Experience your perfect italy

A week of Italian Immersion in Liguria: Learning, 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 laughter, local flavors, and the gentle purring of feline companions.

Nestled in a picturesque corner of Italy, my home is a meeting point for Italian language enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, the journey begins at my doorstep. As you step inside, the aroma of freshly brewed espresso mingles with the promise of linguistic discovery. But there’s a caveat: you must befriend with my two feline: Mucca and Briciola. Their approval is essential: after all, they’re the unofficial language assessors.




1. Conversations Over Meals

Our days unfold around the dining table, laden with homemade delicacies. As we savor pasta al dente and sip a glass of wine, conversations flow freely. You share your dreams, your favorite Italian phrases, and perhaps a secret recipe from your grandmother. I listen, absorbing nuances, correcting gently, and weaving language lessons into our banter.

2. Cultural and naturalistic Excursions

Beyond the cozy confines of our home, we explore the cobblestone streets of the hidden Lunigiana’s ancient villages,  we visit medieval churches and castles, hike the dramatic paths of the Cinque Terre and discuss Dante’s infernal journey. Each site becomes a chapter in your linguistic adventure.

3. Cat Therapy

Briciola e Mucca,  our feline companions, offer therapy of a different kind. They curl up on your lap during verb conjugation exercises, their purrs harmonizing with irregular verbs. They’re patient listeners, never judging your pronunciation mishaps. And when you’re stuck, they nudge you toward the right word, as if saying, “Meow, try again!”

4. Lesson Preparation

When the evening arrives, I retreat to my study corner and plan the next day's lessons. Your interests drive the resume, whether it's ordering ice cream or discussing Fellini films. I build on what you want to say, brick by brick, until your speech becomes fluid.

5. The Gastronomic Heritage

The Italian gastronomic tradition reveals itself before us. We visit the local markets, selecting ripe tomatoes and fragrant basil. In my kitchen you become an apprentice: you prepare a tasty carbonara and master the art of coffee. The language of food becomes your language and you'll soon be ordering cappuccino like a native



Something about me

I am an Italian language teacher who has specialized for the past thirty three years in teaching French and Italian; I am specialized in adult/senior 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/)

"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




Service type

location map

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