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    STANDARD COURSE (3-6 students) 20 lessons a week This is perfect for you if you want to combine complete study …

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      If you already know the Italian language, you can combine one of these Italian culture special course with a …

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    (to be combine with a standard or intensive course) ITALIAN NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS It is ideal if you want …

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      We regularly organize refresher courses for small groups of Italian language and culture teachers. If you prefer to attend …

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Dates and Prices

DATES 2020 Italian as foreign language courses start every Monday PRICES 2020 Enrolment € 40   Individual lessons 1 hour …

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VERY SMALL STANDARD COURSE: ONLY 3-6 STUDENTS!   Our courses are organized into six levels, from beginner to advanced. You …

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You can choose host-family accommodation, which has been carefully selected by the school, comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels …

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Our teaching approach is based on communication. For this reason you are encouraged every day to exercise the four main …

(Italiano) CORSI DI LINGUA ONLINE

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian and Russian.

LAST MINUTE SEPTEMBER 2020

Settimana 21/09-25/09
CORSO DI ITALIANO STANDARD DI 20 ORE

Livello Intermedio

Iscrizione 20€ invece di 40€

Alloggio solo 200€ (uso singola) – 150€ (uso doppia)
In un bellissimo appartamento nuovo, in centro, a 1 minuto dalla scuola

21/09-25/09

ITALIAN LANGUAGE COURSE 20H

LEVEL INTERMEDIATE

ENROLLMENT 20€ NOT 40€

ACCOMODATION 200€ (SINGLE) -150€ (DOUBLE)

NEW COZY APPARTMENT IN THE CITY CENTRE, 1 MIN FROM SCHOOL

Special Offer Carnevale 2020

 Learn Italian in Ascoli Piceno a beautiful art town!   

Carnevale 2020

Vacanza-Studio All Inclusive:

1 week = 400 €

   2 weeks = 760 €

– Italian language course 20 hours per week
– accommodation with host family

+

3 activities:
– 1 town tour
– 1 cooking lesson + tasting
– Carnival tour

 

Evgenia Malinovskaya

Случайно попала на курс итальянского языка Это было замечательно! Две недели пролетели молниеносно, хотя мы занимались полный день Благодаря нашей чудесной преподавательнице Валерии мы не только изучали язык, но узнали много о искусстве, архитектуре и жизни Италии Спасибо большое за знания и хорошее настроение, которые подарила нам эта академия!

Learning Italian in Ascoli

Learning Italian in Ascoli

Downtown Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Ann Banks photo.
Downtown Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Ann Banks photo.

Delightful Ascoli: “Like Tuscany 30 Years Ago”

By Kent E. St. John

The moonlight reflects off the travertine marble pavement, smooth as a skating rink, onto the Piazza del Popolo (people’s plaza) in Ascoli, Italy.

The low lights of the ancient buildings and arcades that encircle the plaza are dimmed by the glow from above the Apennine Mountains. My table at the Café Meletti (used by Federico Fellini in several films) provides a backdrop unfound on 18 previous trips to Italy.

The market in Ascoli. Kent E. St. John photoThe words of my hostess Antonella Valentini, the director of Academia Italia, also reflect through my mind.

“Ascoli Piceno has no Uffizi, leaning tower, statue of David. No worldwide destination craved by busses carrying camera-clicking tourists. What we do have is a wonderful mixture of history, culture, and traditions”.

As I sit here on my late night arrival, what Ascoli does offer is evident; a passage back in time. Before I head to my lodgings, I toast Chris Cote from Language Studies Abroad for sharing another gem to explore.

Long Roots

Ascoli Piceno has a history that pre-dates Roman times, and every turn down narrow passageways delights the eye. Looming tall towers mix with Roman ruins that blend with cobblestone streets.

The city’s history begins 2500 years ago and its name is said to derive from an ancient oriental root. This city is located at the confluence of the Tronto and Castellano rivers in a natural amphitheater.

This location gives Ascoli Piceno the unique feeling of independence evident even today. Its layout is still based on the ancient Roman design; one of the best examples found in Italy. As I meander through the avenues, faces of Roman Senators, Longobard and Frankish warriors, and saints such as Francis of Assisi and Emidio (the city’s patron saint and protector from earthquakes) come to mind.

They too all sought solace in Ascoli’s bosom. Unlike many of Italy’s other historic places, Ascoli’s attractions are more hands-on–I am to view bits of frescos by flashlight in 13th century San Gregorio’s absidiole.

It is extraordinary. The 200 original medieval towers (one a hostel) are now numbered at 50; still more than San Gimignano in Tuscany. I remember San Gimignano as tour bus crowded, unlike my quiet walk today through Ascoli.

Country scenes from Italy's remarkable Le Marche region. Max Hartshorne photo.
Country scenes from Italy’s remarkable Le Marche region. Max Hartshorne photo.

Sixteen Romanesque churches, two Cathedrals, an archeological museum, a municipal art museum and a natural history museum are providing a learning experience equal to that found in Tuscany or Umbria.

Ascoli even has the yearly Joust of the Quintana with the same pageantry and excitement that Siena’s Palio provides. All at far lower prices with fewer crowds. It is Tuscany thirty years ago.

Modern Days in Medieval Marches

Ascoli’s ancient feel does not hold back its development or its desire to offer diversions to history. This morning begins under blue skies and bulbous white clouds at the Piazza del Popolo. A steaming cup of cappuccino at the Lorenz Café is served with gratis sweets and cookies…true decadence and fortification for the day’s busy events.

My next stop is the Accademia Italia (sidebar) for some inexpensive Italian language crash courses. The warm courtyard and friendly staff always uncover a happening or sight not to be missed. If ever an unofficial tourist board served a nomad so well…. The Accademia should win a Traveler’s Oscar.

Antonella has spent years teaching artists, diplomats, and Bishops not just language–but Italian lifestyles. While a busy lady, she and her husband Valerrio are teaching me much about the area, and I believe she would do so for any traveler that reads this piece. She is a Marche’s treasure! The school also offers cooking and cultural lessons.

This afternoon in Ascoli is spent the best way possible; with no particular plan. I simply arm myself with helpful brochures from the tourist office located in the Palazzio dei Capatani (Captain’s Palace) on the Piazza del Popolo.

The Palace has a wonderful subterranean archeological route that is a perfect alternative to the midday sun. I follow the Via del Trivio north to Ascoli’s oldest and prettiest quarters. It’s here where the shops and craftspeople sell the local goods made of leather and ceramic. Luckily for me, the quarter is bustling with locals (Wednesdays and Saturdays are Ascoli’s market days at the cloisters of the church of S. Francesco).

Booths are filled with the bounty of the Marches, and sit side by side with clothing and antiques. Walking towards the cliffs overlooking the Tronto River, I can see most of the towers including the Osttello de’ Longobard, one of Europe’s oldest hostels. Throughout the city are stores and restaurants to fit every traveler’s budget and desires, but I am ready for my new late afternoon routine.

Like most of Ascoli’s residents, I head back to the Popolo for an early evening coffee or libation. Here I sit with a Cheshire Cat’s smile and watch the locals gather to socialize and plan the night’s events.

Sea and Ski

Ascoli Piceno’s location in the Sibillini hills, midway between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, offers me a perplexing situation. Especially when the view of snow-capped peaks is mixed with winds carrying the scent of the sea. Fortunately, both are a short distance away and easy to reach. On shoulder seasons it is literally possible to ski one day and swim the next. I finally decide to follow my heart (and tired feet) up to the enchanted mountains.

The Sibillini National Park crowns the mountains of the Marches. Here, skiing and hiking are just the two top choices available. Legends of necromancers, fairies, and evil spirits give the peaks an enthralling feel. Little mountain villages situated on the road up to the mountains contain small hot springs, sulfur baths, and spa services. This is exactly what I am looking for after my perfect day of strenuous activity.

After a good nights rest, I decide to sample the hilltowns. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, each town comes with its own merits and attractions, tales and legends. As I approach Offida the Romanesque church, Santa Maria della Rocca, stands atop a wedge of rock with cliffs for sides, the illusion is of an island outpost high in the Marches is created.

The church’s 13th-century frescos are surrounded by graffiti scratched in their borders providing glimpses to the monks and their daily life. “1559–snow fell in May, miserable.” I reluctantly move on to Fermo, home to one of the ten richest libraries in Italy.

A letter written by Christopher Columbus to Queen Isabella in 1493 highlights the 400,000 volumes, and the descriptions of his voyage to the New World impart the topic. The historian in me is thrilled to see such a treasure in relative silence without the imposing clicks of tourists’ shutters. The letter was stolen in 1986 and recovered during an auction at Sothebys in New York. It is now back in Fermo where it belongs.

My desire and the scent of the sea lead to a short 30-minute train ride from Ascoli to the coast and brings me to the seaside town of San Benedetto del Tronto. The ancient fishing town that grew up to be one of the Adriatic’s keystone resort and fishing ports. Eating seafood and lounging on the beach is the order of my day here. In many ways, San Benedetto was a South Beach Miami years before there was such a place. Wandering, I see that the Art Nouveau of the early 1900s has left its graceful mark on the promenade.

In contrast, I decide to board the train for dinner a few miles north on the coast, and I arrive at Grottammare’s old center above the beach sprawl. It grants a film set like glance into the past.

Sitting in a restaurant serving only the catch of the day mixes well with the church Santa Lucia; built in 1597 as a memorial to Pope Sixtus V that sits across the small piazza. The blend of sea below and castle ruins above will surely provide a night to remember.

Slow Food Movement

The Slow Food Movement, founded in Italy in 1986, promotes rediscovering the flavors and savors of regional cooking. As a visitor to Ascoli and Le Marche, I find that the Marchigiani have stuck to these principals for centuries. The region’s location provides a rich bounty from both land and sea.

The menus offered in Ascoli and its environs are based on recipes passed down from generation to generation. I notice Olive oil is prince of the cuccina and a main ingredient in Ascoli’s best known dish, the Olive alla Ascolana (sidebar recipe). Poets, artists and writers have spread the word about the dish throughout Italy since its inception. It is basically the stuffing of local olives with a ragout of beef, pork and chicken that is breaded and fried in olive oil.

My next meal back in Ascoli (typical for the Marches) follows as such: antipasto (of mountain cured sliced ham), primo (a generous portion of vinisgrassi–a backed lasagna without interruption of tomatoes), with grilled lamb, pork, or beef and garden fresh vegetables and fungi.

For those with an aversion to meat, fish dishes are in abundance. One Adriatic standout is brodetto; a fish stew made with 13 species of fish, no more, no less. Thin spaghetti dressed with vongole (baby clams) becomes a delicious option. Fruits and cheeses such as formaggio di fossa (strong flavored cheese aged by being walled up in limestone caves) is a great ending. An Anisetta Meletti is considered as the only fitting apéritif, and is renowned as any in France. It is the perfect finish to my extravagant, yet inexpensive, meal.

Every village and city in the Marches appears to have a specialty that is its signature wine or food dish. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall events called sagres are held. Festivals to pay homage to their specialty; really a reason to gather in order to eat drink and be merry. In Vererotta it is the sagre della vitella allo spiedo (spit roasted veal). Apiro has the sagre del formaggio pecorino (pecorino cheese). More information on sagres will be gathered at the tourist office on Ascoli’s main square.

God’s Great Gift…the Grape

“Wine is an art capable of making you dream,” says Ercole Velenosi. As we sit in the tasting room of the Velenosi Ercole, I couldn’t agree more. Winemaking it seems has become a dream fulfilled for Ercole and Angela Velenosi. The plaques and medals won over the years for their wines are a testament to hard work and good soil. A move is underway in the area to shift away from quantity towards quality, and Ercole Velenosi is obviously a leader in this goal.

One standout that I sample is Lundi; a mix of Montepulciano processed with Sangiovese as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes from the owner’s vineyards. Two years of refinement in wooden barrels obviously result in a wine that is soft and wide. Cases sent to New York City recently received rave reviews, and tasting I can see why.

While in the Piceno region, I try some wonderful DOC vini da meditazione wines. The best known is Rosso Piceno and the even better Rosso Piceno Superiore. The blend is of Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes.

As a lover of the white, I try the Falerio. Not to be prejudiced, but the finest I taste so far is the Vigna Solaria produced by Velenosi. Perhaps because I just sat in the single small ten-year-old vineyard placed in the sunniest and highest part of the estate where the grapes for this wine were grown.

In a Heartbeat

As the sun’s rays dip below the vineyard’s hills I contemplate my time spent in Ascoli and the Marches… history, art, mountains, coastline and people who share their culture and lifestyles. After another passing of the Olive alla Ascolana, I think about an inscription found above the doorway (a local tradition) to one of Ascoli’s renaissance gems that Antonella had translated for me. “Thank God I am here,” it read. I could not agree more.

Festivals

Ascoli Piceno

Carnival- Masks and satire highlight this yearly event. Like Venice, the masks provide a license to party hard and long. The Piazza de Popolo is strung with lights, and the city uses it as the place for non-stop partying. Parades and parodies are the order of the day.

The Quintana (22 July and 5 August)

The fight for each quarter’s honor (as in Siena) this is a medieval pageant complete with jousting, excitement and Italy’s best-undiscovered festival. You can go to the palio in Siena in July/August or be a part of a local celebration in Ascoli. Over 1500 participants are dressed in clothing designed from 14th-century paintings. Parades, banquets, and fireworks encase the highlighted event–the jousting. The tradition dates from 1377.

My life in Italy – an American in Ascoli Piceno #1

Carnival in Italy, il Carnevale di Ascoli Piceno

 

Fun Facts #1
My life in Italy
Part 1
Italy celebrates Carnevale with a huge winter festival celebrated with parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music and parties.
Children throw confetti at each other. Mischief and pranks are also common during Carnevale, hence the saying
A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” (anything goes at Carnevale).
Although, I have personally never experienced the festival, I have seen it on tv before. I can’t wait!
As always, different regions celebrate the holiday in different ways:
-Venice being the most spectacular with boat parades and masquerade balls starting weeks before.
-Viareggio on the Tuscany coast has one of the biggest Carnevale celebrations in Italy. It’s known for its giant, allegorical paper maiché floats used in parades not only on FAT  Tuesday but also the three Sundays before and two weekends following.
-The town of Ivrea, in the Piedmont region, has a unique carnival celebration with medieval roots. The carnival includes a colorful parade followed by orange-throwing battles in the center of town.

This year, I will stick to the many things that are offered right here, in and around Ascoli Piceno!

 

Fun facts #2
My life in Italy 
Aahhh… Carnevale! Ma che spettacolo!

What an incredible experience it was!

It was almost as if the festival was sort of a convention for small acts (on the Humour side)

some with representation of either characters well-known,

(through TV and movies) or simply a local joke, told in the local Ascolan dialect! 

Soon after the festival, during my Italian class at Accademia Italiana our teacher Valeria, explained to us the many inside jokes that were present at the festival and their meanings.

 

For Example, we saw a group of grown men in women’s bathing suits performing a synchronized swimming act that was truly adorable. On the side of the stage there was written “andiamo a rifare una vasca in piazza”.

Valeria explained that the meaning comes from the older times in Ascoli when the city was smaller and many locals would meet in the Main Square (Piazza del Popolo) in order to “walk laps” up and down the square to socialize amongst one another. Hence laps, like a swimming pool, and so became the idea of the swimming skit and all of it’s humor. 

 

During the festival, we also noticed a lady walking around

with a big pile of whipped cream on her head.

Valeria explained that in Italian “montarsi la testa

refers to the act of being a snob or feeling that one is above everyone.

The pile of whipped cream  gave the idea of the joke

because to whip the cream “montare la panna” uses the same verb (montare).

Many of these jokes from the local culture are similar to puns

and are very funny when one knows the inside story!

Fun facts #3
My life in Italy 
Let me tell you…. I have never seen so many drunk people in all my life in one place as I did tonight!
These Italians don’t mess around when it comes to Fat Tuesday on the last day before Lent…
I am in a neighboring town called Offida where they speak, yet again, their own dialect (called Offidano)
… and tonight’s festivity is called Li Vlurd.
The Vlurd are long bundles of wicker and straw, that are lit and paraded along the streets of Offida.
Hundreds of people take part to this event, so the streets look like a fiery snake
(which makes sense, since name of the town – Offida – derives from Greek “Ophis”, meaning serpent).
The Vlurd are then thrown into a huge bonfire in the main piazza, and people dance around it, singing and drinking.
When the flames start to die down, the bravest (or the drunkest) jump the flames and hop around on the burning coals. The party goes on until the bonfire dies, sanctioning the end of the Carnival and the beginning of a new season, Spring, which will bring new life. We danced awhile and laughed at the many intoxicated locals enjoying their last night of sinful fun!

 

Video Gallery

Photo Album

 

Gastronomy

A delicious cappuccino (prepared with a real Italian “espresso” and local fresh milk) will help you to start or conclude your day and a slice of pizza is surely a perfect snack, but tasty filled croissants, hand-made lasagna and ravioli, roast lamb and pork, very fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea, typical cheeses, stuffed and fried olives “all’Ascolana”, extra-virgin olive oil, white and red D.O.C. wine (together with naturally cultivated vegetables and fruit ) makes you understand why Ascoli Piceno is very well known for its cooking.

The school organizes dinners in typical restaurants and cold cuts, cheese and wine tasting. Students will be able to enjoy all this for a deliciously special price.

Things to do

The Carnival

(February or March)

The Carnival in Ascoli is one of the most picturesque winter events.

The town fills up with all kinds of maskers, from the classic to the most elegant ones, from the amusing to the satirical ones, in which it is possible to recognize politicians and famous personalities of the entertainment world.

Festivities with parades and dancing in the square last a whole week.

In this period no-one can be only a spectator, because everyone is swept away by the exhilaration that the masks generate.

Accademia Italiana students and teachers always participate in the celebrations with enthusiasm.

The town’s nightlife hums too and in a wide variety of clubs people dance till sunrise.

https://www.facebook.com/CarnevaleDiAscoliPiceno/#_=_

The Quintana

(night edition in July+On the first Sunday of August)

The Quintana jousting tournament is an event which has medieval origins.

About 1500 people parade in the old streets of the town.

The knights wear suits of armor and the beautiful ladies wear precious dresses designed according to the models of fourteenth century pictures.

The festival reaches its greatest heights as the parade gets to its destination and competitions of skill take place. Jousters on horseback from different “sestieri” (quarters of the town) race for the Palio .

We will watch the parade together and in the evening we will take you to watch the traditional fireworks.

The Quintana is not a performance for tourists but a ceremony to which the inhabitants of Ascoli greatly contribute. For months they prepare, with ability and passion, the costumes and choreographies for “their” celebration.

http://www.quintanadiascoli.it/

Music

There is a close connection between music and the Marche, the region of which Ascoli Piceno is a prominent city.

There are several academies of music, theatres and concert halls in the Marche region. Rossini, Spontini and Pergolesi composed their masterpieces in this region and the tradition repeats itself every time that the “Rossini Opera Festival” in Pesaro, the “Sferisterio” opera house in Macerata or the “Ventidio Basso” theatre in Ascoli present their programmes.

The Ascoli Piceno Festival is one of the most interesting events and takes place all year round.

All month long, the theatres, cloisters and squares of the town provide the rich and wonderful setting for dozens of concerts of all genres.

 

Theatres and Cinema

Throughout the year theatres in Ascoli, San Benedetto del Tronto and other towns of the province offer ballets, shows in prose and cabarets.

The school informs its students about the show programmes and also advises them on the films available, giving them the opprtunity to choose the most appropriate, according to preference and level of language skill.

Programma teatro