Rome is a popular destination for foreign students. But even if you’re not reading for a degree in art or architecture, there are loads of courses available for enthusiastic amateurs.
Cookery writer Diane Seed (The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces) runs her Roman Kitchen (06 678 57 59; www.italiangourmet.com) cooking courses four or five times a year from her kitchen in Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. There are one-day, two-day, three-day and week-long courses costing €200 per day or €1000 per week, and a combined Tuesday morning market visit and class for €180.
The Italian gastronomic organisation Gambero Rosso organises a range of cooking courses at its Rome complex Città del Gusto (06 551 12 21; www.gamberorosso.it/portale/cdg/scuole; Via Enrico Fermi 161). Three- or six-hour courses (in Italian) focus on a particular dish or ingredient such as pasta, pizza or seafood. Lessons cost €75 for three hours.
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If you’ve ever thought about living and working abroad, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.
There are hundreds of schools offering language courses in Rome. Costs vary from around €390 for a 40-hour, two-week course to around €9950 for a one-year course, including cultural background courses (20 hours tuition per week) and accommodation. Some schools also offer accommodation packages for shorter courses. Reputable schools include the following:
Arco di Druso (06 397 50 984; www.arcodidruso.com; Via Tunisi 4)
Divulgazione Lingua Italiana Soc (DILIT; tel: 06 446 25 93; www.dilit.it; Via Marghera 22)
Italiaidea (06 699 41 314; www.italiaidea.com; 1st fl, Via dei Due Macelli 47)
If you've always fancied yourself a bit like Russell Crowe, you can hone your gladiatorial skills at Gruppo Storico Romano (tel: 06 516 07 951; www.gsr-roma.com; Via Appia Antica 18). An association of history enthusiasts, it has established Rome's first gladiator school. Workshops, open to men and women, are in English and last two hours. The cost is between €25 and €75 per person, depending on the size of the group (one to one costs €100).
Refine your palate on a course run by the International Wine Academy of Roma (06 699 08 78; www.wineacademyroma.com; Vicolo del Bottino 8). Learn about Italy’s wine regions and tone up your tasting skills on the €155 half-day (two-hour) course, which includes lunch or dinner. There are also one-day tours (from €300) to local vineyards and regular tastings (€25) on Thursdays and Saturdays. Bookings are essential.