Istituto Italiano: Learn Italian

By Ilona Kauremszky

FLORENCE, Italy -"Buongiorno!" shouts our teacher as she hurries to the front of the class. There are four of us sitting nervously behind huge tables in an ancient room that overlooks a courtyard in the center of Florence.

As I struggled to study Italian two hours a day, three days a week for an entire month, il professore gave me a reassuring smile.

The Florentines proudly claim the origins of the Italian written language and the Renaissance. With the consolidation of the european community, italian-language classes are experiencing a lively renaissance. You can find them advertised everywhere. Young girls come here specifically to be au pairs, while diplomats and businessmen send their children to local campuses.

I, too, jumped on the language bandwagon!

The Istituto Italiano is on Piazzo del Duomo. The classes are intense, but diverse, depending on your level. Like other language classes, the teacher speaks directly to you. But, Istituto Italiano uses a special approach based on music principles. Classes are called Classico and Superintensivo.

"All the other disciplines stem from music, if you think about it," says school founder Stefano Burbi, who is also an established composer/conductor. Without making a chore of learning Italian, teachers plan day trips to neighboring towns, and of course, dinners in local restaurants.

If you're budgeting your time, but still want to "parlare," there is a quick two-hour class on Tuscan wines for 75 euro dollars. Otherwise, classes vary from 30 euros to 1,220 euros.

"I want my students to learn Italian as they work, play and talk to each other on the street," smiles Dr. Burbi.

Istituto Italiano - Corsi di Lingua e Cultura Italiane Ufficialmente riconosciuto dal Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione Istituto Italiano - Italian Language and Culture Courses Officially recognized by the Italian Ministry of Public Education

For more information visit: Istituto Italiano or write:

Istituto Italiano
Via Martelli 4 50129
Firenze - Italy

Tel. +39 055 2654510 - Fax +39 055 2728390 e-mail:


photo: Stephen Smith

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