Learn Italian in Florence: 7 Best Language Schools to Study On Location
If you want to sculpt your language skills into an Italian capolavoro (masterpiece), we’ll tell you exactly how to do that in Italy’s city of art, Florence.
As a foreigner, it’s not always easy to tell language schools apart, so we’ve done our homework and found seven fantastic Italian language schools in Florence that you can trust.
Luckily, most of them offer plenty of extracurricular opportunities so you can get the most out of all the city has to offer and improve your Italian at the same time!
- 1. Parola
- 2. Instituto Il David
- 3. Lorenzo de’ Medici
- 4. Centro Machiavelli
- 5. Centro Koiné
- 6. Accademia Europa di Firenze
- 7. ABC School
- Why You Should Learn Italian in Florence
One of the most popular language schools in Florence, Parola has been around for almost 30 years.
There are several different course options depending on what your study goals are. You can take language courses in a private setting, in a group or combined. Other options include courses for au pairs, for families and for pronunciation.
One of the most appealing parts of this school is that you can also learn other things such as cooking, drawing, painting or fashion paired with your Italian language classes. What better way to take advantage of everything that Florence has to offer?
The school is located near Piazza Santa Croce and is walking distance from many museums and historical locations in the city. You can choose the length of how long you’d like to study, usually ranging from one to four weeks, so you can enjoy the rest of your time while in Florence.
2. Instituto Il David
Another great and popular option is Instituto Il David, which is also in the center of Florence near Piazza della Repubblica. It was founded in 1983.
This is a good option if you’d like a school with structured language courses. You can choose between two, four and six hours of lessons per day, with the classes usually beginning on a Monday.
There are six to twelve people per class and you can choose how many weeks you would like to study. There’s also the possibility to book classes on arts and crafts, Italian cooking, art history, fashion and business.
For arts and crafts, you can choose classes such as furniture restoration, leatherworking and much more with local artisans. These classes are usually in the afternoon and you need to enquire about them separately based on the artisans’ schedules.
The school is also happy to help you with information regarding cultural events around the city and Italy as a whole. It also offers a booking service for the museums so you can enjoy Florence to the fullest!
3. Lorenzo de’ Medici
Named after a member of the famous noble family, Lorenzo de’ Medici is a school that lives up to the sophistication of its name.
It offers over 500 courses in more than 38 areas of study. Italian is only a small part of what they offer. It’s been accredited by the Italian ministry of education as well as the US government and has been awarded the European Quality Certification by the EU.
So, what does Lorenzo de’ Medici offer students of Italian? Basically, the whole package. Lorenzo de’ Medici knows that learning doesn’t always happen in the classroom, so expect to be taken to markets and shops, read newspapers, watch movies and interact with modern Italian culture as part of your course.
The main campus and housing are located in the San Lorenzo neighborhood, a bustling and beautiful part of the city that’s full of opportunities to practice Italian and soak up the culture. The teachers are all qualified and accredited.
4. Centro Machiavelli
Located just a skip away from the Ponte Vecchio, a famous old bridge, Centro Machiavelli can be found in Piazza Santo Spirito.
If a small classroom environment and a family feel in the heart of the city is what you’re looking for, then Centro Machiavelli is the right choice.
This school believes in the communicative teaching method, which means you’ll be learning grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation through the act of conversation. Real Italian teachers guide the process, which all takes place in small groups.
The typical school day lasts about four hours, which gives students plenty of time to explore the city. If you prefer guided events, Centro Machiavelli offers a long list of cultural activities such as tours, history seminars, visits to local artisan shops, excursions and much more.
Are languages not your thing? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to study Italian, but your significant other isn’t into it. At Centro Machiavelli, those who want to study something else can choose from cooking classes, music lessons and art history courses, among other options.
5. Centro Koiné
If you’re into Italian art history, you may want to study at Centro Koiné. Located in the historic Borgo Santa Croce, it’s only a few minutes from the resting places of Michelangelo, Rossini, Galileo and Machiavelli.
Centro Koiné itself is accredited by the Italian ministry of education and has won four consecutive customer satisfaction awards from LanguageCourse.
This school believes in small class sizes and using just as much culture as language training in their courses. Koiné doesn’t operate a typical classroom. Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles and explore their own passions in an Italian context. You won’t be limited to books and paper but will be pushed to explore music, art, history and current events in Italian.
Centro Koiné has a standard package that includes 20 hours of lessons per week with plenty of cultural extras. But if you’re ready for a true adventure, Centro Koiné also offers lessons in the countryside while hiking or on boats exploring islands off the coast!
6. Accademia Europa di Firenze
The Accademia Europa di Firenze (AEF) is a center of Italian language and culture in Florence. The variety of courses offered in one location make this school a great choice for a family or group holiday.
They offer a wide range of professionally instructed courses on all aspects of Italian culture including art, dance, music and of course, the Italian language.
AEF is also great for travelers who want to study at their own pace, as they offer a number of different tracks to choose from. Those who want more free time can choose a course of 12 or 24 one-on-one lessons. Others can take group classes starting at 40 lessons for two weeks.
AEF guarantees at least 10 hours a week of afternoon post-lesson activities that students can attend free of charge. These include museum visits, film screenings and river rafting trips.
7. ABC School
The ABC School is located in a classical Renaissance-era building in the center of Florence. Almost a museum itself, the nine classrooms in the Palazzo Malvisi are covered in period frescos.
But that’s not the most special aspect of this school. The ABC school is one of the most student-centric schools we’ve come across. They limit their class sizes to just eight students while most other reputable schools set their limit at 12. They also write and edit all of their own course materials. If that doesn’t show dedication, then we don’t know what does.
ABC School also offers Italian holiday courses. These courses cater to those who want to study and enjoy a vacation. One consists of 10 lessons per week and five lunches with a teacher in a Tuscan trattoria. Another is a honeymoon package. Another still is designed specifically for families with children.
Students taking any course will also have the possibility to participate in any of the integrated cultural activities that the school organizes in the afternoon.
Why You Should Learn Italian in Florence
When it comes to boosting your Italian skills while enjoying a dream holiday, you can’t do much better than Florence.
Is it the best place to immerse yourself in the full-on, hardcore Italian experience? Probably not. But for those who aren’t looking for an intensive experience, or for those who may only have a week or two a year for vacation, Studying Italian in Florence is the ideal choice.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Plenty of language schools: Florence is full of great Italian schools that offer a wide range of courses. Most allow you to choose your own intensity or get private lessons, so you’ll have all the free time you need. Schools also organize tours, excursions and cultural lessons based around food, art, music and more.
- Florence is well connected: Florence is the central hub of tourism and commerce in Italy. Because of this, it’s very easy to travel from Florence to other parts of Italy. Italy’s high-speed trains make for great day trips, and from Florence, you can reach cities like Rome, Venice or Milan in just a few hours.
- An explosion of culture: Florence is full of Italian art, culture, food, wine, music and much more. In your free time, visit the Uffizi Gallery, catch a classical music performance in the Basilica di San Marco or savor the local flavors which include papardelle pasta and the famous lampredotto, a sandwich made with beef stomach!
- The chance to speak with real Italians: There are a lot of tourists in Florence, but the locals still appreciate it when you speak Italian. You’ll be able to take what you learn in your lessons and apply it in the real world immediately. There’s no better way to learn than through immersion!
Your Italian will bloom in the city of lilies. Don’t let your time in Florence go to waste. When you’re free, try to take in the city as the locals do.
Even if you’re just having a holiday, if you study Italian in Florence, you’re sure to experience the effects of immersion. Those don’t just include improved language skills but also a love for the city that can become a part of you, if even for a short time.