The Educational Experience

Italiano Paradiso

An Engaging Learning Experience under the Umbrian Sun

Offered by Dr. Tom Means

Thursday October 4th to Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Citta della Pieve, Umbria, Italy.
$5000 to $7000 per person. Call for information.
Only six (6) seats left.

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 9:00-6:00. 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
  • Piano lessons and private concert with world-class pianist
  • Tour and tasting at an Etruscan cave converted into vineyard/cantina
  • Pappardella production: pick the wheat, grind it, mix it, shape it, cook it
  • Thermal baths in Tuscany built by the Romans
  • Horseback riding on trails that are 3,000 years old
  • Painting lessons: paint and frame your preferred backdrop
  • Italian cinema viewings with renowned film critic
  • Tour of Ferrari Museum, option to drive a Ferrari
  • Excursion based on your passionate hobbies, e.g., exercise, art, fashion, history, etc.

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.)


  • 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.
  • If you are in an Intermediate (+) group, you must speak with us on the phone before registering. We will have a casual chat in English and then in Italian.