Education in Language Learning
Education in Sicily. The name alone conjures up images of an exotic island, and a mysterious, fascinating past. I have wanted to explore Italy for some time now since I had not been there for a very long time. When pondering which region of Italy to do my education while exploring Sicily came to mind.
I figured the island would offer a combination of fascinating education in history, rich culture, scenic beauty. In addition to giving us an opportunity for a wide variety of activities.
One activity I definitely wanted to pursue was to combine my journey with language studies education. My earlier language study as well as education trips to Havana and Cuernavaca, Mexico. Not only got me closer to the Spanish language. But these on-site language learning experiences really allowed me to explore culture from within.
Focusing on my education learning Italian
Capable of locating to two language schools for my education in Sicily was easy. Both of these would provide a totally different experience and a different way of exploring the island. Armed with no prior knowledge. Other than having read through an Italian grammar education book. I planned to find out how much of the beautiful language I would pick up in my three weeks in Sicily.
My first eight days were spent in Taormina. This was a gorgeous mountain-top town on the eastern side of Sicily. Whose main distinguishing education feature is an ancient Greco-Roman Theatre that is still in use today. Taormina itself has to be among the most picturesque destinations anywhere. Plus its beautiful buildings, narrow streets, passageways, stunning views of Mount Etna as well as the Mediterranean.
Shortly after my arrival I got to meet the people at the Babilonia Language Education School. I would be learning Italian here. This happened for a week as well as exploring the culture of Sicily. My accommodation was in a lovely 13-room privately owned hotel. It has been operated by the Sciglio family for more than 50 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Sciglio are in their mid-eighties and continue to work extremely hard. Without even a thought of retirement. Their son Salvatore works with them. In an interview I learned more about the hotel’s history. As well as the family’s involvement in the business. On the second day I joined my first guided excursion with the education in the Babilonia language school. A guided hike to the ancient village of Castelmola. We then experienced a tasting of Sicilian delicacies in a local bistro.
My first weekend in Sicily promised to be great, education right off the bat
A fun excursion to the ancient town of Siracusa, an exploration of the gorgeous coastline just east of Taormina. Including the town of Mazzaro and Isola Bella. Monday is my first day of education language studies. First we went through the placement test. Then we had our first education lesson which included some unique, yet effective, teaching various education methods.
May 1 happened to be Italian Labour Day and a national holiday. A perfect opportunity to rent a car. We drove to the countryside surrounding Mount Etna. Apparently it’s Europe’s largest volcano, which by the way, had erupted the night before. Then back to education. Alessandro, the director of the Babilonia language school for education. Man, did he ever give me a personal history education lesson about Sicily. He also explained the origins of that famous Sicilian institution, the Mafia, to me in detail.
That evening I joined in a cooking class in a private home offered by the language education. I came to the idea first-hand how a real multi-course Italian meal was prepared. Using authentic, locally grown ingredients. Of course, I would have a chance to taste the finished delicacies. Also partake of a nice meal. Along with other language education students, and the local Ferrari family.
My language studies and education the next day
Local pottery painting artists visited quite often. Babilonia also offers pottery decoration education. In addition to hiking, biking, golfing and diving programs. Perched on the rooftop patio of a Taormina hotel. Including a perfect view of an ancient palazzo right next to Mount Etna. I learned about Sicilian pottery painting techniques. In the late afternoon I joined another excursion to hike up the southern flanks of Mount Etna. A visit to a winery, with a nice dinner followed.
I had reached my last day in beautiful Taormina. Later on, my final language education it was time to say goodbye to the folks at Babilonia. I said goodbye to my co-students too whom I had gotten quite fond of. With the exception of the occasionally grey and drizzly weather, my experience in Taormina had been great. This had been a really great experience. I felt a bit sad to leave Taormina where I had gotten so comfortable.
But a new adventure on education was about to begin
I took the train to Milazzo on the northeastern side of Sicily. Where the next day I would embark on a seven-day sailing trip through the beautiful Eolian Islands. Offered by Laboratorio Linguistico. A Milazzo-based Italian language education school. We met up with some of my six shipmates, who were really cool by the way. We were off on our sailboat, 4 cabin “Solitaire II”, then we were on our way to our first destination. The island of Lipari, the largest of the Eolian Islands, and an extremely scenic place.
Our expert skipper Francesco is a licensed captain. Which he also happened to be the co-owner of the language education school. One of our two resident language teachers on the sailing trip. Afterwords, we continued our sailing trip to Salina. This place appeared to be a neighbouring island. This is where three of us went on a driving tour to see local villages. We also went to the house where “Il Postino” was filmed. An Italian lesson on the backyard patio of a bar. T’was our first introduction to Laboratorio Linguistics’s language teaching education program.
Francesco, our second teacher, and Franco, co-owner of the education school. They conducted all conversations during the entire sailing trip in Italian only. Allowing us to be fully immersed in the language all the time. After we had nourished our brains, a Sicilian seafood feast capped off our second day on the boat.
Still an active volcano
On the third day we set sail for the island of Stromboli. The town of Stromboli features such narrow streets. They are impassable to regular vehicles. No wonder the local “carabinieri” (Italian police officers) have to ride in golf carts.
Following a somewhat turbulent late-night voyage from Stromboli to Panarea. We arrived late and anchored in a bay off the island. On a gorgeous morning the next day we first had another language education lesson. Where else but on the outdoor patio of a bar in Panarea. Surrounded by gorgeous sunshine and beautiful flowers. Panarea is an extremely photogenic destination. Which offered great opportunities for hobby photographers like me.
Our education and voyage continued to Lipari
Again where we would end an eventful day with a scrumptious outdoor feast on the main square. Next day three of us went on a driving tour of the beautiful island. From the south end we already saw our next destination. The island of Vulcano, which also features an active volcano. We anchored in a bay off-island.
We enjoyed some Italian lessons and a little bit of education on the boat. Thereafter a delicious on-board dinner, we met up with our shipmates Franco. The man whom was a gifted guitar player. As well as Agnieszka, a talented singer. Entertaining us as they did with soulful melodies by candlelight on the back of the boat. Such magical moments these were.. I will not forget for a long time.
Our final day on the boat arrived. Hiking up to the “Gran Cratere”, the active crater of Vulcano. Yellow rocks and thick clouds of sulphur announced that the forces of geology were indeed active right underneath our feet. The view from the top over the six other Eolian Islands was breathtaking. Subsequently, some education and another Italian lesson on an outdoor patio overlooking the Mediterranean. Finally we had to say goodbye to the Eolian Islands.