Diego Cattaneo, director of Venice Italian School parla dell’arte di Venezia. Together Diego and I are co-leading a language and cultural immersion tour this April 7-17th 2013. We invite you to come along & join the fun! In addition to morning language studies, we will go out into the streets of Venice every afternoon to immerse ourselves in a cultural activity. We will be cheese and wine tasting, learning to blow glass with a Venetian master, learning to row a gondola, as well as having treasure hunts throughout the Venetian market. In addition to all that we will also have the opportunity to fall in love with Venetian art and the master painters that worked in Venice! In this post, Diego talks about our planned art lesson.

Diego Cattano, Director of
Venice Italian School

When I visit a new place I like to delve into the culture and art of that city. I like to wander the churches, museums, and art galleries to drink in as much art and culture as possible. I rely on all kinds of brochures, audio guides, as well as the art docents who meander through the galleries ready to share their knowledge. You can also find me scrutinizing the tiny placards placed next to famous works of art, in order to appreciate and better understand the history, the artist, and the technique of the piece that I am observing.

This is also true for me here in my own city of Venice. I love to roam my own city in search of its unique and lovely treasures. In this beautiful city floating in the lagoon, you can find so many artistic styles that overlap one another, as well as so many famous and fascinating artists that hail from this magical city. For starters, you can find work by Titian, Giorgione, the Bellini brothers, Tintoretto, Sansovino, Carpaccio and so many artistic styles that span the arc of time from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary times.


There is so much to admire that one can easily feel a little lost and confused. But do not fear. We are here to help clear up all this artistic confusion while at the same time helping you to feel more confident about your Italian language speaking capabilities! In fact, one of the aims of our Art Lesson at the Venice Italian School is to provide our students with an artistic panorama of Venice, helping our students become more familiar with the styles and the artists that have made the city unique and marvelous place that it is. The first part of our lesson focuses on general “art-related” vocabulary, particularly useful to make sense of everything that surrounds your Venetian experience from the moment you set a foot on the island. Students will actively match terms & vocabulary with images and descriptions in Italian, always applying it to practical examples.


Another goal of our Artistic Cultural Lesson is to get practical about Art: and that is why the second part of the lesson takes place “in the field”. In this case, the field is either a wonderful church just a couple of steps away from our school – the Frari Basilica – or any other place our students may want to visit. Once we are in front of a beautiful piece of art – a painting, statue, sculpture, or building –  students are given the linguistic and technical support necessary to complete their tasks and to prepare their own presentation of an Italian masterpiece. Students who might otherwise have felt this beyond their capabilities will find that in fact, this is a fun and practical way to actively build their conversational skills while learning more about Venetian art.


Over the years, this type of learning has proven to be useful and fun for every level of student: intermediate and advanced students experience a new way to use their language in a practical and interesting way, while more elementary levels realize that they can build full and purposeful sentences with the Italian at their beginning level. By the end of the Art Excursions, students will be looking forward for their next opportunity to practice their art-related Italian again.


Join us in April to strengthen your Italian and to learn more about Venetian art. Titian, Giorgione, Tintoretto, and their friends, are waiting for all of you to join Diego & Melissa for the next Explore Venice Tour with Melissa in April 2013.

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