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Learning Italian in Italy
Part 1 of 2: Choosing a School
by Cristina Simone
Being of Italian origin (both of my parents were born in Italy), I decided that I wanted to improve my Italian language skills, so I decided that Italy would be my next vacation destination (July/August 2004). While I was there, I thought it would be smart to take an Italian language course for a few weeks. This way, I could learn and practice the language in my day-to-day life during my stay, while still enjoying a “vacation!”
I started looking for Italian language schools on the internet that fit into what I wanted out of my trip. I knew that I did not want to be amongst the thousands of tourists that crowd the large cities in July and August. I also kept in mind that the larger cities tend to be more expensive (in terms of food, accommodations etc). Plus, Rome is accessible from anywhere in Italy, and easy to get to by train. The beach factor was an important criterion for me, and the south of Italy has some of the most beautiful beaches. While searching for schools I found the Accademia Leonardo (www.accademialeonardo.com or www.accademialeonardo.it) school in Salerno. Salerno is a city in the south of Italy at the tip of the Amalfi Coast. It is not bombarded with mass tourism and close to the beautiful beaches, and of course, the island of Capri. I began e-mailing them immediately with questions pertaining to the courses, the accommodations etc. They had always responded almost immediately considering the 6 hour time difference, and responded with pleasure. After a few e-mails, my decision was made. They had made the arrangements for my accommodations (an apartment, which was A LOT cheaper than a hotel…especially in July!) and a pick-up service from the train station. I just had to get there.
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