Salamanca pontifical university and Spanish countryside

Go to San Giovanni !!!

I am just finishing my time in San Giovanni Valdarno and I just don’t want it to end. I have had an amazing time here – I just can’t get enough of San Giovanni – but the curious thing is that not even many Italians know where San Giovanni is!

It’s a beautiful, atmospheric little town, set amongst wonderful rolling Tuscan countryside and the only foreigners here are the students at the school! So, it’s a great place to learn Italian! San Giovanni itself is full of medieval buildings and really very beautiful.

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I’d never heard of San Giovanni Valdarno!

I attended the school in San Giovanni, Italy. I was in school for 11 weeks. I thought that the instructional program was excellent. The instructors and staff are very helpful and work hard to make sure that you are doing well and that there are no problems with your course.

My instructor, Stefania, was outstanding. Her methods of teaching were extremely helpful in my learning Italian. Her patience and perseverance, as well as her style of presentation, made learning Italian interesting and fun. I am confident that I can now speak enough Italian to converse with most Italians! In addition to the regular instructional program I had the special opportunity to take several cooking classes. They were very informative and fun. The instructor was outstanding.

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San Giovanni – I keep coming back!

When I started to look for Italian schools, what I wanted was a doorway into the real Italy, beyond the swarming mobs of tourists and the MacDonalds and Starbucks that you find in the big cities. But at the same time, I wanted to be close enough to famous cities —you can’t study all day. After much research, I decided on the school in San Giovanni Valdarno, a family-run school in Tuscany.

That was almost ten years ago and since then, I have been coming back to the little school in San Giovanni Valdarno every year. Why? Because I get a taste of what it’s like to live in Italy. The town is perfectly convenient to get around—everything is within walking distance, and an easy, flat walk at that. You can bike five minutes out of town and find yourself in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. By train, it’s 40 minutes to Florence and only thirty minutes to Arezzo.

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Una Notte sotto le Stelle (‘An evening under the stars’)

On a warm August evening, in the heart of Tuscany, what could be better than a drink of wine and something to eat with some friends? Well, you could try having several glasses of wine and something to eat with all the residents of a small village! That’s just one of the activities organized by the Italian school I’m attending in Tuscany. They call it ‘An Evening under the Stars’; a chance to meet local people and taste local produce!

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San Giovanni Valdarno – a slice of Tuscan life

I was unsure what to expect of San Giovanni Valdarno. It had been described as a small medieval town located in the heart of Tuscany, but I’ve fallen for these descriptions before, only to arrive at a bustling industrial rail station that doesn’t quite meet my expectations! However, I’m pleased to confirm that my first impression of San Giovanni did not disappoint.

I travelled from Florence by train and enjoyed a journey of approximately one hour, taking in delightful countryside and stopping at many of the small towns en route. I was advised later that it is also possible to take a more direct train, which should take about 35 minutes, but I felt that my ambling journey had set me up for the relaxed lifestyle I was about to experience.

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