Experience your perfect italy

Learn Italian in Liguria: Sea, Cats and ..slow Italian life.



via Sarzanello
19038 Sarzana SP


If you want to fine-tune your Italian, live like a local and discover things you never knew, look no further .” (Katherine P. former homestay student ).

For over one decade I’ ve welcomed foreign students into my home, inviting them to dive deep into the heart of Italian culture, language and life. Here, the class extends beyond four walls, and the syllabus includes excursions, authentic daily life experiences, and the gentle purring of my two cats!

Every Homestay lasts one week and can be attended only by a student at the time, in a perfect one-to-one relationship.

That's why the program is always  totally customized to my students needs and interests, focused on their comfort and tailored to them.




1. One-to-one lesson

Our days begin with a lesson prepared especially for you, and continue with our planned activities. For exemple shopping at the local open market, or cooking some local recipes, or eventually tasting the white wine of Cinque Terre. But in every moment of the day, I'm your linguistic personal coach: I listen to you, absorbing nuances, correcting without judging, and weaving language lessons into our chatting.

2. Cultural and naturalistic excursions

During the week, we can explore the cobblestone streets of the hidden Lunigiana’s ancient villages,   visit medieval churches and castles, hike the dramatic paths of the Cinque Terre and discover traditional daily Sarzana's life. Each site becomes a chapter in your linguistic training.

There are lot of things to discover in my area: from art to history, and from the beauties of natural environnement to the unkwnown local traditions.

3. Lesson Preparation

When the evening arrives, I retreat to my study corner and plan the next day's lessons based on what I've observed (and listened) during the day. Your interests and your linguistic needs, drive the resume, whether it's ordering caffé or discussing politics or life. I build on what you want to say, brick by brick, until your speech becomes fluid.

4. Cat Therapy

Briciola e Mucca,  our feline companions, offer therapy of a different kind. They curl up on the table during preposition exercises, and their purrs harmonizing with irregular verbs calming you at every moment.


Something about me

I am an Italian language teacher who has specialized for the past thirty three years in teaching foreign languages; I am specialized in adult/senior Italian teaching and I work with all level of students from Absolute Beginner to Advanced.


Something about Sarzana

Sarzana is a beautiful medieval city set between the mountains and the sea, close to the Alpi Apuane and just a few steps away from the Cinque Terre.Thanks to its unique location, Sarzana offers many things to visitors: from long walks through natural parks of Montemarcello or Cinque Terre, to the visit of the Roman archeological sites of Luni and the prehistorical statues of Lunigiana.

Throughout the year Sarzana also hosts several artistic and cultural events, including: “La Soffitta nella Strada”, “La Calandriniana,” il “Festival della Mente,” i “Libri per la Strada”, “Atri fioriti” and “Sarzana Opera festival”. From Sarzana you can easily reach Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Genova.


Students say (https://www.homestayitaliancourses.com/students-reviews/)

"From the warm greeting at the station to the cup of espresso before departure, staying with Sira is like being invited into the home of a good friend. Sira is a warm, open person and perceptive teacher. You join her life as she lives it so that the learning becomes integrated with daily activities. The immersive experience begins immediately at a pace designed to ensure sufficient comprehension, adjusted over time according to capability.  The day begins with a lesson determined by Sira’s assessment of the prior day’s conversations. Each is tailored to identified needs and to expansion of capabilities. Visits to small, colorful villages and sites of interest, dining with friends, discussion of everyday topics and of the world, all seem natural and quotidian, but serve the larger purpose of encouraging the student to become more familiar with understanding and using the Italian language. Sira is responsive to those capabilities the student identifies as wanting to develop and will construct a lesson plan tailored to help them achieve their goals. Sira did all of these things for me during my week with her, and celebrated my small successes with me. On a free afternoon, I had a cup of coffee at a bar in Sarzana and challenged myself to engage in conversation with the regulars who surely are there every day. When I later recounted the conversations to Sira, she was thrilled for me. Sira treats you as a friend from the first moment; you surely leave as one. "

(Gary W.-giugno 2024- San Francisco)


"My week with Sira was simply wonderful!  She welcomed me into her home with open arms.  I felt comfortable with her instantly.  She worked very hard every day to offer the best options for me depending on interest, preference and weather.  Every morning she prepared a new Italian lesson for me.  She met me at my level and I never felt judged, only supported.  I feel like my Italian improved with her guidance!  Sira is also an amazing tour guide.  I learned so much from her about her region. She is passionate about her work and Italy.  I was also fortunate to meet three of her lovely friends, two of whom welcomed me into their home for a delicious meal.  Every day was a treat!  After my week with Sira I visited Bologna and Venice. She did not have to do this, but she prepared a list of places for me to visit while I was there. Thank you, my friend!  You go above and beyond! A la prossima"

(Caroline D. – marzo 2024- Ottawa)


"I awoke each morning to the faint sound of the computer printer, and I knew that Sira was
preparing my custom lesson, incorporating our activities and my language experiences from
the day before. She understood what I needed to become more confident about speaking and
even thinking in Italian. What had been a struggle to overcome problems turned into a
journey of discovery. Since I had already visited the famous and spectacular areas of Cinque
Terre and the Bay of Poets, Sira chose a castle with pre-Christian, little-known statues, a
working marble mine in a cave, a beach and a canal, places that define the character of
Lunigiana, the ancient civilization at the border of Liguria and Tuscany. I learned how events
in Europe, pilgrimages and politics, have shaped the region. I shared the rhythm of Sira's daily
life, laughing with her friends, loving her cats, shopping in the charming pedonale of Sarzana,
and absorbing the spectacular view of the mountains from her terrace. Finally, there is the
wisdom of Sira as a teacher. She knew when to revert to English, when to explain grammar,
when to ignore mistakes, and when to pause for an in depth explanation of a nuance. I left
with resources like a slow talking Italian news channel and a long term assignment: to learn
to sing an old Italian popular tune that would clear my head of rules and anxieties and free up
my inner Italian self. I have visited Italy as a tourist many times, but my week with Sira was
the first time I understood where I was. Truly a magical experience!"
(Nancy K. T., North Carolina, May 2023)



Special services

If you wish, you could stay, on your own, in a recommanded  B&B located in the centre of the town, spending, as usual, the rest of your  day with me.

This solution could be a good one too for those who wish to come here together with their partner,  a friend or their family.

What's included

Full board


Learning by doing activities (https://www.homestayitaliancourses.com/courses/learning-italian-homesta…)




Service type

location map

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