Discover Puglia through our courses!
Taking a course in our Italian language school means discovering an outstanding region. Here we publish the experience of one of our students:
Why not combine a course learning Italian with sunshine, history, culture (and a bit of beach) in the beautiful Salento region of Italy?
I have just returned from a two week stay in Otranto, a small, charming, friendly seaside town deep in Puglia, southern Italy – the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot. Historically the far south has always been considered the poor relation compared to the more affluent north. However, this area enjoys a rich cultural heritage and a very interesting history (yes, Horace Walpole, son of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole did write ‘The Castle of Otranto’, the first supernatural English novel and one of the most influential works of Gothic fiction) and the town’s people were kindness itself -especially when in my very basic Italian I was forced to enlist their help and support for the first four days of my visit when I discovered that my suitcase had not managed to get on the same flight as its owner.
I had signed up for a two week course at the Scuola Porta d’Oriente in Otranto, a small but charming language school. After facing a rather daunting looking test paper on the first morning so that we could be assigned to a class of the appropriate level, we were taken on a guided introductory tour of the town, thus beginning our immersion into the language. During the following two weeks there followed a series of daily lessons, in which our teacher led us through a diverse and always wholly compelling sequence of activities in the classroom (and kitchen where one day we made pasta). The school prides itself on being small and therefore able to tailor the lessons to the interests and abilities of the learners and our teacher was indeed at the outset keen to know from all of us just what our expectations were as well as our interests: we were seven in the class and therefore had ample opportunity for speaking practice. She is a skilled practitioner and patiently and clearly communicated her passion for and knowledge of the history, culture and of course the language of her birthplace. She seems to have a never-ending stock of interesting articles to read, video clips to watch and games to play and the lessons flew by as one activity morphed seamlessly into the next, all the while gently encouraging her students with empathy and good humour.
Otranto may be small and a little off the beaten track (and is, I suspect, very different in August when you may have to fight for a space on the beach) but a course at the school will be an enriching experience in every sense of the phrase.
Dianne Place (London)
Here you have a list of some aspects that made Puglia famous all over the world. Many of these aspects will be treated in depth during our Italian language and culture courses.
Learning Italian in Puglia means gastronomic and cultural experiences!
Celebrate Puglia at the table! From Gargano to Salento, this slow-pace journey across traditional recipes is a narration of the extraordinary regional diversity: slow food presidiums, local limited productions and quality certifications are to be found aplenty: the Altamura DOP bread is world renowned, as is Apulian extra-virgin olive oil and the unmistakable Burrata from Andria. Among typical Apulian dishes, it is just impossible to resist to Rice, Potatoes and Mussels, or the yummy home made Orecchiette, both with ragout meat sauce or in its most intense fashion, dressed with turnip greens.
Apulia offers you products of a unique cuisine: sweets, with strong Oriental flavours, such as fruttoni, mostaccioli or copeta (almond and honey nougat); meat dishes such as roasted lamb entrails, turcinelli delicacies of horsemeat with sauce, moniceddhi, that is snails collected during the underground hibernation period, thus still covered in a whitish secretion (mpannate). These and many more dishes are served in the “putèe”, the typical Apulia restaurants where the traditions of popular cuisine are preserved.