Is Italy on your mind?
È sempre nella mia mente!
It is always on my mind!
Sono appena tornato da sette settimane in Italia, e sto già pensando di tornare al Bel Paese nel 2023!
I’ve just returned from seven weeks in Italy, and I’m already thinking about returning to il Bel Paese in 2023!
Sono super entusiasta di farti sapere che tornerò in Italia l’anno prossimo con quattro nuovi programmi di lingua italiana che ho organizzato con le mie scuole partner di lingua italiana ad Arezzo, Lucca e Montepulciano.
I’m super excited to let you know that I will return to Italy next year with FOUR NEW Italian language programs that I have organized with my Italian language partner schools in Arezzo, Lucca, and Montepulciano.
Tutti i programmi italiani Matta 2023 sono pubblicati sul sito Studentessa Matta, e puoi iscriverti subito per prenotare il tuo posto. In questo momento, tutto ciò che è necessario per effettuare una prenotazione è un deposito di $500 che è possibile pagare direttamente sul sito web aggiungendo al carrello PayPal e compilando i moduli di viaggio. [Il saldo delle spese di viaggio sarà dovuto 60 giorni prima della data di inizio del programma. ] Quest’anno ci sono nuove opzioni di alloggio disponibili ad Arezzo e a Montepulciano, che saranno disponibili su base first-come, first served. Iscriviti ora per assicurarti la tua prima sistemazione!
All the 2023 Matta Italian programs are published on the Studentessa Matta Website, and you can signup right now to reserve your spot. At this time, all that is required to make a reservation is a $500 deposit which you can pay right on the website by adding to the PayPal cart and filling out the trip forms. [The balance of trip fees will be due 60 days prior to the program start date.] This year there are new accommodation choices available in Arezzo and in Montepulciano, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up now to guarantee your first choice of accommodations!
2023 Matta and Arezzo Italian Language Program: June 11 – 23, 2023
Tornerò ad Arezzo a giugno per il prossimo programma italiano di Matta e Arezzo. Ancora una volta collaborerò con Paola Testi e i docenti di Cultura Italiana Arezzo. Le date sono 11-23 giugno 2023. Il prossimo anno avrete la scelta di soggiornare in una delle due location: Le Antiche Mura, un incantevole B&B boutique situato in cima alla collina di Arezzo vicino al Duomo con una splendida vista sulla campagna toscana, o nel moderno Hotel Aretino situato ai piedi della collina di Arezzo vicino alla scuola. Studierai la mattina a scuola. Nei pomeriggi, continueremo a lavorare sulle abilità di lingua e di conversazione italiana come partecipiamo a “passeggiate/ chiacchiere” escursioni guidate in città e attività, come corsi di cucina – anche un corso di gelateria! Saremo ad Arezzo per la giostra serale di giugno e parteciperemo a tutte le feste che rendono unica questa cittadina. Nel prezzo sono incluse molte cene organizzate e la possibilità di parlare con insegnanti italiani e amici di Melissa!
I will return to Arezzo in June for the next Matta and Arezzo Italian program. Once again, I will collaborate with Paola Testi and the teachers of Cultura Italiana Arezzo. The dates are June 11-23, 2023. Next year, you will have the choice of staying in one of two locations: Le Antiche Mura, a charming boutique B&B located at the top of Arezzo’s hill near the Duomo with a lovely view of the Tuscan countryside, or in the modern Hotel Aretino situated at the bottom of Arezzo’s hill near the school. You will study in the mornings at the school. In the afternoons, we will continue working on Italian language skills and conversation abilities as we participate in “walking/talking” guided excursions around town and activities, like cooking classes — even a gelato-making class! We will be in Arezzo for the June evening joust and participate in all the festivities that make this town unique. The price includes many organized dinners and chances to converse with teachers and Melissa’s Italian friends!
2023 Matta and Lucca Italian Language Program: August 24 – Sept 2, 2023
Alla fine di agosto tornerò a Lucca per il Programma Matta e Lucca Italian School. Le date sono il 24 agosto-2 settembre 2023. Ancora una volta, soggiorneremo presso il delizioso Albergo San Martino, situato all’interno delle mura di Lucca, accanto al Duomo. Studierai alla Scuola Italiana di Lucca, che si trova a soli 10-15 minuti a piedi lungo la cima delle mura di Lucca. Nel pomeriggio, assaggeremo il vino e faremo la pasta. Visiteremo anche Vinci e la casa natale di Leonardo da Vinci e Cerreto Guidi, la villa di caccia medicea dove fu uccisa Isabella de’ Medici (dicono che il suo fantasma vaga ancora per la tenuta!) Tornando a Lucca, percorreremo le famose mura che circondano la città e conosceremo le leggende della città, tra cui la storia di Lucida Mansi, che fece un patto con il diavolo il cui fantasma si dice infestasse il muro anche nella notte della luna piena. Non in fantasmi! Nessuna preoccupazione… Lucca è soleggiata e luminosa, e saliremo anche la Torre Guinigi, sorseggeremo spritz all’Anfiteatro, e mangeremo tanto gelato! Nel prezzo sono incluse numerose cene organizzate e la possibilità di parlare con insegnanti e amici italiani di Melissa!
At the end of August, I will return to Lucca for the Matta and Lucca Italian School Program. The dates are August 24-Sept 2, 2023. Once again, we will stay at the delightful Albergo San Martino, located inside the walls of Lucca, next to the Duomo. You will study at Lucca Italian School, located just a 10-15 minute walk along the top of Lucca’s wall. In the afternoons, we will taste wine and make pasta. We will also visit Vinci and the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci and Ceretto Guidi, the Medici hunting villa where Isabella de’ Medici was murdered (they say her ghost still roams the estate!) Back in Lucca, we will walk the famous wall surrounding the town and learn the town’s legends, including the story of Lucida Mansi, who made a pact with the devil whose ghost is also said to haunt the wall on the night of the full moon. Not into ghosts! No worries… Lucca is sunny and bright, and we will also climb the Guinigi Tower, sip spritzes in the Anfiteatro, and eat lots of gelato! The price includes many organized dinners and chances to converse with teachers and Melissa’s Italian friends!
2023 Matta September Arezzo Joust Weekend: Sept 2 – 4, 2023
(Open to Italian learners and English speakers)
Tornerò ad Arezzo il 2 – 4 settembre 2023, ospitando i due giorni di Giostra autunnale. Questo è un programma breve di due giorni e una meravigliosa opportunità per conoscere la Giostra e partecipare alla cena celebrativa nel quartiere di Santo Spirito e guardare la Giostra in Piazza Grande in Tribuna A! Avrete un tour a piedi di Arezzo e partecipare a un seminario per imparare sulla storia della Giostra. Una cena di vittoria si terrà dopo l’evento giostra di Domenica sera.
I will return to Arezzo on September 2 – 4, 2023, hosting the two-day fall Joust weekend. This is a short program – 2 days – and a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Joust and participate in the celebratory dinner in the Santo Spirito neighborhood and watch the Joust in Piazza Grande in Tribuna A! You will have a walking tour of Arezzo and participate in a seminar to learn about the history of the Joust. A victory dinner will be held after the jousting event on Sunday night.
Per coloro che parteciperanno la settimana prima al 2023 Matta e Lucca Italian Program, assumerò un furgone privato per portarci ad Arezzo la mattina del 2 settembre.
For those who participate the week before in the Matta and Lucca Italian Program, I will be hiring a private van to take us to Arezzo on the morning of September 2.
Se desiderate prolungare il vostro soggiorno ad Arezzo dopo il fine settimana di giostra, è possibile concordare un soggiorno presso il vostro alloggio e studiare presso Cultura Italiana Arezzo, presso la scuola o lezioni private.
If you would like to prolong your stay in Arezzo after the joust weekend, arrangements can be made for you to stay in your lodging and study at Cultura Italiana Arezzo, at the school, or have private lessons.
Per chi volesse unirsi a me a Montepulciano (la settimana dopo il Weekend Joust Program) organizzerò un furgoncino privato domenica 10 settembre, per portarci a Montepulciano
For those who’d like to join me in Montepulciano (the week after the Weekend Joust Program) I will organize a private van on Sunday, September 10th, to take us to Montepulciano.
2023 Matta and Montepulciano Italian Language Program: September 10 – 22
2023 Matta and Montepulciano Italian Language Program: Sept 10 – 22, 2023
A metà settembre 2023, mi troverete a Montepulciano, collaborando ancora una volta con la Scuola Italiana Il Sasso in una delle città più idilliache della Toscana. La vista sulla campagna circostante è mozzafiato. Avrete la possibilità di scegliere tra tre alloggi; in cima alla collina negli incantevoli Politian Apartments (a 10 minuti a piedi dalla scuola) o in fondo alla collina presso l’Hotel Rondó (a 15 minuti a piedi dalla scuola). Ho anche assicurato Stefania Savings Townhouse, situato accanto alla scuola. Dopo le lezioni mattutine, faremo escursioni “a piedi/chiacchiera” a San Quirico, Pienza, Montalcino, vigneti e aziende agricole locali per degustare vino e degustare prodotti locali. Faremo la pasta con Claudia e faremo una lezione di pizza con Linda. Il prezzo include molte cene organizzate e possibilità di conversare con insegnanti e amici italiani di Melissa!
Mid-September 2023, you will find me in Montepulciano, collaborating once again with il Sasso Italian School in one of the most idyllic Tuscan towns. The views of the surrounding countryside are breathtaking. You will have the choice of three lodgings locations; at the top of the hill in the charming Politian Apartments (a 10-minute walk to school) or at the bottom of the hill at the Hotel Rondó (a 15-minute walk to school). I’ve also secured Stefania Savings Townhouse, conveniently located next door to the school. After morning classes, we will make “walking/talking” excursions to San Quirico, Pienza, Montalcino, and local vineyards and farms to taste wine and sample local products. We will make pasta with Claudia and have a pizza-making class with Linda. The price includes many organized dinners and chances to converse with teachers and Melissa’s Italian friends!
Per semplificare il trasporto a Montepulciano, per chi volesse raggiungermi ad Arezzo, organizzerò un furgone privato domenica 10 settembre, per portarci a Montepulciano.
To simplify transportation to Montepulciano, for those who’d like to join me in Arezzo, I will organize a private van on Sunday, September 10th, to take us to Montepulciano.
Questi sono i Programmi Italiani Matta 2023 in poche parole. Mi piacerebbe averti con me il prossimo anno in Italia, esplorare, imparare e praticare l’italiano insieme.
These are the 2023 Matta Italian Programs in a nutshell. I’d love to have you with me next year in Italy, exploring, learning, and practicing Italian together.
Those who come with me have a wonderful time. Robin, who participated in the 2022 Matta Lucca program, posted this review!
Robin Lucarelli: I participated in the 2022 Studentessa Matta language program in Lucca. It was a 9 day program full of fun and adventure and speaking Italian, of course. Melissa is a master at organizing and caring for the folks she takes with her to Italy. It’s obvious she loves what she does because she is so good at it.
My class time at the Lucca Italian School was invaluable! Students from the US, Europe and beyond were split into groups based on their competency. Each day we were encouraged to discuss topics presented by our teacher Benedetta, who was awesome. There were plenty of planned activities outside of class time that were led by various staff/teachers at the Lucca Italian School. These activities provided more time to listen, learn and speak Italian.
My biggest takeaway from the 9-day program was getting over my fear of speaking Italian. After completing the program, I traveled to Rome and Sorrento for another 2 weeks, speaking Italian to taxi drivers, tour guides, waiters and store clerks. I’m sure I made plenty of mistakes, but I was no longer afraid.
Thank you, Melissa, and all the wonderful folks at the Lucca Italian School!
Carol Stothard: In September this year, I spent 10 fantastic days in Lucca organised by Melissa. I met two other really interesting American ladies and each morning we went to the school, where the lessons were informative and friendly so learning Italian became a positive experience. Every afternoon we visited places of interest both in Lucca and outside and enjoyed delicious meals in various restaurants. Always accompanied by one or two of the teachers from the school, so our learning of the language continued. I enjoyed it so much that I have already enrolled for another learning experience next year.
Karina Kagramanova: Montepulciano Il Sasso Program 2018 has been the best trip of my life! and this is despite the fact, that my flight was substantially delayed and I arrived 24 hours later, and my luggage has been lost for 5 days! From the moment I heard Melissa’s podcast, I felt I found my kindred spirit. An incredible woman with infinite love for Italy and the Italian language. This program was worth every cent I spent and even more. Everything was so thoughtful; not only we had interesting excursions but also trips to bio farm, cooking lessons, and wine tasting. The excursions, views, and dinners were fabulous! Melissa is warm, welcoming, attentive, caring, with a fantastic sense of humor, and light-hearted. She created a wonderful atmosphere in the group and I’ve been enjoying every second of interacting with each of them! Il Sasso school deserves separate recognition – teachers, program, studies – all significantly exceeded my expectations. It was a great balance of speaking, grammar, listening, and writing.
Sheree Isola: I have participated in three of melissa‘s programs in Italy. They have all been fascinating and fun. Melissa took great care to find activities that appealed to all the different ages and personalities of the people who participated in the programs. Every day is filled with opportunities to learn about Italy’s beautiful art, architecture, language, and culture. Melissa makes you feel like you were a part of Italy and not just a tourist. I hope to join Melissa in many more of her language and culture programs. [update: Sheree participated this year, 2022, in the Arezzo Fall Joust Program and the Ascoli Piceno Program.]
Jeannene McMurchy: Melissa organized a wonderful trip to Arezzo. The accommodations were great! Our B&B was well located and Barbara and her father were lovely hosts who really went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. The language school was also wonderful. Paula the director has an excellent staff. I very much enjoyed our daily classes that were well taught by fun and engaging teachers. Melissa planed interesting daily activities as well as fantastic meals. We were certainly never hungry! Bravo Melissa e mille graze for an unforgettable trip!
Patricia Chandler: I had an absolutely fantastic time in Arezzo! Everyday was special. The 4 hour classes were fun and never boring. Paola is a great teacher who knows how to keep beginners rolling and interacting with the language. And every afternoon we had something to look forward to– a stroll in the market place, a visit with a local jewelry maker, a cooking class and dinner, a visit to the local cathedral, the famous Jousting Ceremony. In addition we had instructors giving us details that were always interesting and enriching. The group of 8 was perfect as we got to know each other and have lots of fun together, especially eating greet Italian food and drinking wine together! This is the experience for anyone who loves ITALY and wants to learn more about its language, culture, food and art history! Patricia Chandler Andiamo in Italia Participant
Micaela Rauch: My husband Art and I were 2 of the lucky participants. If I had to pick a highlight from this adventure it would most certainly be the people! Our group, our teachers , our guides… Of course the venues were wonderful, hotel could not be more comfortable, Inviting, beautiful and perfectly located. The school is in a nutshell , engaging, enthralling, the location, building, teachers and teaching methods were a delightful surprise. And then there’s Lucca. A hidden gem. An unexpected taste of Tuscany ( literally and figuratively) without the overwhelming tourist onslaught expected in summer. The food is exquisite, the streets, the history, the locals, the WALL! The wall people! A medieval bulwark disguised as a park surrounding the entire city helped us work off the amazing food, cooked for, and, by us in amazing restaurants and organic wineries. But Melissa is the central force behind this success. The perfect hostess with boundless energy, bubbling enthusiasm, and attention to detail is the key to success. Thank you Melissa, for an amazing experience.