Before I left office as President of Ireland and knowing that intended to come to Rome to study Canon Law in retirement, I asked around about doing a course in Italian since my knowledge of the language ended with pizza
and cappuccino. The name of the Academy in Assisi kept recurring so my husband and I booked in for a fortnight. Those days were to change our lives, not just because we began the tentative journey into another language and culture but because we were welcomed and treated like family. We fell in love with Assisi and its hinterland but most of all its people typified by the Chiuchiù family. It is now our favourite place on the planet. We learnt Italian from the best, from people who love their language, heritage, history and culture and who love to share it.


Mary Mc Aleese


While there is rigor to the Accademia’s curriculum, the teachers use effective teaching techniques to balance the challenge of intensive learning with encouragement and positive reinforcement. Higher order questioning skills are addressed to the individual learner with multi-cultural sensitivity which results in high student engagement. I found the method of integrating grammar instruction with use of various media, and the opportunity to practice grammar through speaking to be very useful. Students quickly learn how they are learning as each topic of study progresses. This understanding increases motivation and confidence.

The teachers at the Accademia were among the most talented with whom I have ever worked. They are genuinely interested in students and in teaching. It was very helpful that they made learning a difficult skill enjoyable every class day. The administrative component is highly organized with a personal approach and willingness to help students from date of application through the course’s end. There is a very warm and positive atmosphere at Accademia, and the cultural programs offered outside of class are enriching.


Sandra De Angelis Peace, Ed. D.
Retired Associate Professor, College of Education
North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University



With six weeks of intensive effort my students successfully passed all the tests and exams equivalent to a two-semester foreign language requirement. This was a difficult challenge, but it was facilitated by our talented, experienced and very friendly instructors. The program was rigorous and well organized. The preliminary negotiations and communication went very smoothly.
The cultural component of the program was fascinating to all of the students and to me as well. There was a lesson on medieval cooking, a lecture on music, and three art classes, all conducted in Italian. Assisi’s setting itself is of great historical significance and is inherently interesting

Elena Savelieva-Thompson
Area Studies Instructor
Modern Languages and Literature Department
University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA, USA


Thank You’s to the Italian immersion directors – both Dr. Giraldez at UOP and Gaia at ALIA. Thank you for you working tirelessly to provide the experiences of a lifetime to our group. Thank you for being our mothers away from home – you two work so hard and do it with a smile. Please know that it means a lot, even if you don’t always get the thank you’s you deserve.


Emily Olson, studentessa dell’University of the Pacific
















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