San Giovanni Valdarno, Tuscany & Us
Instead of talking about us, about how good we are, how beautiful our area is and how many beautiful things can be done while staying at Il Sillabo, we give this opportunity to those who first chose us, then stayed with us and finally decided to bond even stronger with us.
By Aga Szatkowska and John Hooks, for ‘Banbridge Today, The Weekender’, N.Ireland, 29th October 2010
‘Nestled in the Arno Valley, in the province of Arezzo and just an hour away from Florence, the welcoming town of San Giovanni offers a truly Tuscan experience that is difficult to resist and to find in nearby tourists-packed places. It can be easy reached either by car or by train (directly from Rome and with connections in Florence - from Pisa, Bologna, Milan).
The first time you sit in one of the cafĂ©s in the piazza, sipping a cappucino or a glass of vino, watching children playing and people passing by, listening to bells ‘ding-donging’, smiling to yourself in the early afternoon sunshine, you just simply know that you have found a perfect place for your break.
A place that is ideal not only for exploring new language horizons but also for discovering all the gems Tuscany (and Umbria) has to offer. The great train connection will help you to visit Florence, Arezzo, Cortona, Perugia, Asissi, Lucca, Siena and others without much of a planning but with a pure joy. Also the Chianti region with its charming little towns and villages and the world-famous wine production is just a stone drive away so you really cannot ask for a better location for an activity-packed holiday. You have all the Tuscan abundance at your feet yet still being away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and tourists crowds.
The good thing about Il Sillabo is that you donâ??t need to be already engaged in studying the Italian language to enjoy a Tuscan break. Consider yourself a beginner, book a course, they will arrange an accommodation for you and get ready to commence your holidays - spring, summer, autumn. The cosy, family-owned school and bustling little townâ??s atmosphere are undeniable warm and welcoming.
Just after a few days of immersing into Tuscan life of Sangiovannesi (townâ??s inhabitants), you will feel at home and already planning to come back. Like many do to meet their new Italian friends, breathe in that flavoured air of the piazza, drink an espresso in a local bar, visit a Saturday town market, have a chat with Gianni the famous pizzeria owner with an eternal smile on his face and a guitar in his hand, have an afternoon stroll along Corso Italia with locals and refresh your acquired knowledge of Italian.
As you may rest assured that you leave the place richer not only in cultural and culinary experiences (Tuscany weâ??re talking!) but certainly richer in your Italian. Highly qualified teachers will make you fall in love with the language of Bel Paese and will also accompany you on some trips, alongside with the school tour-guide Orazio Bosi, an art historian and architect.
Apart from well known cities that you’d visit on weekly trips, Florence, Siena and San Gimignano there are also wine and food tastings in local wineries and visits to little villages scattered among vineyards and olive groves. And for all those shopping lovers there is another gem and properly on the doorstep of San Giovanni - The Mall - a range of designer outlets where you can shop till you drop for a fraction of real prices. Heaven? And that’s not all! You can also book into one of the additional classes that ‘Il Sillabo’ has to offer: cooking, wine, ceramics, painting, art & literature or just ask for a package specially tailor-made for you.’
And what is left to be added? Our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number: + 39 0559123238
Be immersed in the Italian Life Style (Dolce Vita) while being connected with the world from your wireless classroom
How to find us:
35Km south of Florence
30Km north-west of Arezzo
50Km north-east of Siena
10Km from Chianti Area
For trains schedules please visit: www.ferroviedellostato.it
From Florence main train station - Firenze S.M.N. or Firenze Campo Marte take a direct train to San Giovanni V.no.
Duration: 30-50 min (depending on a train type)
From Roma Termini (Rome main train station) take a direct train to San Giovanni V.no
Duration: 3 hrs
From Milano Centrale (Milan main train station) take a direct train to Florence (Firenze S.M.N.) called Frecciarossa â?? then change for a regional train to San Giovanni V.no
Duration: approx 2 -3 hrs
Florence airport (Firenze Peretola)
It is the closest airport to San Giovanni Valdarno. It is possible to get to the main train station (Firenze S.M.N.) by bus or taxi. Then take a direct train to San Giovanni V.no
Duration: 1 - 2 hours . Il Sillabo is glad to offer a pick up service from the airport to the student accommodation, please ask for conditions and prices.
Pisa airport (Galileo Galilei)
Get a direct train from Pisa airport (or change at Pisa Centrale) to Florence (Firenze S.M.N.) and then change for a train to San Giovanni V.no. Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Rome airports (Fiumicino, Campino)
Get a train from an airport to Rome main train station (Roma Termini) and then a direct train to San Giovanni V.no. Duration of total journey: 4 hrs
Bologna airport (Guglielmo Marconi)
It is possible to get a shuttle bus from the airport to Bologna train station and then a train to Florence (Firenze S.M.N.), then change there for San Giovanni V.no.Duration: 2 -3 hours
Milan airports (Malpensa, Linate)
It is possible to get a shuttle bus or a train from Milan Malpensa (or a shuttle bus from Milan Linate) to Milan train station (Milano Centrale). From there take a train (Frecciarossa) to Florence (Firenze S.M.N.) and change then for San Giovanni V.no (also direct trains from Milano Malpensa to Firenze S.M.N., same Frecciarossa).
Duration: approx 4 hrs
Highway - Autostrada A1 is the best way (please see below for instructions from specific cities). When you get to Valdarno and leave the highway, turn right followed by the first turn left and then take exit for San Givoanni Valdarno. Pass under the highway, take the first turn on the right, go straight to the traffic lights, turn left and cross the bridge, turn right and follow directions for “centro”.
Highway - Autostrada A1 - direction Roma - EXIT Valdarno Duration: from Firenze Sud to Valdarno 25 minutes
Highway - Autostrada A1 - direction Firenze - EXIT Valdarno Duration: from Arezzo to Valdarno 25 minutes
Highway - Autostrada A1 - direction Firenze - EXIT Valdarno Duration: from Roma Nord to Valdarno 2 Â˝ hours
VISITING TUSCANY and UMBRIA WHILE IN SAN GIOVANNI VALDARNO
(some of the trips are included in our programs, some can be taken optionally, arranged by the school or by the students)
Please click on the following links to know more about cities, areas, districtsâ?¦