Language – Cultural Stay in Sarzana

From an ancient village to a city with a tourist vocation

Sarzana is a fortified village recognized by Emperor Ottone I in 963, contended for years thanks to its strategic position between Pisani, Lucchesi and Fiorentini and finally the Genoese. The inhabited nucleus is populated with the decadence of nearby Luni, an important port that still preserves a beautiful archaeological site with its perfectly preserved Roman amphitheater. From 1200 onwards it gains importance becoming the Episcopal See and the peace is signed with the ‘sword in the rock’ walled in the facade of the Cathedral. In the centuries to follow the city preserves important historical traces, some lost in the post-war period. After the Second World War, Sarzana lost most of the ancient walls and ditches that surrounded it, keeping the 5 forts to protect the village and preparing to become a tourist destination. Between medieval fortresses and enchanting views that make you taste the time that was, the city offers a historical artistic heritage worthy of note as evidenced by the historic center that houses the excellences of antiquarian art. City of three Popes, including Niccolò V, founder of the Vatican Library, of Napoleonic splendours and of pilgrimages; in fact, the city is crossed by the Via Francigena between Porta Parma and the majestic entrance of Porta Romana, an ancient entrance to the Aurelia. Ideal access to the beautifully preserved walls, which will take you to the Firmafede Fortress from which you can admire the twin on the hills, Castruccio Castracani Fortress.


Where we are, Sarzana and its surroundings

In a strategic position to reach the 5 Terre, the Gulf of Poets and Lunigiana, the land of a hundred castles, Sarzana offers the largest hotel accommodation in the province. Three hotels superior to 50 rooms and a wide non-hotel and restaurant accommodation with cellars, typical local products and restaurants for the different types of gourmets. On the border with Tuscany, between valleys and medieval castles, Sarzana is easily reachable with its own railway station and the motorway exit. At 8 km the beaches of Fiumaretta and Marinella, natural continuation of the nearby Versilia complete the offer for those seeking a seaside tourism. On the Via Aurelia, in the footsteps of the ancient pilgrims, between the archaeological site of Luni at the foot of the Carrara Marble Quarries, we find the Colline del Sole which produce excellent wines and gastronomic products of excellence, to be tasted in open cellars following the path of the Via Francigena.


1 week program


1° Day:
Morning (time to be agreed according to the needs of the participants):
– Meeting at the meeting point of the railway station of Sarzana for a first welcome and information on the host structure / family;
– Accommodation and guest presentations;
– Lunch, cognitive meeting and evaluation of the excursion / orientation program with explanations on the activities / delivery of educational material / short city tour on foot in the historical center;
– Individual free time in the afternoon and subsequent dinner all together at a partner restaurant.


2° Day:
– Discovering the city – Teaching lesson – and visiting the hidden corners of Sarzana – conversation lesson (bilingual material about the city) for the entire duration of the excursion (3h);
– Lunch at a partner restaurant.
– Old town, beauty and ancient crafts;
– Photography course among the workshops of ancient crafts: the charm of the artisan shops, awaits you in a day not to be missed. A great photographer, will hold a course in the shops of the historic center in search of the perfect shot capturing the charm of ancient crafts with eyes and contemporary techniques. 3 hours between theory and research of the perfect moment to create the magic of a shot, among antique shops, ancient walls and Medici fortresses. Unique details among Romanesque churches, cathedrals and secrets enclosed in the timeless stones of our cultural heritage;
– Wine & Bruschetta Tasting.
– Individual free time.


3° Day:
– 2 h Italian lesson;
– Full day excursion in minivan 8 pax + driver – The Vermentino hills;
– Visit to the territories of the Wine roads including the villages of Nicola and Ortonovo;
– Lunch;
– Visit to the archaeological site of Luni and Italian lesson, excursion by bike to the valley (certified guide, mountain bike or mountain bike rental with pedal assistance);
– Tasting and food and wine demonstration at Local Wineries.
– Individual free time.


4° Day:
(in case of bad weather the program of another day will be inverted)
– The Gulf of Poets, visit to Lerici (moving by public transport);
– Blue Venus;
– Free lunch at the beach.
– Walk and visit San Terenzo (places of great poets) and reading and conversation lesson (the poets of the Gulf);
Apericena in the Marina under the castle ‘White wine and 5 ways to be anchovies’.
– Individual free time.


5° Day:
– Didactics;
– Free time for lunch (in affiliated facilities) study, homework.
– Ligurian cuisine, His Majesty the Pesto, Lecture and gastronomic demonstration on how pesto is born, prepared according to the Ligurian tradition in marble mortars with personnel in typical costume. Each participant will receive a certificate of nominal participation and the jar with the pesto prepared with their own hands;
– Following in the same location: Dinner with Ligurian dishes (appetizer: Sgabei with cold cuts – two samples of first course: homemade ravioli and Testaroi al Pesto – Tiramisù).
– Individual free time.


6° Day:
Full Day excursion (public transport) – 5 Terre:
– Arrival by train at the Riomaggiore Station;
– Workshop in a creative workshop with conversation lesson;
– Train-Visit to Monterosso, to choose individual free time for the beach or visit to Vernazza;
– Return by boat;
– Or on request (for small groups of 4 or individual supplement or couple): boat trip along the jagged coastline of the 5 Terre to discover hidden corners and villages seen from the sea. An enchanting view, between sky, rock and sea that can only be enjoyed from the sea;
– Arrival in La Spezia and return to Sarzana;
– Individual leisure time and dinner at a partner restaurant.


7° Day:
– Lesson and educational summary;
– Full Day Portovenere excursion (public transport), corsair village facing the only Ligurian archipelago;
– Lunch at a partner restaurant;
– Return in the afternoon;
– Greeting dinner and individual free time.


The program includes:

– 7 nights in B & B with private bathroom;
– Full board treatment: breakfast at the B & B, lunch and dinner at partner restaurants;
– Lessons and / or meetings, 2/3 hours a day from Monday to Friday and related educational material.

All the planned activities, or alternatives in case of bad weather, and the tourist tax are included in the cost.




Italian language knowledge

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