Giorgio Vasari, the First Art Historian

A good recommendation for all of our students who are interested in Florence, and Renaissance art history: read this post, read the book, read “Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architetti  !”

A Scholarly Skater

Vasari Self-Portrait Giorgio Vasari’s self-portrait, c. 1561-6. Part of a fresco in a private collection. Photo via

Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) was an Italian Renaissance/Mannerist artist, architect, courtier, and art historian. He’s best remembered as the author of The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, a lengthy set of biographies of Italian Renaissance artists and architects. More importantly, Vasari is widely considered to be the father of art history. (Thanks, Giorgio!) Apparently, Vasari was the first person to think that a) artists’ biographies are worth writing, and b) learning about an artist’s life is useful towards better appreciating their work. Art lovers take both of these facts for granted today*, but they were revolutionary in Vasari’s time. The idea of art history being a real avenue of academic study didn’t come until the nineteenth century, but the authors of a brand-new biography of Vasari argue that he is responsible for…

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Complimenti a tutti i vincitori delle Olimpiadi di italiano Lingua Seconda 2018 , sponsorizzate dalla Scuola Toscana

La gara è organizzata dall’Istituto Durst di Bressanone con il sostegno dell’Intendenza scolastica per le scuole in lingua tedesca ed è dedicata agli alunni degli istituti secondari di secondo grado statali e paritari e delle scuole professionali in lingua tedesca e delle località ladine della provincia di Bolzano.

Le Olimpiadi di Italiano come Lingua seconda 2018 hanno dato il loro verdetto:



a sinistra: Intendente scuola tedesca, Sigund Falkensteiner, Ivan Mattei (2° classificato) – Ist. Tecnologico Max Valier – Bolzano,

Ispettrice lingua italiana L2 dott.ssa Sarah Viola, Silvia Pizzinini (3° classificata) Liceo linguistico La Villa/Badia, Amir Bouchetta (1° assoluto) – Liceo Padri Francescani Bolzano, dott. Simon Raffeiner (DS)



a sinistra: dott. Marco Mariani (ex. ispettore italiano l2), dott. Lois Castlunger (vice ispettore scuole ladine), Gabriel Cascone – Liceo scientifico Bolzano (2° class.), Matteo Polito – Liceo scientifico Bolzano (1° classificato e già vincitore assoluto JUNIOR 2015), Gabriel Crazzolara, liceo scientifico Fallmerayer – Bressanone (3° class).



a sinistra: dott.ssa Veronika Fink (DS- Laives), dott.ssa Pellegrino (DS – La Villa/Badia), Anastasia Cerenzia – SP Ch. J. Tschuggmall – Bressanone (1° classificata), Andrea Caterisano – Centro di formazione professionale Bolzano(2° class.), Larissa Jusanovic – SP per l’industria e l’artigianato – Bolzano (3° class.).



a sinistra: dott. Marco Forni (linguista lingua ladina), dott.ssa Maria Luisa Weissensteiner (vicaria Ist. tecnico Durst), Valentina Schiavon – Ist. tecnico Ora – (2° class.), Diego Campello – Istituto tecnico San Candido – (1° class.), Fabian Giovannini – Ist. tecnico Kunter – Bolzano (3° class.)

Attraverso tale competizione si accresce la motivazione da parte degli studenti altoatesini per avvicinarli ulteriormente alla lingua e alla cultura italiana, valorizzando il merito e l’eccellenza. La competizione permetterà loro di partecipare alla gara finale delle Olimpiadi di Italiano a livello nazionale. Scuola Toscana organizza da anni corsi di lingua e cultura per le classi degli istituti di questa regione, completando il programma anche con visite al patrimonio storico e artistico di Firenze; per questo da qualche anno Scuola Toscana è diventata sponsor tecnico delle Olimpiadi, offrendo ai vincitori un soggiorno culturale a Firenze. I vincitori saranno nostri ospiti in Maggio: a presto !

L’italiano non è solo una lingua che si studia, ma si vive!


2018: our booklets have taken on color! And of course we could not forget our city, and its monuments.  Santa Croce, Battistero, Palazzo Vecchio – and coming soon: San Giovanni cathedral.  Four booklets, six levels, from A1 through C2, the whole Italian language grammar explained.

The basic content did not change, but it is always updated, thanks to the work of our teachers and the feedback from the students: to secure a continuous improvement. Included in the price of the course, naturally.

5 consejos y trucos para aprender una lengua extranjera


Hola soy Irene tengo 18 años , soy un estudiante y trabajo en la Scuola Toscana . Os quiero enseñar algunos consejos y trucos para aprender una lengua extranjera , la mejor manera de aprender otro idioma es viajar a una escuela cualificada en el extranjero . Nuestra escuela ofrece un montón de oportunidades y mezcla enseñar una lengua con un elemento fundamental , el divertimento ! Aprender un idioma es complicado pero con algunos trucos puede ser muy fácil :


1. Ve películas , es una actividad divertida y te permite mejorar tu nivel de idioma . Si mira la películas con subtítulos en español puedes tomar notas para aprender mejor las palabras . Te recomiendo de ver películas que ya hayas visto alguna vez , ya que de esta forma no tendrás que centrarte tanto .

2. Lee en español , puede mejorar tu nivel de italiano leyendo libros en el idioma original . Ademas de aprender frases que puedes usar en tu vida cotidiana !

3. Escucha tu canciones favoritas , puedes encontrarlas en Internet o en la radio . Cuando no entiendes las “letra” toma un papel y busca el significado . Conocer las “letra” de las canciones es divertido y aprenderás el idioma que tú quieres .

4. Habla y no tenga miedo de cometer algunos errores , cuando hablas un idioma que no conoces es esencial hacer algunos errores . Prueba y practica el idioma con todos !
5. Hace un curso de idioma , aprende un idioma con un curso mejorará tu nivel , practicar una lengua con otras personas es fundamental para mejorar la conversación , la gramática y la pronuncia . El éxito depende de cuanto esfuerzo pongas en aprender !

Buena suerte con tu viajes para aprender la lengua !
                                                                      Irene Freducci Continue reading

Tool of the trade

We are not high-tech fanatics at Scuola Toscana, we are really convinced that the human being is at the centre of the teaching/learning experience and you do not need much more, therefore we invest a lot in teachers, in their improvement and in their well-being – not so much in technical items.


Anyway, whiteboards are basic tools of the trade for a school of Italian, while you can deliver a good lesson even without any support, just with your voice and your teaching skills, a piece of something where you can write down some words helps a lot. And the mood of the teachers (and of the students as well) improves a lot when they can write on a new, smooth, ample surface, like this.


A checkered surface, where you can even study chess problems…

Thi is the second board we replace this year, and the biggest, (2mt x 1mt). This one comes from an Italian firm, Ligra, and the specs say : “magnetic matt white enamel / enamel steel whiteboard processed at 800 ° ideal for the screening, it can also be used for writing with felt pens , erasable with umid cloth” – which -if true – would be a fantastic gift for your director, as these boards become very hard to be cleaned over time… let’see !


A job description

I once read an interview with a famous spy who told how the spy life is not very adventurous and often consists of boring hours of waiting, of poring on papers, of filling reports …

I often think about this interview when I realize that my interlocutor is thinking about my job of “School Director” as that of an intellectual,  thinking all day about new teaching techniques, linguistics, tests and exams … as a matter of fact, since the school is made by a messy bunch of gloriously real people, I spend most of my time attending the following activities: replacing the toilet paper, emptying the bins (forgotten by the cleaning personnel), separating the waste that someone has mistakenly mixed (fishing the plastic cups from the paper box), emergency-mopping the floor where someone has spilled coffee, unclogging the toilet, carrying piles of books from floor to floor, unlocking the wifi, calling the elevator service (while trying to free the student imprisoned in the elevator) … yes, it’s a dirty work, but someone has to do it… DSCN1634

The thing is, if you really care about the place you work in, if you really care about your customers, you do not want – not even for a minute – to have a dirty floor, a wifi out of order, a clogged toilet. Therefore, the director mantra becomes Leporello’s line “son prontissimo a servir “.

Our new ceramic-steel whiteboard

Whiteboards have a life cycle, too. As you can see here, over time small scratches accumulate in the most used areas, with the result that the writing becomes difficult to remove, and the ink of the markers accumulates: the board becomes almost impossible to clean.DSCN1590


Therefore the board must be regularly changedwith the best that the market offers. Nowadays it looks like the best is the CeramicSteel surface board, very advanced technologically, scratch-resistant, environmentally safe and ecologically sensible.


As they say, CeramicSteel is an innovation that essentially melds the sleek beauty of porcelain and locks it in steel. This process guarantees a beautiful and reliable uniformity across all contours, including edges. PolyVision CeramicSteel technology is complex and exacting. Here is a quick snapshot of the process:

  • Heated at a range of 1292° – 1652° F (700° – 900° C), powdered glass melts, flows and hardens
  • The resulting powder is then fired and fused onto the metal sheet/coil
  • Finally, a smooth, durable, abrasion-resistant surface is made.ceramicsteel-testing

PolyVision e3 CeramicSteel is 99.9% recyclable and the only globally Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM surface of its kind. It is safe and clean, and emits no harmful chemicals into the environment.


Quite impressive, isnt’it? Tomorrow, the road test. We’ll keep you updated !