About Us

Scuola Virgilio is an Italian Language school by the seaside founded in 2006 by a handful of young language professionals from Trapani: after several years abroad, they decided to move back home and create a cultural tourism offer allowing people to study Italian in West Sicily and get to know the local life and culture.

Scuola Virgilio’s teachers are native Italian speakers, with degrees in foreign languages and literatures and qualified for teaching Italian as a nonnative language. They have extensive experience teaching general and specific Italian to students of all ages and countries, with both private Italian lessons and intensive group courses.
Some teachers are tourist guides wo can help students discover the rich local historical and artistic heritage. Here are Scuola Virgilio’s names and faces:


Stefano, Director

Stefano studied Politics and International Relations in Bologna and Madrid, then he lived abroad for ten years, worked 2 years in the EU institutions in Bruxelles and then for 7 years in Paris as a language and tourism professional. He founded Scuola Virgilio in 2006 with Vitalba. Stefano is a translator and interpreter, working with French, English and Spanish. Besides speaking a little of German, Portuguese and Catalan, for many years he has been studying two languages that are somehow “holy” to him: Hebrew and Sicilian. At Scuola Virgilio Stefano teaches lessons of business or industry-specific Italian and seminars in Italian and Sicilian culture focusing on such subjects as politics, economy, mafia but also literature and cinema.


Vitalba, Director Of Studies

Vitalba graduated from the Palermo University, then obtained a Master’s degree in Didactics of Italian as a non-native language from the University of Perugia. She has several years experience, teaching also in high schools and universities in France (Paris XII Créteil). She specialises mainly in teaching advanced Italian and specific courses for Italian teachers thanks to her indepth kwowledge and... to her meticolous nature! No wonder that one of her students, herself a teacher, referred to Vitalba as a “grammar monster”!


Daniela “senior”

Daniela holds a degree in foreign languages and a DITALS certificate. She has been teaching at Scuola Virgilio since 2007 and her passion for her job brings her to continuously update her preparation. She speaks fluent French, good English and a little bit of German. A lover cultures and peoples from distant countries, she is aware of immigrationrelated issues has volunteered as a cultural mediator. Daniela loves music and for this reason she is always trying to get students to sing along some Italian song! Since 2013 Daniela has been an examiner for the CELI certification system.

Luisa

At Scuola Virgilio, Luisa is the Russian-speaking expert: after her degree at the University of Rome, she worked for 3 years in Moscow and St. Petersburg in tourism. In 2006 she moved back to Sicily, working first in Palermo and then with Scuola Virgilio. Luisa never loses her cool, and thanks to her mild disposition she has become a specialist in beginners courses, Italian lessons for children and Italian distance lessons on Skype. Like Daniela, Luisa is a CELI certification examiner.

Daniela “junior”

Daniela graduated in Italian as a foreign language with a minor in Oriental Studies. She has started to teach Italian in 2008 in Palermo and since 2011 has worked with Scuola Virgilio as both a teacher and a content creator for social media. She can speak English, French and Spanish but most of all she is fond of the Arabic language and culture. Daniela has a thoughtful personality, and she loves reaching out to her students in spite of her shy nature.
 
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Why Virgilio?

Scuola Virgilio’s name is inspired by Publio Virgilio Marone, a major poet of the Romam Empire and also an important character in Italian literature: in the Divine Comedy, he his Dante’s guide through the afterworld. In the Aeneid, Virgil tells that hero Aeneas, on his way to founding Rome, spent time in Drepanum and E ryx i.e... Trapani and Erice! Virgil wrote about myths happening in Sicily 30 centuries ago, he lived in Italy 20 centuries ago and for 7 centuries he’s been a symbol of European culture with Dante; overall, an inspiring figure to study the Italian language and culture in Italy (>0.2).


Here is Dante introducing Virgil in the first canto of the Divine Comedy:


Mentre ch’i’ rovinava in basso loco,
dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto
chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.
Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,
«Miserere di me», gridai a lui,
«qual che tu sii, od ombra od omo certo!».
Rispuosemi: «Non omo, omo già fui,
e li parenti miei furon lombardi,
mantoani per patrïa ambedui.
Nacqui sub Iulio, ancor che fosse tardi,
e vissi a Roma sotto ’l buono Augusto
nel tempo de li dèi falsi e bugiardi.

While toward the lowland I was falling fast,
the sight of one was offered to mine eyes,
who seemed, through long continued silence,
weak.
When him in that vast wilderness I saw,
“Have pity on me,” I cried out to him,
“whate’er thou be, or shade, or very man!”
“Not man,” he answered, “I was once a man;
and both my parents were of Lombardy,
and Mantuans with respect to fatherland
’Neath Julius was I born, though somewhat late,
and under good Augustus’ rule I lived
in Rome, in days of false and lying gods.

Dicono di noi...

The stay in Trapani was sprendid. The teacher is professional.  And the classmates are very friendly and warm. I studied a lot and did sightseeing a lot. Your place of sicily showed me very interesting histolic sites. I was excited by Grotta Genovese, Eriche, Segesta, Mozia, Selinunte (for this absent from school), Marsala and Mazzala del Vallo etc.  This was a very memorable vacation for me. I am lucky that I could catch this school at this time.
Mutsuyo, Giappone