The Istituto Venezia has been offering language instruction for Italians and foreigners since 1994. Program participants have an opportunity to study Italian with students of all ages and from around the world. No previous knowledge of Italian is required. Italian is offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Because the program in Venice is small, courses are offered on the basis of individualized study, unless five or more students enroll in a course. A professor is assigned to work with a student. The student and professor meet for an hour a week to go over the material to be covered and assignments of the previous week. Students do not meet in regular classes with other students, but rather have the concentrated attend and exclusive guidance of a single professor for each course; assignments are often tailored to the student's special interests. The language of instruction is English with the exception of the language courses.
Program I: Super-Intensive Italian Language Program (12 credits). Student may register for a total of 12 credits only in this program.
Program II: Venetian Civilization and Culture (14 credits). Students take six credits of Italian language and two four-credit courses. Students must take a placement exam before registering for intermediate-and advanced-level language courses.
Program I: Super-Intensive Italian (300 hrs, 12 credits)
4 hours per day, 5 days a week
Weekly seminars in Italian culture and art history tours are mandatory for all intensive Italian language courses.
Levels: There are five levels of Italian instruction. All beginners start at the first level (1). All other students, regardless of their language competency, are tested by the Istituto Venezia instructors before classes begin. The test determines the level in which they are placed.
Level 1- This course addressed beginning students who have no knowledge of the Italian language. At the end of the course, students are able to communicate in the most frequent daily situations, using basic vocabulary and grammar.
Level 2-This course is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of Italian. It allows the student to increase his/her communication ability, expanding basic vocabulary and grammar.
Level 3-This course aims at strengthening comprehension, communication, and writing skills by using advanced grammar.
Level 4- This course builds a good command of the language. The student develops complex grammatical structures and enriches his/her vocabulary, thus improving fluency.
Level 5- This is an advanced course that can be repeated by those who want to reach a high level of fluency. The course investigates different aspects of the Italian language.
Program II: Venetian Civilization and Culture (14 credits)
Italian Language (6 credits)
Venetian History, Politics, and Society from the 12th to the 20th Century (60 hrs, 4 credits)
The central aim that underlies the course is "to study the history of Venice, from the birth of the Republic to the present, watching and seeing (in the historical and modern city) the testimonials of it and the progressive changes."
To realize this goal, the course is designed to combine class lesson and visit to the sites of secular class lessons and visits to the sites of secular historical importance: The Basilica of Saint Mark's, The Ducal Palace, and the Arsenale; the commercial sites of the city and the modern industrial sites in the suburbs; the future solution for the program of high water; the mobile dam in Pellestrina.
Venetian Art and Society from the 12th to the 18th Century (60 hrs, 4 credits)
The course aims to introduce and explore the specificity of Venetian art and architecture: the origins, development, and affirmation; their elaboration of influences from both East and West; their originality and social, political, and cultural role in the life of the Serenissima Republic; and their relationship with contemporary Italian artistic centers like Florence and Rome.
Classes are for the most part in the form of field trips. Venice is a city that, like few others, has kept almost intact its ancient appearance and urbanistic structure. The history of its artistic development can therefore be read as in a live book, simply by identifying the clues left everywhere for us to find, in each wall and façade, church and palace, bridge and well. Masterpieces not only can be viewed in the city's museums, but also can be admired in the exact sport for which they were made, thus offering the rare possibility of a much deeper understanding of the artwork as devised by the artist. Moreover, the direct experience of the actual masterpiece-otherwise studied in art books, isolated from its context-offers the possibility of analyzing the interaction with previous and following artworks coexisting in the same place, and stimulates the student to identify the net of relationships linking artistic production throughout the centuries. Of equal importance are the visits to nearby significant artistic centers, where different artistic traditions have developed, cities like Ravenna, Padova, and Vicenza, whose links with Venice underline at the same time the interaction of different cultural influences and the uniqueness of Venetian art and architecture.