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Learn Italian in Venice
For a taste of the best of Italian history and art, learn Italian in Venice and see what all the fuss is about for yourself! This world-famous city - which is often called a ‘living museum’ for the sheer variety of its visible history - is actually an archipelago, comprised of 118 individual islands. Nestled in the northern Adriatic Sea, Venice is the largest car-free urban area in Europe and therefore a great location for walkers. The separate parts of the city and many of the surrounding islands are connected by bridges, allowing you to hop easily from one side to the other. If there isn’t a bridge, don’t worry - simply zip across the Lagoon in one of the many water taxis or ferries! Since the city is linked to the mainland by the Ponte della Liberta causeway, you can easily visit the districts in the wider metropolitan area as well.
Founded by 12 influential families, Venice amassed its fortunes from the sea that surrounds it and was, during the Middle Ages, the world’s foremost naval power. Its strong ties with Eastern Asia and northern Africa at this time shaped the characteristic architectural styles found around the city. From the 13th century onwards Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe, dominating the worldwide salt trade and holding a monopoly on Mediterranean commerce. To show off their wealth, the ruling families competed to build the grandest palazzos, employing some of the most famous names in European art to help them display their superiority. Because of its prestige, Venice has also had a notable influence on the Italian language; words such as arsenal, ghetto, gondola, lagoon, regatta, and the ubiquitous ciao all come from the region's dialect!
One thing is for sure: you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do here. Whether you want to visit one of the many museums, galleries, or historic monuments scattered across the city, take a gondola ride on the Grand Canal, visit the beach on the Lido, go shopping in Rialto, explore the colourful island of Burano, see intricate Venetian glass being hand-crafted in Murano, or simply watch the world go by from one of the many pavement cafés, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience here!
With cool winters, hot humid summers, Venice is gorgeous at any time of year. Its central districts each have their own distinct character. The eastern Castello is home to the Arsenale, the site of the ancient dockyards that once formed the industrial hub of the city. In the northern Cannaregio you’ll find a slower pace of life, with morning markets and small cafés. The central San Polo and San Marco districts are the oldest parts of the city and are home to attractions such as St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, and the striking La Fenice opera house. In the southern Dorsoduro, you’ll find some of the most impressive buildings in the city; it’s here that our Italian language school is located.
Our school in Venice
Learn Italian in Venice’s Dorsoduro district and experience the sights and sounds of a city like no other! Home to some of the most remarkable churches and palazzos the city has to offer, as well as key cultural sites such as the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, you certainly won’t be bored here. Other attractions within easy walking distance of the school are: the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a breath-taking palazzo-turned-museum now dedicated to the Venetian artist Tintoretto; the Cavalli-Franchetti cultural exhibition centre; and La Fenice opera house, where works by composers such as Rossini, Bellini, and Verdi were first premiered. Since the facility is just a short walk from the banks of the Grand Canal, you can also easily access the attractions overlooking this famous waterway, including the International Gallery of Renaissance Art, Campo Bella Vienna, and the renowned Rialto Bridge.
With just 7 classrooms, this school can offer highly personalised attention to each of its students and thus enable maximum language development. Located in an historic building just off a bustling campo, this language centre has its own terrace which overlooks the street. The building has a self-study room with cinema facilities, so you can supplement your language learning by watching Italian films. You’ll also benefit from the school’s library and its multimedia resources. As well, you’ll have access to the student room, which has a microwave, a kettle, and tea-/coffee-making facilities, allowing you to get refreshments in between or after your lessons without needing to stray far (though, if you’d rather get a drink elsewhere, there’s a café just across the road!). Please note that this language centre is accessed by a set of stairs, so may not be suitable for students with mobility problems.
This school opened its doors to international students wanting to learn Italian in 1998, so has over 20 years of experience teaching pupils of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Its methodology is officially recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, meaning we can guarantee that its courses are of the highest quality. The school is a member of Eduitalia International Education, the Association of Italian Second-Language Schools (ASILS), and the Tandem International Language Schools Group, all of which dedicate themselves to maintaining consistently high standards of language tuition. The courses offered are also approved for CSN programmes. What’s more: this school is located in a very central area of the city, allowing you to fully experience day-to-day life here. The nearby public square is a central meeting place for locals and is often filled with Italians enjoying a coffee, waiting for a friend, or perusing one of the pop-up markets. With several water taxi docks nearby, you’re also ideally placed to explore the wider districts, the mainland, and even the other islands in the Lagoon.
Courses in Venice
- Intensive (20)
- Intensive + Cookery (Thursday) (21)
- Intensive + Private Lessons (25)
- Private Lessons (15)
- Private Lessons (20)
- Art History (15)
- Evening Course (20)
The standard Intensive course offered by this school consists of 20 group lessons each week, held in the morning from 09:00 to 13:00 every weekday. You’ll be placed in a group that’s organised according to ability level, and there’s a maximum of just 12 students per class, giving each participant the opportunity for personalised attention from the tutor. An evening Intensive course is available from 16:30 to 20:30 for those unable to attend morning classes.
Please note: if you have no knowledge of Italian you will need to start your course on a specific date - contact us to find out about available start dates for beginners.
If you feel you need extra support with your studies or want to study certain topics, we recommend that you book private lessons so you can receive expert tuition that can be customised to your specific requirements. You’ll have 20 one-to-one lessons per week on the standard package, but can book more if you wish. Semi-private tuition is available on request for two students with the same starting ability level.
Though private lessons are extremely beneficial in terms of learning, a full course is not for everyone - why not combine the best parts of both types of tuition with an Intensive + Private package? You can add an extra 5 or 10 one-to-one classes per week to your core Intensive programme, which is an ideal way to make significant progress whilst still experiencing the social aspect of group classes. Beginners should ensure that their group sessions start on the correct date.
For a more culturally in-depth experience, we highly recommend the school’s Italian & Cookery programme, which consists of the core Intensive course plus one 3-hour cookery workshop each week. The cookery lesson takes place on a Thursday evening between 17:00 and 20:00 in the school’s kitchen; you’ll learn how to read Italian recipes and how to prepare traditional local food, and then you’ll enjoy the three-course meal you’ve cooked with a glass of wine! This course is available throughout the year and is open to students with A1 or higher Italian ability.
Students interested in art, history, and architecture should book the school’s History of Art course, a specialised package offered outside the classroom. On this programme you’ll spend 3 hours per day exploring various parts of the city and learning about its key artistic attractions. Lessons usually take place in the morning between 09:30 and 12:30, although this timetable may vary depending on the opening times of the attractions to be visited. Entrance to all churches, palazzos, and museums is included in the programme price. This course is available for 1 or 2 weeks at any time of year between March and November. Tuition on the course is given in Italian, so you’ll need to have at least B1 Italian proficiency in order to be able to follow the content. Kindly note that this course does not include Italian language tuition, though you can combine this programme with the evening Intensive course to receive a fully rounded immersive experience.
On the first day of lessons, you should arrive at the school at 08:30 in order to sit your level test. This test is used to assess your starting language ability and place you in a group that’s most suitable for that skill level. This provides students with the best possible opportunity to improve their Italian knowledge, regardless of their starting level.
At the end of your course you’ll receive a certificate of achievement, which can be used to demonstrate the language ability level you have reached during your course.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us today to see if we can arrange a bespoke package for you!
- Host Family
- Student Residence
The best way to make the most of your time in Venice is to stay with a local homestay host! All hosts live in central Venice so are often within walking distance of the school. If you select this type of accommodation you’ll stay with a native Italian speaker and be able to practice Italian with them, enabling you to continue to learn even outside the classroom. Hosts offer private single or double* bedrooms and a comfortable environment for you to stay during your language course. Bed linens and towels are included as standard; bathroom facilities are shared with your host. This type of lodging is offered on a self-catering basis, meaning you’ll have access to the kitchen to cook your meals. Your host will likely be more than happy to advise on the best places to buy local produce!
If you prefer a higher standard of accommodation, you can stay in the new student residence, which is located just 10 minutes’ walk from the language centre. This newly renovated building offers bright single or double* suites, each with their own private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette. Rooms are decorated to a high quality, making this option ideal for anyone looking for luxury during their time in Venice. All rooms have heating and air-conditioning, as well as Wi-Fi access. The residence building boasts a communal garden, a restaurant and bar, a gym, several study rooms, a laundry room, and on-site bicycle storage. There is also a 24-hour reception desk, so someone is always on-hand to provide assistance should you need it. This type of lodging is available on a self-catering basis, giving you the freedom to cook for yourself using your room’s kitchenette.
All accommodation is available between 08:30 and 23:30 on the Sunday before your course starts until 10:00 on the Saturday after your course finishes. We may be able to arrange extra nights in your accommodation for you if needed - please contact us about this prior to making your booking.
*Twin rooms are only available to students travelling together. If you select a twin room but are travelling alone, you will be swapped to a single room.
To truly experience the city, why not take part in the school’s activity programme? Activities are arranged to be educational and entertaining - they’ll also help you to get to know your fellow students. Each session is conducted in Italian and therefore complements your classroom learning with experience in real-life scenarios.
Many activities are available free of charge, though some may incur an additional fee to cover entrance and/or transportation costs. The exact schedule changes throughout the year but may include:
- Guided walking tours of the city, including discussions afterwards of key aspects of the places you’ve visited
- Visits to Museum Mile and/or art galleries
- Free grammar workshops
- Aperitifs on the beach
- Italian film screenings and/or trips to musical performances/shows, followed by a discussion
- Cookery classes
- Lectures/seminars on cultural topics such as the history of the gondola, the city districts, and Italian poetry
- Trips to workshops of local artisans, such as glassblowers, mask maskers, and the gondola squeri
- Visits to the famous Rialto market to taste local produce
- Full-day excursions to islands in the Lagoon
- Plus seasonal activities available in the local area
Our colleagues at the school will be happy to advise you about other available activities offered by specialist local providers. If the school is closed for a national holiday, one of the above activities will be arranged.
How to get there
Venice is served by two airports: Marco Polo and Treviso. Marco Polo is the closest, located around a 20-minute drive from the city, and is easily accessible from many European locations.
From here, you can either take public transport to your accommodation or we can arrange an airport transfer service for you for an additional charge. If you book this service, a driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you directly to your accommodation. If you select this service on departure as well, you will be collected from your lodging on your last day and taken back to your chosen airport in time for your departing flight.
Please note that this service is only available at Marco Polo Airport; if you are flying into Treviso Airport, you will need to arrange your own transportation to your lodging.
You should arrange to arrive in Venice on the Sunday before your course starts and depart on the Saturday after your programme finishes. We may be able to arrange extra nights on arrival and/or departure for you if needed.
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