Havana, the capital of Cuba

Buonasera a tutti!

I’m writing you this from my host family house here in SORRENTO! I have been going out far too much recently so I’ve decided to stay at home and study a bit of Italian grammar, il presente semplice! (The present tense)….The host family are great… a mum, a dad and two teenage kids. The house is so clean and the parents cook like a dream!

I have never felt like that they host students for a job, it feels more like they do it because they really like people and want to meet as many different cultures as possible. Italians are really good at making people feel at home and their natural hospitality means that even if you are far away from home, you never feel lonely and if you feel homesick they often take you under their wing. They always ask me what I’m studying and of course, staying with a host family is an excellent way to back up what you have learnt in the classroom.

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STILL in Sorrento!

I’m still in Sorrento, we had a really interesting week this week. Some new students from the UK arrived so my school organised a pizza party for us all. Have you ever eaten a true Neapolitan pizza? They are SO much nicer than a pizza you can buy at home. REALLY tasty with lots of Mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes! My new friends really enjoyed it and it was such a good way to introduce the new students to the school. Oh and we also visited the volcano Vesuvio, an incredible view from the top and lunch in a nearby farmhouse, my Italian course is turning into a gastronomic tour!

But seriously, travelling around is such a good way to practice what you have learnt. I can now ask for tickets for transport, I can understand basic directions and I m meeting the true Italians who make you realise that a language has a living cultural aspect to it which is difficult to grasp when you just have lessons.

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It’s fun in Sorrento!

I’m in Sorrento, on the beautiful Amalfi coast and I just can’t believe it! I’m here studying Italian in a school just off the main square and I’m having a great time. Why go anywhere else in Italy to learn Italian when you can do it in a place which is slap bang on the Mediterranean, stunningly beautiful, with great weather, steeped in thousands of years of history and culture… and lots of fun!

Well, actually I’m not supposed to be having too much fun as I’ve really got to get my head around the “passato remoto”, amongst other things!… but I’m feeling really good about coming here and my teachers are great. I’d mistakenly thought that learning a language in the country of origin was only for the rich… but its really not that expensive and being here really makes the language work for you – you can ask for real things in shops, you can buy a real bus ticket, you can order and eat a real pizza and you can get some real sun!

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A single woman in Sorrento!

As a single woman traveling alone, I can honestly tell you that it is normally quite difficult to go to restaurants and sit alone, walk along the beach without having men come up to you thinking you are available, and have to endure the endless questions like “Where is your partner?” and so on…

So, I decided to do something different this time and book myself on a ‘cultural’ holiday as opposed to just a bog-standard holiday. I decided Italy was definitely the destination as a bit of romance wouldn’t go amiss either, but I was also determined to learn and experience something new this time round.

Then I came across this great school on the internet in Sorrento, in the heart of the town near the Amalfi Coast. I had seen a romantic film ‘Only You’ about one woman’s destiny to meet her future husband in Italy and in this film there was the beautiful Amalfi Coast, Positano etc. so I decided that this was the right place to be.

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Sorrento and The Amalfi Coast – A Jewel in the Mediterranean

This place was always on my list of “must dos in life” as I had heard and read so much about this place, such as “it’s one of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth”, “the Amalfi Coast is one of the most spectacular coastlines that exist” etc. but I was determined to see it and judge it for myself despite what Byron, Caruso, Goethe, Wagner and many other famous visitors had written!

So, imagine my delight when I came across this school , only metres from the sea and beach and right in the heart of the city! I was given the unique experience of not only learning the Italian language, but also learning about the amazing Southern Italian culture so far removed from our own, and the staff were so welcoming and friendly as is traditional with Southern Italian hospitality.

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Why you should pack your bags now and come to Sorrento!

I’ve just finished my second week here at the school in Sorrento and I think I must be dreaming. Let me tell you why.

I decided I needed a break from my routine to recharge my batteries and to fulfil my dream of going to southern Italy. I chose Sorrento because of its proximity to exotic places such as the Isle of Capri, the Amalfi Coast and the ruins of Pompeii. I had heard it was rich in history and beauty and an ideal place to soak in the sun and culture.

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Sorrento – All that Italy has to offer, in a little town!

I admit it! I’m a bit in love with Italy, with the food, the art, the people, the landscape… Italy has everything!

I had already seen the most famous places, like Rome, Florence and Milan, and I wanted to try somewhere different for my next holiday. I wanted to see a bit more of the real Italy! That’s when I came across Sorrento.

I was looking for somewhere by the sea that was not too big, so that I could relax and have more direct contact with the locals. Sorrento seemed to offer all of this, but what I didn’t expect was that it had so much more to offer! It turned out to be an excellent choice for a language course!

I flew to Naples airport and decided to have an airport transfer (organized by the school) to Sorrento. Here the first surprise arrived, a very elegantly dressed person welcomed me and took me to Sorrento in an extremely nice car. Definitely money well invested!

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