I’m an American and I took Italian lessons from Maria while I was living in Grottaglie for work. Maria is an excellent instructor! She was always a pleasure to work with and was accommodating of my busy schedule. She was very patient and paced the classes to meet my needs. I went from knowing very little Italian to feeling fairly confident in my skills in about a year. Learning the language from Maria was one of the highlights of my time there, as well as having the opportunity to meet and get to know her.
Kim (Seattle, USA)
I have been taking Italian evening classes in Belgium for some years now, but I felt it was all going too slowly. Moreover, I had to skip the third year, because there were too few students to organize it. I felt there were “gaps” in my grasp of the grammar and vocabulary.
So, I stayed in the Rossini family for a week in the Easter holidays 2014 and I took private classes with Maria. And what a week it was!
Maria is a very patient and meticulous teacher. She is so enthusiastic and encouraging, and she adapts her teaching methods to your needs and level. And what was really amazing: we managed to finish the whole third year book – a book that would take my evening school in Belgium an entire school year to cover – in that week! Incredible!
There were three hours of private lessons per day, some homework, and then of course – as I was a guest in their house – all day long there were the conversations with Maria, and her parents Franco and Franca. The Rossini’s are such a warm, welcoming family! We visited the ceramic workshops of Grottaglie, the market, centro storico and pasticcerie of Ceglie, and we went on daily walks through the village of Villa Castelli. They invited me to a restaurant meal and an evening out with the extended family, and a delicious barbecue at their trullo. I loved cooking with Franca, and discussing Italian culture and sports with Franco.
I have made such enormous progress in verbal fluency, understanding the grammar and mastery of the vocabulary in that week! I would recommend Mondo Italia School & Homestay wholeheartedly to anyone considering an Italian language learning stay in Italy.
Maria is a great teacher and friend! She does not only teaches the language but also the Italian culture and beliefs which was very important for me. We were American expats assigned to live in Italy for 1.5 years so it was a different world for us and Maria has made our lives easier with her knowledge and sense of humor during our lessons! My favorite lesson was when we went to the market and she would translate all the Italian food that I've been questioning myself for a long time. She even explained to me the different types of pastas and cheeses. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who wants to learn Italian!
Vieda & Marko (Seattle, USA)
I arrived to Italy speaking zero Italian. Shortly after my arrival I started my language classes with Maria. Maria is a very knowledgeable and well prepared teacher that understands and has experienced first hand the difficulties and challenges of learning new languages. She adjusted the lessons to fit my pace. I was able to go faster or slower depending how well I was grasping the concepts. In only 6 months, I was able to have a conversation in Italian. Maria made it easy and fun to learn a new language!
Juan Pablo Lopez (Charleston, USA)
Maria is a first class language instructor and person. She brought high energy, with a huge smile to every class. The manner in which she taught Italian was complimentary to the speed I was comfortable with in a leaning environment. Every class was progressive relative to the last, and that is a direct outcome of Maria's lesson planning and preparation.
Maria is always finding ways to become a better instructor by taking German classes and pursuing master degrees. Her accedemic accomplishments make her one of the most qualified instructors, I know.
Overall it was a pleasure to have met Maria
Jilberto (Seattle, USA)
Wow! That is the word that I would use to describe Maria and everything about her and her school. While I was in Italy, Maria set up a vineyard tour that was one of the most amazing learning experiences that I have ever been on. She and the family that owned the vineyard were amazing! We were able to see every aspect of the vineyard - that has been in that family for generations - and the owner was so gracious to answer all of our questions. It was breathtaking. They set up a gorgeous lunch for us after the tour that was filled with scrumptious traditional Italian antipasto, breads and meats. It was a feast! Maria made the experience one that I will never forget.
Jaime Di Orio (Orlando, USA)
Maria is always positive minded, helpful and cheerful. Her family is warmhearted and serves very nice Italian meal. I had great time with them! My teacher was teaching me with the text which I'm exactly interested for. She was calm and charming, talking to me with for my language level chosen words and brought me to speak more and more. That's why I had a feeling "Oh, I can Italian!". Thanks for good time and a presto!
Kanae Yamamoto (Switzerland)
We had the privilege of having Maria teach us Italian during our extended stay in Puglia. Not only is she a warm and engaging teacher, she became a special friend to us, as well! Her lessons were always fun and entertaining, even when we struggled to speak the language correctly! She was very encouraging and we always wanted to do our best for her! We consider ourselves very lucky to have had her as our instructor and would recommend her to everyone we meet!
Dena and Mike Vallejos (Everett, USA)
I attended night classes in Dublin for two years to learn Italian.
However I believe I made more progress in two weeks with Maria with one to one lessons.
After two weeks I was more confident and competent to have simple conversations in Italian.
Lecce is a wonderful, friendly city which I cannot to return to.
Grazie Maria !
Brian (Dublin, Ireland)
I arrived to Lecce without knowing any Italian. As Spaniard, I just invented it. I started lessons with Mariafor a month. Four hours a day can be too much, but she always made it interesting and fun. At the end of the month I could easily passed a B1 exam . She has lots of patience, is very flexible and knows how to adapt to your level and your needs. She knows Lecce and the region very well as well, so can give good advises on what to do and where and will organize activities so you can meet other students in case you want to have some social life. I would do it again. :) Thanks Maria for not only being a teacher, but a friend as well.
Carmen (Burgos, Spain)
I wish I could re-live the one week ‘Italian School & Homestay’ experience that I had at the Rossini’s residence in Villa Castelli during August 2015. Maria is truly an amazing instructor. She has the uncanny gift of ‘customizing’ her teaching according to the student’s grasp and previous
knowledge, and then teaching in such a way to help the person build upon it with speed and confidence. I noticed that for every student her teaching was customized accordingly for maximum learning in quickest time possible. Also living with Rossini family highly contributes to the overall learning and practicing of the language – as one gets to practice speaking and pronunciation. Both her parents, Mr. Franco and Mrs. Franca, are wonderful, very hospitable and lovely hosts, who will go out of their way to help one speak the Italian language. And spoil you with great Italian food. The love and dedication of both Maria and her parents in genuinely teaching and helping a student learn and speak Italian with confidence is just priceless. I will definitely be visiting them again in near future.
Mustafa Khan (Saudi Arabia)
Not knowing any Italian, I signed up for 4 weeks of Italian lessons and accommodation with Scuola Mondo Italia. For the first two weeks I took the homestay option with Maria and her family in Villa Castelli. Maria and her family could not have been more welcoming. We shared many unforgettable meals and laughs, and it was extremely hard for me to leave after the two short weeks I spent with Maria, her family and the other students. Franca, Maria's mother, is an amazing cook, so if you are seeking a loving, nurturing, food filled and supportive environment to learn or improve your Italian in, then you can not look past Maria's school options. After Villa Castelli I took another 2 weeks of lessons at Maria’s school in Lecce. Lecce offers much more in the way of things to do and places to see in your spare time. I'm proud to say that I can now understand most conversations and hold good conversations. It's amazing how far I've come in such little time. I can say that all of this is thank to Maria and would highly recommend this experience to anyone.
Melaney (Perth, Australia)
All the beginning of the year we saw an interesting announcement of a course of Italian language in Italy. Finally we chose to stay in Puglia with Mary and her parents. The classes were on the level of the student, they were hold in a cheerful and fun way. We had a chance to talk a lot in class and at home during lunch and dinner. The food prepared by Franca was delicious. When you return home, your balance is very happy. Friendly and nice nights, together with the other students and family. This experience will help us when the lesson will start again in Belgium, the journey is a repeatable adventure.
Thanks to Maria, Franca, Franco, Maya, Gigino and Orazio
Ingrid, Marianne, Judith, Geel (Belgium)
Maria was a great teacher who was very qualified. Her style of teaching was great and encouraged a lot of conversation, instead of just learning from a book. I learned a lot in just a week there. The price was also very reasonable and well worth it. The home was lovely and very spacious, and her pug Maya became my little friend. It was hard to say goodbye to her! Overall, I had an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend this school to anyone!
Shereen Manesh (Los Angeles, USA)
I spent the most beautiful and inspiring few days in Lecce, studying Italian at Scuola Mondo Italia with Maria Rossini. Even before we met in person I knew from our emailing that Maria is a very kind and friendly person, and a flexible, student-centered teacher. From the moment of our meeting we got on really well and she made me feel completely at home in her flat (I had chosen the homestay option), and she related to me as if I'd been a long-time friend, which I appreciated enormously.
I took 3-hour group lessons every day, plus had the opportunity to chat to Maria at other times too, which quickly boosted my comprehension and speaking skills in Italian. I am forever grateful for these out-of-lesson chats, which always included Maya, her lovely pug too.
I admire Maria's ambition and energy to run her own school, which is true to its name and reaches to many parts of the world through her Skype teaching, and also welcomes many people from around the world. While I was there for example she also taught a nice group of university students on an Erasmus exchange project from France, an American couple and a young man from Argentina.
One final word about the location. Lecce, a charming town with characteristic baroque architecture, is within easy reach from Brindisi and Bari. It is also ideally located for excursions to the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian/Mediterranean Sea. On this occasion I did not get to visit the nearby Villa Castelli, where Maria's parents live and which is another option for homestay but on a future study trip I would very much like to do so.
Many thanks to Maria for the wonderful experience – grazie mille!
Gyöngyi Végh (London via Hungary)
I am Japanese, from Tokyo .
Usually I attend an Italian language school in Tokyo.
But this was the first time that I studied in a school abroad.
To study in Italy is a bit different than in Japan.
For me it was a great experience and I learned so many special things.
Also Lecce is a beautiful city, but of course many cities of Puglia are lovely.
The main part of Lecce is warm and friendly.
I would recommend you to visit Lecce at least once and attend this good school.
Mary is truly a good person.
That's why the school atmosphere is clear.
I would study at this school again.
Yujiro (Tokyo, Japan)
For many years I almost always go to Italy to spend my summer vacation in the “Bel Paese”. As a lover of Italian culture and the Italian way of life, I had always seen and known some regions but Apulia was missing so far completely. This is why I decided to go this time to Lecce to attend one week of Italian language course in Lecce and two weeks in Villa Castelli. And despite I already had very good experiences in the past, this stay will remain unforgettable in my memory of Puglia. It is the sincere and warm cordiality of Maria who is the founder and owner of the school and teacher (very good) in Lecce and the amazing kindness and hospitality of Franca and Franco in Villa Castelli that were very impressive. You felt as if you were in their own family. With unsurpassed availability and openness of all who work for the school (many thanks also to Matteo !!) I know many beautiful places, such as Lecce, Ostuni, Gallipoli, the largest archaeological park of Italy Kalòs in Caprarica, the archaeological museum Taranto and Taranto himself, Alberobello, Santa Maria di Leuca etc. they are too many!!!. But I can not leave not to mention the Pizzica, the traditional dance of Salento and the concert of Alla Bua we saw together !!
All in all I was (and am) very happy to have been able to do these wonderful experiences and without the shadow of a doubt I will come back. Absolutely to recommend!!
The time past at Maria's school was more than incredible, not only her methodology was of great help for improving my Italian, but her kindness and good humor was a key factor to make me feel at home! The region is a fantastic and magical place, you have all you need, beautiful beaches, incredible little downs, historical monuments, food that is worth dying for!!!!
Thank you so much Maria!! It was an unforgettable time at Lecce!!
I love it so much that I continue my lessons by Skype!!!!!
Juliana, Parigi (New York)
I recommend this school that I loved me so much. The classes are excellent, very personalized and familiar, the city of Lecce, beautiful to die, the Salento region a paradise to explore and to discover, fantastic food ... Finally, unsurpassed!
I stayed by Maria Rossini in Lecce and she is the most sweet, nice and careful person you might have. Excellent as a teacher of Italian, very competent and well prepared,s he made me feel really at home. Always willing to help, Mary always offered me her assistance to make my tour schedules, organizing cultural or gastronomic evenings, and took us all over her car, thanks to which it has been possible for us to go to places and concerts celebrated in small countries in the internal of Salento, as they are not so tourist they are not connected to public transport.
Finally I will say that I made the Italian language courses also in Sorrento and Taormina, but none of those experiences was so familiar, so amazing, so unforgettable.
Ah! One last thing: in Lecce's hot in August. Are you ready to sweat?
Ruth, Bilbao (New York)
Maria, I must tell you that the most precious memories of my trip that I will keep forever are the people I met who had all the beautiful human qualities. I met a teacher full of vibrancy, intelligence and generosity, a family, a father who has gently encouraged me to speak and who corrected me every time I made mistakes, a sensitive, lively, generous mother that I would have with friend and the people I met every day that with a lot of patience, helped me.
Maria, thank you for everything and I hope that you realize all your dreams. Please thank for me your parents for their hospitality. I had a pleasant week with them. Also please, greet Rocco for me and a kiss to Maya.
A warm hug