I am happy to announce a new Language Cultural Immersion Tour in Italy with the Studentessa Matta. In April of 2013, we will travel to Venice where we will immerse ourselves in the culture of Venice while expanding our Italian language skills!

The 2013 “Studentessa Matta” Venice Language & Cultural Immersion Tour is a custom-designed experience that will give each participant a unique opportunity to explore the city, its art, and architecture with experienced teachers and guides. The tour is ideal for both beginners who want to embark on learning Italian while exploring the charms of Venice, as well as for advanced language learners who want to deepen their understanding of the language & polish their conversation skills with the locals.


Diego Cattaneo of the Venice Italian School has invited me to co-host a language immersion experience with him at his school in the heart of Venice and I have accepted “volentieri” – gladly! You may recall that I have featured Diego and his school here on the blog before. He has a warm, genuine style and is a dedicated teacher! Students on our tour in Venice are invited to stay for 10 days on Giudecca island at “il Redentore”, a lovely renovated monastery, set on the tranquil island across from Venice, that is equipped with private rooms with individual baths, scenic gardens, a large communal kitchen and comfortable salons where we can meet and relax. During our stay in Venice, the mornings will be dedicated to class instruction at the Redentore, lead by qualified and experienced Italian teachers.

During the afternoons we will move out into the piazzas and Callas of Venice to continue practicing the language and where we will be treated to a new cultural activity every day. We will be cooking, tasting wine, learning to row a gondola, glass blowing, taking part in treasure hunts, as well as living & enjoying the Venetian lifestyle at our own pace during several free afternoons. We encourage both singles & couples of all ages to join us.

Diego elaborates: We are offering a language cultural program that is as personalized as it can possibly get and courses are designed for and based on students needs exclusively; moreover, the students will be followed in a personal way throughout their time with us in Venice, inside & outside the classroom, with both language and cultural support, with all activities already organized, maximizing their time in Venice to the fullest.


VENICE TOUR DATE : Sunday April 7 – Wednesday April 17 2013To make a reservation you may make a 60-day refundable deposit of $200*. (After 60 days the deposit will no longer be refundable). Or, you may pay the entire tour price when you make your booking.

Melissa will provide assistance with all reservations. Please contact Melissa directly: melissa@studentessamatta.com


What our Venice Tour includes:

8 Days of Italian language classes with qualified & experienced teachers – 4 hours each day (2 levels: elementary/intermediate & intermediate/upper level).

10 Days Accommodation at the Redentore a beautifully renovated monastery on the island of Giudecca across the canal from Venice. The Redentore features single & double rooms, with private baths. Includes kitchen for guest use, gardens, wifi.

8 Days of Interactive Cultural Activities:
– Professionally guided tour of Venice
– Cooking lesson at the kitchen in our residence
– Gondola lesson at a local boat club
– Bicycle rental & bike tour along Venice’s Lido
– Boat outing to Murano: glass making demo & chance to create small glass object w/guidance of local artisan
– Boat outing to island of Mazzorbo & Burano
– Treasure hunt through streets of Venice
– Guided art lesson inside a Venetian Church
– Wine tasting

Farewell Pranzo & Wine tasting at a local restaurant on the island of Burano

9 Day Transportation card to ride water buses cheaply = E 70 value


Tour cost does not include: Airfare, breakfast, lunches or dinners* or transport to/from airport**. (*Please note there is kitchen at our residence that guests may use & a market near by, there are also restaurants on Giudecca island. The final farewell lunch IS INCLUDED as is the meal we prepare during the evening cooking class. **We can provide information for a private service of E25 to go to & from Airport to Giudecca Island which takes 25 minutes.)


Claire Robinson, Head of Italian at the “Sixth Form College Colchester in North Hill UK warmly recommends the Venice Italian School: “Both staff & students were delighted by the stay that Venice Italian School arranged for us. We requested morning lessons for students of different levels, who learned a great deal. They particularly enjoyed the hands-on activities organised for them, such as shopping in the Rialto market and a treasure hunt which required them to interact with shopkeepers, passer-by and gondoliers. Their local knowledge & contacts meant that Diego and Lucia were able to provide us with a number of experiences we could never have organised ourselves.”

Sunday April 7: Students arrive in Venezia and settle into their rooms at “il Redentore” on the island of Giudecca. Meet Melissa & Diego and share a welcome glass of wine! Transportation cards will be handed out.


Monday April 8: 9 – 11am: indoor Italian lesson with games and activities to get to know each other, Coffee break in the adjacent Campo (30 mins) 11.30 – 1pm: lesson ”History of Venice” – linguistic activities aiming to familiarize students with the city of Venice, its peculiarities and traditions, introducing at the same time the afternoon activity. Afternoon 4–6 pm: guided tour of Venice: students will visit the most famous landmarks of the city as well as been guided through some of its most spectacular hidden jewels 

Tuesday April 9: 9 – 12pm: outdoor lesson at the Mercato di Rialto – students will be divided into small groups: each one will be presented with a task to accomplish at the market – this will encourage students to communicate and ask information directly to local people and reporting their answers to the rest of the group – this is a great activity to boost students’ speaking confidence to talk directly to Italians. 12 – 1pm: returning to class and feedback activity on language and useful vocabulary – there will also be a small prize for the winning group. Free afternoon

Wednesday April 10: 9 – 11am: indoor Italian lesson – through speaking activities and games there will be a chance for students and teachers to have a first feedback on language points covered so far and put forward suggestions for forthcoming lessons. Coffee break in the adjacent Campo (30 mins) 11.30 – 1pm: Art lesson (part 1, indoor) – introduction to art vocabulary & afternoon activity. Afternoon 4 – 5.30pm: Art lesson (part 2, outdoor) – “in church” lesson – at the famous Basilica dei Frari: in pairs or small groups, students will carry out activities to practice the use of art-related vocabulary, giving a short presentation of a work of art to another pair/group.


Thursday April 11: 9 – 11am: outdoor lesson Treasure Hunt – divided in small groups, students will be given several questions to answer to and tasks to accomplish: these activities will take them around the city, communicating with local people, discovering interesting information about the city and its inhabitants at the same time. Another activity designed to boost students’ confidence in communicating with Italians first-hand. Coffee break in the adjacent Campo (30 mins) 11.30 – 1pm: Treasure hunt – language feedback: back in class, we will check useful language/expressions used and learned as well as vocabulary and possible difficulties encountered. A small prize to the more accurate group will add some spice to the activity. Free afternoon

Friday April 12: 9 – 11am: indoor lesson Through exercises and role-play students will review the language and grammar learned during the week. Coffee break in the adjacent Campo (30 mins) 11.30 – 1pm: final games with focus very much on conversation Afternoon 4.30-5.30pm: Gondola Lesson – “outdoor” lesson taking place at the local boat club – students will board a real “gondola” with two instructors per boat. Once reached a calm part of the Northern Lagoon, students will try to take the oar in their own hands, rowing “the Venetian way”, following the instructors’ advice: it does not get more Venetian then this!!!

Saturday April 13: Outdoor Lesson: Renting bicycles at the Lido (Venice’s beach) – we will take a gentle ride to the end of the island (about 4 k) where we can have some lunch at a local typical “osteria”; in the afternoon, we will take a quick “battello” (ferry) to the close by island of San Piero in Volta visiting also this
fascinating island at the very borders of the Venetian Lagoon.

Sunday April 14: Resting day – free day


Monday April 15: 9 – 12pm – indoor lesson: Review language progress & lessons and activities done during the week – final games and role play with focus on conversation. 12pm – afternoon: visit to the island of Murano with a practical demonstration of glass working by a local artisan. For the students who are interested, there will also be a chance to create a small object by themselves, under the guidance of a local artisan.

Tuesday April 16: Outdoor Lesson – boat outing to the island of Mazzorbo & Burano – wonderful final-day visit to the famous islands of Burano and Mazzorbo with lunch at the local restaurant. Final activities of Wine Tasting and conversation practice.

Wednesday April 17: Arrivederci! Baci & abbracci!

Join Diego and me in Venice in April 2013 for an amazing language immersion experience! Ci vediamo a Venezia – la Serenissima!

Melissa will provide assistance with all reservations. Please contact Melissa at: melissa@studentessamatta.com

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  1. Siamo appena ritornati da Venezia dopo avere frequentato Venice Italian School per una settimana. Era un’esperienza davvero fantastica e indimenticabile!!!! Andate con Melissa per un viaggio da sogno e per migliorare il tuo italiano con Diego! Voglio ritornarci subito subito!!!!!!