If you’re thinking of heading to Italy this summer, here are our top locations to learn Italian (and keep cool)…
In Mediterranean countries such as Italy, August is traditionally a month where city dwellers pack up and head to the beach to escape the heat. Whilst this means that large cities are less crowded than at other times of the year, and that accommodation is less expensive, it does also mean that many shops and restaurants are closed.
Most of Italy’s seaside resorts are at their most crowded in July and August, but this gives the towns a really lively atmosphere – and if you do a language course, you won’t have the normal struggle to secure accommodation as this is arranged on your behalf. If you do opt for an Italian language course at one of the prime beach resorts in Italy, it’s wise to get booked up as early as possible.
We offer a wide range of Italian courses in Italy, and here are our top picks if you’re planning to go this summer.
You might not be the only one thinking that heading to Italy’s coast is a good idea in the summer – in fact, you should expect to share beach space with a good number of Italians who holiday in Tropea – but the crowds are a small price to pay for a slice of Tropea in summertime. This small, attractive town perched on a cliff above the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea in southern Italy boasts a stunning piece of coastline, with white sandy beaches stretching in both directions – making it a real ‘holiday’ for those who want to sunbathe or cool off in the sea after class. Back in town there are plenty of cosy trattorias and a lively local marketplace, but Tropea remains small-town Italy at heart. The excellent school here offers a varied activities programme to help you make the most of your time whilst learning Italian in Tropea: there’s sure to be plenty going on around the Italian holiday of Ferragosto on 15th August.
Situated on a terrace of Mount Tauro, overlooking the sparkling Ionian Sea and with spectacular views of Mount Etna to the west, it’s easy to see why Taormina has been attracting visitors for so long. Its beautiful sandy beaches and balmy climate also go some way to explaining its popularity! Taormina has more to offer than the average beach resort, every summer playing host to the internationally renowned arts festival ‘Taormina Arte’. During the festival there are some fantastic shows and events to enjoy, all of which promise a great insight into Italian culture and plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the language.
3. Island of Elba
The island of Elba is less well-known than islands such as Sardinia and Sicily, but it’s equally as beautiful. A relatively small island, Elba is situated off the Tuscan coast and is home to some beautiful bays and stunning natural scenery. Outside Italian lessons, students are able to sit on the beach, have a go at a range of watersports, explore the island’s walking and cycling trails, or visit sites such as the Museo Archeologico and the Palazzina dei Mulini, the official residence of Napoleon and his sister Paolina. The island of Elba has got to be one of Italy’s best-kept secrets and you’ll certainly leave feeling priviliged to have experienced all that it has to offer.
Undoubtedly one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, Verona is brimming with history. Unsurpringly, it’s a really popular tourist destination, which ensures a steady stream of visitors and lots to entertain them all year round. Amongst the most popular tourist attractions are the mythical balcony at Casa di Giulietta and the Roman amphitheatre in the city centre. It is this particular attraction which forms the backdrop to the annual summer opera season, which draws thousands and thousands of visitors. Although opera is the highlight, there are also rock concerts and jazz performances throughout the summer to ensure that all tastes are catered for…there are few better ways to spend a warm summer’s afternoon or evening than in a pretty city, enjoying fine food and drink, surrounded by music.
Tuscany isn’t particularly well known for its beaches – you might think you’re more likely to head here for rolling landscapes and fine food and wine – but, just north of Pisa, the resort of Viareggio is one of northern Italy’s most popular, especially amongst Italians. With its roots dating back to the 16th century, the town has plenty of history and its faded pastel façades combined with classic Italian elegance lend something of a retro feel to it. Viareggio is famous the world over for its extravagant Carnival celebrations at Easter, but come summer most people are here to enjoy the 10km of sandy beaches or cultural events including the Puccini Festival (this year celebrating its 60th year) and the Gaber Festival that attracts high-profile Italian musicians.
Cactus offers a wide range of Italian courses in Italy. Prepare yourself for your trip by learning the basics or brushing up on existing knowledge with a part-time or evening course in Italian in the UK.