Back to School: Italian Classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in 2020

Taking Italian Classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in 2020, the year of a pandemic, is definitely a distinctive experience.

The Fountain of the Books in Rome
Quenching the thirst for knowledge at the Fountain of the Books.

Whereby, I find that taking a language class in another country is a very special experience at any time and a grand opportunity for everyone. Not only can you practice what you have learned right on the spot – which will hopefully be an encouraging encounter. It also grants you the opportunity to experience life from a whole different perspective.

Evidently, if you are young, just finished school, or prepare for studies or a job where the language is required, studying Italian in Italy will be this exciting, eye-opening yet mind-blowing adventure. As they say: When in Rome….

If you are older – like me – going back to school for some time and living with a guest family will beam you back to your high school years. Just like it’s never too late to become an au pair-girl, you’re never too old to be a freshman – or, in my case, a freshwoman; and a fresh woman I am…

Hence, taking Italian Classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Italy will be either a maturing process or a rejuvenizing experience.
Either way, you’ll have the time of your life!

When in Rome

Everything is Different

2020. The year that will go down in history as one of the worst pandemics ever.

After I had come back from a careless tour through Argentina, things were changing quickly and drastically. People got sick. People were dying. Actions I had never heard of before became my everyday routines. It was hardly allowed to leave the house. We had to walk on designated trails in parks. Everybody had to wear a face mask – something we had always made fun of when we saw Asian tourists.
There were even new expressions. I now had to social distance.

Married couple clinking glasses on the Piazza Venezia, wearing masks
Dolce vita despite COVID19: A young couple clinking glasses right on the Piazza Venezia in the heart of Rome. That’s the spirit!

In this apocalyptic situation, never had I thought of being able to travel beyond the closest supermarket.

But then, in Summer, things got a bit better. Not good. And by no means normal. But better.
I was still wearing a facemask and practiced social distancing.
But I was allowed to do so in a wider radius. I was allowed to travel. A bit. Italy included.

Still hardly believing in my newly recovered freedom, I hesitantly booked flights.
To Rome.
Then, back from Naples.

In the six weeks before my trip, the airline re-routed my flight home from Naples. They simply changed my direct flight into one with a four-hour stopover in Düsseldorf. I then re-booked it completely.
Now, I would travel back from Rome and, sadly, skip Naples altogether. Special times require special measures.

Last Minute

When changing my return flight, I hadn’t realized yet that I didn’t have an outbound flight anymore.
My flight to Rome had been canceled without substitution.
I hadn’t read the mail they sent me. Simple as that.

Only as I tried to check-in online 72 hours before supposed departure, I realized to my biggest surprise that there was no flight to check in.

Panic-stricken, I called the airline. After an eternity on hold, listening to some whipping rock music, a very relaxed dude re-booked me to Milan. That’s actually almost 600 kilometers from Rome.
But at least it’s Italy.
Special times make you special humble

Italian Flag in Rome
Finally in Bella Italia

By the way, for hysteric callers like me, they really should change this energetic muzak to something more soothing.
You rather might wanna put on some Enya, guys.

Fortunately, after a couple of stays, Milan is quite familiar to me. Hence, I didn’t lose time. Right after I landed, I took the coach to the central station. There I bought a train ticket from a machine literally minutes before the departure, paid an exorbitant fare for the last-minute-purchase, raced to the platform like a madwoman, and hopped on a train to Rome.

Nothing Has Changed

I knew my way to school. I had been here eight years ago.

Eight years is a long time, but you don’t forget the moments that touched your heart.
It had been my first language course abroad. The first one of many more to come. I was over 40, nevertheless, I’d felt like 14.
It was high school all over again.

Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome were my way to school when visiting Scuola Leonardo da Vinci
What a glorious way to school: Walking down the Via dei Fori Imperiali towards the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci.

I had stayed with a – very quirky, though – guest mother and went to school every day – before exploring this eternal city.

The legend promises you that you’ll return to Rome if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain. It’s not just an old wive’s tale! Look at me: I’m back!

I had been a good girl for throwing a coin into the famous Trevi Fountain. Hence, I’m back. The legend is true, after all.

Piazza dell’Orologio

There he is. An elderly gentleman in a suit. Wearing his white hair kinda longish. Smoking cigarettes in the hallway. Greeting the students Buongiorno. He’s the concierge. I remember him. From eight years ago.

The Scuola Leonardo da Vinci at Piazza dell'Orologio in Rome
Piazza dell’Orologio – where the school bell is ringing…literally.

The school is still in those old historic structures, obviously. Never built for housing a school. Hence, while the rooms are pretty spacious, the halls are extremely narrow. We all have to be careful. There is this pandemic, after all.

Consequently, there are fewer students than eight years ago. It’s five of us in my slightly advanced course.

Students at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Rome
Even learning in small groups takes place while social distancing. A mask is compulsory, no matter what.
(Photo: Alessandro Savini)

Also, eight years ago, they didn’t take my temperature every morning. As a matter of fact, never have I ever had my temperature taken as often as in Italy in the summer of 2020.

At the school, they do it with a small pistol that they point to your forehead. It feels kind of creepy being shot every time I’m entering a public building at first. But I’m getting used to it.

Door of the Italian School Scuola Leonardo da Vinci
Check your temperature and sanitize your hand before joining your classmates.

At school, you are also requested to disinfect your hands before entering. And, no question, we all have to wear masks.

Masquerade

It’s unnerving wearing a mask during language lessons. There are important elements of communication missing. You don’t see mimics, you cannot really emphasize, you don’t hear everything as clearly as you should.
Forget about reading lips.

Disinfectant at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci where the Italina learners have to disinfect their hands before class.
Preventing the spread by using the disinfectant.

One day, I accidentally wear a really tight mask made of extremely thick layers of cotton. As I speak, my classmates get only muffled sounds. I feel like gagged.

Teacher writes something on the white board.
Note: While the fruits end with an a, the respective tree ends with an o.

Only our teacher is wearing a silly transparent face shield so that we can make out what to repeat after him.
It’s very uncomfortable, nevertheless, it might save lives.

When Italy Gives You Lemons

On my first day of school, it’s raining.

When I was here eight years ago, on enrollment day, there had been large groups of students of all ages from all over the world. United colors of….Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. In 2020, about eight newbies are waiting in line in the warm drizzle in front of the office.

Our slightly advanced class consists of five. On the one hand, this small number of students makes learning efficient and individual questions possible. On the other hand, they, obviously, had to put people together who would belong to different courses.

Slightly advanced can mean very different levels. But understandably, they cannot grant the luxury of custom-made individual classes. Hence, we mangle through the course.

However, although I’m a bit more advanced than most of my classmates, I still learn something new and I take the chance to deepen my knowledge. If you’re willing, you can always profit from a class.

Student at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci writing Italian in an exercise book
Filling the blanks.

Also, on three afternoons, I have private lessons with Rosanna, a short, extremely extroverted babbler from Naples.

No mask can muffle Rosanna’s voice. She calls me Bella despite the fact that she never gets to see my face.

Learning with energetic Rosanna makes me regret my decision of having canceled the last weekend in Naples.

Despite her energetic attitude, she manages to finally make clear why the verb changes in the past in combination with an indiretto.
You have no clue what I’m talking about, right? This exactly was also my problem till now. With Rosanna’s help, I’ve got it.

Moving Up to Florence

What a Difference a Day City Makes

After an instructive and inspiring week in Rome with my time thoroughly shared between my Italian class in the morning and tons of cultural education at landmarks’n’museums in the afternoons, I hit the road rail again. The following week I’ll obey the same routine up north in Florence: Italian in the morning, cultural glory in the afternoon.

River Arno in Florence
River Arno dividing the Queen of the Renaissance.

Surprisingly, Florence is a whole different story. I remember it being more serene and sophisticated. Well, while it’s definitely beautiful – to say the least – it’s far from being serene right now.

There are many more tourists here than there were in Rome. Consequently, it’s busier, pushier, fuller. Locals are much less friendly than they were in the Eternal City.
Funny, according to what I remember, it used to be the other way around. Somehow, in 2020, everything seems to be upside down.

To see the iconic exhibitions in Florence, you definitely should make a reservation well ahead.

Also, the school is very different from the one in Rome. Yes, they are also taking my fever and I have to sanitize my hands – and even my seat after class. But it’s far more business as usual.
Simply because there are far more students.
Classes are bigger and, therefore, they are able to adjust them to the students’ needs.

Also, instead of private lessons, I’m taking my mandatory additional classes in the afternoon with a small group of other students.
Actually, I liked both.

Eat, Pray, Learn

Also, my housing situation is very different.
In Rome, I was renting a room at an elderly lady’s spacious apartment. We shared the kitchen, but I even had my own bathroom. Although it was not a designated family stay, we did chat a bit and shared a laugh. She, being highly educated and sophisticated, kept correcting my Italian which I actually appreciated. I think talking to her helped me smooth away some of these wicked little errors that you make automatically and subconsciously so that it’s really hard to get rid of them. Only if another person is ready to pester you time and again, at some moment, your subconscious gives up and henceforth you say it correctly. Well, signora Paola was a real language-trooper and very ready to fight my subconscious to the end.

As I get to Florence, there is another student at the flat waiting for me. She’s in her fifties and in a difficult place in her life. Hence, she decided to take a break and learn Italian in Florence. Of course, this reminds me immediately of Eat, Pray, Love.
What is it that makes women at difficult points in their life choosing to learn Italian? I’ve never heard of anyone learning Danish, Polish, or Arabic when in distress.

Since she’s been there already for two weeks, she, understandably and annoyingly, occupies two large rooms while I’m moving into a tiny, dark maid’s quarter resembling rather a cell. I think of Savonarola, the scandalous Dominican friar who lived in a small cell at the Convent of San Marco. So mine is a very traditional Florentine housing situation, after all.

In The Middle Of The Action

Although I feel much less comfortable in this flat than in my Roman room, it certainly has its pros. First of all, it’s a five minutes walk to school. Then, it’s a five minutes walk to the world’s famous Duomo.

View of the Brunelleschi's Cupola from the classroom in Florence.
Learning with a view: Brunelleschi’s Cupola seen from the classroom in Florence.

It’s also a five minutes walk to David hanging around at the Galleria dell’Accademia. I bet you can hardly mention a point of interest that’s farther than fifteen minutes from the doorstep. Definitely a huge plus.

David Statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
Even David has to sneeze into his elbow.

Besides brushing up my Italian to a level that makes me quite happy, I get to see most of what I had on my list. However, many places such as the legendary Palazzo Pitti are still working on a limited schedule. Since it’s open only in the morning, I actually have to skip class to visit. Didn’t I say it’s like high school all over again?!

Then, at some places like the Galleria dell’Accademia or the Convent of San Marco, entire rooms are closed. That’s very disappointing, however, understandable. And isn’t it a great privilege to be able to travel in these difficult times, anyway? So I’m grateful for what I get to see.

After another far too short week, it’s time to say arrivederci to Florence, too.

Italy, you have been so good to me. A true highlight in 2020, the year that will go down in history as one of the worst pandemics ever.

Back to School

So this was my third Italian course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. The first took also place in Rome, and for the second one, I stayed in Milan. Since they also have schools in Siena and Florence, this time I chose to divide my stay between two cities.

Scuola Leonardo da Vinci is very experienced and professional. They offer a wide variety of different classes for all levels. There is also the possibility to take extra classes, so-called intensive respectively super-intensive courses. Since I participated in a special program organized in Germany, I was obliged to do super-intensive. This way, I’ve really learned a lot, especially since their extra classes in the afternoon were rather designed for conversation.

To Each Their Own

Although six lessons per day is a lot, the school’s out by 2 p. m. which gives you enough time to explore what the cities have to offer. If you take just the standard course, you’re done by noon which, of course, is even more relaxed.

Sculptures at the Musei Capitolini
A room full of legendary philosophers and scientists the Musei Capitolini. Even being an avid learner, a room full of those smart cookies makes me feel like a peasant.

Normally, the school offers also classes with a special focus such as Italian cooking, art, or fashion. However, since right now it’s still a bit slow, I don’t know about that.

Another nice offer is their Learn and Go-program where for three hours, you explore the city with a private teacher. You can do that alone or with up to three people.

What I find very touching are their Discover Your Origins-courses specially designed for descendants of Italian migrants around the world. We all know that notably the society in the United States, as well as Argentina, was shaped by migrants from Italy. So these courses are definitely a great way to explore your roots.
You guys know that also due to my own background the (hi)stories of migration are very, very close to my heart.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Also, during my former stays, there was always something on after school like a guided tour of an exhibition or a church or an Aperitivo in the evening.

Aperol Spritz and potato crisps
One of Italy’s nicest traditions’n’treats: A light Aperitivo before a heavy dinner.

As a determined solo-traveller, I always appreciate these little encounters and opportunities to socialize despite having my personal space’n’freedom.

Well, this time in Rome, there was no cultural or social program. I think it was because there were so few students. Consequently, I enjoyed my casual chats with my landlady signora Paola even more.

San Miniato is a very beautiful church – but the views of Florence from the churchyard are even more impressive!

In Florence, however, was at least a bit going on. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to join the guided tour of the San Miniato al Monte, but I participated with great pleasure in the Aperitivo organized by my teacher Antonella.

Students of the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Florence during an Aperitivo
Students from Scotland, France, Austria, the United States, and Germany practicing in the evening during an Aperitivo the Italian language that Antonella – on the right – had thought them in the morning.

The Full Package

If you are interested in taking Italian classes, but you’re insecure about how to organize your stay, don’t worry. The friendly and efficient ladies at the Scuola’s office are accommodating and can arrange literally everything for you – starting with an airport pick-up if you wish.

After a placing test, they advise you which class would be your best choice and help you with every little detail.

Bistecca Fiorentina in Florence
Sampling a Florentine classic, the famous Bistecca Fiorentina. Prepare yourself for a pound of finest beef.

If you don’t want to arrange your housing yourself, you can choose from a variety of reasonably priced lodging options. Either you pick a real homestay where you’re kind of living with the family. Or you just rent a room at a local’s home or an individual apartment. There you have your private room, obviously, and often even an en-suite bathroom. However, you share the kitchen and the communal area either with other students or with your host.

If you want to splurge, they also can arrange a hotel stay.

Two different kinds of pizza
Forget tomato sauce and salami – this is what pizza can look like.

I must say that especially at my rather advanced age, I kind of enjoyed this whole highschool-exchange-student-situation a lot. Having a guest mother when you’re 50 plus is sort of hilarious.

Of course, I went out for dinner more often than at home – it was an Italian vacation, after all. Nevertheless, the option to enjoy the day’s first, self-brewed coffee in bed or just preparing a quick salad in the evening instead of dining out was very convenient.

But that’s just my personal choice and I think it also depends on how long you are staying.
For two weeks, these arrangements were perfect.

How to Get There And Around

Due to the current situation, you’ll have to check how to get to Italy. Air companies are offering much fewer flights – and according to my experience, even confirmed flights get shuffled around as the company pleases. You have to stay pretty flexible which can be a bit nerve-wrecking.

Plane wing above clouds.
Peaceful flight after stressful booking.

Travelling in Italy, I took trains. Worked like a charm.

This being said, I don’t remember train rides being as expensive as they were this time. While regional trains are still quite reasonably priced, the fast trains are a rip-off. I paid almost 100 €uros to get from Milan to Rome in three hours and then over 40 €uros to get from Florence to Rome in one and a half. I could have bought a ticket for about 20 €uros but that train takes something like seven hours.

Renata Green on a train from Milan to Rome
Lots of space for social distancing on trenitalia’s trains. In contrast to the Eurowings-flight which had been packed to the brim.

On the other hand, the trains were absolutely on time, clean, and safe. Actually, there are seats blocked to grant social distancing and every passenger gets a kit with a facemask and some hand sanitizer.

Travel kit provided by trenitalia
What a great service: Complimentary safety – and some refreshing water.

Between most places, trenitalia has an amazing number of connections and their website makes it very easy to find a suitable route and book your ticket right away.

Streetcar in Rome
If you’re tired of walking, you can always hop on Rome’s trams’n’buses.

Within the cities, there is a comprehensive system of public transportation – as basically everywhere in Europe. It’s actually pretty cheap – usually, a ticket is about 1,50 €uro. Still, if your final destination isn’t really far from the city center, it might be even faster to walk. In Rome as well as in Florence, the city center isn’t that big and most points of interest are easily reached walking.

Actually, in Rome, apart from one morning when it was pouring, I walked to school past all those amazing sites like the Fori Romani, the Vittorio Emmanuele II Monument, and the Piazza Navona every day. It took me almost half an hour – but what an inspiring half an hour that was!

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* Disclaimer: On this stay, Scuola Leonardo da Vinci granted me a small discount on my super-intensive course. However, all opinions on their service are mine and were by no means influenced by my cooperation partner. The provided links are a service to my readers. There are no affiliate links in this post.

58 Replies to “Back to School: Italian Classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in 2020”

  1. This was a really interesting read! I’m thinking of learning Spanish and taking the classes in Spain for a more authentic experience. And so I can try out my skills with the locals!

    1. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe this is the only way to really learn how to speak more or less like a local. Also, the surroundings are very motivating to learn even more. After various stays at local language schools, I cannot recommend it enough.

  2. How neat to learn Italian! I’ve often thought about learning a language as an adult. I’m sorry for your misadventures getting to Italy. It reminds me of when I went to Italy-my flight was cancelled 2 weeks before! Thankfully they rebooked me on a flight for the same day. I loved Florence, much more than Rome. Your photos made me relive my trip! I threw a coin into Trevi, so I know one day I will get back to Rome 🙂

    1. Yes, it was an exciting moment finding out that I had no flight 😀 But in the end, everything went well and I had a really good time.
      I also remembered Florence much nicer than Rom, however, this time it was the other side around. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed myself in both places!

  3. Who would have thought we’d be here today! Thanks for sharing your experience, so many people are going through difficult times and it’s just so important to stay positive. I love that you’re learning Italian. It’s such a beautiful language!

  4. As an Italian I loved reading your experience, because looking at my country from the outside with the eyes of others and through the experiences that can be done has really excited me. I hope you my beloved country has not let you down.

  5. Loved reading this post, as it brought back lovely memories of Italy. Of walking for hours in Rome and gazing reverently at David in Florence. But could almost feel the changes wrought by the pandemic and how different the places are in the grip of the pandemic.

  6. Hi Renata. I’m hugely impressed by your blog and the list of places you travelled to. And your motivation and drive. Where are you from? I’m guessing Czech but I could be wrong. Glad I stumbled across this blog. Keep it up! I’m curious to find out more about your journey. I tried to find a page that would say more about you – do you have one? I’m curious:)

    1. You are absolutely right: I was born in Czechia, however, raised in Germany. I’m still fluent in Czech, but my orthography is terrible, hence, I don’t like to write in Czech 😉

      1. Spot on then. So do you travel, blog and learn languages full time? Is that your income? Blogging? Or do you have a job that allows you this freedom?

          1. That’s absolutely fantastic. You have really inspired me. I followed on instagram as @travelmishmash. Hope we can connect there too. And thanks for your comment on my blog post too. I’ll reply when I return from Tioman. I’m here again, lol. This time with no intruders around:)

  7. What a fantastic way to learn a new language! You will be fluent in those 10 different languages in no time! It must have been especially beneficial to stay with a local and be able to chat with her in her language. I have found for me this is the easiest way to learn.

    1. I totally agree: You learn fastest when you’re engaged in some really interesting conversation. That was also the focus of the afternoon classes.

  8. I was actually hoping to go to Italy this summer to perfect my Italian (I took it in school for 6 years as a kid and lost a lot of it), but 2020 had other plans! Maybe in 2022.

    1. Yes, sadly 2020 had other plans for most of us. I initially intended to brush up my Arabic in Morocco – and in the end, I was happy to go at least to Italy 😉

  9. How interesting! I’m a bit jealous of your language learning opportunities, but I also might be a bit intimidated by it. I’m learning a few Italian words on the Duolingo app, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’m so glad you were able to have this immersive adventure!

  10. This is very interesting on two counts. I am learning Italian at the moment and was thinking of doing a course in Italy, but was not sure about how it would work. Also I am due to go to Italy for work soon and I am pleased to see how safe travelling is. Thank you for this post.

  11. First of all its really nice you are learning a new language. I loved the way you spoke about back to school. Secondly the new normal has really changed things, but it is good to see people are positive. I like your zeal.

  12. I love this, it brought back so many memories of my time learning Spanish in both Havana & the Dominican Republic. I am so pleased you were able to do this despite the challenges of 2020, although I’m not quite comfortable about getting on a plane just yet. It sounds like a fantastic experience & especially compared to last time you were there. You can’t beat that immersive experience to learn a language, although I totally understand how hard it must be with facemasks. I take 1 hour a week here & have just progressed from Skype lessons to face to face. No masks required as it’s 1:1 & she sits about 3 metres away from me!

    1. Wow, Spanish in Havana and the Dominican Republic – that sounds very cool, too! Yes, the immersion in the language and culture makes it more exciting – and easier, too.

  13. Holy moly it sounds like you had quite the adventure on your way to mastering yet another language. Nice to see that all of you are keeping up with the social distancing and such 🙂 I’m sure it was nice to be able to go between different cities and listen to different inflections and speeds!

  14. So good that you got a new challenge after the early days of the pandemic in Italy. I am not sure going back to school – even language school – would have been where I would have headed when things opened back up. The schools opening in Canada have caused our numbers to spike again. I am sure it must be much harder to learn a language when everyone’s voices are a bit muffled by masks (or distance). But great that you had Rosanna to help you privately for a bit. But so very cool though that you got to take your lessons in different cities. Good thing you felt safe travelling between cities.

  15. You took me write back to my Spanish lessons in Guatemala. I’ve not thought about it for such a long time. It’s an amazing opportunity to speak another language and communicate with people you otherwise may not. A life long highlight for me. Thanks for bringing the memories back.

  16. This is such a wonderful post coming from a country that was so badly impacted by the coronavirus. Glad to see that tourists are coming back. Though I would still prefer touristfree streets and attractions 😛 I have been thinking of taking cooking classes in Italy for long and your post just made it easier. I would love to reach out to the Scuola’s office, who can take care of my entire trip. Thanks for the information.

    1. Oh, I so hope for you guys that things get under control soon. Actually, we all could need a little normality…. As for the cooking classes – the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci offers a combined cooking-language-course which I find absolutely fab. All the best to you, Archana!

  17. what an incredible experience!! I love italy. It has the best vibe & delicous food! Would be so cool to see so many places tourist free.

    1. As a matter of fact, I was surprised by how many visitors there were in Florence – probably still just a fraction of the normal amount 😉

  18. You have captured beautiful shots of post Covid times in Italy. During initial phase of Covid, it looked Italy has suffered a lot but now it looks everything is returning to normal with social distancing. I loved those young couple clinking the glasses with their masks. I would love to take some cooking class in Italy or any handicraft class.

    1. Well, unfortunately, it’s not really post-Covid yet – and Europe is currently heading in the wrong direction. The school offers also combined language-cooking-classes – basically something for all senses 🙂

  19. That’s awesome that you got to see Italy in these strange times and advance your learning of the language! No doubt that’s the way to go to become more proficient.

  20. That picture of the newly couple gives us high hopes that love is still in the air and can’t stops us for celebrating. Italy is among who also hit hard by the pandemic, and I hope to visit it as soon as we can able to travel. I want to visit more museums, and have a few moments with the real David statue 🙂

  21. This is so insightful in so many ways—as a student learning Italian in Italy, as someone visiting Italy during the pandemic, and as someone who has seen the change in the environment over time. Very enlightening and poignant, as well. I loved that the woman you stayed with in Rome corrected your mistakes—how better to learn? I know I would especially enjoy the Learn and Go and Discover Your Origins courses (as an American of Italian descent). I miss Italy. Thank you for sharing a taste of Italy here. It was just the trip I needed!

  22. We’ve attended French classes in France but would loe to do an Italian class in Rome! The fact you went to the same school again is as glowing a recommendation for the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci as one could ask for! I’m about the same age, and I think would enjoy this kind of learning environment!

  23. Such interesting times and being able to go back and compare your pre covid times to how much everything has changed. We cant wait to get Italy and enjoy everything

  24. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really
    long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say
    superb blog!

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