Erasmus Plus 2014-2020 Action Key 1CLOSE

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Frequently Asked Questions

   Listed 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 main "course"!
- 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 holidaymakers.
- 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 to 30°C. The hottest days of August are tempered in Otranto by gentle sea breezes from the Adriatic.
- 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).

   The average age of the students who attends our school is from 34 to 48 years olt. 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 2004-5 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.
   Au 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 year, during their stay here, all the students took part to at least 2 cultural activities proposed by the school.
   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.

- Situation of the school in the city? Distance from the centre?
- The school is in the centre town, at 200 mt from the sea.

- Type of building and number of class rooms? (Old, modern, large, small, etc?)
- It is located in the centre in a new building, an apartment with 4 classrooms, a bathroom, a library, a terrace for summer lessons and a kitchen for cooking lessons.

- Other facilities at the school?(Cafeteria, study room, library, videos, etc.)
- There is a Internet connection and didactic softwares, videos, stereo and a library.


Types of courses offered?
- intensive course (20/lessons/week)
- intensive-plus course (30 lessons/week)
- course of conversation (10 lessons/week)
- special courses: the business Italian, the Italian of art and archeology, the Italian literature, Italian for Theologians, Italian of medicine and science, Italian for law
- cultural courses: the Italian culture through cinema, cooking, fashion, songs etc...
- courses for Italian teachers
- preparation courses for CILS and CELI diploma
- cooking and wine courses

Starting dates?
Starting dates of the courses 2018: Every two weeks. Contact the school for differents dates.

Januari 2018 -
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Februari 2018 -
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Mars 2018 -
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April 2018 9 - 23
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April, var vänlig kontakta oss
Maj 2018 7 - 21
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Juni 2018 4 - 18
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Juli 2018 2 - 16
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Augusti 2018
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September 2018 3 - 17
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Oktober 2018 1
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November 2018 -
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December 2018 -
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- Are books and copies included in the course fees?
- Books and copies are included in the course fee. In the course fee is also included: Guided visit to the town of Otranto

- Can I study Italian with an Italian student?
The school promotes linguistic exchanges with Italian speaking people in an informal context: you will speak Italian during meetings which can take place at the beach, at a restaurant or at a bar.  Our students find this method very useful to improve their speaking skills.
   Two people speaking different languages (i.e: an Italian and a foreigner) can work together to help to improve their knowledge of the foreign language while discovering some aspects of the partner's culture.

- Class schedule? Morning and/or afternoons?
- Usually classes start at 9 in the morning but classes can be held also in the afternoon.

- Length of a lesson?
1 lesson=50 minutes.

- Number of levels?
- 4 levels:
1. Elementary level: acquisition of the ability to communicate in Italian and to elaborate simple information; acquisition of the general dictionary and the use of basic grammatical constructions.
2. Intermediate level: acquisition of the ability to face daily situations and to express opinions through the consolidation of grammar and the dictionary.
3. Advanced level (level of specialization): acquisition of the three fundamental abilities of language: listening, oral production and writing to express fluently own opinions about complex subjects.
4. Excellent (level of specialization): analysis and study of the different forms of the written and oral language; lessons focusing on the most important aspects of literature, culture and Italian civilization.


- Types of accommodation offered?
- Shared apartment for students;
- Indipendent apartment for 1, 2 persons or families;
- Hotels;
- Farmhouses;
- Family (little availability).

Approximate distance from the school?
- All the apartments are max. 5/10 minutes walk from the school.

- Means of communication to the school?
- There is no need of means of transport because Otranto is a small touristical town.

Approximate number of people sharing the accommodation?
- max 4/5 students for apartment.


- Example of activities/excursions offered by the school?
- Are they included in the course fee? If not what is the approximate cost?


- LA GRECÌA SALENTINA (The Greek part of Salento)
Guided tour of some of the 9 villages where old Greek is still spoken:
- Visit of the most beautiful greek-byzanthine churches (S. Stefano, S. Caterina);
- Visit of the historical centres: analysis of the creek conception of the town and life in this zone;
- Visit of Soleto, the town of the witches; Corigliano with its beautiful castle; Sternatia, the town build on underground olive oil-mills of the XVI century: analysis of the olive oil production in one of this underground olive oil-mill.

- The remains of the Monastery of S. Nicola di Casole: the 2ns bigger library in the Mediterranean area, the first students' house in Europe, very important centre for the Greek and Byzantine culture;
- Visit of the fortified farms: ex. of how the buildings got the form of fortified castles to defend against Turkish invasion in 1480;
- Stops to admire the landscape: the cliffs are often lofty and inaccessible, yet they teem with caves and gorges that form a jagged coastline;
- Visit to S. Cesarea Terme:  Arab style town, Castro and grout Zinzulusa (optional: boat-tour).

   The beautiful beaches of the South Coast, Alimini Lakes, S.Andrea and its beautiful landscape: little bays of white sand and cliffs, S. Foca and the archeological site.
   The coastline is dented with narrow strips of sandy shore, once bordered with sand hillocks covered by a glory of psammophyious (sand vegetation) plants. Lying at the feet of precipitous cliffs are enchanting little beaches that change shape according to the irregular and impulsive rhythm of the waves beaten back by the cliffs.

- GUIDED VISIT OF THE TOWN OF LECCE called the Florence of South Italy, known for the Barock style.

The wine and olive oil road; visit of the places where typical regional products are produced: free tasting; visit of handicrafts laboratories.


- Where the school is located?
Otranto is a beautiful town on the seaside at 40 km from the main city Lecce the socalled Florence of South of Italy for its artistical beauties. A bus and train service links Otranto to Lecce. Otranto is also placed at a short distance from the other touristical seaside resorts on the beautiful coast.
   Very famous touristical place Otranto offers several hotels, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, banks. The town overlooks the beautiful beaches with white and fine sand and the clear water. Otranto offers the possibility to enjoy and to relax with its several pubs, open-air performances, discos.
- Otranto is on the seaside, it is a touristical place, one of the greatest tourist-cultural seaside resorts of Southern Italy where study and leisure activities complement one another perfectly.

- Approximate number of habitants?
- In summer 25.000; in winter 7.000.

- Type/character of the city? (coastal-, university-, etc.)
   The historical centre is beautiful with its castle, byzantine churches, the cathedral and the little street that remind the Arabic countries; you can breath a Mediterranean athmosphere; the surroundings also are rich in history and traditions.


- What is the nearest airport?
- Brindisi at 110 km

- What are the different means of transportation from the airport to the accommodation?
- There is an efficient bus service; but if you prefer you can take the train.






  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>


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