:00pm: Dinner

Dinner at a local trattoria, where arrangements have already been made with staff—NESSUN INGLESE! (On at least one night, we will cook dinner together with a local mamma italiana; the excursion on that day will be mercato food shopping for la ricetta della mamma.)

Requirements

  • 21 years old minimum
  • If you are in a Beginner group, you must learn the “Top 100 Expressions for Italian Travel and Dining” before arriving in Italy. Document provided by us. Advice will also be provided for study techniques before the program.
  • We define Intermediate level as the equivalent of one full year of college Italian. Please call to discuss, we will have a casual chat in English and then in Italian.