The Venice Institute, Istituto Venezia, founded under the name Zambler Institute in 1933, is a private institute that specializes in language instruction for Italians and foreigners. The school's language programs serve about 1,500 students per year from around the world. It is located in the Dorsoduro district in the heart of Venice, just off Campo S. Margherita, in a quiet neighborhood off the beaten tourist path. It can be reached by foot from the central train station, or by public water transport.
Program I: Super-Intensive Italian (300 hrs, 12 credits)
4 hours per day, 5 days a week
Weekly seminars in Italian culture and art history tours are mandatory for all intensive Italian language courses.
Levels: There are five levels of Italian instruction. All beginners start at the first level (1). All other students, regardless of their language competency, are tested by the Istituto Venezia instructors before classes begin. The test determines the level in which they are placed.
Level 1- This course addressed beginning students who have no knowledge of the Italian language. At the end of the course, students are able to communicate in the most frequent daily situations, using basic vocabulary and grammar.
Level 2- This course is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of Italian. It allows the student to increase his/her communication ability, expanding basic vocabulary and grammar.
Level 3- This course aims at strengthening comprehension, communication, and writing skills by using advanced grammar.
Level 4- This course builds a good command of the language. The student develops complex grammatical structures and enriches his/her vocabulary, thus improving fluency.
Level 5- This is an advanced course that can be repeated by those who want to reach a high level of fluency. The course investigates different aspects of the Italian language.
Program II: Venetian Civilization and Culture (14 credits)
Italian Language (6 credits)
Venetian History, Politics, and Society from the 12th to the 20th Century (60 hrs, 4 credits)
The central aim that underlies the course is "to study the history of Venice, from the birth of the Republic to the present, watching and seeing (in the historical and modern city) the testimonials of it and the progressive changes."
To realize this goal, the course is designed to combine class lesson and visit to the sites of secular class lessons and visits to the sites of secular historical importance: The Basilica of Saint Mark's, The Ducal Palace, and the Arsenale; the commercial sites of the city and the modern industrial sites in the suburbs; the future solution for the program of high water; the mobile dam in Pellestrina.
Venetian Art and Society from the 12th to the 18th Century (60 hrs, 4 credits)
The course aims to introduce and explore the specificity of Venetian art and architecture: the origins, development, and affirmation; their elaboration of influences from both East and West; their originality and social, political, and cultural role in the life of the Serenissima Republic; and their relationship with contemporary Italian artistic centers like Florence and Rome.
Classes are for the most part in the form of field trips. Venice is a city that, like few others, has kept almost intact its ancient appearance and urbanistic structure. The history of its artistic development can therefore be read as in a live book, simply by identifying the clues left everywhere for us to find, in each wall and façade, church and palace, bridge and well. Masterpieces not only can be viewed in the city's museums, but also can be admired in the exact sport for which they were made, thus offering the rare possibility of a much deeper understanding of the artwork as devised by the artist. Moreover, the direct experience of the actual masterpiece-otherwise studied in art books, isolated from its context-offers the possibility of analyzing the interaction with previous and following artworks coexisting in the same place, and stimulates the student to identify the net of relationships linking artistic production throughout the centuries. Of equal importance are the visits to nearby significant artistic centers, where different artistic traditions have developed, cities like Ravenna, Padova, and Vicenza, whose links with Venice underline at the same time the interaction of different cultural influences and the uniqueness of Venetian art and architecture.