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Visit the town of Otranto
study italian in Otranto?
Here everything is on a human scale: the town, the school,
the people; you will not find the mass foreign tourism there is in the
big cities. Studying in a small town means that you can speak Italian
everywhere and that you will not feel like a "stranger" because
people are full of human warmth and special attention to the newcomers.
In 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010 Otranto won "the
five flags" prize for the cleanest sea of Italy by "Legambiente"
and "Touring Club" (Italian associations about environment and
Tourism), and the ANCI (National Association of the Italian Towns) listed Otranto
among the 15 most beautiful small villages in Italy. Otranto won also in 2010 UNESCO recognition.
where nature is also history
Otranto: a small town for a big holiday. An important
historic and artistic centre, Otranto lies on one of Italy's most beautiful
coastlines, the sea that laps against its shores is limpid and intense
in colour. Otranto presents itself to the visitor in the guise of a medieval
city, still attached to the periods that precededits destruction. Rich in remains, which testify to its intensely glorious
and at times dramatic past; the splendid Cathedral overlooks the
town, along with Saint Peter's Basilica, Martyr's Hill, the Castle, the
Towers, the Bastions, the Aragonese walls and the fortified farmhouses,
a must for all visitors to Salento.
The coast-road is one of the most poetic tourist itineraries
in the province. It seems made just for the purpose of holding the
interest of the traveller in search of new sensation and appealing to
With its breathtaking sea views Otranto is a paradise for
all nature lovers. Otranto lies at the most easterly point of Italy: in
summer you can get across to Greece.
courtesy of www.girofoto.it
The Panorama of the Cathedral's square and detail of floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Otranto.
For other photos of Otranto visit our photogallery
below are some of the benefits
to be derived from choosing to study Italian in the beautiful Salentine
region, dispelling a number of common misconceptions:
- The population of the region speaks in Italian that
may be characterised as mainstream, rather than dialectic. Small pockets
of dialect do remain in certain areas, but these can be considered as
tasty "desserts" for those still hungry after digesting the
- Our region of Italy is one that has thankfully escaped the negative
implications of a large tourism industry. The result is that
the local population has very little English fluency, meaning that students
will encounter a true Italian immersion, virtually devoid of people speaking
English, whether locals or tourists. Indeed, 90% of Otranto's tourists
come from other parts of Italy rather than abroad, further ensuring an
English-free aural experience!
- Another distinct benefit of the region's low tourist profile is the
fact that the individualistic tourists who do visit this magical land
have interests different from those associated with mass tourism. For
these discriminating visitors, the appeal lies with the culture,
history, traditions and gastronomy of Apulia. Only in August
does the population of Otranto traditionally swell with an influx of Italian
- The Salentine peninsula of Italy is a region which breathes more slowly
and deeply... The fast pace of life and short tempers of the North are
dissolved by the atmosphere of this timeless landscape. People
have time to stop and speak to you (in Italian!) and are more than generous
with their help and enthusiasm. Otranto is a town that distils
this spirit into one word: congeniality. There are no worries
about crime or disorder, the sense of tranquil security is pervasive.
- The sea flanking Otranto is not only azure blue; it is the clearest
and cleanest in Italy! This is a fact established in each of
the last 3 years by virtue of Otranto's winning first prize in this important
environmental cleanliness category.
- Otranto and its environs offer the student a sensorial feast.
The air is free from pollution, scented with nature's bouquet of sweet
and spicy fragrances. This sundrenched landscape provides the
perfect conditions in which verdant crops flourish, with little artificial
irrigation required. The land is carpeted with olive groves, vineyards
and fruit orchards; natural vegetation also includes cactus, palm trees
and pine forests. There are a number of environmental areas set aside
by government as nature reserves, including dramatic, wild coastlines
plus an Oasis founded by the WWF. Expanses of white sand beckon visitors
to swim, or simply wade, in the warm azure waters lapping shores of hidden
bays and crescent beaches. The school offers very interesting guided trips
allowing students to experience firsthand these, and other, natural delights.
- Our school offers a friendly, personal and attentive approach
to learning Italian. We are a small, intimate institution with
a big desire to inspire learning in relaxed, yet professional surroundings.
Individual attention is assured at all times.
- The climate of southern Italy is very benign; the cold,
frosty winters of the North are unknown here. Our summer lasts from April
to October, with temperatures averaging 25°C (click
here to see the average temperature during the year). The hottest
days of August are tempered in Otranto by gentle sea breezes from the
- Otranto provides a variety of services to meet all students' needs and
desires. In town you will find banks, travel agencies, supermarkets, agencies
to rent cars, motorbikes and bikes, restaurants, pizzerias, pubs, discotheques,
a wide range of accommodation, exhibitions and cultural events, cinema,
theatre and concerts (open-air in the summer).
ACCOMMODATION IN OTRANTO
GUIDED TOURS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
ABOUT THE REGION AND THE TOWN
UTILITIES & SOCIAL
Sylke from Germany
...ora e esattamente un anno fa, che io ho fatto un corso d'Italiano nella Scuola Porta d'Oriente. Nella questa settimana ho imperato molto di nuovo sulla regione e in Italiano. E per le conversazione nelle lezioni ho potuto pratticare la conoscenza nuova. Nella nostra regione si deve cercare a lungo per queste lezioni…read more >>
Annie from France
...Nostro gruppo ha avuto un'insegnante particolarmente competente che ha tenuto un corso tanto interessanto e vivo. Con la tua contribuzione entusiastica e grazie alle visite, ho possuto discoprire una regione tanto bella e particolare che non conoscevo, e la cultura affascinante della Grecia Salentina…read more >>
Anna from Sweden
I have had a wonderful summer, I got to know a lot of new people and got a lot of new friends.
I was staying two more weeks in Italy before I went home to Sweden, I went to St Benedetto del Tronto, Verona and Venezia, but I must say that I liked Otranto and Salento much much better. Thank you Barbara for everything. It has been the best summer in my life!read more >>
Lorenza from Austria
...É stato molto bello da voi; colma di ricordi, che adesso vanno raccontati e saranno ben conservati.
Il vostro entusiasmo per la vostra terra, la possibilità di avvicinarsi e aprirsi di più a questa grazie alle vostre spiegazioni e gite, la cordialità della gente, la luce e il caldo - tutte esperienze bellissime…read more >>
Carla, David and family from Boston
...the experience unforgettable for people of all ages. Attending the Scuola Porta d'Oriente is the opportunity of a lifetime and the school has my highest recommendation on all counts. If you travel the world, you will not find a more enchanting place or…read more >>
Tina and Lionel fron London
Lionel and I loved the school because:
- They have a nice, professional, dynamic team and they are very flexible, they can adapt their lessons to your needs.
- They are located in Otranto, it's a beautiful, very interesting and incredibly rich in history part of Italy…read more >>
Kitty from Singapore
...Vorrei ringraziarvi per tutto. Mi sono divertita ad Otranto.
Veramente, é un paese bellissimo. Non dimentico mai come ospitale la gente locale lì... Anche mi sono piaciute tantissimo l'escursione organizzate da voi.
Eravate così appassionati e le spiegazioni erano chiare e interessanti. Adesso, so un po' di piú dell'italia…read more >>
Madeleine from Swiss
Mi é piaciuto molto il mio soggiorno a Otranto, il tipo di scuola mi conviene perfettamente. Per quanto riguarda la qualità dell'insegnamento, l'ho trovata excellente. E importante per me, ringraziare le mie professoresse. Le loro competenze pedagogiche, la loro pazienza e il loro entusiasmo mi hanno permesso d'imparare velocemente…read more >>
Maryse et Sylvianne from Belgium
Nous voici bien rentrées de vacances, un peu mélancoliques d'avoir dû abandonner l'Italie.
Nous avons été enchantées des cours que tu nous a donnés et entretenons notre italien en lisant dans la langue: nous ne voulons pas perdre les bénéfices obtenus…read more >>
Cynthia from California
Dear Barbara: I am back in California and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful images on the CD you gave me. Thank you! The memories of those special places are etched onto my soul. Thanks again to you and Angelo for being so gracious and hospitable. I truly mean it when I say that we are friends…read more >>