Learn Italian by the beach
Quality Italian language courses by the beach in Cefalù
Sun and Sea with your Studies – all year round!
Top quality Italian lessons in the morning, relaxation and fun at the beach right after class: the perfect mix for a study holiday in Sicily!
Our name literally means ‘Sun and Sea’, and Solemar Academy has both of those elements in abundance. The beautiful setting of Sicily’s north coast makes us an unbeatable destination in which to learn Italian by the beach.
We’ve always been close to the water: the first Solemar school was opened in Mongerbino, a small fishing village just outside Palermo, in the area of Santa Flavia. The modern Solemar Academy is located in the heart of Cefalù, one of Sicily’s most popular beach resorts. The picture-postcard town attracts tens of thousands of travellers, of all ages and from all over the world, each year.
Those who choose to learn Italian by the beach at our school will therefore find themselves in a truly beautiful spot with a strong international influence. This is not by any means to say that Cefalù has become a tourist trap, and in fact (more than many of Italy’s great beach towns) it has retained a distinct local character. You’ll find plenty of Sicilian tradition and the famous ‘dolce vita’, just presented by a population who understand the needs of their visitors.
Even in high summer, you’ll find a relaxed pace of life, with priority given to good food, good wine and the leisurely ritual of the ‘passeggiata’ – the unbeatably Italian art of wandering without any particular aim but looking effortlessly cool.
Throughout the quieter periods, our mild climate and Mediterranean lifestyle allow us and our guests to make the most of every day, from January to December. Like stepping into a parallel world, the stresses and cares of day-to-day life fall away when you first step off the plane and fill your lungs with that sweet warm air!
A Top Quality Italian Language School, Right by the Sea
A web search will reveal plenty of places where you can learn Italian by the beach. What makes Solemar Academy stand out? While we’re certainly proud of our beautiful surroundings, what really separates us from the crowd is the quality of teaching on offer. Our highly qualified staff of mother tongue teachers have been refining their craft for many years, and we constantly seek to help them improve and grow.
As a certified Italian school we have received accreditation from several prestigious Italian institutions (including the University of Siena, University of Palermo and the University for Foreigners of Perugia).
We are also members of ASILS, Italy’s premier association of Italian language schools, which requires regular reviews and inspections, and guarantees its students the highest possible quality of instruction.
Looking further afield, we are affiliated with EDUITALIA, the world’s largest body for the promotion of Italian language study. We are regular service providers for the German state Bildungsurlaub scheme, and have partnered with the Italienisch Werkstatt in Berlin, CentroCulturalItaliano in Spain and Italingua in Chicago.
Our school is also an accredited centre for the CELI Italian language exams. If you are looking for a challenge and would like formal recognition of your language level (CELI is by far the best recognised diploma in the field), you can sign up for one of the exam sessions. With dates available in autumn, spring or summer you can visit us at the time that suits you. Why not brush up before the big day with one of our dedicated CELI exam preparation courses? And of course there’s no better cure for exam nerves than a dip in the sea after (or even before!) your studies.
If you are looking for recognised and guaranteed quality from an Italian language school by the sea, Solemar Academy is the perfect choice!
A Course for Everyone
We know that everyone’s needs are different, and are delighted to offer a wide range of programmes on which to learn Italian by the sea. From one-to-one coaching to group lessons, from the focused study of CELI exam preparation courses to the more relaxed pace of the DOLCE VITA programme, and from the social atmosphere of the CLUB 50+ to the tranquil NATURA, we have something to meet your needs.
We also offer Study and Work programmes for long term students who want to really immerse themselves in the Sicilian way of life.
Our courses are also extremely customisable: if you want to refine your conversational skills or go in-depth on a specific topic, you can always add individual units to the group course. Or why not book onto an in-depth ITALIAN AND CULTURE course, where you can explore the history and artistry of our country, with modules including Italian Cinema, Italian Music and the Singer-Songwriter, The Anti-Mafia Struggle, Italian Current Affairs and more.
Study Italian by the Sea… All Year Round!
Cefalù stands in the centre of Sicily’s north coast, an hour from the island’s bustling capital of Palermo and two from its second city, Catania. This fortunate location gives us a subtropical climate to enjoy, and sunny days are the norm throughout the year. The winters are mild and while the sea temperature drops you can still enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach twelve months a year. It’s all part of what has made Cefalù such a popular destination for hundreds of years!
To reflect this, our Italian language school stays open all year round. Group courses run continuously from March to December, and in January and February you can still book private lessons as an individual students or in pairs.
Summer here starts early and lasts well into the north-European Autumn… it’s not unusual to find temperatures of 25°C as soon as March or into November. And with over 300 sunny days a year, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy excursions around the island or walks in our surrounding countryside even when the temperatures are a little lower. And even in winter temperatures almost never drop below 10° – even at night! We usually go through what locals consider a ‘cold snap’ in January and February, but our students often find our definition of ‘cold’ comically different from theirs!
The Solemar Family
We like to describe Solemar Academy as a ’boutique school’ because of its small size and family atmosphere. Where Italian language schools in real tourist hubs can fill classes with huge numbers of students, ours never exceed 9 and are usually more like 5 or 6.
In peak season you might find 20-25 students here in a week, so there’s a chance to be sociable, but we keep the teaching ratios small because your study experience is paramount to us. In lower season there will typically be about a dozen students at any given time.
We organise social events and many of our tutors enjoy nothing more than to get to know their students over an aperitivo in the evenings. We believe that the best learning takes place in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
Many of our former students have maintained close ties with their classmates and the school, returning for more courses, keeping us posted about their lives and families, and in several cases even buying property in the area! You could come to learn Italian by the beach and one day find yourself here for life!
Who is Solemar Academy For?
The majority of our students are from European countries, but in recent years we have seen a steady increase in the number of students from Russia, East Asia, Oceania and North America. On average, students come for one or two weeks, but longer stays are certainly not uncommon. The average age of our students varies, depending most of all on the season. In summer the majority are aged 25-45; in lower season this rises to 40-60.
The most popular group courses are the standard course (20 units per week) and the intensive course (30 hours per week). The latter is especially popular with German students on the Bildungsurlaub scheme.
Learn Italian by the Sea… and Explore!
You can’t spell ‘study holiday’ without ‘holiday’ and we are always adding to our varied programme of leisure activities and excursions. Our semi-serious tour of Cefalù, film club and weekly aperitivos with the staff are perennial favourites.
Depending on the season, students can choose from a wide range of guided tours including visits to Palermo, trekking in the Madonie mountains, boat trips and much more.
One of the area’s most dramatic attractions is the unmissable volcanic Aeolian Islands. From April to October we can help you book a day trip or even hire a private craft with crew.
Lovers of the great outdoors won’t want to miss the adrenaline of a paragliding flight over Cefalù or a SCUBA session at one of our partner diving schools.
In addition to the activities we organise, we are always ready and willing to make suggestions on other spots to visit, secret beaches to discover and fun things to do – in Cefalù and beyond!