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Postcard - Studying Italian in Bologna with Bolognalingua
Language classes in Bologna with Andrea Quarantotto of Bolognalingua
I understand a lot of Italian but had never studied grammar, except for a few very basic beginning classes at our local junior college. My dream was to study Italian in Italy! There were so many choices of where and how to go about this. I decided on Bologna for three reasons:
Andrea and I corresponded by email for almost a year before I arrived in Bologna in May, 2010. He was most helpful and flexible on dates, and asked only for a $100 "deposit" (a check he would never cash, and would return to me when I arrived).
Andrea will help students find an apartment or B&B if they prefer. He has three different options for study programs. I chose to do three hours of class each morning Monday through Friday, with three afternoon activities per week. The lessons can take place at Andrea's home, or he will come to you!
My afternoon activities included a visit to a beautiful borgo and abbey in the hills outside of Bologna, a visit to the charming town of Dozza with its painted murals and regional wine enoteca, a tour of a parmigiano producer, and a tour of a balsamico producer in Modena. Andrea also took me and my two guests to Ravenna. He is quite knowledgeable about sights in central Bologna, as well as local restaurants and shops. I enjoyed two fabulous meals, prepared by his wife, Daniela, at their home, and had an opportunity to meet two other students studying Italian with a colleague of Andrea's.
On our first day of class, Andrea took a bus to my apartment, and walked me to the bus stop to accompany me back to his house to learn the route. We chatted and he geared my instruction to my needs. I was unusual, in that my comprehension and vocabulary were much more than that of a beginner, but I was at square one for grammar. Very little English was spoken from that point on. We used no book, but I took pages of notes, and Andrea gave me many handouts and homework worksheets. We covered all the basics, of grammar as well some reading, writing, and of course correct usage and pronunciation. By the end of the week, I was having conversations, practicing with many verbs and trying to master pronouns, plurals and possessives. Each lesson included time for questions, review of skills recently taught, and new materials. Week two and three we concentrated on past tense, and irregular verbs, with more reading and writing, and converting recipes! That was right up my alley!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Andrea and his gracious wife, Daniela! Study times were fun and relaxed, with lots of laughter, and information about Bologna, Italian culture in general, as well as language skills. We took a "coffee break" each day with conversation about the previous day's activities, meals, and travel stories. Andrea was encouraging, supportive, thoughtful and kind; yet he challenged me to learn more, even when my brain was ready to explode. He used much repetition and drill to reinforce the skills I was learning.
Due to a holiday, and having guests visit, I had a total of 11 days of language study. I learned so much in those sessions, it was an amazing experience. I am much more comfortable in speaking conversationally, and my vocabulary is much larger. Andrea really went above and beyond all expectations to make sure my needs were met, and to insure I had a wonderful stay in Bologna. Andrea and Daniela have become friends, and I hope to see them again soon in Bologna! I HIGHLY recommend, Bolognalingua as the perfect way to study the Italian language.
www.bolognalingua.com: Bolognalingua, courses in Italian language and culture in Bologna
Slow Travel Classified Listing: Bolognalingua, Italian language lessons in Bologna
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