The day begins with a light breakfast with Professoressa Valentini and her husband, Joe Cerullo. Formal classroom instruction begins at about 9:30 and lasts about 4 hours. There is a mid-morning coffee break to divide the instructional period.
For beginners and early intermediate students, much of the classroom instruction is devoted to formal teaching of grammar and usage. Professoressa Valentini is a big proponent of the importance of a solid foundation in grammar, especially for adult learners. Comprehension of spoken Italian is also stressed. More advanced students will spend less time with grammar and more time with conversation. Class time is pleasant and the time seems to fly. Students are amazed by how much Italian they have learned each day.
In Italy, the main mean of the day (il pranzo) is served in the early afternoon. Professoressa Valentini's husband, Joe Cerullo, prepares most meals. He is an excellent chef, and students enjoy his fine cuisine. In the Italian manner, only fresh ingredients are used. Lunch usually consists of two or three courses followed by fruit, cheese, and coffee. You might even drink a glass of wine made from grapes grown at Villa Valentini!
The mid-afternoon and early evening are devoted to a series of excursions to places of interest in the Rome-Velletri-Anzio area. The surrounding area is steeped in history, both ancient and more modern. You may find a more detailed description of typical excursions by going to the Afternoon Excursions page.
It should be pointed out that the afternoon excursions are a unique and high value component of the school's overall program. Many of the venues are virtually impossible to access by public transportation, and would be a challenge to locate even for a seasoned traveller with a car. The school operates a multi-passenger van to transport its students in comfort. Professoressa Valentini and Joe Cerullo are wonderful guides, and their comments will add immeasurably to your appreciation of the attractions.
A long and satisfying day is capped by a light supper in the typical Italian style. After dinner, you may wish to retire to your room. However, most students treasure the time spent in the late evening talking with Francesca and Joe. Your host couple is just as interested in learning about your home and your personal interests as you are in learning about theirs.