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. Very few places can proudly say they have been home to various civilisations (The Sicanians, Sicilians, Greeks, Carthaginian, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards…), all of whom contributed to the vibrant culture that Sicily boasts of today.

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: 55 minutes
  • 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

Courses on offer

Courses are structured around the study of Italian language which will be put into practice thanks to communication workshops.

  • Standard course: 10 lessons of general Italian per week – 2 lessons a day from Monday – Friday.Language level: beginner to advanced
  • Semi-intensive course: 20 lessons of general Italian per week – 4 lessons a day Monday – FridayLanguage level: beginner to advanced
  • Intensive course: 30 lessons of general Italian per week – 6 lessons a day Monday – FridayLanguage level: beginner to advanced
  • Private lessonsLesson length: 55 minutesAs 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
  • Preparatory classes for CELI examThe 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.

Italian Plus

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 weekLearn 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 weekThis 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 week3 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 weekThis 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.Experienced divers: 2 afternoons per week, 2 dives per sessionBeginners: 1 afternoon per weekN.B.: The diving programme runs from May-October only.
  • Business & Executive: 4 hours per week2 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 Babilonia: 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 Babilonia: most apartments are located 15 minutes’ walk from the school

Facilities and Services

  • Shared kitchen

N.B.: 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 2019

Dates 2019

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: 14/01, 21/01, 04/02, 18/02, 04/03, 18/03, 01/04, 15/04, 29/04, 06/05, 20/05, 03/06, 17/06, 01/07, 15/07, 29/07, 05/08, 19/08, 02/09, 16/09, 30/09, 14/10, 28/10, 04/11, 18/11, 02/12.

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

Prices 2019

All taxes and enrolment fees included

WPCS 42.0.1
Cours & logement en appartement, chambre individuelle, sans repas
Durée10 leçons20 leçons30 leçons
1 semaine 515 590 760
2 semaines 805 955 1.295
3 semaines 1.130 1.325 1.835
4 semaines 1.440 1.695 2.375
6 semaines 2.075 2.425 3.445
8 semaines 2.710 3.155 4.515
12 semaines 3.965 4.625 6.655
16 semaines 5.245 6.095 8.815
18 semaines 5.875 6.825 9.885
20 semaines 6.495 7.555 10.955
24 semaines 7.780 9.030 13.110
Semaine suppl. 320 370 540
Suppléments Italian PLUS (par sem.)
Cours de cuisine 210
Cours de gastronomie 275
Vin & cuisine 360
Plongée (pour obtenir la certif.) - 2 semaines 355
Plongée (pour les experts) - 2 leçonsx2 après-midis 205
Plongée (pour les débutants) - 1 seule session 135
Trek et écotourisme 530
Business 815
Autres Supplément (par sem.)
Famille, chb indiv, demi-pension 60
Cours particuliers (55') 45
Transfert de l'aéroport de Catania (arrivée uniq.) 100
Nuit suppl, en famille, ch.indiv. 50
Nuit suppl, en appartement, ch.indiv. 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