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.
There is a real sense of community in San Giovanni..Though it’s a fairly small town, there are people of all ages….and the streets really fill up in the mornings and evenings, with people going out for a walk, meeting friends, shopping, having an ice cream or going for a meal….people genuinely seem happy here!… and all the locals are so welcoming and helpful to the students. It’s like you know everyone and the locals and students mix a lot. At night everyone is out on the piazza for a refreshing drink and an ice cream. Also in the summer there are free music concerts and an open cinema. I went to a concert last night where there was a Brazilian singer performing and it seemed like everyone from the town was there…..It was GREAT!
I’m staying in a host family and I am so happy living here. I feel like I’m part of the family and the food is fantastic! Every night I have dinner with my host family and it’s a great chance to practice my italian. The family are so patient with me as I try to say things in italian. I was a complete beginner when I first came here, but in just 5 weeks I now realise that I can have real conversations with them and when I don’t understand something, then they just try and explain it…(lots of smiles and gestures!) …..and they live just a few minutes’ walk from the school!
The school is fantastic!!! Classes are small so you learn much more. I have also been doing an hour private class after the morning lessons, so that I can concentrate on things I find more difficult, i totally recommend San Giovanni and the school here…..These 5 weeks have helped me so much with my Italian, and I‘ve also felt really ‘at home’ here!!! Though the school is small, it’s very professional and every bit more personal than a much larger school – with lots of attention to every student.
If you want to learn Italian then I completely recommend San Giovanni ……It’s small, but never boring, and if you want to explore the area, then Firenze, Pisa and Siena are just a short train ride way!!