First day at Scuola Toscana

On arrival, students receive a fact sheet with useful information about Florence. It was a modest sheet of A4 paper with addresses, telephone numbers, few advices. Always trying to improve, we have basically re-invented it – the graphic is more accurate, we have double checked addresses and telephone numbers, and there are some bits more of information…


For you to judge !

An iconic building

how to get there Since the beginning in 1989, the courses of Italian language at Scuola Toscana are hosted in an iconic building in Piazza Santa Croce, in front of the Basilica di
Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan Church in the world,the temple of the Italian Glories.
The building originates in the Medici age (the original underground caves are still
there), had many addition in the following centuries, hosted one of the most important families in the era of Italian Unification and – still today – retains a peculiar fascination linked to the past ages

After 35 years since the last renovation, this summer the whole building has been packed in scaffoldings, scraped,sanded, replastered and repainted in its original colours.

The Italian language school occupies three floors of the building, with the secretary, ten classrooms,one area with vending machines, a video room and
a different wifi source for every floor. The building
has been wholly restored to its original splendor
this year ! Come to visit Scuola Toscana, and its
building full of history !

How to get here

Scuola Toscana building in the center of Florence

Scuola Toscana building in the center of Florence


Scuola Toscana building with scaffolding, summer 2015


After the renovation, the Scuola Toscana building in via dei Benci 23, Florence

after the renovation

The facade of the Scuola Toscana , in the centre of Florence, totally renovated !

Sulle ali di una gru / Tsuru ni notte (On A Paper Crane)

We at Scuola Toscana have the great possibility to meet people from all over the world, and this is the thing we like mostly  – therefore, it is our duty to use this asset to do also something socially useful.

There is a moving “anime”, a japanese cartoon, “On a paper crane”. It’s about the story of Sadako, the famous girl of Hiroshima.

August 6, 1945, Sadako Sasaki was two years old. She was exposed to the radiation of the atomic bomb,  but survived, and became a cheerful little girl, loved by all, very good at school and at sport.
One of the most terrible features of the diseases caused by radiation, is that they can strike many years after. Sadako fell ill just before the end of his sixth year of school. On February 21, she was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with leukemia of the lymphatic system.
Classmates of Sadako went to see her encouraging her not to lose hope.
One day Sadako received a letter that said that her desire for healing would be realized if she folded a thousand paper cranes. From that moment, every day she folded sheets of paper in the features of small cranes, in the hope to be healed.

After a struggle of nine months, however, October 25, 1955 Sadako died.

Classmates of Sadako did not want his death to be in vain. They called together the student groups from various schools of Hiroshima to build a statue in memory of Sadako.

The appeal of the children and the art of making paper cranes spread across Japan and then in the rest of the world. On May 5, 1958, on the national holiday called “Children’s Day”, a statue of Sadako was unveiled as to ask the crane to carry his spirit and the desire for peace of all children in every corner of the world.

This anime  tells the story of Sadako in a passionate way, so that also the children of our days can get to know the horrors of the nuclear weapons and the value of peace. This “anime” is released in Japanese and in French, and we at Scuola Toscana wish to have it translated also in Italian, so that also the Italian children can understand and participate in the struggle against the nuclear weapons and for the world peace.

It needs some money to do it professionally , and next friday we will meet with our students for an aperitivo to present this campaign and hopefully raise some money  – you can also give your contirbution , there is a site where you can make your offer and help us to realise this dream, to make the peace in the world a bit closer . Here you find the link, have a look and do your best !

sulle ali di una gru / on a paper crane

Italian language for tourism

In the 90s this was one of our most succesful course – Italian language for tourism. We had classes with 10/12 students from Austria, Switzerland and Germany; the young Austrian students usually were working in the family hotels, the Swiss came from Hoteliere Schools and the German students mostly from 4 or 5 stars chain-hotels.
Now there is a (small) comeback, and after years without any student interested in learning Italian for tourism purposes, now we have classes with 3 or 4 students.

At Scuola Toscana we offer three levels(we also have three corresponding booklets), from beginners (reception, reservation, cancellation, etc.) to intermediate (problem solving, business mail, etc.) to advanced (marketing, art of hospitality etc.) – gastronomy is also part of the programs.

We work with teachers specialised in the field, and the roleplaying is the basis of the work in class.
We do also the preparation for the DILC exam of Accademia Italiana di Lingua, an exam in Italian for Commerce which has to do also with the Tourism sector.

With the tourism business thriving in most of the world, will Scuola Toscana be able to get bigger classes of Italian for Tourism again ? Hope so !TURISMO

Devilish ! Fatturazione elettronica


From March 2015 the so called “fatturazione elettronica” has become compulsory for all the suppliers of the public administration. A big step toward the “e-government”, and a real pain in the ass for all of us, desperate managers of small business allover Italy.

What has to do the “fatturazione elettronica” with Scuola Toscana ? Well, for example, Scuola Toscana organizes courses for classes of  students from public schools in Alto Adige (a German speaking part of Italy) , therefore is paid for those services by the public schools of that region.

Until March 2015 it was quite easy, Scuola Toscana issued a regular, numbered and dated invoice, sent it to the school in Alto Adige and received the money. Piece of cake.

But now, the world has changed, and the “fatturazione elettronica” is here: how does it works ?

First of all, you have to get an address of “posta certificata”, which is a special email address to communicate to whomever in an “official way” (you have to register your firm and buy the address by an Internet provider)

Then, you have to register your firm by a special portal (a private business, there are many of them available over the Internet). In order to do it, you have first to enrole yourself as a person, then you receive a password and you can enrole your firm.

To register your firm, you need the usual list of information (chamber of commerce number, fiscal code, social capital, etc.) plus some more information that must be provided by your accountant (call the accountant, fix a meeting, retrieve the data…)

You fill a form with all these information, send them, and you gain access to  the contract between your business and  the specialized portal (which from now on can handle and conserve your invoices, with a special and totally different progressive number). Print the contract,  sign it, and send it by mail/fax AND per regular slow mail. All of this considering that in Firenze centro the Internet works irregularly (especially around 12h and 19 h)

We are at this point of the process, at the moment…

After that, we should be able to pay 30 euros to the specialized portal and get a carnet of 6 invoices’slot, then we can write the invoices as before, send them to this specialized portal so that they can transform our invoices in electronic format and send them to the public administration.

Which should pay us in due time.

It is more expensive, more time consuming, less transparent and way more complicated than before. An innovative and very creative way to punish small businesses, isnt’it ?

Spring has come

… and it looks like summer, already ! Therefore, in a couple of week, our guides at Scuola Toscana will start with the popular activity “in barca cull’Arno”, a special way to get to know the historical centre of Florence by boat… italian in Italy, on the Arno river

More information at the school, in via dei Benci 23 !

Social Responsibility


Being here. in the center of a city known in the whole world, working everyday with people coming from allover the world, you feel the responsibility to use your spaces, your work, your words to at least give back something of the things you receive every day.

This is why since a couple of years at Scuola Toscana we have been participating in various activities promoting  peace and the ban on nuclear weapons. Last year we worked with UNHCR for a project on refugees, then with iCan for a memorial on Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing victims, and this year, on the 70th anniversary of the tragedy, we will do it again, with our teachers and friends.