Learning a language in a foreign city is the quickest and easiest way to get up to speed. Students keen to study in Bologna will find a number of excellent Italian language schools offering a wide variety of courses.
One of Bologna’s many nicknames is ‘La Dotta’ or ‘Learned One’, and for good reason. It’s home to the world’s oldest universities, which counts the likes of Dante, Petrarch and Erasmus amongst its illustrious alumni, so learning is enshrined in the city’s soul. Unlike Italy’s blockbuster cities, Rome, Florence and Venice, there are fewer tourists in Bologna, which means more language practice too. There’s now at least a dozen Italian language schools in the historic heart of Bologna and more if you count those located on its outskirts. We’ve selected three of the best, based on the range of courses available, price, location and student feedback.
Cultura Italiana Bologna
Founded in 1980, Cultura Italiana Bologna is one of the oldest and most highly esteemed Italian language schools in Bologna. The school offers a wide range of group and individual courses, as well as a whole host of events in partnership with the University of Bologna and the Bologna tourism board. The Intensive Italian Language Course offers 25 lessons of 45 minutes per week and you can sign up for anything between 1–54 weeks. Prices for the one week course are affordably prices at €291. The school also runs more specific courses, such as Italian Language for Business, Italian Language for Tourism and Italian Opera Singing. Best of all is its rolling programme of meet-ups and events, so students can put their Italian skills to practice outside of the classroom.
Via Castiglione, 4 – 40124
Located in a picturesque palazzo in the heart of Bologna, Madre Lingua offers intimate small-group and private classes, so students are guaranteed to get plenty of attention from the teacher. Courses range from “In a Day” workshops and bi-weekly evening classes to more intensive 30-hour a week classes lasting for at least a month. Personalised private lessons are priced at €40 per hour or €60 per hour for two students. Each week the school hosts four social events, including guided tours, cooking lessons, walks and tastings. The school receives overwhelmingly positive reviews across the board and has retained a five-star rating on Trip Advisor too.
Via Altabella, 11 – 40126
Founded in 1989, Arca is another of Bologna’s oldest Italian language schools. It’s been recognized by the Italian Ministry of Public Education, in partnership with the Modern English Study Centre, too. The school offers a variety of short-term and long-term courses for a range of different levels, from absolute beginner to advanced. Short-term courses generally consist of a 20-hour course from Monday to Friday, running from 9 am to 1 pm. There’s a maximum of ten students per class, allowing teachers to get to know their pupils personally. Long-term courses run from 12 weeks to up to 48 weeks.
Vicolo Posterla 15 – 40125