Welcome, World! Come In And Join Me In My Italian Online Course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci

Twice a week, I’m participating in an Italian online course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci via Zoom – and welcoming classmates from all over the world to my humble living room.

Woman behind a laptop promoting learning online
Approaching my goal of being fluent in ten languages before kicking the bucket.

Getting Ready

It’s such a depressing time. All our fun activities are so limited. Particularly those that we enjoy in the company of others. It’s a sad time.

Nevertheless, whatever happens, there are two afternoons that I look really forward to. Every Monday and Wednesday at around 3 o’clock, I make myself a big glass of tea. Mostly Lady Grey, sometimes a luxurious apple-flavored infusion by Fortnum and Mason. Special occasions require special beverages.

Once the rich aroma of the freshly brewed drink lingers in the air, I sit down in a cozy corner of my Chippendale sofa and place my laptop carefully on the broad backrest. I adjust it so that my reflection doesn’t either resemble a pear or my chin looks like I’m impersonating a turkey. When I’m halfway happy with my appearance, I click on a link the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Florence sent me.

Italian Online Course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci on Mobile
Zoom, WhatsApp, and tea – all I need for an efficient Italian class.

On my screen, a new window opens and Zoom informs me that Antonella will let me join the meeting in a moment. And yes, there she is, my sophisticated Italian teacher that I’ve known in person during my recent stay in Florence. There she is, together with about eight to ten other eager Italian learners from around the world who are now entering our virtual classroom one after another.

Welcome, World! Come In And Join Me In My Italian Online Course

Obviously, you can learn any language in every country. But as you are learning in your hometown, mostly your compatriots are studying with you. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, learning in the language’s country of origin usually brings together folks from many different places.

To me, this adds major charm and inspiration to the whole thing.

Learning online is a nice combination: You don’t have to leave home and still, you get to meet all those interesting people from around the globe.

Muriel got recently married to her Italian fidanzato. She shares wedding pictures in our WhatsApp group and we are cheering congratulations at our computer cameras: “Auguri! Auguri!

Married couple clinking glasses on the Piazza Venezia, wearing masks
Getting married in Italy in 2020: Somewhat cute – but also kinda pathetic.

Normally, Antonella uses this group for informing us and supplying us with worksheets for the upcoming lessons.

Albert is joining us from his New York apartment that we never get to see since he’s mounting pictures of different places in Italy as his Zoom background. This way, before we begin our class, we try to find out what landmark we are exactly looking at. It’s nice since this allows us to see at least a tiny piece of Bella Italia.

Laura is from Argentina, but she joins us basically every week from a different location. New York, Rio, Tokyo – I wonder how she’s travelling so much in times like these; and I envy her from the bottom of my heart.

Dora is a doctor from Texas and I really need to ask her one of these days what this bizarre piece of furniture is that I can see standing to her left. It’s black and round and could be either a very modern cat house or some fancy newspaper rack. Next week, I’ll definitely ask.

Teach-In

Once we’ve found out what we are looking at behind Albert, the class begins. We are checking the last lesson’s homework and practicing the congiuntivo presente and passato. We are advanced learners, nevertheless, we are far from being perfect and sometimes we smatter in a hilarious way.
We are reading texts, filling blanks, and discussing issues. It’s almost like in a conventional classroom, only a bit cozier with my tea on my sofa.

I must admit that I’ve been always a bit skeptical when it came to online learning. Somehow I thought it wouldn’t be as efficient and rather pointless. But I definitely stand corrected.

None of us can hide on a school bench all the way in the back. Antonella not only keeps a close eye on all of us. She also keeps us on our toes with questions, revisions, and improvements.

Although the 90 minutes are great fun and bring some Italian sunshine into my autumnal life, the class is by far not shallow and actually very productive.

Italian Online Course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci on a Screen
Filling the blanks online.

As she mostly does, Antonella overruns a couple of minutes. It’s already past five o’ clock as her image suddenly freezes. First, we don’t realize what happened since she’s frozen in a wise thinker-position hence we believe she’s just….thinking.

But no, somehow the connection seems to be disrupted. Since the imaginary school bell rang minutes ago, we call it a day class and bid farewell. Ciao, Dora! Salve, Albert! Arrivederci, Laura! Good night, John-Boy! Oh no, wait, he’s not our classmate, however, we say goodbye in this signature Walton Mountain style before a final click on leave meeting.
Ci vediamo mercoledí, we’ll meet again next Wednesday!

Things Are Not As They Should Be

Things are the way they are and even if there wasn’t Covid, unfortunately, I couldn’t spend months and months leisurely exploring Florence after practicing some Italian at school. I have a life, and it’s not the life of a noble’s idle daughter. Even without Covid, I had to stay in Hamburg at this time of the year.

People participating Italian Online at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci on Mobile
My virtual classroom.

So it’s a good thing that Scuola Leonardo da Vinci is offering this excellent opportunity to either prolong or to prepare your Italian holiday from home at least twice a week.

View of the Brunelleschi's Cupola from the classroom in Florence.
Nevertheless, nothing beats learning with a view: Brunelleschi’s Cupola seen from the Scuola’s classroom in Florence.

I say at least since they are also offering intensive courses online which take place for more than three hours daily for four weeks.
Wow!
While I enjoyed my intensive class in person when I was in Italy, I don’t see myself spending three hours in front of a computer screen shouting my freshly learned Italian out to the world from home. There is simply too much other stuff I have to take care of.

The Full Package

So after a couple of Italian classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Rome, Florence, and Milan, I’m now joining Antonella and my classmates on the computer placed on my sofa’s backrest.

Door of the Italian School Scuola Leonardo da Vinci
At this moment, the Scuola’s doors at their locations in Italy are locked.

Scuola Leonardo da Vinci is a very experienced and professional institution if you want to learn Italian. They offer a wide variety of different classes for all levels – at their schools in Rome, Milan, Florence, and Siena as well as on the World Wide Web.

If you are interested in taking Italian classes, but you’re insecure about how to join, don’t worry. The friendly and efficient ladies at the Scuola’s offices can arrange literally everything for you.

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

Tickle Your Fancy

The school offers also specialized classes for advanced learners such as Italian cooking and fashion or a Learn and Go-program where for three hours, you explore the city with a private teacher. Obviously, the latter is hardly possible online. Nevertheless, apart from the standard courses, the school’s good’n’ingenious people offer an amazing portfolio of lessons specialized in the history of art, fashion, news, culinary, literature, and others. Just check out their fantastic timetable!

Yes, Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, you are bringing joy and light in these dark times.

It’s like opening the window and let a fresh breeze in. The one that shuffles all your papers. Watching them swirl through the room is so light, vibrant, and fun.

Nevertheless, I cannot wait to return to Italy – speaking a brushed and shiny Italiano that you’ve taught me online.

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Disclaimer: Scuola Leonardo da Vinci invited my to join their advanced online course. However, all opinions on their services 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.

51 Replies to “Welcome, World! Come In And Join Me In My Italian Online Course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci”

  1. We have ordered Rosetta Stone from our local library so that we can finally start to learn some Spanish over the next few weeks.
    Is Spanish one of the many languages you speak? If so, do you have a favorite software?

    1. Yes, Rudy, I’m fluent in Spanish because I used to live in Honduras – and once you learn it, there are sooo many beautiful places where you can practice; so my favorite ‘software’ are Peruvians, Colombians, Mexicans,…. 😀

  2. Sounds like a great way to learn Italian, especially given the circumstances of these times. It always makes me happy to see people still managing to get together although online.

  3. What a great investment of your time in learning a new language online, it’s true it’s a different experience when you have people from across the world converge to learn together!

  4. This is so productive, it’s always a bit strange when your learning online in stead of face to face.

  5. Wow you are so productive to be using this time to learn a language. I really should be doing the same with German, but I find learning languages extremely difficult and not nearly as fun as you seem to have with learning Italian.

  6. A great idea for the lockdown time. I am very inspired by your story about learning Italian. I think I’ll try this way with Spanish.

  7. I love the sound of this. I’m learning Spanish & it’s not been as easy since we haven’t been able to meet in person but I do enjoy my Zoom classes each week when I immerse myself in the language every morning. I took lessons in Cuba & Dominican Republic which I loved but at home it’s always been 1:1. I love the idea of settling down with your classmates twice a week though. I bet your Italian is developing really well as a result.

  8. What a fun experience! After studying French for many years, I’m generally able to pick get the gist of other romance languages if I see them written. However, speaking is a whole other story! The company I work for is based in South America, and I’m trying to pick up some Spanish. It’s w-a-y different than French to pronounce!

  9. I give you a lot of credit for learning a new language during this strange year. We wanted to do that and have not made much progress. And Italian is probably the top language we would want to learn. I love the idea of using Zoom to get practice. Just language apps would not be enough for me. I might have to check out the offering at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci.

    1. No, the apps are good if you want to survive – learning requires a lot more than just some vocabulary. Howsoever, good luck! 🙂

  10. Its good to see that online classes are ensuring that there is plenty of interactivity, that’s always my concern for online learning. Looks like a great option to learn Italian!

  11. Love this! Since I’ve been unable to travel much this year, I’ve been teaching myself Italian, but now I really should start speaking. I’ve always been a bit sceptical about online learning – I’m not comfortable on the phone and zoom etc but 2021 is all about conquering that fear and anyway, what would be the point of learning a language but never using it! I’ll check this school out! Maybe one day, we may even be in the same class lol

    1. When it comes just to the language, I could do it by myself. However, in times like these, the group thing is a big part of it 🙂

  12. I have been thinking about taking some online courses, but just like everyone else I am just not getting anything done… but I would love to sign up to learn a new language. What could be a better inspiration before we are able to tavel again?!

  13. This was a great read for me, to see online language classes from a student’s perspective, since for the past two months I’ve been teaching Hungarian online. I wasn’t so sure about the online setting at first, and we had a few challenges in the beginning (like my computer freezing early in one of the classes), but I ended up enjoying it. Italian is one of the languages I don’t speak yet, I’ll bookmark your post for reference in case I ever want to learn it, sounds like a great place to do it.

    1. Yes, I guess most of us had to adapt to this new way of learning. Hungarian…that’s quite difficult, I assume, since it doesn’t compare to any language I’m already speaking 😉

  14. You have made a nice language course. I have been struggling with every language as long as it is not my mother tongue. Perhaps the learning method is an issue. I would recommend this way to those who would like to learn Italian.

  15. How times have changed in language learning where you used to have to go to the language lab across campus to listen to tapes. I love technology!

    1. This is so funny that you are mentioning this since that’s exactly what I remembered the other day: First French lessons at the language lab…wohoo – state of the art 😀

  16. It is fantastic that you have put this “down” time to such good use and I am sure that the lessons have also helped to make you feel more connected to the rest of the world. Have you done the cooking class yet? I’d be doing that for sure (if I could understand what they were saying).

  17. Scuola Leonardo da Vinci sounds good, but do you really believe that online is better than in-person?

    1. No, I don’t. The best way is to take a course in the country – that combo is unbeatable. However, not possible at this moment.

  18. Learning new languages isn’t easy. I am trying to learn French and I find it so difficult to build on the vocabulary and the pronunciation. I am glad that you found an interactive online course as it becomes easy to learn a language with a teacher.

    1. Yes, the pronunciation in Italian is far easier than in French. On the other hand, French is spoken in many more countries, so that might be motivating 😉

  19. Languages are not something I naturally go towards with a desire to learn them. However, I have realized that I am pretty good at them. This is such a fun opportunity to learn and add something new to your life even during a pandemic. Thank you for sharing!

  20. I’m learning French right now. I’m still trying to choose between Spanish and Italian when I’m done. I’ll note this. Thanks.

  21. It’s great you have something to look forward to during the pandemic. And next year, when we can travel, your Italian trip will be fantastica (I hope that’s the right word!)

  22. This is a great way to still keep teaching during the pandemic and connect with other people. It must be difficult to try and get everyone to be a bit more upbeat in class since they’re all in their own homes and not interacting in person. I like that the school offers a variety of classes as well!

    1. Actually, we are very motivated. I think that’s the advantage when people are learning voluntarily – much different from what I remember from school 😉

  23. A great post. This sounds a fantastic class and I love your enthusiasm for learning. Won’t it be wonderful to be back in Italy and being able to practice everything you have learned. Let us hope that day isn’t too far away.

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