Sicily

With over 2500 years of history, art, tradition and excellent Italian cuisine, Sicily is a cultural and historical gold mine. Located right in the middle of the Mediterranean, Sicily lies on the point where all 3 contintents meet. Aside from its heritage, Sicily is also home to breathtaking natural beauty. What with its turquoise water, white sandy beaches and vast forests along with golden hills and the snow-topped volcano ‘Etna’, Sicily’s landscape is both stunning and the essence of tranquility. The roots of Italian culture lie in Sicily.

Taormina is known for being the birthplace of Sicilian history. This little town is akin to a treasure chest, bursting with archeology, culture and art. Founded in the 6th century BC, it’s located on the crest of Mount Tauro with the Bay of Naxos glittering below it.

Our partner school Babilonia lies in the centre of the city in an hisotical 19th century building called the ‘Casa Silva’. You’ll be able to look out over the Ionian sea and Mount Etna.

Babilonia is accredited by: Italian Ministry of Education, CSN Sweden, ASILS (Association of Schools of Italian as a Second Language) & EDUITALIA.

Babilonia is also a registered CELI and DILS (University for Foreigners of Perugia) exam centre, and a centre for teacher training (ITALS – Italian as a Foreign Language Masters).

School facilities include:

  • A beautiful and relaxing environment
  • Bright and spacious classrooms, equipped with air conditioning
  • Multimedia equipment
  • A well-stocked library
  • A student lounge
  • A 600 m² garden
  • WiFi connection
  • Cafeteria with Sicilian specialties, coffee, pastries and fresh fruit salad
  • Terrace and self-study room with breathtaking views
  • Student card that will give students discounts for certain things

Babilonia won the Student Travel Magazine Star School Award in 2008, and was nominated in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.

Italian language courses: the basics

  • Lesson length: 45 (in groups) or 55 minutes (individual lessons)
  • Class size: Maximum 10 students (4 to 7 on average) ; 12 in peak season (mid-May to mid-October)
  • Schedule: lessons are usually held in the morning but can also be scheduled in the afternoon in peak season
  • Placement test: first day of lessons
  • 6 levels on offer
  • Certificate of completion at the end of your stay
  • Qualified native Italian teachers

10 lessons of general Italian per week – 2 lessons a day from Monday – Friday.

Language level: beginner to advanced

20 lessons of general Italian per week – 4 lessons a day Monday – Friday

Language level: beginner to advanced

30 lessons of general Italian per week – 6 lessons a day Monday – Friday

Language level: beginner to advanced

Lesson length: 55 minutes

As well as standard or intensive Italian, you can also choose to take private lessons each week specifically catered to your language needs.

Language level: beginner to advanced

The school organises preparatory courses for the CELI exam twice a year. The exams take place in June and in November.

If you are interested in these courses, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

In addition to the standard language programme of your choice, you can also choose to take additional classes on a theme of your choosing. This is an ideal combination if you want to make your experience unforgettable and learn all about the island’s unique culture.

Available courses:

  • Cookery Classes with Mamma: 10.5 hours per week
    • Learn to whip up a Sicilian specialty storm with a vera mamma. You will have class 3 times per week for 3.5 hours each session, and learn how to cook Sicilian dishes hands-on. Each session includes a primo, secondo and contorno dish, as well as a local pastry, cake or dessert once per week.
  • Cookery classes with a chef : 7.5 hours per week
    • This course is deisgned for those looking to learn the art of cooking on a more sophisticated level. You’ll be able to whip up a dish worthy of an haute cuisine restaurant!
  • Wine, cheese and oil of Sicily: 4.5 hours per week
    • 3 hour long sessions per week to explore, discover and taste traditional Sicilian produce: wine, oil, cheese, jam, etc.
  • Hiking, trekking and Eco-Tours: 2 half-days and 1 full day per week
    • This course includes hiking in different national parks in the west of Sicily, with professional guides from the local tourism school.
    • Transport to the hiking trails is included. Students should bring their own hiking gear.
  • Diving: Discover the bright blue Bay of Taormina from underwater! Diving sessions are organised by a professional diving club in Giardini, Naxos.
    • Diving gear is included.
    • To get the certification: 5 theoretical lessons of 1h30 on the first week + 5 diving sessions of 40 minutes on the second week
    • Experienced divers: 2 afternoons per week, 2 dives per session
    • Beginners: 1 afternoon per week
    • N.B.: The diving programme runs from May-October only.
  • Business & Executive: 4 hours per week
    • 2 days per week, 2 hours per session. Study specialised Italian focusing on business, finance, law, medicine and architecture with professionals from each field.

You will enjoy a varied calendar of social and leisure activities every week, in the afternoon or during the evening. Attendance is optional. Many of these activities are free of charge, however, some may charge a fee. All activities are subject to change without notice and may be offered seasonally.

Some of the many activities available include:

  • Film nights
  • Games
  • Guided tours
  • Seminars on Italian literature and poetry, Sicilian history, politics and cooking, and much more.

In addition to the activities on offer, the school also organises excursions (for an additional fee). They usually take place over the weekend or Monday-Friday in the afternoon and focus on exploring areas off the beaten track around Taormina.

Paid recreational activities are also organised on a regular basis, including restaurant outings, plays and concerts.

Single room, shared bathroom, half-board.

Host families may be traditional families, couples or single working professionals. All host families are eager to open their homes to people exploring the Italian language and Sicilian culture.

Travel time to school: most host families live 15 minutes’ walk from the school.

An ideal option for meeting and conversing with other students.

Features

  • Single room
  • Shared bathroom
  • Self-catering
  • Travel time to school: most apartments are located 15 minutes’ walk from the school

Facilities and Services

  • Shared kitchen

Shared room is available, but for 2 students travelling together only.

Travel

Arrivals: Sunday

Departures: Saturday (before 10:00 am)

  • Arrival airport:
  • Catania (CTA): 1 hour 25 mins (by bus)

Airport transfers available on request (fees apply, see ‘Dates & Prices’ tab)

Please note: Do not make travel arrangements until we have confirmed your enrolment in your chosen course.

Visa Information

You might need a visa for this course. For more information please visit our Visa Information page.

Do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email if you require any additional information.

Dates & Prices 2021

Dates 2021

Course start dates: Most courses start every Monday year-round (exceptions mentioned below) On Bank Holiday Mondays, lessons start on Tuesdays.

Course start dates for absolute beginners: 15/02, 01/03, 15/03, 29/03, 12/04, 26/04, 03/05, 17/05, 31/05, 14/06, 28/06, 05/07, 19/07, 02/08, 16/08, 30/08, 06/09, 20/09, 04/10, 18/10.

Bank holidays and holidays (No lessons will take place on these dates and they will not be rescheduled or refunded): 04/04, 25/04, 01/05, 02/06, 15/08, 01/11, 08/12.

Prices 2021

All taxes and enrolment fees included

WPCS 42.0.1

Course & accommodation in an apartment, single room, self-catering
Duration10 lessons20 lessons30 lessons
1 week 495 570 750
2 weeks 795 945 1.285
3 weeks 1.120 1.320 1.830
4 weeks 1.445 1.695 2.375
6 weeks 2.090 2.440 3.460
8 weeks 2.735 3.185 4.545
12 weeks 4.030 4.680 6.720
16 weeks 5.320 6.170 8.890
18 weeks 5.965 6.915 9.975
20 weeks 6.610 7.660 11.060
24 weeks 7.905 9.155 13.235
Extra week
Italian PLUS options (per week)
Cooking classes 210
Gastronomy course 275
Wine & cuisine 360
Diving (to get the certification) - 2 weeks 355
Diving (for experienced divers) - 2 lessons x 2 afternoons 205
Diving (beginners) - 1 lesson 135
Hiking and eco-tourism 530
Business 815
Extra charges
Host family, single room, half-board 60
Private lessons (55 mins) 45
Transfer from Catania airport (arrival only) 100
Extra night with host family, single room 50
Extra night in apartment, single room 35

Prices include:

  • Your chosen course
  • Apartment accommodation in a single room, no meals included
  • Course materials
  • Afternoon and evening activities
  • All taxes and enrolment fees

Prices do not include:

  • Travel to/from Taormina
  • Airport transfers
  • In an apartment: all meals
  • With a host family: evening meals
  • Extra activities or excursions
  • Transportation in and around Taormina
  • Deposit on arrival, where applicable
  • Optional insurance