General Italian Standard Courses

Due to the global COVID-19 situation, our Italian language group courses are suspended until further notice. Bespoke courses for individuals and pairs are available. These can be face-to-face lessons or online. For more information please contact 


  • Enrol from 1 week to 3 months

  • Small groups

  • All levels from beginner to advanced

  • Qualified, native speaking teachers

  • Morning classes

  • Combine with History of Art and Drawing


Enrolment includes:

•    Group lessons every morning from Monday to Friday leaving you free in the afternoons to follow the History of Art course (in English) or explore the city
•    Optional extra sessions at no extra cost:
- Caffè & Giornale (usually once a week) – a look at the daily newspapers with a coffee or cappuccino – see video.
- Oggi parliamo di... (usually once a week) – conversation sessions including ‘Surviving Florence’ in the first week.
- Aiuto (at various times during the week) – Aiuto means help. These are individual help sessions with an Italian teacher if you feel you need that little extra time and attention to further your learning of the language. Sign up in reception to book your place.

- A pranzo con l’insegnante go for lunch, order and chat in Italian with the teacher.

•    All course materials are provided. You only need to bring a notebook and something to write with.

•    Membership to the Harold Acton Library for the duration of your course which gives you access to the cultural events and discounts around the city including:
- Thursday Afternoon Tea
- Weekly Cultural Programme of guest lectures, film screenings, music recitals, literary events, wine tastings and art exhibitions
- Over 52,000 books including extensive History of Art, Architecture and English Literature collections
- DVDs, Wifi, Italian and English language newspapers and magazines
•    The British Institute of Florence Italian Alumni Newsletter will be sent to you 3 times a year once you have completed your course. This newsletter has Italian language exercises of varying levels to revive your learning, information on our discounts and offers, Italian proverbs explained.

If you would like more details about the Italian language group courses please read on or contact us.


Our Italian language courses range from beginner to advanced.
Whatever your level the courses are designed to develop:
•    Confidence in oral ability
•    Capacity to understand Italian as it is written and spoken today
•    Knowledge of contemporary Italian life and awareness of Italian culture
When you enrol we ask you to complete a self-assessment form about your Italian language skills.
If you have never studied Italian before you enrol as a beginner and you will be placed in the beginners class.
If you have studied some Italian before or had access to the Italian language in some way then you enrol as a non-beginner. We will send you a placement test about two weeks before you arrive. This is so we have a better idea of your level of Italian.
If you would like to discuss whether you are a beginner or non-beginner, or any aspect of our Italian language courses please contact us.
If you enrol as a non-beginner you will meet the Italian teachers before the start of the first lesson for an assessment of your oral Italian language skills. This is in the form of a friendly 5-10 minute chat on an individual basis. It may sound daunting but our Italian teachers will put you at ease immediately.
This whole process is to make sure we put you in the right group at the right level.
The aim at each level is to provide you with sound knowledge of the structures of the Italian language and to develop your speaking, listening, writing and reading skills as you study in Florence, so that you can deal with a range of situations appropriate to your level.
Throughout your course you will be expected to attend the morning lessons and do a certain amount of homework each day to consolidate what you have learned in class.
You can also participate in a range of additional activities to boost your learning and exposure to the Italian language and culture. These include:

Aiuto - a one to one session with a teacher to help you with any areas of difficulty or if you would like extra practice;

Caffè e giornale - a weekly look at the Italian newspapers over a cup of coffee – see video;

Oggi parliamo di... – a weekly conversation session. Each week has a different theme including music, food, art, cinema, literature, politics;

A pranzo con l’insegnanteunderstanding menus, ordering and chatting over a plate of pasta – all in Italian with teachers.

The emphasis of our Italian courses is on the practical aspects of the  language, and the aim at each level is to enable you to acquire understanding of and familiarity with the grammatical structures and to build vocabulary in a communicative context in class which is then reinforced through self-study and homework assignments.
Classes are interactive and you will be expected to take part in classroom activity with your fellow participants through the use of spoken Italian, however limited that might be at the beginning. Classroom activities include pair and group work to build confidence in speaking Italian without fear of making mistakes. Listening and reading exercises are based on authentic materials.
Where possible the emphasis is on the city of Florence, so that you begin to learn about the city, its culture and customs through the study of the language.
A course book is included in the fee for all our standard courses.
We encourage everyone enrolled on Italian language courses to speak Italian as much as possible outside the classroom as well. Opportunities for this can be found at the cultural events in the library and afternoon tea, conversation exchanges with Italian students learning English and of course our staff speak both Italian and English, as well as using what you have learnt in the shops and restaurants around the city of Florence during your stay.
You can also combine your study of Italian with our History of Art courses focusing on the Art of Renaissance Italy.


Points to note:

  • Courses are based on 4 week cycles but you can enrol from one week to 12 weeks.
  • Beginners should start the course in week 1
  • Non Beginners can arrive at any time during the month
  • Three month cycles start in January, April, September
  • Academic hour is 50 minutes.
  • Classes are usually held in Palazzo Strozzino in Piazza Strozzi
  • Classes will not be held on the following national holidays and hours for that week will be reduced accordingly: 6 January – Epiphany; Easter Monday; 25 April – Liberation Day; 1 May – Labour Day; 2 June – Republic Day; 24 June – San Giovanni (Florence only); 1 November – All Saints’ Day; 8 December.

For further information