Where to go?

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Reeven
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Location: Pennsylvania

Where to go?

Post by Reeven » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:58 pm

Hi, I'm planning on attending the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Italy this summer for maybe 8-10 weeks. They have four locations (Florence, Rome, Siena and Milan), and allow for transfer between them at any time. I've been told that Florence is a great place to learn the language because there isn't a heavy dialect, so I've decided to start there. I wanted to travel to two cities though, and so I'm trying to decide between Rome and Siena for the second one.

Has anybody been to either/both of these cities that could throw in their two cents? I'm looking for a place that has lots of opportunity for immersion in the language with culture and the like, has lots to do both in the city and in the surrounding area, and is different enough from Florence that it warrants the change in location. From what I gather pretty much all of Italy is beautiful, so I don't have to worry about that being a qualifying factor.

Any help that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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-Luca-
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Re: Where to go?

Post by -Luca- » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:22 pm

Reeven wrote:I've been told that Florence is a great place to learn the language because there isn't a heavy dialect, so I've decided to start there.
Ne sèi SSi uuro??

:) Their beautiful dialect is not so light as you can think ,

But who cares where, you will be studying in a school, where dialect is not admited.
While,instead, walking around the city, Every person would use a proper italian with you just as realized you're not native.

Rome has a beautifil dialect as well,
I like milano's too.

Don't really know about Siena, but that would not be much far from the "fiorentino". ..
Italians don't know what Caesar salad is !!

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umberto
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Post by umberto » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:49 pm

If I were you, I would choose Rome. Siena isn’t so different from Florence… Well, I haven’t been to Siena for a very long time, nevertheless I think you’re going to find in Rome a completely different atmosphere and more opportunities. Rome is much bigger than Siena and shows all the problems that big cites have, including the fact that it’s very expensive, but then again, once you live in Florence, no other place in Italy will look expensive to you! As for the language Luca is right: the general opinion is that the Italian spoken in Florence is the purest one, just beacause one of the most important literary works of our modernity, ‘I promessi sposi’ (1840), was written according to rules of the Florentine dialect, but this does not mean that the only place where people speak a good Italian is Florence!

Reeven
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Location: Pennsylvania

Post by Reeven » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:38 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys! I think my only real worry with Rome is that it would be more geared to tourists, and therefore have more English used in it. Is that correct at all or am I worried about nothing?

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coffeecup
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Post by coffeecup » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:01 am

I've been to all those cities except for Milan, and I'd have to say that Florence is my favorite, closely followed by Siena.

Rome was to me just another big city (lots of history and worth a look though), whereas Florence and Siena were amazing! Both of them are architecturally gorgeous, but there was one time in Siena that a shopkeeper took one look at me and launched into English. So frustrating!! But there is also a lot of English in Rome too.

Either way, you're going to have an incredible time! Where better to learn the language than those fabulous cities!
без тебя я не я. нас никогда не догонят! я тебя люблю.

Reeven
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Location: Pennsylvania

Post by Reeven » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:58 pm

Haha yeah the people pulling English out on me is something I feel like I'm going to get a lot. I'm very pale and very clearly American, and going during tourist season. Hopefully I can just respond in Italian and that'll clear it up.

It is a bit of a toss-up between Rome and Siena still. I think I may end up going to Rome just because the school I'm going to has day-trips from the Florence school to Siena, so that way I can at least see that city and spend some time there, as well as getting to see Rome. I'll have to think on that one. Thanks for all the help everybody!

Cresasso
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Post by Cresasso » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:59 pm

While I have in my entire life spent less than a month in Toscana counting all trips in their entirety, one could say that my accent hails from there because most of my family was from there, and therefore it is how I learned to speak.

However, Firenze has a VERY heavy inflection. It's not so easy to understand. Mind you that I am used to certain amounts of Toscano (more from Arezzo actually) and I find the Fiorentini rather difficult to understand at times.

While the Firenze Italian is considered neutral, I don't think it is at all. Watch TV, and you will never hear the initial hard "C" of words said as a vocal "H", which in Italian is usually silent. Actually, in Firenze, they make it silent, so they chop off all initial C's. They like to exaggerate it too because the Fiorentini think Firenze is so cool and want you to know just how cool they think they are. Meh....

My order of suggestion would be as follows

1. Rome -> Big city with TONS of history and opportunities to do everything. It is overwhelmingly historic, even more than Firenze, but far less touristy because it's bigger and dispereses the tourists better. You can go in certain quarters of the city that are historically interesting and stunning and go all day without seeing a tourist. It's the best combination of "travel playground" and "real city where real people live".

2. Siena. I like Siena. It's small but very authentic. Just don't go when they have the Palio as the crowds will be overwhelming. Food wise it's amazing, and the gastronomic choices are exceptional, many little trattorie but lots of great high end supermarkets with their foodstuffs. It's a bit off the beaten path and hard to reach road wise. It IS a bit isolated and limits certain opportunities, but if you want to avoid big city madness and feel like you're in a medieval village, this is a decent choice, albeit limiting.

3. Firenze. I don't like Firenze. I have many friends there where I could stay. I tend to stay at other friends' and family and have them over (we all know each other anyway and owe each other "room and board favors"). It's crowded. The parking is nightmarish. You can't get anywhere. It's congested. The beautiful to see areas make you feel like you will get trampled underfoot, the calm and peaceful areas are boring. Being in a valley, the air quality is not very good, if you have asthma it may act up. There's lots to see but the lines will be long. There are opportunities, but subjectively I personally don't like it that much.

4. Milano: I can't recommend because I don't know. But everyone I have spoken about this prefers the above three cities to Milano as it can be a tad unfriendly. Economically/job wise it's the best.

Hope that helps

And beware those Fiorentini.

If you like Firenze, listen to this song, it's hilarious. It's done in extreme, parodied local accent. Parental advisory, some explicit language will be said, but watch with a lot of irony. It gets you into the Firenze character/spirit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKwoFu7t5rs

amoitaliano
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: Where to go?

Post by amoitaliano » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:40 pm

Ciao Reeven,
I attended the Leonardo da Vinci language school in Milano last year for 12 weeks 2 of which I spent in the Florence's school, and I can tell you that it was really a good choice!

The school in Milan is located in a very nice area inside a student campus where also an academy of fine arts is, so there was the possibility to meet lots of italian students too and speak the language.

In Florence no better position than the one where the school is located since it's just 2 minutes by foot from Piazza Duomo.

In both schools they have really nice and helpful staff and teachers, I also booked the accommodation with the school and they provided me exactly what I was looking for.

Regarding the language I didn't notice so many differences between Milano and Florence, in both cities there is not a dialect like in Sicily or in Veneto for example but they have a slight different pronunciation.

I don't know how old are you and what are your interests but I can say that if you are really young I would suggest Milano since it's rich in events for young students, if you are more interested in art history Florence is a must, if you wish to have a quiet and relaxing experience than I'd say Siena, regarding Rome I suggest you to read Eat, Pray and Love the author attended Scuola Leonardo da Vinci and write about it in the book :)

In any case I can only recommend Leonardo da Vinci school since my experience was wonderful and I met a lot of new friends improving my italian language.

Buon viaggio!

Goran

Reeven wrote:Hi, I'm planning on attending the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Italy this summer for maybe 8-10 weeks. They have four locations (Florence, Rome, Siena and Milan), and allow for transfer between them at any time. I've been told that Florence is a great place to learn the language because there isn't a heavy dialect, so I've decided to start there. I wanted to travel to two cities though, and so I'm trying to decide between Rome and Siena for the second one.

Has anybody been to either/both of these cities that could throw in their two cents? I'm looking for a place that has lots of opportunity for immersion in the language with culture and the like, has lots to do both in the city and in the surrounding area, and is different enough from Florence that it warrants the change in location. From what I gather pretty much all of Italy is beautiful, so I don't have to worry about that being a qualifying factor.

Any help that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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