Special offers and cultural activities packets: to learn Italian in Italy deeping in the Italian traditions, in the Italian art and in the italian culture.

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ABOUT US AND CONTACTS

THE COURSES

ITALIAN FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES

COURSES FOR ITALIAN LANGUAGE TEACHERS

ITALIAN LANGUAGE CERTIFICATIONS

Our students say about us

TYPE OF STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOL
Italian Language School Porta d'Oriente   The average age of the students who attends our school is from 34 to 48 years old. You are not too old or even too young to study itlian at our school; our youngest student was 4 years old and our oldest student was 77.

   Our students come from all over the world (in 2005 they came from 27 different countries): North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zeland; South America. The distribuition of the different nationalities per period is always homogenous and this fact encourages the use of Italian as common language.

   At our school you will find different kind of persons: students, teachers, employees, retired, managers, entrepreneurs, business consultants, economists, lawyers, sellers, housewifes, journalists, tour operators, interpreters, designers, religious ecc...

   The course that can be chosen lasts from a minimum of 1 week to 6 months; the most part chooses to stay from 2 to 4 weeks. The level of knowledge of our students is: beginner 43%, medium 29%, advanced 23%, excellent 5%.

   The students that choose our school have a medium/high cultural level and interest towards the Italian culture. That means a strong participation to the cultural acttivities that the school offers: guided tours, seminars, etc. In the last 2 years, during their stay here, all the students took part to at least 2 cultural activities proposed by the school. The students rate who took part to the guided tours proposed by the school has been over the 90%.

   The most part of the students already attended other courses in Italy and abroad; a good percentage, appreciating the mix of cultural offer, warm atmosphere of the school and of the rich region chooses to visit us again.

   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.
I think of you often, and I have told many people about you and our wonderful experiences there. Yes, you succeeded in transmitting me something: a sense of the culture, the history, the spirit of the region... AND a real friendship that I hope will endure. You are an amazing woman.
Cynthia says about us I may not have a talent for languages, but I do have a talent for dreaming, and I still hope to learn Italian someday -little by little over the years. (I have an Italian heart, even if my words come out in English.) Obviously I will need much more than one week of morning classes!
I have compiled a slide show on my computer to share with my friends here. The images are of Otranto and the places you took us, and the soundtrack is the music you introduced us to (Pizzicarella). I also started reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. And I've been trying to find a DVD of Edoardo Winspeare's Il Miracolo (I have not yet succeeded, but I will.) You see? You have influenced me a great deal.
Fariba is back in Laguna Beach of course, and I am here at the Hollister Ranch, so we have not seen each other since we got back, but we are both savoring the memories of our trip. We had a great time in Rome, also.
Were you able to view the images I sent with my previous e-mail? I can send you a few more pictures if you would like.
Of course I will come back someday. And I hope you will come to California someday too.
Here is the address of my website: http://www.zacatecanyon.com
Please stay in touch, Barbara. I will look forward to hearing from you.
My love and good wishes always to you and Angelo.
baci e abbracci, Cynthia

Cynthia (Housewife), 54 years old from U.S.A. (California). One week course June 2005.

Lionel and Tina says about us
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.
- The school organised historical tours that were very pedagogic and all Italian speaking, so you keep practicing.
We spent only 1week because it was all we could get without the children but we would have love to be able to stay 2 weeks (Ithink it's the best way to really learn more).
Tina

Lionel (Manager) and Christine (Consultant), 42-40 years old from London. One week course April 2005.

 

cara Barbara,
Mi piace il tuo messagio. Sto bene. e tu?Linda says about us Tobi ed io siamo ritornate una settimana fa. Siamo andate a Lecce e a Londres prima di andare a casa. Sono contenta di essere a casa, ma all'altro lato, mi mancano la Puglia, Otranto, e specialmente, i miei amici nuovi.
Il tempo a Porta d'oriente era significativo perche ho incontrato molte cose di considerare. Sopra tutto, era un 'incontro delle mente' (frase inglese) tra tu e me che suggerisce la possibilita di un'amicizie.
Parlare and pensare della cultura, economia, societa, le fede sono molto stimolante.
Ora sono molto occupata perche ho deciso di vendere una picolissima casa che ho comprato come un affito. Un racconto lungho....... ma adesso, la preparo per vendere. Devo lavorare in giardino, pulire la cucina, etc., etc. Ma mi piace il lavoro perche c'e un obiettivo.
Tra poco ti mandero le fotografie ed il mio racconto della Puglia.
Anche a tu, un baccio e un abbraccio forte. Poi un baccio a Valentina. Mandero a Valentina un foto di nostra cena "potluck".
Linda

Linda Smeins (University Teacher), 61 years old from U.S.A.. Two week course April 2005.

 

Chère Barbara,
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. Autrement, nous restons épisodiquement en contact avec ce cher Ulrich, qui est devenu très populaire, puisqu'il a été invité par mes amis Romains à résider à Rome pour des vacances.
D'autre part, nous aimerions beaucoup mettre sur pied une école de langues privée, et, à ce propos, pourrais-tu nous fournir les coordonnées exactes de ton amie française (ton amie qui a créé une école de langues à Montpellier) ainsi que son adresse e mail. En attendant de tes nouvelles, nous t'embrassons, ainsi que ce cher Angelo.

Maryse et Sylvianne

 

   Cara Barbara, sono ritornata in Germania e volevo ringraziarti tanto per un tempo meraviglioso ad Otranto, in Puglia. Non c'era il tempo a dirti molto sui miei pensieri, quindi lo faccio adesso:
Volevo ritornare in Puglia proprio per sapere di piu`della societa`, della cultura, della vita pugliese con tutti gli aspetti positivi e negativi perche´mi sento molto legata con questa regione. E tu, ci hai mostrato tantissimo delle cose importanti fra solo due settimane. Avevo davvero l'impressione di viverci. L'anno scorso quando era in Puglia la prima volta non pensavo mai di sviluppare una passione, un sentimento cosi`forte per una regione, per un paese. Ero curiosa di vedere la patria di Fortunato, uno mio amico, e volevo vedere Matera, perche´il libro 'christo si e`fermato a Eboli' e`stata il libro piu`impressionante che abbia mai letto. Ma poi. Mi trovo sempre tanto bene in Puglia ed abiterei volentieri qualche tempo dovunque, a Bari, Lecce oppure in un paesino, per conoscere la societa`in un modo giusto. Questo non e`mai possible fra due settimane oppure anche fra un mese. Senza lavorare e vivere con la gente si e`sempre un turista. E anche adesso ho il sentimento che io debba ritornare un' altra volta per stare piu`lungo. Molto confuso per me perche´normalmente preferisco vedere sempre dei posti nuovi. Dall'altra parte ho parlato con molte persone che hanno mostrato a me delle possibilita`per trovare una pratica, un lavoro, alla fine per viverci. Allora sembra che anche la Puglia si apra per me e offra qualcosa.
Comunque, tutto quello era un'esperienza molto importante per me, devo riflettere su tante cose, e mi hai aiutato molto con la tua grande passione di spiegarci tutto. Adesso cerco di continuare con la lingua italiana sul serio e forse potrei diventare anche una tradutrice un giorno lontano. Poi riesco a capire meglio i problemi del mio amico pugliese che ha lasciato un tempo terribile dietro di se´. Anche questo e`una buona cosa per aiutarlo piu`efficiente. Per il futuro piu`vicino sara`abbastanza, o no?
Allora, tanti saluti a tutti.

Martina (Germany)

 

Cara Barbara,
ringraziamo per la bellissima settimana che abbiamo potuto passare ad Otranto grazie alla Tua organizzazione e mediazione. In particolare abbiamo apprezzato molto il corso di lingua e cultura.
Quasi, quasi mi rincresce di non aver partecipato anch'io di più alle ore di conversazioni sulla cultura del Salento, con tanto di "tarante, messapi, tarantate" ecc.
Magari vi sarà un'altra occasione, visto che siamo tornati tutti entusiasti tra le ns. montagne! Così, una volta tanto, autorizziamo Voi, gente di mare, ad invertire lo slogan (life is mountain, not beach) di noi solitamente orgogliosi montanari in "live is beach, not mountain".
Grazie ancora e tanti cari saluti a tutti Voi (in particolare anche ai Vs. "scolari" americani)!

Hannes e famiglia - Germany

Cara Barbara!
Anch'io non vorrei lasciar passare i giorni senza averti prima mandato i miei più cari saluti dalla nostra vallata, dove la temperatura è scesa sotto i 12°C e piove da giorni. Abbiamo vissuto delle vacanze bellissime ad Otranto grazie sopratutto ai corsi d'italiano, alla gente che abbiamo conosciuto e alla bellezza del Salento. E finora non è passato un giorno dove non ci sono mancati i colori del vostro mare e della vostra terra, il cinquettio dei milliaia passeri sulle vostre palme, il suono dei motorini e le paste deliziose la mattina, l'acquamarino della baia di Porto Badisco, il sapore delle maritate e dell' vostro olio, la linearità e l' intimità della città antica. L'ottima atmosfera a scuola, l'amicizia tra i bambini americani e i nostri e infine la tua impressionante conoscenza della cultura italiana accompagnato dal tuo modo così caro di presentarcegliela hanno fatto di queste ferie purtroppo troppo brevi un'esperienza bellissima!
Il ricordo di queste vacanze ci accompagnerà durante il lungo periodo invernale e ci faciliterá di pensare alla prossima estate, dove speriamo di rivederci!
Saluti a tutti, sopratutto ai nostri amici americani (magari[!!!] si potrebbe fare un bis l'anno prossimo coi corsi per i bambini?) e un'abbraccio caloroso da parte mia.

Wendelgard e famiglia (Bolzano)

 

Ciao Barbara!
I just wanted to say hello to you because I never got the chance to say goodbye to you. I said I was going to say goodbye to you before I left Otranto but I arrived to late the day I was leaving, the school was closed and you and Patricia had left.
I was very sad to leave Otranto and Italy, 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. I am really happy that I chose to come to the south of italy and not to the northern part. The people are more friendly in south, more open, it is more cheap, there are not many tourists from other
countries and the food is much better! In Verona I heard more people speak German on the streets than italian and if I spoke italian to some of the italians, they replied in German or English!!! The food was both more expensive
and did not taste as good in the south! For me, the genuine and real Italy is in the south and I will definitaly come back to Salento and Otranto some day.
It was so hard to leave, at the end I was almost feeling like one of the inhabitants because everywhere I went people said; Ciao Anna, come stai?
I think I have learnt some italian to, from almost knowing no italian at all when I arrived, I was able to help to translate between Italian and English in Verona the last week. Some Japanese tourists and an italian man that worked at the railwaystation had some communication problems so I was helping them to understand each other. So even if I have not studied so much during my spare time in Otranto as I could have, I guess I have learnt pretty good anyway.

Thank you Barbara for everything. It has been the best summer in my life! And please, say hello to Patricia from me....
Love Anna Eriksson

Anna Eriksson (Librarian) - Sweden

 

Lee Ann says about us

Ann Lee (Manager) from U.S.A. - one week course

 

   The Otranto region allows, whoever is prepared for it, to discover secret treasures and magic places.
   "Questa é la scuola", tells us Angelo when he drove us to where we would be staying. But where he points out we cannot see much. One house, just like the one to the right and the one to the left. One wonders how will the school, which looked so attractive in internet, be.
   But the competence, energy, intelligence and sensitivity of Barbara make very quickly for the first impression. She realises the needs of her different students and puts herself immediately to work conveying a cultural dimension to the teaching of the language. With a very professional approach and love and care for what it does, all the staff of the school gives its students the keys to discover the particularities of this Salentine region, somehow abandoned from central decision-making powers.
   In Otranto one feels relaxed and safe. Far away remained the obsession for mobile phones and the frantic comings and goings of people one senses in other parts of Italy. Local inhabitants are helpful and even nice if given enough time. Food is fresh and of good quality.
   Landscapes with endless olive tree plantations and a red land rich in bauxite gives a sense of vitality. The sea is intensely turquoise. The long walks along the seaside, on wild little roads, amidst rocks and against strong winds, talk of remote times.
   And it is precisely that what gets to you more: the sense of being in the bosom of civilization, the place where so many Eastern and Western cultures have met, giving rise to what is today modern world. This is how one can let the imagination fly away in front of the few remains of the Basilica di S. Nicolò di Casale (where Barbara recommends us to go), where so many Medieval researchers met to read, translate and study sacred and non sacred books. This is how one feels awe admiring the fantastic huge mosaic floor of the Cathedral, where the references to different philosophical and spiritual theories enlace in a huge Tree of life. In the cathedral we meet the expert, Father Gianfredda, a man immensely cultivated and wise. The Greek references are not only in the language, but in traditions and customs, and of course in the Grecía salentina with its quiet small villages which offer exquisite squares, churches and frescoes. Not to be missed the tour organized by Barbara in that area.
   Salento is as well the region of the "tarantismo" and the "pizzica", aspects to which the school also opens windows of study.
   A week was not enough to grasp a region quite unknown but extremely interesting. The door is open to come back.

Cristina Pena (Translator) - Perù

 

ACCOMMODATION IN OTRANTO

SPECIAL OFFERS

GUIDED TOURS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

ABOUT THE REGION AND THE TOWN

UTILITIES & SOCIAL

  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • Cynthia from California italian language schoolDear 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 >>
  • Tina and Lionel fron London italian language schoolLionel 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • Maryse et Sylvianne from Belgium Chère Barbara, 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 >>
  • Carla, David and family from Boston italian language school...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 >>

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