by Grant Rocco, student at Centro BABILONIA in Taormina, Sicily
My time in Taormina, at the Italian language school Babilonia, was unique for a few reasons: it was my second time studying Italian at Babilonia, it was during COVID epidemic, and I was there to prepare for the CELI exam. Most Babilonia students have not had those circumstances.
Both times I stayed for just over a month. Both times I stayed with a host family. Both times I had group classes and individual tutoring. I went once in the winter, and once in the summer. Both of my trips were life changing.
The other beautiful reality of Sicily is the food. Italy is known for many things, especially the food. If you can imagine, the food in Sicily is the best I have encountered, but I realize it may not be everyone’s taste. If you like spices and seafood, you will be in heaven. The wines of Sicily are my favorite,
For students who enjoy history, natural beauty, and the sea, Babilonia, Taormina, and Sicily should be your choice. I attended an opera “al fresco” at a Greek amphitheater built before the time of Christ. Watching an active volcano (that had recently erupted) every day was an adventure in, and of, itself.
The educational services available at Babilonia cannot be topped, especially when you consider the setting: a beautiful garden that is part of a historical estate. The faculty is top-notch, certified, professional, and caring. A student is not only able to tailor an individual learning program, but to also combine it with recreational activities.
A typical day would be morning classes in a group of students at your level (of ability). During breaks, there’s espresso and dolci available…and delicious. The non-teaching staff are friendly and always available to help if needed. Individual sessions and tutoring were always in the afternoon, after lunch.
For me, time with the host family was not just fun, with delicious food, but a chance to practice Italian and ask questions. My program was morning class, afternoon tutoring, and meals with my host family. I followed that plan twice, and would so again if given the chance. It worked for me. Potential, future students should design a learning program that suits their own needs and learning style…all is possible at Babilonia!