The school

La piccola scuola was born out of two passions. Firstly: teaching Italian to foreigners. Secondly: the passion for a city- Matera. This is our tiny school of Italian language and culture. It is as tiny as the city hosting it. A school with a family and informal atmosphere, where courses are all tailor-made according to our students’ needs- a starting point to get to know Italian culture through its language, places and traditions.

Our goal is to provide a unique experience to those coming to our school, thus allowing our students to immerse themselves into the Italian language and culture and fully enjoy our city. The school is located in the historic centre of Matera, between the “piano” [flat area] and the Sassi [the houses dug into the calcarenitic rock]. The students will have access to a free wi-fi network as well as magazines and newspapers that can be borrowed throughout their stay in Matera. In addition to this, the event calendar regarding the local cultural scene is made available, together with the cultural activities and day trips programme.

About us


One day, some years ago, having accepted a job offer, I found myself in a classroom full of foreign students willing to learn Italian. It was “love at first sight”. After a while I came back to my home town, Matera. I started a different career, but I kept cultivating my passion for teaching. I taught Italian when I could. I further studied to refine my teaching methods. The idea to open my own school of Italian for foreigners started to take shape. This idea then turned into a project. And after a few years it was real: La piccola scuola. I’m happy. I hope you will be too when you come to pay a visit!

Brief educational information

I have a degree in Foreign Language and Literature- University of Naples “l’Orientale”. I obtained Ditals II, a qualification certifying an advanced competence in teaching Italian to foreigners, Foreigners University of Siena. I participated in a workshop named “Insegnare Letteratura” (Teaching Literature)- Laboratorio Itals – Comparative Language and Culture Studies Department- Ca’ Foscari University. Venice. I attended an in-depth online course – Corso filim “Insegnamento dell’italiano lingua straniera” (Teaching Italian as a foreign language) – Ca’ Foscari University. Venice.

The courses

Whether students are having a long or a short-term course at La piccola scuola, our goal is to put our students directly in contact with Italian language and culture. All classes will be held in Italian to develop the student’s will and skill to use Italian for communication purposes, learning how to speak, write, listen and read. This is why our teaching material ranges from extracts from fictional novels and newspaper articles, songs, videos and movies. There surely are fun activities, to better remember vocabulary and main grammar rules while playing games.


classes are 50 minutes each, from Friday to Sunday (three hours every morning or afternoon)

1 student

2 students

3 students


classes are 50 minutes each

1 hours

2 hours

3 hours


classes are 50 minutes each – 20 classes a week (from Monday to Friday, in the morning or afternoon). 8 students at most.

1 week
€200,00 (per person)

2 weeks
€320,00 (per person)

3 weeks
€480,00 (per person)

4 weeks
€640,00 (per person)

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enrol in la piccola scuola

The city

Declared the Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019, Matera is really a unique city. Located in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy, famous for being the third oldest housing settlement in the world and crossroads of civilizations between Greek and Byzantine cultures. Visitors can find evidence of this in the natural caves of the Murgia plateau, rupestrian churches with old frescos and the ancient town, the “Sassi”, considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993. Besides being the host of museums showcasing the history of the city and its surroundings, from prehistory to contemporary art, the city of the Sassi is a culturally thriving centre that has been featuring exhibitions and events of national and international importance for years. With its increasingly growing forward-looking approach, the city of the Sassi combines a new international outlook, due to the many foreigners who have decided to live in here, with the low-paced life typical of small southern cities, providing a chance for visitors to come in direct contact with the city’s inhabitants.

italian pills

Weekends in Matera

Things to do in Matera

Things to do in Matera

Whether it is winter or summer, it is always the right time to come to Matera to learn Italian. In spring, the wheather is warm, days are longer and persistenly sunny. This is the right moment to dine outdoors, walk around the alleyways and narrow streets of the Sassi, or for a hike on the Murgia plateau or discover rupestrian churches. In the summer, open air concerts and shows, music and literary festivals liven up the city’s squares. This is when contemporary scuplture exhibitions open up in rupestrian churches. The religious feast of Madonna della Bruna is also held on July 2. And when it is stifling hot, the beaches on the Ionian Sea, a few kilometres away from Matera, are just the best place to go. In autumn the air becomes crisper, the sun makes way for the rain and the seasons change reveals its evocative charm. A trip to Parco Nazionale del Pollino might offer the chance to admire the foliage before leaves fall to the ground. Who prefers to stay in the city, may choose to explore the warm museums. Winter in Matera is the best time for a peaceful atmosphere. In december visitors can experience the live nativity scene set in the Sassi and enjoy the traditional local dishes in the several city’s restaurants, taking advantage of the seasonal cold weather. This is when the theatre season opens, and some music festivals are also held.

The accomodation

While studying at La piccola scuola, students can enjoy a wide range of city centre accommodation, ranging from bed and breakfasts to, hotels, holiday homes and hostels, to better meet different needs.

Entrance exam

If you want to put your Italian to the test, then try our online test. You don’t really have to. In fact, to detect your level of Italian, we will provide you with a test on the first day of your course. This is going to help us offer you the course that is more suitable to your needs. Please find a brief description of the different levels as for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages here below

Elementary level:
A1: the student can interact in a simple way, he or she can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.
A2: the student can communicate in simple and routine tasks and exchange information on familiar and routine matters. He or she can understand sentences and frequently used expressions.

Intermediate level:
B1: the student can understand the main points of clear standard input. He or she can share experiences and events and deal with topics of personal interest using past tenses and give reasons and explanations on familiar matters.
B2: the student can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity with native speakers. He or she can express his/her opinion on different topics making use of a fairly wide vocabulary.

Advanced level:
C1: the student express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. He or she can tackle complex topics and produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts.
C2: the student can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely and can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. He or she can handle a conversation even in the most complex situations.

Elementary level

Roberta italiana e 40 anni. a Roma in appartamento in centro. Roberta fa scrittrice. Lavora casa e molto tempo da sola. Per questo motivo esce tutte le . Il lunedì e giovedì fa yoga, il martedì lingua spagnola, il mercoledì va cinema, il venerdì segue un corso di cucina e il sabato va al ristorante con amici, la domenica fino a tardi.

Roberta ha amici, ma migliore amica Angelica. Roberta e Angelica di solito il sabato pomeriggio insieme in giro per i negozi. Passano tutto il tempo a e a raccontarsi quello che è successo durante la settimana. Roberta molto soddisfatta della sua vita, le manca solo un fidanzato.

Intermediate level

Ciao Raoul, è da tanto tempo che non sentiamo. Come ? Come sta il tuo lavoro? Io ho cose da raccontarti. Questa estate andata con i miei amici un’isola delle Canarie dove si pratica surf. C’è sempre vento ed è il luogo ideale per sport. Io, che non so fare surf, deciso di prendere delle lezioni. Insieme a me tre ragazzi e tre ragazze. Tutti molto . E qui viene il bello. Tra ragazzi c’era Marco. Un ragazzo 35 anni, alto, fisico , la barba e un sorriso.

Ovviamente io non imparato a fare surf, però l’ultimo giorno di corso, Marco ha invitato a uscire. Siamo andati a cena un piccolo ristorante sul mare. Da allora non ci siamo più lasciati! Non vedo l’ora di conoscere. Secondo me piacerà molto. Ti abbraccio e tue notizie.

Advanced level

Marco e Laura sono proprio fatti l’uno per l’altra, e ci messo davvero poco per capirlo. Si sono all’Università. l’abitudine, d’estate la pausa pranzo, di sedersi panchine del cortile della Facoltà, lei spesso da sola, e lui con i amici. Fu lei a notarlo per prima. Quello che Laura fu la sua risata. Quando in compagnia dei suoi amici, Marco trascorreva l’ora della pausa barzellette e ridendo a crepapelle. giorno Laura, mentre stava leggendo, fu distolta da una risata. Si e notò Marco.

osservò a lungo, finché anche lui la guardò. un colpo di fulmine. Dopo qualche giorno, fecero amicizia, e a ridere insieme. Fu così che la loro storia amore. Oggi, dopo dieci anni, sono insieme.

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Where We Are

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You will receive an email to confirm your enrolment status.

Besides sending the enrolment form, an advance shall be paid via bank transfer (bank charges shall be paid by the student).

The advance sum for week-end courses is 30% of the global amount.

The advance sum for individual courses is 50% of the global amount.

The balance due must be paid at least seven days before the course starts, via bank transfer.

Teaching material is included in the course price.

The student may have a test on his/her first day of the course to pinpoint his/her leveI of Italian.

In case the course is cancelled, this will be noticed 15 days before the classes start (possible bank charges shall be paid by the student).

In case of a group course with just one student, daily classes will last 2 hours (individual classes) instead of 4.

Classes take place in the morning or in the afternoon.


La piccola scuola di Elisabetta Caruso

via San Giovanni Vecchio, 25 • 75100 Matera