ende
ende
menu
ende

You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Learning Italian in Italy? Ci vediamo a Salerno!

Bella Italia.

I just had to fall in love.

🙂

“But what were you thinking, Elena?”, my friends were teasing me before leaving for Italy, teasing me about my “pure desire to learn Italian” (no guys, no eventual distractions this time ..!). But then .. Oh SalernoPompei. The Amalfi Coast, righteously known to be World Heritage of Humankind. All of these places are no longer just some pretty dots on a map, but evoke a kind of music, and smile in me, a connection to all the beautiful people I met in the south of Italy. A land full of amore, beauty, and contradictions.

Blick-auf-die-historische-Altstadt-von-Salerno-vom-Zimmer-im-Haus-meiner-Gastfamilie

The view from my host family’s room in the old town of Salerno.

 

Unterwegs mit meinen neuen KollegInnen von der Sprachschule "L'Accademia Italiana di Salerno" ...

Out & about with my new friends & fellow class mates from “L’Accademia Italiana di Salerno” …

 

... vom Dolce Far Diente lassen auch wir uns bald treiben bzw. anstecken, die Schule bietet viel Freizeit und spannende Ausflugsmöglichkeiten in die nähere Umgebung.

… and yes, there is much to be learned from the Italian “Dolce Far Niente”, as even our school teachers proclaim we do so and follow in line with the locals.!

 

Going to Italy for cooking lessons and to learn Italian? I can’t think of a better suggestion for your (and my) next Easter holiday.

More than a year ago, the team of the international language travel agency ESL has contacted me with the idea to pick and choose one of their many language schools all over Europe, and blog about my experience there. As “Creativelena”, I did not think twice: Italian was my choice, my now seventh language after already speaking German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan! And so the story goes: “Elena, Salerno seems to be the perfect place for you. As it offers you not only a language school, but also many cultural activities, and cooking lessons for you as a creative traveller ..”

Ein weiteres Plus der Sprachschule von Salerno: Die Klassenräume eröffnen jeden Tag erneut den Blick aufs Meer ...

Indeed, a perfect fit: The rooms of my new language school open up a view upon the sea each day …

 

Mindestens einmal pro Woche finden verschiedene Koch- oder Backkurse traditioneller italienischer Spezialitäten statt ...

… at least once a week, there is a cooking class of typical Italian food & bakery offered and organised by the school …

 

... wie auch hier beim Backen typischer kleiner Osterkuchen im Ristorante Dedicato A Mio Padre im Herzen von Salerno. Herrlich.

… such as baking small Easter tarts at the Ristorante “Dedicato A Mio Padre” in the heart of Salerno: A wonderful, multi-cultural experience with our language school team as well as this local, mother-daughter duo.

 

Languages are best learned in the country where they are spoken. At least that’s how the theory goes. What my practice has proven, again, is that besides being in the country, what you should really do is fall in love.

And I don’t (always ;)) mean the love for a particular man, or woman (però è certissimo che anch’aiuterà, sempre!), but more so, the love for the sweetness of the local people, the way they laugh, sing, and gesticulate, their very own sense of humour, their heartfelt expressions, stories, idiosyncrasies and crazy little ideas. Whatever it may be, it is literally a guarantee to get you emotionally connected, to befriend and fall in love with new people, and to carry sweet memories way beyond the trip. And this, my dear readers, is a guarantee for two things: You will want to learn the language quickly (and easily). You will also end up with a desire to return, to keep contact, to practice the new language in your own country (look up language cafés, Italian restaurants, adult education centres etc. as some of the options available to you).

Kontakt halten leicht gemacht: Mit meiner "Mamma Italiana" Maria und ihrem Sohn Antonio, meinen lieben Gastgebern im Herzen von Salerno (auch meine eigenen Eltern haben sich den Besuch hier nicht nehmen lassen ..!)

I love being in touch: With my “Mamma Italiana” Maria and her son Antonio, my dear hosts in Salerno (even my parents have visited for the Easter weekend, taking this happy Austro-Italian family picture together ..!).

 

In dieser herzlichen Runde mit neuen Freunden aus der Sprachschule sprechen wir beim Mittagessen jeden Tag Italienisch, Französisch, Deutsch oder auch Englisch zusammen. Super.

With my sweet new friends from the language school, we talk Italian, French, German or English over lunch together. I love it.

 

Besonders Barbara hier, eine herzallerliebste Schweizerin, habe ich wirklich ins Herz geschlossen (und muss nun eine weitere Reise nach Sankt Gallen in die Schweiz planen ..!) ...

Especially Barbara here from Switzerland, who I have really felt a new friendship connection to (I will have to come and see you in Switzerland then my dear ..!) …

 

Gemeinsam sind Barbara und ich oft bei Giovanno, im Restaurant Angulo Masucchio gleich gegenüber von der Sprachschule zu Gast ...

And then there is Giovanno, from the Restaurant Angolo Masuccio straight across the street from our language school, who we always went to for delicious lunch menus ..!

 

... und haben dort stets köstlich geschlemmt, nicht wahr liebe Barbara?

… beautiful, isn’t it Barbara?

 

So how do you start? I have easily landed myself in a B1 conversational level of Italian, without having ever studied before. Yes, it’s possible.

Of course, I would have had “help” from having studied several other Roman languages (and six years of Latin!) before. The basic vocabulary, and some of the grammar in Italian, came to me easily when looking at some initial textbooks. However, as you step up your game in a language, there is always a whole host of new details, particularities, and little differences to be learned. I really had to “let go of my Spanish”, not “think in Portuguese”, and “not even start with Catalan”, the language I presume to be closest to Italian together with Spanish. Phew. A beautiful challenge for a language lover like myself!

Auch eine eigene Sprache, die es sich gerade in Salerno bzw. in Italien zu genießen lohnt: Gruß & Kuss aus der fantastischen Küche des Landes ...

This a language, too: The beautiful food of southern Italy, which goes straight to your heart (and belly). Pure immersion, yes!

 

Selbst die Büffel werden hier mit klassischer Musik beschallt und massiert ...

Even the buffalo cows, known for producing the most outstanding “Mozzarella di Bufala”, are being spoilt to massages and the sound of classic music on the farm in Italy.

 

Selbiger schmeckt ...

The taste of this mozzarella, then …

 

... dann auch wirklich einfach nur vorzüglich. Mmmh: Mozzarella auf einem ganz anderen, intensiven Geschmacksniveau!

… is a poem to the senses, I swear!

 

Kultur und Sprachgenuss bietet sich auch im "Giardino della Minerva" mitten im Herzen von Salerno's Altstadt an.

And when in Salerno, do not miss a visit to “Giardino della Minerva” right in the heart of the old town: It is said to be in connection with the oldest University of Medicine in Europe and dates back to at least the 13th century. Fascinating, for sure!

 

Italian now is a tender little language plant inside my head & heart. After more trips to Spain, Catalonia and Portugal this year, I will definitely mark at least one more trip to Italy, too, in order to keep furthering my Italian.

Just think about it: As soon as your trip comes to an end, start planning on how you can continue your language training at home, or even mark a trip back to the same country. I really look forward to following up with my new Italian friends on Social Media, reading and commenting Italian blogs and websites, keeping up the exchange with my dear host family and teachers at the local language school “L’Accademia Italiana di Salerno”. Modern ways of communication do make it easy in this time and age after all.

Pina, professoressa carissima nostra! Già mi manchi troppo … Ho veramente adorato questo corso di italiano con te, e trovo che sei proprio una insegnante buonissima. Il tuo senso d’umorismo non solo ti ha salvato a te, ma egualmente ci ha permesso di sentire tutta l’emozione che portavamo sempre tra noi. Giuro tornare presto, anche si fosse solo per partecipare una volta di più alle tue lezioni. Ti voglio anche un sacco di bene! Grazie per tutto che hai fatto per noi, anche elevarmi in questo livello di italiano! Baci e a la prossima, bellissima!

Klassenzimmer in Salerno ...

Our class room in Salerno …

 

... sie hier, meine liebe Professorin Pina, werde ich wohl so schnell nicht vergessen, so sehr ist mir diese wirklich außerordentlich liebenswerte Frau ans Herz gewachsen.

… saying goodbye to my sweet, and very gifted teacher Pina has not been easy: I will always treasure this inspiring and downright wonderful, Italian woman.

 

So what about love, then?

Well. As you know, love and food are very much connected, so let me share a few “aromatic” photographs of our cooking lessons & school excursions with you …! Ciao, bella Italia, ci vediamo in questa bellissima città di Salerno!

Ciao ciao bella Costiera Amalfitana, Pompei & Vesuvio .. Ci vediamo dopo a la prossima volta!

Ciao ciao bella Costiera Amalfitana, Pompei & Vesuvio .. Ci vediamo dopo a la prossima volta!

 

And you, when will you come to realise your dream of learning Italian in Italy?

 

Disclaimer: I have been invited by ESL Education to travel and learn Italian in Italy. All opinions are my own.

Spread the love

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
#WOWSouthAfrica : Travel Tips around Cape Town, Stellenbosch & the Cape of Good Hope
Wine & Snow, here we go: The highest wine tasting in Austria is on a glacier!

0 Comments

Leave a Reply


Follow me on my travels: