2016 was my 4th visit here - it just feels like home! 2018 planning has started.
The school is located close to Campo Santa Margherita, a square in the centre of Venice. It is about a 10 min. walk from the main bus station [Piazzale Roma] and a 15 min. walk from the train station Santa Lucia]. The closest waterbus stops are Ca’ Rezzonico (Line 1), San Tomà (Line 1 and 2).
The school entrance is immediately to the left of the blue awning in the photograph on the left..
At Campo Santa Margherita there are many nice typical Venetian bars, a good pizza take-away, a great supermarket, a small fish market, newspaper stalls [l'edicole] a bank [Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia], various Venetian trattorie, a wine store and many cafés.. There is a great choice and prices are reasonable
My favourite coffee place is diagonally opposite the school - Al Canton - run by Babu and Eleonora. They are the most delightful people and I am welcomed back like a lost son every time I visit there ... not only is the coffee good [and the snacks] but they also offer significant student discounts. Highly recommended!
I have first attended the Istituto in 2013, completing the beginner's level course over a four-week period. I had to complete a short written test first and a discussion to help place me at the correct level. 'Beginner' was definitely the right level for me! Class size is about 10 - 12 and it varied a bit as students came and left over the weeks.
Classes are held on Monday to Friday, starting at 9:00 and run through to 1:00 pm, with a break in between for coffee [across the road at Al Canton!!]. The morning is structured to have one session of grammar and another of conversation. Both are extremely instructive. There is some homework and I did make it a habit to re-write my hastily scribbled notes each afternoon to 'lock it in'. Given the lessons only occupied half of the day that left afternoons, evenings and weekend for voyages of discovery.
The school also organised cultural activities, photographic walks [a bit like a treasure hunt, spotting and photographing the unique street types - e.g. Rio Terà, Fondamente and Calle] and cultural/historic walks with a guide describing locations/buildings/historic events and so on.
Cooking classes [about €45] were also held on Thursday nights and they were a lot of fun. Cooking, mingling, having a glass of wine and eating what you had helped prepare ... it's really well run by Anna and Anna!
Below is a slightly edited version of the first email I sent to my family describing my first day or two;
Yesterday I went to supermercato a few doors from school where I buy my cereal and veggies and wandered upstairs for the first time …. really great .... I was able to get some of the most fantastic "fresh" prosciutto so thinly sliced it is almost transparent and some bresaola, a beef version … just brilliant. I also asked for and got two different Veneto cheeses, one hard [duro] and one a little softer [morbido] and they are also very nice [the cheeses!], particularly the hard one … and some great brown wholemeal bread [integrale], some salad, cheese, prosciutto and salad for lunch; and salad, the other cheese and bresaola for dinner!
I had an afternoon nap [yes, I'm still jet-lagged] and then went to the Accademia ferry stop and met the 'historic talk' group from school at 8:30 pm and did a walk, point and talk around the Accademia area … all in Italian with, unfortunately, no concession to the level one could [or couldn't] understand … quite tiring, all that concentration, but I saw the outsides of some buildings I will revisit. There were 10 'in the group. I probably understood 20% of the words and concepts but googled the history of Venice when I got back at 11:00 last night and read all about the occupation of Venice by the Turks, Austrians and French over the centuries … interesting.
I was also proud of myself direction-wise .. The tour ended close to Piazza San Marco and one of the women pointed to the ferry as 'that way' … I suggested it was exactly the opposite direction. She insisted it was 'that way', as she had caught the ferry there twice before. … I reluctantly accompanied the group until we entered a dead end … I then again suggested that perhaps it was back over my shoulder … AND IT WAS! Perhaps my guidance system works a little better in the northern hemisphere than it does 'Down Under'.
Student Accommodation @ Il Camplus Living, Redentore
Il Camplus Living Foresteria Redentore, [next to Redentore Church] Fondazione Pier Giorgio Falciola Calle delle Cape Giudecca VENEZIA
Vaporetto stop Redentore [lines #2 and #4.1]
There is a comprehensive brochure compiled by the Istituto Venezia available to view and print, simply click the button on the left to get access. This document provides more detailed directions, pictures of the building, gardens and room and additional information to help you make your decision.