Category Archives: Florence College Two

Italian for the Over 50s

Study Italian in FlorenceBrenda Evans
Two weeks in Florence
Italian for the Over 50s

A wonderful experience.  The school was excellent, teachers and staff friendly and helpful.  Visits well organised with expert tuition.  Read More »

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Lisa: 2 week Standard Course

Lisa, decided against a Gap Year before University. She still wanted to work on her Italian though and chose to spend 2 weeks in Florence over the summer holiday. She was going to read Medicine, but had done GCSE Italian and wanted to build on this and view the artworks of Italy, before she was completely caught up in her new Uni world! 

     ”I didn’t really know what to expect from a language course abroad, I thought the classroom set up might be similar to the one back home. I was quite surprised to find out that it was a lot different. The classes were smaller, a group of 10 students. This was a big advantage and a lot different to the group size I was used to at school. The lessons were held entirely in Italian too, at first this was a bit daunting but I soon found that I was picking things up and understanding a lot more than I had realised. It is definitely the best way to learn a language. The teachers were also very friendly and always willing to offer assistance when you needed it.
I really liked the school it was in a great location overlooking the city centre and from the classrooms there are great views of the river Arno. Students came from everywhere. I’d been told to expect this by CESA, but I hadn’t really taken it in. I loved the mix of nationalities.
Florence is a fantastic city, there are plenty of things to do or see. Florence is so full of art that it is really difficult to see it all. I had art overload and ended up not seeing as much as I had hoped. I loved Michaelangelo’s David. He’s beautiful! 14 feet tall made from a single slab of marble and absolutely perfect in every detail. I also loved the Bargello Museum where there were more statues from various important Italian artists – including different versions of David. Florence’s Duomo and the neighboring Baptistry, one of Florence’s oldest buildings, were also visited. The Baptistry has famous gilded brass doors. One set was commissioned in 1401 and dubbed the ‘Gates of Paradise’ to mark Florence’s deliverance from the plague. The other: The Gates of Hell.
I spent 3 hours at a time in the Uffizi Museum.  Even if you don’t do anything else cultural in Florence you MUST, MUST, MUST go to the Uffizi!! I made reservations ahead the first time I went and was glad I did. There was a huge line, which did not appear to be moving at all, for the people without reservations. The Uffizi contains loads of famous Italian paintings, you name the artisit, they’re there. I adored the Botticelli works. It was almost too much though. Impossible to take in, in one go.
Ponto Vecchio is interesting because it is a bridge that is lined on both sides with jewellery stores. It has been a jewellers bridge since mediaeval times and therefore has lots of character and feels very old. At night, when the stores are closed, the windows are covered in very old thick wooden shutters. Midway along the bridge, at a statue of Cellini, young couples come to declare their love. They do this by putting a padlock on the railing and throwing the key into the river. Depending on your viewpoint this is either really cute or too bizarre for words!
My accommodation in the shared apartment was great. I was sharing with Italian people, which gave my language skills a boost. The apartment was simple, but had everything I needed. I was lucky mine was only a 10 minute walk to the college, some students were further out.
I have some fantastic memories of my time in Florence and have made some great friends from all over the world. I would definately recommend other students to go and would love to return myself, plans and budget permitting!
Thanks CESA for making this possible for me!?”

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Katie Allen: 1 week Standard Course

I had a good idea of what to expect from the course from the brochures that were sent to me. I expected fairly intensive morning lessons coupled with activities later in the day. I was pleasantly surprised to meet people of various ages and cultures. I felt both the language course itself and the extra activities were just a good as I had hoped.

They were very informative and it was good how the lessons were planned so we did not spend too long on one thing. The teacher made a big effort to include everyone in discussions and I found her to be very approachable.

The school was in a very good location and everybody was friendly and happy to answer any queries I had. I enjoyed meeting other people on the course and exploring the city of Florence. The worst part was that I only had time to come for a week. I would recommend anybody to come for at least two weeks!

The other students on the course were all extremely friendly. I enjoyed the extra activities particularly the wall around Florence. I felt that the amount of lessons per day was about right and having them in the morning was good because it left the rest of the day free.

Florence is a beautiful city, ideal for a language course. There were plenty of restaurants which were reasonably priced and the local people were generally very friendly and helpful. There were opportunities to speak Italian in shops and restaurants; however most of the locals spoke English. Being very much a tourist city, Florence has a safe atmosphere.

There was a lovely atmosphere in Florence, particularly in squares which are filled with restaurants. A place I particularly liked was the Terraza café at the top of the Rina Centre. I enjoyed a drink there with some of the other students and it offers spectacular views of the city. There is plenty to do in Florence during the day – the city bus tour is probably the best way to see Florence and all its sights.

I actually stayed in a hotel ‘Relais Il Cestello’ however as it was very traditional and run by a family so it was a bit like staying with a family. It was also in an excellent location, just down the road from the school.

The staff at CESA were all very helpful.

I would definitely recommend the course and visiting Florence. I loved seeing all the sight of not only Florence but nearby towns: Siena, San Giovanni, Fiesole and Viareggio. I would definaly go to this part of Italy again.

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