The drive on from Brescia to Gargnano was beautiful. We passed towns and hamlets along West bank of lake Garda, talking amongst ourselves. Upon arriving in Gargnano I was surprised how pretty the town was. On the left were green mountains, the village sat at the base of them by the side of the lake, which was a really idyllic location.
|Eating together by the lake|
|Typical meal at Gargnano CALCIF|
|The mountain I admired whilst having dinner|
The course lasted for three weeks, and classes were between 9am-1pm and 5pm-7.30pm. During the morning classes we studied grammar, idiomatic expressions and practised listening and speaking skills. The evening classes required a good level of listening comprehension, as visiting lecturers from the University of Milan, La Scala, Castello Sforzesco and la Pinoteca di Brera came in to give us lectures. These were not dumbed down for non-native speakers, and gave some interesting introductions to subjects I hadn't explored before. Some fascinated people, others bored me silly... The most important factor is that I came out with a lot of new field-specific vocabulary. I also got a very useful introduction to Dante and La Divina Commedia , which I will be studying this semester at University.
There were a few optional pay trips to Milan and Verona, though I decided to head back to Cremona to stay with my boyfriend each weekend. Those who went to Verona said they thoroughly enjoyed the trip to see an opera in the arena. Between lectures I often went to the beach and swam in the lake or sunbathed, read or slept. After dinner we often went to Giallo Limone to have a drink, dance or take part in quiz nights. Alternatively we would just take a relaxing evening stroll, perhaps with a gelato.
|The narrow streets of Gargnano|
|The beach at Gargnano|
At the end of the course we had a party, a chance to present our country through a presentation or drama, 'Natale d'Estate' where we gave and received gifts from our home countries, a fun filled day of activities (we had to go in teams and answer quizzes, come up with the longest word in Italian we could think of, write a song and learn Italian tongue twisters), followed by the presentation of attendance certificates.
|Gargnano UNIMI Luglio 2012|
Having now done three language schools abroad, two of which being in Italy, I can safely say that this course in Gargnano was the best. Being a small class of motivated, well-travelled people we quickly formed close friendships which we will probably continue into the future. Gargnano was a beautiful little town, the locals were very friendly and there was plenty to do in the local area. Whether you want to head to Milan for shopping and culture at the weekend, Venice for beauty and romance or the numerous other pretty towns around the lake to add a bit of spice to life. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone looking seriously at improving their Italian in a really friendly, motivated environment.