Italian language school in Italy ....

General InformationTeacher BiographyA Typical DayAbout VelletriExcursions

Italian Language Instruction at La Scuola Appia Vecchia

General Information

Statue of the Shewolf, Romulus, and Remus in the Capitoline Museum, Rome.La Scuola Appia Vecchia offers personalized Italian language instruction to students of all levels. The school also offers courses in Italian culture, particularly Italian cinema. La Scuola Appia Vecchia is located in the Alban Hills town of Velletri. The school was founded by Professoressa Francesca Valentini, a native of nearby Rome.


A Homestay Experience

Professoressa Valentini (second from left) with her husband Joe Cerullo (far right) and two students of La Scuola Appia Vecchia.The homestay experience distinguishes La Scuola Appia Vecchia from just about all other Italian language schools in Italy. Integral to learning the language is an extended opportunity to apply your newly-won verbal skills to real life situations - greeting new friends, conducting yourself at the dinner table, conducting simple business in a store - all under the watchful eye (and ear!) of Professoressa Valentini. Learning continues well after the close of classroom instruction each day.

Professoressa Valentini's father, Paris Valentini, owns two upscale clothing stores in Rome. Francesca Valentini, Joe Cerullo, and Paris Valentini pose for a photo.Professoressa Valentini and her husband, Joe Cerullo, are keenly interested in the comfort, happiness, and satisfaction of every student. They are warm and open people who give generously of themselves. Most students will also have the opportunity to meet other members of Professoressa Valentini's family, both in Velletri and on day excursions to Rome.

While in residence at La Scuola Appia Vecchia, you will eat, sleep, and breathe as an Italian. Villa Valentini in Velletri is a charming and restful home for the school. You will feel right at home because you are at home. Mealtimes are a treat - terrific Italian cuisine, plenty of wine, and congenial conversation.

Some students may feel a bit uneasy in anticipation of a heavy duty, Italian only immersion experience. Nothing could be further from the actual situation. Professoressa Valentini and Joe Cerullo are happy to speak as much or as little Italian as you would like outside of the classroom. Both Francesca and Joe are sensitive to the need of hard-working students to have "breather" periods of conversation in one's own language. Since Professoressa Valentini is fluent in six languages, students of several nationalities can avail themselves of the school.

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Small Class Size

La Scuola Appia Vecchia typically has 3 or 4 students per session, never more than 6 unless by special request of the students themselves. Other Italian schools have much larger classes, often more than a dozen students. The individualized attention at La Scuola Appia Vecchia is unsurpassed.

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Course Scheduling

Depending upon your choice of courses, instruction may extend up to 10 days. Shorter terms are also available. Please consult for the latest course schedules and descriptions.

Professoressa Valentini is flexible and will do her best to accommodate any special scheduling needs. If you need something, don't be afraid to ask! Professoressa Valentini can be easily reached through email, and will work with you to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of any concerns.

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Classroom Instuction

Joe Cerullo with students Susan and Steven Smith, April, 2005.Formal classroom instruction takes place in the morning. Professoressa Valentini is a firm believer in the primacy of grammar as a tool for language acquisition among adult learners. While so-called "natural language" programs are certainly worthwhile, at some point any serious student must learn the structure and rules governing the Italian language. Exercise in the comprehension of spoken Italian is also formalized. Naturally, more advanced students will spend more classroom time polishing their conversational skills and grasp of the many idiomatic expressions found in spoken Italian.

Students are welcome to use any of the reference books, texts, and Italian language magazines in the school's library. All that a student needs to bring is an eagerness to learn.

There are no rigid beginning and ending times for each day's classroom instruction. While you can rest assured that you will receive every hour of formal teaching that you have paid for, Professoressa Valentini is happy to continue a session until a question is answered and the principle understood. There is a short coffee break during the morning lessons to allow students to decompress and relax. Professoressa Valentini's enthusiasm for teaching makes classroom time a real treat.

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Afternoon Excursions

Joe Cerullo, Professoressa Francesca Valentini, and student Susan Smith at the entrance to Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli.After a hearty midday meal (il pranzo), students look forward to an afternoon excursion to one of the many points of interest near Velletri. The school provides all transportation and admission fees for students. Professoressa Valentini and her husband are very experienced guides, and can put each place that you visit into its historical and cultural context. The excursions are great fun - summer camp for adults! Participation in the excursions is an individual choice. If you would like an afternoon to study or just be lazy, just say so.

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An Outstanding Value

As well as a premier educational experience, La Scuola Appia Vecchia is a great deal financially! Obtain a quote from La Scuola Appia Vecchia and compare to the total cost of trying to duplicate the experience on your own:

  Traditional Schools La Scuola Appia Vecchia
Lodging 1
Meals 2
Airport Transfers 3
Auto Rental 4
Excursions 5

1 Ten nights homestay with a family in Rome, double room with breakfast and dinner
2 Ten noon meals at moderately-priced restaurants in Rome
3 Round trip from Fiumicino to downtown Rome, provided by language school
4 Compact car for ten days, fuel not included. Most of the excursions cannot be practically accessed by public transportation.
5 Admission fees for 5 excursions. Other excursions do not require an admission fee.

In the table above, the lowest-priced options have been quoted, based on a survey of at least three other language schools in Rome. In reality, your costs at other schools are likely to be higher, perhaps significantly so. For example, most schools operate Monday through Friday, and the student would be responsible for two extra days of lodging and food expenses to equal the classroom time offered at La Scuola Appia Vecchia.

It is simply not possible to duplicate the all-inclusive benefits of La Scuola Appia Vecchia. The priceless advantage of La Scuola Appia Vecchia is the constant association with your Italian teacher!

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