Single girl seeks Italian lessons and gelato in Trieste

It was that typical September feeling in the U.K, summer was over (but then again, did it ever start?), the kids were back in school and now everyone was bracing themselves for the winter. Rubbish weather, possibly snow, starting and finishing work in the dark and feeling like you have only experienced 15 minutes of daylight as you dash out for your lunchtime sandwich. I had to get away.

I sent the typical group email and typed in the subject line ‘Anyone for a holiday?’. Nothing. Great, now I had itchy feet and no one to go on holiday with. There was only one thing for it. I swallowed my pride, opened Google and typed ‘singles holidays’. Turns out I am not the only one with boring friends. But where did I want to go? What did I want to do?

I need to do things on holiday, explore, experience the culture, and meet the locals. As I searched through the search results one caught my eye. ‘Holidays with a difference’ – this sounds like it. As I looked at GoLearnTo.com and the wide range of holidays on offer my mind started racing, now I could REALLY do something on holiday. After price checks with a certain budget airline and a weather forecast, it was decided.

I would go learn to speak Italian for a week. Why? Sunshine, Italian men, laid-backed lifestyle, gelato, pizza, pasta, do I need to go on? I have always loved the romance of the Italian language so why not go learn to speak Italian in the country itself? Beats a weekly night class at the local school.

Within minutes my one week holiday learning Italian in Trieste was booked and confirmed. Shortly before I left I received details of the family I would be staying with in Trieste. Now all I had to do was get on the flight.
Stepping out of Trieste airport in to the warm sun I knew I had made the right decision. My taxi driver whizzed through the city and started driving up the steep, cobbled streets of old Trieste where my home stay and the Italian language school were located.

After a couple of swift hand gestures indicting the direction of the address and a “Ciao”, the taxi driver was gone. Moments later I discovered that he had left me in the wrong place. Fantastico. I decided scratching my head and looking around was getting me nowhere so I looked for help. A couple of minutes later, with the help of a lovely old Signore who took me to the door of my home stay, the drama was over.

My host was a lovely Italian woman who gave me a warm welcome and showed me to my bedroom. After a rundown of the local area and the house, la Signora invited me to dinner that evening and offered to show me the local church (when in Trieste…). I had only been there for 3 hours and I was already starting to feel like a local. I woke up on Monday morning full of questions. Who would I meet? Would the staff be friendly? Would I understand the lessons??

Not long after I arrived at the school, took a short level test and checked the social activities schedule for that week, I got my answers. In my class, overlooking the terracotta rooftops and port of Trieste, were a great mix of students coming from as far as Japan and as close as Austria. Everyone had been in the same class together for a couple of weeks now, I was the new girl. I wasn’t worried though, before I knew it we were all rushing out the school for a quick cappuccino during our break.

I am also happy to say that I understood the lessons. My teachers were professional, friendly and fun and this was reflected in the Italian lessons.  During the lessons we had lots of chances to practice speaking and they were filled with fun, practical activities.

Every day the language school held social activities in either the afternoon or evening. All the activities were fun and well-attended so there were plenty of opportunities to practice Italian! One day we were taking a boat to a nearby fishing town, the next visiting the magnificent grotto. In the small bits of free time I had between lessons and social activities I made sure I used it wisely. Strolling around shops, sipping prosecco in a piazza or eating delicious gelato on the pier whilst the sun set. By night, the other students and I would explore the restaurants and bars of Trieste which gave us the good opportunity to chat to the locals, learn Italian and have charming Italian men offering to buy us drinks!

As my week came to an end, I started to feel jealous of my classmates who would be staying at the school and wished I could have stayed longer. I had a fantastic week and would recommend it to anyone. But I didn’t feel too sad, I left armed with a bunch of emails and promises to meet again. Now back in the office, I am researching a short break to visit a student in Austria and booking my next Italian language course with GoLearnTo.com. But this time I am making it two weeks in Venice!