Italian Language Schools in Sicily (How to Choose)

4 Italian Language Schools in Sicily

Disclaimer: I haven’t partnered with any of these schools, and I believe that none of them are aware of this article. With this post, I only to help you in choose the type of experience you want (e.g., which city to choose) when learning or improving Italian in Sicily.

Traveling with a purpose is the new thing. Many of us are sick of endless sightseeing tours or eating traditional local cuisine at any restaurant that a local would not frequent.  

Travel is distinguished by its experience.
As you may know, I studied languages at university and am a huge language enthusiast.  I eagerly embraced the opportunity to improve my favorite languages in my twenties by attending language schools in France, Spain, and Germany.  It wasn’t always the cheapest mode of transportation, but it was by far the most valuable and satisfying.
Immersion in Italy with the assistance of a language professional will allow you to navigate the Italian language, culture, and way of life with new eyes and a local perspective.

How to choose an Italian Language School in Sicily

My thoughts on organizing an Italian language learning trip to Sicily.

  1. I strongly recommend committing to (at least) a two-week stay. The more the merrier. The reason for this is that, based on my personal experience as a student and teacher, you will probably need one week to settle in and get a feel for the city, the school, and the Bella Lingua.Allow yourself to be slowly and gently immersed in Italian culture and language. Sicily is not the same as Milan!
  2. Sicily is an extremely diverse island.It can be an island with pristine nature, unspoiled beaches, active volcanoes, picturesque mountain towns, fisherman villages, massive historical towns, and bustling cities like Catania or Palermo.There is something to suit almost every taste. As a result, you should be clear about where and how you intend to spend your Italian language immersion trip. Learning Italian in Palermo is not the same as learning it in Taormina.
  3. Accommodation in Sicily: Italian schools always provide lodging.Sicily is a relatively inexpensive destination when compared to other popular destinations in the rest of Italy, especially during the off-season. If you want to save money, I recommend that you arrange your own accommodation as a local. If you’re staying in Palermo or Catania, make sure the place you’re renting is quiet. Many touristy accommodations are located in city centers, which are usually quite busy and noisy.

Laboling – MILAZZO 

Laboling is a family-run school in the northern Sicilian town of Milazzo.

You probably haven’t heard of Milazzo because it isn’t your typical tourist destination (at least not yet!).

I’ve always assumed that Milazzo hasn’t really taken off as a popular tourist destination because the nearest airport (Catania) is a 90-minute bus ride away.

Milazzo, on the other hand, should be the first choice for nature and history buffs.

Milazzo is a small town with a beautiful “borgo” (a quaint fisherman village) that wraps around the ancient city castle.

It’s a very walkable city with a beautiful beach and a lively nightlife.

Milazzo also serves as a gateway to the nearby Aeolian Islands.

Laboling School provides intensive Italian courses for students of all levels (including a + 50 club).

The best thing about this school is that it offers trekking and sailing lessons in the nearby Aeolian Islands (UNESCO heritage).

If you enjoy traveling (and learning Italian) off the beaten path, this is the school for you.

The school has a family feel to it and is accredited by the University of Siena, Italy’s most prestigious language education institution.

Pros: 

  • A small school in a small town with a local touch 
  • Cultural and outdoors activities 
  • Day trips to the islands (Unesco Heritage) or the nearby cities
  • If you like eating fish, Milazzo is the place to go: they have the best fish restaurants! 
  • Laboling offers courses for + 50 students.

Cons:

  • No close airports
  • Not a touristy city
  • Might be a little boring in the winter

Sicilia Italian Language School  – Palermo 

If you’re planning an Italian language vacation in Palermo, Scuola Sicilia is the place to go. You will not only learn about the Italian language in Palermo, but you will also experience the unique lifestyle of this Mediterranean metropolis.

Palermo is without a doubt my favorite city in Sicily. If you intend to stay in Palermo for an extended period of time, you should consider learning Italian at least three weeks. This is a city with many facets, and it will take some time to get a feel for it. Palermo is a place you either love or despise, and you won’t know which until you live there for a while.

Scuola Sicilia provides Italian courses for students of all levels, as well as a variety of cultural activities that will take you around the city and help you discover its essence. The school is small and has a homey feel to it. 

Pros:

  • Plenty of museums
  • Cheap cost of living 
  • Multicultural environment 
  • Street food everywhere! 

Cons:

  • Bustling city
  • Giant city (you should make sure you stay in the city center)
  • Hectic traffic in some areas
  • Can be very dirty in some neighborhoods  
  • Not bike-friendly 

Babilonia – Taormina

In terms of Italian language learning, Babilonia is a Sicilian institution.

This Italian language school, located in Taormina‘s beautiful hill town, offers a wide range of courses and workshops that go beyond the traditional classroom setting.  You can study Italian history, art, and literature at Babilonia.  They are well-known for their excursions and workshops (Italian for business purposes, cooking classes, trekking and sailing courses).

Babilonia is most likely one of Sicily’s and Italy’s most well-known Italian language schools.

It draws a large number of Italian students from all over the world, which is a double-edged sword.

If you want to have a more authentic Sicilian experience, you should go somewhere other than Taormina.

Pros:

  • A well-known educational institution with qualified instructors.
  • Beautiful premises in Taormina’s historical districts.
  • A wide range of Italian language programs and excursions are available.

Cons:

  • Taormina is a well-known tourist destination that attracts a lot of visitors, particularly during the high season.
  • In comparison to the rest of Sicily, Taormina is not a cheap destination.
  • It’s essentially a village, with few options for young people outside of the peak season.

Federico II – Catania

This Italian language school in Catania, Sicily’s second largest city, is named after the famous Federico II, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor. The Federico II school provides both intensive weekly courses and weekly cultural activities, as well as individual lessons. If you don’t mind the typical Italian Southern city’s traffic, noise, and hustle, Catania should be your top choice for your Italian language  Immersion Trip. Fortunately, day trips to nearby beach towns, fisherman villages, or climbing the stunning Mount Etna require little effort to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Pros:

  • Close to airports
  • a university city
  • great nightlife

Cons:

  • a bustling city
  • smoggy
  • not super clean in some areas

About the Author

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I'm Serena!

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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