I recently completed a four-week intensive Italian language course at Torre di Babele Roma. At the conclusion of my last class my brain was beyond saturated with the complexities of Italian grammar, but I could not have been happier with the experience. And, I could not have been in more capable and more loving hands. This school is a class act in every regard.
I researched and visited another prominent Italian language school in Rome prior to choosing Torre di Babele, but I just wasn’t “feeling the love”. I’m sure the other school is capable, but I needed an environment where I would not feel stressed. I’m a serious student, but learning, for me, is most fruitful when the teaching includes smiles and patience. Thankfully, I took the trip to visit Torre di Babele, and found plenty of these traits.
The school is located in a lovely residential neighborhood, just a short walk from the Policlinico metro stop. Elegant wrought iron gates greet you, and the building looks like a stately home, nestled amongst lush greenery.
When I first visited the school I met with the director and she made time to sit with me and find out what I was looking for in a school and what I wanted to do with my Italian studies. She was also getting a sense of my aptitude and level of speaking Italian. She asked me if I had time to take a 20-minute test to assess my skills. I guess my years of doing Rosetta Stone paid off, and I was placed in the Level 4 class – that’s like a beginning intermediate level. Even then, I was advised to study conditional verb tenses in preparation for the class.
I signed up for a four-week intensive session, which totaled 80 hours of study. Because I started halfway through level 4, and ended halfway through level 6, I had three different instructors. Each and every instructor was brilliant. One thing I learned from my mom, who was a highly revered and beloved art teacher, is that the best teachers help you to fall in love with the subject. Torre di Babele instructors gets top marks in this regard.
Thankfully, the instructors spoke clearly and at a moderate pace so I could understand their explanations. The only language spoken in the class IS Italian, and students are from all over the world. In my first class there were two women from Brasil, a fellow from Cyprus, a woman from Korea, a woman from Mexico, a woman from Sweden, and two American men (yours truly included). The style of teaching at Torre di Babele is fun and engaging. And, above all else, they teach you proper Italian grammar. While Rosetta Stone helped me in basic communications, it really doesn’t educate you on the foundations of grammar, which I believe is essential if a person desires to speak Italian properly – instead of “passable” Italian.
In addition to the classes, the school puts together other cultural outings and education each week. New and classic Italian films are shown each week at the school. Guided tours around the city are wonderful. I attended a two hour tour centered around the work of Bernini. Cooking classes are offered for a small additional fee, and they even have a fun course on Italian hand gestures (that one fills up quickly).
When my four weeks were finished I was saddened to leave. My head was swimming in an ocean of new information, and since completing the classes, I have been methodically going over and over what I learned. So much is in my head that I am dreaming in Italian. Many of my dreams are of doing sentence construction and conjugating verbs. I still have loads of work ahead of me, as putting this into practice is the key to making sure this goes into the long term memory banks. I am incredibly grateful to have found Torre di Babele, and to have benefited from such superb instruction. If you’re in the market for a great Italian language school in Rome, Torre di Babele should be tops on your list.
Be sure to visit the Torre di Babele website for more information and to tailor a course of study to suit your needs.