In touch with Italy

An exclusive program supplementing our ISQL courses

In touch with Italy

Italia da toccare

In touch with Italy

  • is a program developed by Italy enthusiasts for Italy enthusiasts
  • is more than a leisure program, it is the best way to put our language courses into practice
  • embodies the philosophy of Centro Linguistico Agorà as a meeting place
  • means extra effort on the part of teachers and collaborating experts
  • is for all those who want to escape mass tourism and get to know Italy in the Italian way
  • can be varied according to special requests, as in the case of small groups traveling together
  • is a program for people of all ages.

Our unique, personalised, culture-and-hobby programs

These programs are offered year round or as circumstances dictate. They usually complement stays of one or two weeks, but extensions can be arranged. The standard program consists of a group language course together with a culture and hobby program. Arrangements for those taking individual courses are also possible. Reservations can be made for 2 programs in the same 2-week period, schedules permitting.

We offer tailor made programs by previous arrangement.

We have decided to maintain small groups in In touch with Italy. As with the language courses, group numbers are limited, in this case to a maximum of 4 people, so you will be able to study and participate actively. At least 20 hours of guided excursions accompanied by the teachers and staff of Centro Linguistico Agorà are included throughout the 2 week period. A knowledge of Italian is a prerequisite for some programs. Details can be found under the respective descriptions.

Whenever only one person enrolls for a particular program, Centro Linguistico Agorà reserves the right to change the price and/or content of the program in agreement with the student.

Please, have a look at our In Touch with Italy programs.

In touch with Italy programs

La Cucina Italiana

La cucina italiana

We think Italian cuisine is the most authentic of all the In touch with Italy programs. Everything takes place in a typical home – the preparation of the dishes and the dinner which follows. Eating with friends is very important in Italy – talk around the table is at least as important as the food, so enjoy these evenings in the company of Italians. A visit to Livorno’s covered market is essential – everyone knows cooking begins with careful selection of the ingredients. From a great variety of homemaker’s recipes, we have chosen everyday ones which you can easily make at home. In 2 weeks we will cook together on 3 evenings. Dinner will be in the company of teachers from the school and possibly some Italian guests.

260,00 € includes:

  • 3 dishes each evening for 3 evenings
  • a guided visit to the market
  • cost of ingredients and drink

Pottery

Basic Course

This is an introductory course in which the basic techniques in pottery are taught. Naturally, you will be able to make your first attempts at creating in pottery. The main themes are:

  • the art of clay and fire
  • from material to form
  • decoration

260,00 € includes:

  • 20 hours working in clay
  • materiali e strumenti di lavoro

Knowledge of elementary Italian is necessary.

Corso di Ceramica

Advanced Course

If you have already worked in clay and would like to work in a professional laboratory, this is the program for you. You will create some one-off pieces under the guidance and inspiration of a master potter. We can enroll only one individual at a time, or two in exceptional circumstances.

330,00 € includes:

  • 20 hours working in clay under the tutelage of a master potter
  • all necessary materials and tools

Knowledge of elementary Italian is necessary.

Hiking in the Apuan Alps

Trekking Apuane

If you like excursions in the mountains, go for a weekend in the Apuan Alps – a chain of mountains in the Northern Apennines. Their crystalline limestone composition gives them their jagged profiles and deep ravines. The pure white marble from which Michelangelo carved his statues is quarried here. We will spend the night in one of the many Alpine Club refuges and hope to show you an enchanting sight – on crystal clear days, the sun sets in the sea, colouring the faces and peaks of the mountains with pastel shades of pink. Departure around 8.00 am Saturday morning, returning at around 10.00 pm on Sunday. A knowledge of Italian is not necessary. Bring hiking or climbing boots, a backpack, a canteen and a wind-proof jacket. In case of inclement weather, an alternative program will be offered.

330,00 € includes:

  • car trip
  • reservations at the refuge
  • teacher/guide

The Sienese Countryside

Campagna Senese

To the south of Siena lies one of the most enchanting areas of Tuscany. We offer 2 days among the ochre coloured hills, enjoying the silence of Monte Uliveto Abbey, the towns of Pienza, jewel of the Renaissance, and Montepulciano. Staying overnight in the solitude of a monastery is a unique experience and we have reserved some monks’ cells so you can try it. This weekend is for those who are not only looking for views and culture but who also love traditional cooking. You will be able to sample some typical dishes of this region, perhaps with a glass of Nobile, the world-famous wine from Montepulciano. Departure is at 8.00 am Saturday, returning at around 10.00 pm Sunday. A knowledge of Italian is not necessary.

330,00 € includes:

  • car trip
  • overnight stay at the Abbey
  • teacher/guide
  • bag lunches

Tuscan Cities

Mappa Toscana Antica

Lucca, Pisa and Firenze

We have chosen 3 of the most interesting cities in Tuscany for our excursions. You will have the opportunity of touring in a small group with a local guide who will show you and explain things which are not part of the usual touring experience. The highlights of the program are:

  • Florence – its center and palaces
  • Pisa – Miracle Square with the Leaning Tower, and the River Arno
  • Lucca – its center and ancient ramparts.

Florence between the Renaissance and the future

Firenze al tramonto

Few cities that have as many historical, artistic and cultural attractions as Florence. It would be presumptuous to suggest that the time available would be sufficient to truly get to know this city, but we have prepared an interesting selection for Florence between the Renaissance and the future It begins with an afternoon of lessons on the architecture so you arrive there well prepared, and then you will have a day to get to know its famous monuments and streets with an experienced teacher. Stops include the Florentine palaces, the works of Filippo Brunelleschi, as well as the River Arno and the surrounding hills. A basic knowledge of Italian is necessary.

300,00 € each, includes:

  • train trips
  • 20 hours with a guide

Archaeology

This program will give you the chance to visit and get to know the ancient centers of Tuscan civilisation. Take a guided archaeological tour from the Etruscan age to the Roman age

Archeologia Toscana

We have chosen the following historical sites for you:

Volterra

Like Siena and San Gimignano, Volterra has maintained its medieval character. It also bears testimony to the Etruscan and Roman eras. Here, the Etruscans quarried alabaster and used it to make urns and vases, many of which can be seen in the Guarnacci Museum. We will also visit the ring of walls with the famous Arch, the Acropolis, the theater and the Thermal Springs (these last from the Roman period).

Pisa

At the time of the Etruscans and the Romans, Pisa was still an important trading center situated on the sea, and its advantageous position was the reason it flourished. We will concentrate on the Monumental Cemetery, which contains one of the largest collections of Roman sarcophagi.

Luni

Luni, or Luna, at the mouth of the river Magra, was founded by the Romans in 177 AD, near the site of present day Carrara. In imperial times, Luni controlled the quarrying and distribution of the valuable white marble from the nearby Apuan Alps. All the typical structures of a Roman city – the Forum, the Capitolium, the Temples, the Theater and Amphitheater – are present and laid out in the characteristic orthogonal plan.

The excursions take place on Saturday (Volterra) and on two afternoons during the week. An elementary command of Italian is preferable.

330,00 € includes:

  • 20 hours of program with archaeologists
  • train and car trips

Jewish Tuscany

Tuscany has a wealth of places, buildings, furnishings and archives which bear witness to the Jewish presence and to how closely it was, and is, interwoven with the region’s history and cultural heritage. The Jewish communities of Livorno, Pisa and Florence are three of the most interesting among those currently active in Italy. The Jewish Tuscany program is designed to explore this Jewish legacy from religious, human and historical points of view. The synagogues, museums and cemeteries are maintained and open to anyone wishing to discover or find out more about their roots, or who is interested in the Tuscan Jewish culture.

A basic knowledge of Italian is needed to take part in these itineraries.

Ebraismo

Program A

Livorno – A community of Sephardic origin founded following promulgation in 1593 by will of Ferdinand 1st de Medici of the Livornine laws which established a kind of immunity for Jews and their property. Visits can be made to the present-day synagogue, the museum and the old part of the cemetery. The synagogue was inaugurated in 1962 and houses a noteworthy, gilded, carved, wooden Aron HaKodesh (Holy Ark) (1702).

Pisa – A community dating back to at least the Middle Ages consisting of Jews of Provencal or Spanish origin exists there. The itinerary offers visits to the synagogue, renovated in 1863 by the architect Marco Treves, and to the cemetery, which is considered a place of prime importance for Jewish history.

Firenze – A community has been in existence there since at least the XV century. This itinerary includes a visit to the Great Temple, also called emancipation temple because it was the first edifice built specifically to be a synagogue for all to see and not a space converted from part of a family dwelling, and to the Community Museum, which has been laid out in a single, vast space situated behind the central part of the women’s gallery. The display contains objects used during Jewish religious festivities and in everyday life.

300,00 € includes:

  • 20 hour program
  • expert guide
  • return train journey
Toscana Ebraica

Program B

Given the richness of Jewish heritage in Tuscany, a two-day itinerary has been organized. You will have the chance to visit the synagogue and cemetery in Siena, as well as the city itself, and make a short visit to the province of Grosseto. A community in Pitigliano, called the city of refuge, goes back to the XVI century and, together with the communities in Sorano and Sovana, saw the arrival of numerous Jews following the issue by Pope Paul IV of anti-Jewish bulls expelling them from the Papal States. Departure will be on Sunday morning and return on Monday evening.

340,00 € includes:

  • expert guide
  • overnight accommodation
  • return journey by car