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Reputable schools/organisations in Italy?
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carolyn thomas



Joined: 02 Feb 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject: Reputable schools/organisations in Italy? Reply with quote

Hi, this is my first post on the forum and wondered if anyone can help. My husband and I worked as Tefl teachers for International House in Portugal for two years and had a great experience. We are now looking to possibly relocate for Sept 2011 and would like to find a reputable school in Italy, preferably by the coast but not essential. We are British and Celta trained. Has anyone worked at IH Livorno or IH La Spezia or another good organisation that can offer advice? Many thanks in advance, Caz.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny you should mention IH La Spezia... I "know" someone with a twitter account who works there. I don't remember his name offhand, but if you do a search for IH La Spezia (thru twitter) you might unearth him! By all accounts, he likes it there - both the school and the location.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 387
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a bad location. You could visit paradise beaches every weekend on the train line without having to pay for hotels, but still have the convenience of being in a small city.

Go for it!
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carolyn thomas



Joined: 02 Feb 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:38 am    Post subject: thanks for info so far Reply with quote

Thanks for the posts so far. i can't seem to find the twitter thread - any more clues? Paradise beaches do sound tempting, lets hope there are some jobs going....any more advice out there on Italy?
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I meant you needed to go and search on twitter (www.twitter.com). Set up an account and a profile (free of charge) search for teachers. There are a lot of EFL teachers on twitter, and you can get a huge amount of info.
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carolyn thomas



Joined: 02 Feb 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks, will do.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to say - the whole Ligurian coast is lovely. La Spezia is a military town I think, but up towards Genova you've got smaller towns, beautiful scenery, beaches, etc. Excellent food. Genova is a nice city too - small, easy to get around on foot, friendly people.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 382
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure that La Spezia is such a great town. I was there last week investigating the place and Lunigiana too.

While most parts of La Spezia town centre have the type of architecture one looks for in a place to live, there are a number of high-rise blocks which seem to have been built specifically with the purpose of spoiling a couple of the main piazzas of the town. One of them was over 20 floors high.

The corniche isn't the greatest either. It's one third naval base, one third marina, and one third heavy-industrial port.

They do say any port in a storm, but if you don't happen to find yourself caught up in a storm, you might want to moor your boat elsewhere.

That said, the people were very willing to run with my sometimes incoherent attempts at Italian, especially in the hill towns of Lunigiana - shame about the mountain of red, blue & green containers just outside Aulla.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC Parrot - you mean you might come to work in Italy??!!

I've also heard good things about Lunigiana, but it's a bit more off the beaten track than Cinque Terre towns / Genova. I think that in most places in Italy, attempts to speak Italian (to whatever degrees of success) are always taken positively.

I haven't been north of Genova, but that might also be an option - Imperia is supposed to be quite nice, and of course, you're getting close to France. Another plus.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 382
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might come to live in Italy, but I'm not sure I'd throw myself at the mercy of the Italian TEFL scene.

When we finish up in the Gulf in 3 years time, it's either Italy or France. As much as I would prefer Italy, you seem to get more house for your money in France.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You probably do get more for your money in France. But I think there are a lot of other factors if you're looking for somewhere to retire.

I love Italy, the lifestyle, food, and so on. But the goverment's a joke, the taxes high (and not in any way commensurate with the level of public services) and there's little to no safety net in terms of welfare provision. Rural places can be beautiful, but beware the boredom factor if you're not working. Seriously. The amount of retired expats here who spend their days drinking and gossiping. And those who come here expecting to make a living without speaking Italian fare little better.

I'm thinking of selling my house to get a smaller place near Rome (closer to culture, shopping, and a bit of a buzz) but have run into another problem - the difficulty of selling a rural house in a not-so-desired location. The Italian property market is anything but dynamic, so factor this in if you were banking on a quick sale to release cash.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 382
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes .. I've been looking at rural property in Italy for over three years now both on the net and on the ground ... and I still bump into adverts for houses I saw 3 years ago ...

Still, if you want a garden, and you don't have Eu 500,000+ to afford a town-house garden, I guess you have to be ready to sit it out at sale time .. either that or make sure that you've got all the boxes ticked in terms of what type of property you buy ...

I should imagine it's hell being a seller out there at the moment ..
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The higher-end places still sell. It's more the lower to mid-end of the market that's suffering. Not many Italians buy in rural areas (they tend to buy in towns and by the sea) so you're looking mainly at a foreign market. It seems that the only people buying at the moment are the richer Europeans (Danes, etc) and from outside the EU - Canada, South Africa. In some places you get rich Russians (i.e. Ligurian coast.) But if your budget is 500,000 euro, you'll get a lot for your money here! And if you're interested in a liveable house, ruin (restoration project) attached, with 3000 sq metre land, I know of a very nice place...
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 382
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, when I said ..

"if you want a garden, and you don't have Eu 500,000+ to afford a town-house-graden .."

.. I was including myself in the 'you'.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1213

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might get those sort of prices for a townhouse in places like Bordighera, but elsewhere in Liguria should be a tad cheaper. Lunigiana is often touted as the reasonable end of Tuscany, but prices are a lot lower still in Marche and Abruzzo. If you had 500,000 you could just about get a detached, 3-bed renovated farmhouse with swimming pool, decent garden and nice views. Plenty of expats looking to return, so pretty much a buyer's market.
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