I had the absolute pleasure of attending Babilonia Language School for four months during the fall of 2016. My program started on August 5th, and continued until November 16th, when I left for a backpacking trip around Europe.
Throughout my stay here the focus was on immersion, and Babilonia provided that 100%. Throughout all your classes, administrative questions, restaurants, events, and excursions, they speak only in Italian. Fear not, the wonderful teachers do not speak to you as if you already know what they are saying! The teachers help you the entire time, and take the time to sit with you and walk through everything you are having issues with.
The classes are structured around grammar and conversation. You have each of this for an hour and a half a day, and a small 'pausa' in the middle, allowing you to meet all your friends!
During this break you can enjoy a coffee from the little kitchen and some other treat. After classes, if you would like, you can also order a meal from the kitchen, where you are provided a discount as a student. My favorite meal was a pasta dish sprinkled with pistachio and bacon.
When I went, I was the only person from my program, and I knew nobody. However, this did not last for long! Throughout my time at Babilonia I had the pleasure of meeting so many different people from diverse walks of life. To today, I still remain in contact with these wonderful people.
Of course, Taormina is magical. The small town of Taormina is always bustling with life and activity, and every vista is breathtaking. My friends and I would catch a bus down to Isola Bella or Letojanni for a short beach trip, or we walked up to the overlooking city of Castelmola for an incredible view of Sicily. Mount Etna, Sicily's resident volcano dominates the skyline as well from Taormina. Every resident of Taormina is amicable, and by the time that I left, I had made friends with many different store owners. Every time I walked down the street, I dropped in to say Ciao! Taormina is also a relatively short bus trip to Catania, one of the major cities of Sicily.
I also had the fortune of staying in a host family. This was one of the things that made Taormina and Babilonia unforgettable. Lucio and Olga provided me with everything I needed, and more. They treated me to home cooked food, Sicilian delicacies, and wonderful stories.
I know I will return to Sicily, and I am sure I will be welcomed back with open arms.