Piccola Università Italiana | Boutique Italian Language Schools in Fantastic Locations

Our language schools

Seals of quality at Italian language schools in Italy

When choosing your Italian language school in Italy, pay attention to the professionalism of the language institute. The following attributes are indicators that willl help you find the right school for you.

1. State approval from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
Be sure that your chosen school is state-approved and has been given permission by the ministry to teach Italian to foreign students.

2. IALC – International Association of Language Centres
Founded in 1983, IALC is a global community of leading independent language centres, providing outstanding language courses with accommodation, social and cultural activities in the country where the language is spoken. This association unites leading language schools worldwide and guarantees for highest quality standards of all member schools.

3. Recognition for educational leave for German citizens
Recognition for educational leave is an indicator of professional schools, as the German states test these schools on their didactics, teaching materials, methods and teaching programmes.
4. Recognition by CSN and Lånekassen
The Swedish National Board of Student Aid and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund have a strict selection procedure for language schools as the language courses are paid for by the respective state.

Recognition for academic credits at US universities
American students have the possibility to learn Italian at a language school of their choice and can receive academic credits for this at the respective university.

Language courses with a limited number of participants
Take note of the maximum number of participants allowed in the language course groups. In groups of 6 people or more there is no guarantee of efficient learning. At our school Italian is taught in mini groups of 3 to 6 people maximum.

7. Language course regulation
Take note that the language school puts you a group at the right level for you even if the minimum amount of participants is not achieved for a certain group. Your language course should neither underchallenge nor overchallenge you.

For more detailed information about our Italian language school’s commendations and accreditations, click here.

Are the schools accredited?

Our Italian language schools have been approved by the following institutes. That is a seal of quality for you, that emphasizes the professionalism of Piccola Universita Italiana:

  1. Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
  2. International Association of Language Centres (IALC)
  3. Universities, Institutes und Colleges in the USA
  4. European Union and European Commission
  5. Educational leave
  6. CSN: Study Grant Sweden
  7. Lanekassen: Study Grant Norway

Booking instructions

We would like to assist you in booking your language holiday to Italy as best we can. Please use the following guidelines for perfect planning of your language holiday.

The simplest way to book your language holiday is directly on our website. Simply click on ENROL NOW and fill out the form.

At the end of the registration form click on “send” and the first step is complete. You will receive a confirmation for your language holiday within 24 hours by e-mail. If you don’t have e-mail, you will receive a confirmation by fax or in the post. We ask you to pay the deposit within one week. The confirmation is only valid after we receive this payment.

You can of course register by filling out the registration form in our Italian language school’s brochure and by then sending it to us by fax or in the post.

Opening hours

Our Italian language school in Trieste is open all year round from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm, we only close on public holidays.

Our Italian language school in Tropea is open from March to November from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm, we close on public holidays and during Christmas holidays of our language school.

Public holidays and school holidays

Our Italian language school in Trieste is open all year round and is only closed on public holidays.

Our Italian language school in Tropea is open from March to November and is closed on public holidays and during the winter break.

How old are the students and where are they from?

Depending on the month of the year, age and nationality may vary.

The minimum age is 16 (for students aged 16-17,99 an authorization form signed by parents needs to be sent together with the booking).

Can I pay by credit card?

Our Italian language school students can pay for their language holiday online by credit card at home.

We would like to highlight that we provide a certified secure online payment service that conforms to the most up to date security standards.

Attention: The 3% bank charges are paid for by the student in addition to the price of your language holiday.

Please note that any service booked on spot (cultural activities, extra nights etc.) has to be paid in cash.

Our Courses

When is it possible to start a course?

Our courses can be started every Monday at every level (also for beginners). Our language students at our Italian language schools are guaranteed flexibility!

The special Italian programmes “L’Italiano navigando” and “Active Silver language courses” can only take place with a minimum number of participants and will only take place in pre-determined weeks.

Our Italian language school is open all year round, please observe public holidays and our school’s holidays.

Do I have to take a placement test?

Yes, all students have to take an oral and written placement test.

It is of great importance to us here at our Italian language school that our language students complete a language course at the right language level. Very clear basics of grammar are used to determine which of the 15 language levels of competence is right for which student.

Due to our student friendly course regulations, each student is placed in a group at his/her respective level.

Can I choose my time schedule?

It is not always possible to arrange class groupings to your pre-selected time frame. Therefore, your timetable may vary from week to week to accommodate your chosen times as best as we can.

Time schedule

The classes and the time table will be communicated on Monday at 11.00 am orally and at 1.00 pm in writing on the notice board in the hallway.

Should you have lessons in the morning you will start at 11.10 am and finish at 1.00 pm. From Tuesday on lessons will start at 9.00 am. The lessons for the afternoon are scheduled from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. It might not always be possible to organize the schedule according to your preferences, and therefore the time table may vary from week to week.

Minimum length of stay

At our Italian language school you may also stay for only one week. This applies to all Italian language courses of our program.

Reconcile your learning target with us. The secretary’s office will be happy to help with questions and advise you to choose a language course for you.



The currency in Italy is the EURO. There are bank notes in the denominations EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500; coins are available in the denomination EUR 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1.00 and 2.00. 1 EUR is 100 Cent. The Euro has been the legal currency in Italy since 2002. It replaced the Italian Lira.

Please note that only Euros can be withdrawn from cash machines (ATM) here. These withdrawals can be made by EC card or credit card. The maximum daily amount is EUR 250. If a withdrawal is made by credit card at the Maestro cash machine (ATM) a bank charge of 3% usually occurs. Withdrawals by EC card are usually free of charge or come with a set charge of EUR 3.00 to EUR 5.00. In many shops and restaurants you can also pay by credit card.

The time zone in Italy

Italy is in the Central European Time zone (CET).

At the end of March, the clocks go forward by one hour and the time changes to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

At the end of October the clocks go back again by one hour and CET commences.

Climate in Calabria

The climate in Calabria can be described as Mediterranean. Because the region is in 3 geographical zones, Calabria is also divided into 3 climatical zones.

  • By the Tyrrhenian sea in the west there is a sub- tropical climate with precipitation in the winter months.
  • By the Ionian sea there is a rather hot and dry climate with low precipitation.
  • In the mountainous regions it is cooler than on the coastline and in the winter months, snow falls to 1200m. The climate in these regions can almost be described as Alpine.

In January, depending on region, average temperatures lie between 7° C and 14° C and in July and August between 29°C and 40°C. In the coastal regions ( Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts) the winters are mild. Even in winter, temperatures do not drop below 10°C.

Due to the favourable climate conditions, a language holiday in Tropea can be enjoyed all year round. In the somewhat cooler months of the year however, our holiday apartments in Tropea are provided with gas heating.

Living costs

The most economical way of all is to do self catering during your language holiday. Our aprtments in tropea come with all fittings, some even have an oven. The market, the local grocers (Alimentari) and the supermarkets in Tropea offer all you need to enjoy tasty Mediterranean cuisine.


  • Cheese ( Peccorino fresco o staggionato) approx. EUR 10.00 per kilo
  • Sliced raw ham (Prosciutto crudo) approx. EUR 14.00 per kilo
  • Tomatoes (Pomodori) approx EUR 1.20 per kilo
  • Onions (Cipolla) EUR 1.00 per kilo
  • Pasta EUR 0.80 per pack
  • Bread (Pane) EUR 1,00 per kilo
  • Sword fish (pesce Spada)
  • Minced meat (carne macinata)

Please note that tap water in Tropea is not for drinking and we recommend that our language students buy water in the 2 litre containers available in supermarkets. One bottle costs about 50 cents.

It is of course difficult to tell you a total amount of incidental costs that will occur during your lanaguge holiday as it will depend on what you cook but from EUR 90.00 per week you can live very well.



Restaurants normally have a EUR 1.50 to EUR 2.00 cover charge.

average prices for breakfast:
  • a caffe latte or cappuccino with a delicious Cornetto (croissant filled with jam, chocolate cream or cream) costs about EUR 2.50
average costs for lunch:
  • Pizza slice (pizza al taglio) from EUR 1.00 per slice
  • Spaghetti or risotto (primo) in a restaurant from EUR 6.00
  • Soft drinks cost about the same as in other
  • European countries and a bottle of water ( 1L) costs EUR 2.00
  • Beer 0.5L ( birra media) costs about EUR 3.00
  • Wine, especially house wine is offered in restaurants at a fair price, half a litre of house wine is available for EUR 5.00
  • Depending on vintage and quality a bottle of the best know Calabrian wine Cirò can be bought between EUR 10.00 and 15.00
average costs for dinner:
  • Pizza with wine or beer can be found from EUR 7.00 (eg in the Pizzeria Vecchio Forno)
  • Dinner with wine or beer, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spaghetti or risotto) from EUR 18.00
  • Dinner with beer or wine, antipasti (cold starter) Primo (spagehetti or risotto) and Secondo (meat or fish) about EUR 23.00

We hope you could get an impression of incidental costs from this list. If you have any further questions about incidental costs during a language holiday, we would be happy to advise you!

Mains voltage in Italy

The mains voltage in Italy is 230 Volt.

  • C-Euro Plug
  • F-Shuko Plug and Socket
  • L-Plug

The Italian L plug is being replaced more and more by the German Schuko plug in new installations.

At our language school we have several plug adapters which can be borrowed by students for a deposit of EUR 5,00. In this way, electrical appliances you bring with you from home can be used here too.