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7 Days Italian Language Courses and Culinary Vacation

  • Babilonia Italian Language School, Via Scalinata Timoleone, 10 - 98039 Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Italian Language Courses, Olive Oil and Wine Tasting Italy

A language is not the result of a set of grammar rules. A language is the result of a culture and its traditions, its history, its life style and its places. With this in mind, to have a fuller cultural experience in Sicily, and not just be a simple tourist but be a real traveler, you can combine an Italian language course in group with culinary program "the product of Sicily: wine, oil and cheese. We wish to welcome you soon in Taormina, Sicily and give you the opportunity to discover our island so full of history, so full of culture, so full of light!

Highlights

  • 20 Italian language lessons
  • Student insurance and discount card
  • 3 Sicilys wine, cheese and olive oil courses with tastings
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Graduation certificate
  • Educational material
  • 5 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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Quality accommodation can be just as important as a well-planned curriculum. It is a service offered exclusively to students because that is an essential part of an enjoyable and productive stay. All of the accommodation available through the school has been selected for cleanliness, comfort, and location. Most accommodations are within 15 minutes walking distance from the school. The apartment manager inspects monthly all the accommodations offered through the school. Since all accommodation is privately owned and operated, there are minor differences in amenities, but all meet a standard level of quality and convenience and are monthly being check.

Home-stays

Available with single or double rooms. The school has a certain number of families, couples and single adults, who make available rooms in their residence. Many are available with boarding options (meals) which include breakfast only or half-board which includes both breakfast and lunch or dinner. Obviously, this accommodation option requires a greater commitment not only on the part of the property owner, but also on the part of the student. It is well-suited to those who desire a more immersive learning experience and additional daily practice speaking Italian.

Hotels and pensione

Taormina offers an abundance of accommodation at all price levels. The school has negotiated special rates with a few 2 and 3-star hotels and we can provide information on hotels at all levels as well as boarding houses.

Independent apartments

There are also a number of independent apartments available for those who prefer private accommodation. Frequently, the school has single students or couples who prefer the privacy of their own apartment.

Shared student apartments

Available with single or double rooms, the school offers apartments to be shared by students in town. Shared apartments have a common kitchen and frequently share the bathrooms. The school recommends shared apartments as a great way of facilitating social and personal interactions with fellow students.

These Italian courses are designed for those who want a complete language experience, studying 4 lessons per day, focusing on the language analysis activities and the communicative tasks. You will have 4 language lessons per day from Monday to Friday. Each lesson lasts for 45 minutes. In the same week, you will have 3 lessons of 1.5 hours each including tasting and explanations about origin, production, recipes of Sicilys wine, oils and cheeses.

This retreat will take place in Taormina, Sicily, Italy.

Nearby places

  • Al Terme hydrothermal resort, 27 kilometers
  • Castelmola village
  • Giardini Naxos seaside resort
  • Mount Etna - 45 minutes
  • Nature reserve Isola Bella
  • Spisone beach

From pasta alle sarde to caponatina, from cannoli to pasta reale, from Marsala to Malvasia, Sicily is known worldwide for its traditional food and its wine.

Alcantara Gorges

This is a terrific natural phenomenon with lava caves and falls, the feather in the cap of the Alcantara River Park, the one and only river park in Sicily. Crossing by foot a part of this river is a very unique experience even if you can do that only from May to September when the water level is low and when the hot temperatures of the days help to deal with the freezing waters.

Al Terme hydrothermal resort

North of Taormina on the Ionian coast between Scaletta Zanclea and Nizza di Sicilia is the hydrothermal resort of Al Terme: water and mud treatments suitable for skin complaints, gynecological problems and inflammation of the respiratory system are available here. There are two spas: Granata Cassibile and Marino, respectively using the waters and muds of five and two springs. The water temperature varies between 28 and 46 degrees Celsius. They are rich in boric acid, sulfur, sodium bromide, chloride, iodide and carbonic acid. Easy to reach, a treatment here is also good for your health with the added attraction of a beach, archaeological sites and beautiful coastal and hill scenery nearby.

Beaches

Taormina is at 210 meters (689 feet) above the sea level. The coastline directly below Taormina, north and south, is immensely appealing. Several picturesque bays, with grottoes, rocky coves and good sandy or pebbled beaches, all easily reached by cable car or with the convenient shuttle-bus service from the hotels in town. By every beach even during winter time one can enjoy water sports such as wind-surfing, sailing, fishing, scuba-diving, canoeing, snorkeling or just jogging. In some beautiful nearby hilly villages there are international para-fly clubs where one can also take lessons by professional teachers.

Castelmola

Castelmola is a small medieval town perched on a mountain-peak overlooking Taormina and lies about 550 meters (1580 feet) above the sea level offering a magnificent view of the sea, Taormina, the coast of Calabria and Mount Etna. It counts slightly more than 1000 inhabitants. Very famous for the production of almond-wine and embroidery. The town center has two churches, the Mother Church which is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, and the Church of Saint George, which dates from 1450 and is noted for its bell-tower.

St. Georges day, April 23, is a popular attraction for people who enjoy patronal festivals. Many places are to be visited, such as the Spanish castle (14th century) or the St. Antonio square, the belvedere (scenic point), the cathedral and all the typical medieval narrow alleys of the town. Mountains, hills and valleys beyond Castelmola abound with wild flowers, shrubs and trees and landscape is particularly scenic.

Explore Taormina

Taormina is the most beautiful town in Sicily, an old hilltop town full of history and culture and by the sea. Taormina is famous for its beauty, its incredible heritage in history, archaeology and architecture, as well as for its reputation in welcoming travelers. Taormina is perfectly situated to offer students easy access to the beautiful and historically important treasures of Sicily. The village of Taormina is perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian sea. Besides the ancient Greek theatre, it has many old churches, lively bars, fine restaurants, and antique shops. Taormina is approximately a 45- minute drive away from Europe's largest active volcano, Mount Etna.

Just south of Taormina is the Isola Bella, a nature reserve; and further south, situated beside a bay, is the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Isola Bella, the bay of Mazzarr, the bay of Giardini Naxos, the beach of Spisone, those are among the most famous beaches in Italy. Tours of the Capo Sant' Andrea grottos are also available. For walkers, the surroundings of Taormina are also a beautiful paradise. There are several trails leading down to the sea and up to the picturesque village of Castelmola, and to the top of the highest mountain in the area, Monte Venere, where one of the three Greek temples of Venus is rumored to have existed.

Relax

For those looking for relaxation, you can find health and beauty programs in several hotels and beauty farms straight in the town center as well as International hair stylist. If you are a great reader, you can have free access to the public library in Piazza IX Aprile, one of the towns main piazzas; here you can find free Italian and international newspapers and magazines, important English books about Sicily or Taormina and antique books just only to be admired!

Finally if you really want to feel at ease like a true Sicilian, just buy your favorite paper, sit down at some of the several elegant open air cafs, forget what time it is, order your favorite drink or maybe a cappuccino, enjoy the piano playing, breathe deeply the sweet atmosphere all around you and just relax - thats probably the best treat of Taormina!

Shopping

Along the famous car-free main walking street Corso Umberto, visitors can enjoy the best Italian shopping stores at reasonable prices, certainly better than those in major Italian cities. Moreover the town offers a wide choice of selected unusual charming shops to purchase typical Sicilian products such as the renowned handmade ceramics or the elegant antiquities shops, the delicatessen stores with plenty of local wines and other gourmet items or those selling fine leather, wrought iron and wooden products so known worldwide.

Taormina tennis club

In the magnificent public gardens setting, anyone can play tennis all surrounded by exotic palm trees and colorful flowers and bougainvillea until 23:00. Three clay courts, lighted courts pleasantly located inside the public gardens Parco Duca di Cesar and managed by the Taormina Sporting Club, founded in 1925.

  • 3 lessons about wine, olive oil and cheese production with tastings
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 14 language lessons
  • Educational material
  • Enrollment fee
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Final certificate
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Oral and written entrance test
  • Student card for discounts
  • Student insurance
  • Activities not mentioned above
  • Drinks
  • Meals
  • Personal expenses

Driving directions from Genoa

If you do not want to drive through all of Italy, you can take a ferryboat from Genoa to Palermo (an overnight trip). Then from Palermo, take the highway to Catania (crosses inland) and from Catania (you do not need to enter the town), take the highway towards Messina and exit at Taormina. It takes about 3.5 hours to drive from Palermo to Taormina.

Driving directions from Rome

Take the highway to Reggio Calabria and exit in Villa San Giovanni. Here, take the ferryboat to Messina (ferries go every 20 minutes and it takes approximately 20 minutes to cross the Straits of Messina). From Messina take the highway toward Catania, exit at Taormina.

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to the location is Catania Fontanarossa airport (CTA).

Arrival by bus

There is a bus service from Catania airport to Taormina and it takes approximately 90 minutes. Tickets may be purchased at the airport or at the bus station and they cost EUR 4 per person. Buses leave nearly every hour during high-season. Taormina bus station is 5 minutes walking distance from the city center. Alternatively, there are local buses leaving from the central railway station in Catania and it takes approximately 2 hours to go via the inner roads.

Arrival by train

Arrive at Taormina-Giardini train station. There are many direct trains leaving for Sicily from all the main towns in Italy. The train station is a 10-minute drive from the city center and you can take a local bus or a taxi.

Arrival by taxi

The school offers an airport pick-up service from Catania airport to Taormina. This service must be reserved at least one week before the arrival date. All flight changes (cancelations, delays) must be communicated immediately and directly to the service. Direct telephone number will be provided by the school after booking. The service cannot be canceled within 48 hours before arrival.

Distances

  • Catania Fontanarossa airport, 45 kilometers
  • Florence - 10 hours
  • Milan - 15 hours
  • Palermo - 3.5 hours
  • Rome - 8 hours