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Meet the Italian Language holiday team

Langues Services

Langues Services has been a school of languages in Florence since 2006.

Besides offering courses to companies, the school also provides private courses for adults and children, as well as cultural activities to promote encounters and make new friends.

Langues Services' philosophy and method are inspired by the work of Professor Bertrand Schwartz of Paris University, the educationalist who overturned the concept of teaching to adults and proposed an approach that develops not only theoretical knowledge but also practical know-how. The school aims to enhance the personal qualities of each student, tailoring the teaching to their needs and ambitions and establishing mutual, active and confident relationships where the student is the true protagonist.

Loretta Barbarossa

Loretta Barbarossa was a teacher of French for foreigners at the Open University in Charleroi in Belgium, when she was invited to attend a seminar about the Schwartz approach to language teaching. That seminar changed her life: she discovered that every person has an innate capacity to learn a language, just as every human being is born to communicate.

After moving to Florence some years ago, she founded Langues Services: a different kind of language school, where every person can find a course that fits their needs and expectations and where, besides studying language, people can meet and get to know each other.

Francesca La Sala

Giulia Balestri has been teaching Italian formally since 2013, although her main career is as a lawyer specialising in criminal and immigration law with a practice in Pisa.

In her spare time her passion is the tango and she has been dancing regularly since 2010. She lives in Pisa with her husband, Emmanuele, and her dachshund, Blondie.

The Watermill at Posara

Lois and Bill Breckon

Lois and Bill Breckon, who own and run the watermill have more than 20 years’ experience in running relaxing, inspiring and fun-filled creative holidays and courses. They are world-famous for their creative writing courses and for their painting courses with renowned international tutors, attended by students from all over the world (75 different countries at the last count). Lois and Bill live at the Watermill in the Summer and in Florence in the Winter. Both their daughters went to school in Italy. Lydia has just graduated in English and Drama at The University of Exeter; Lara is studying Italian and French Literature at Oxford.

Lois has a track record of successful entrepreneurship with particular experience in publishing and marketing. For many years she worked alongside Bill in Media Alliance, the international marketing and communications consultancy. She also organised the restoration of a 16th-century castle in Scotland, establishing it as an acclaimed centre of excellence for residential painting and creative writing courses. She is currently concentrating on her musical studies, working towards a PhD on religious music in Renaissance Florence.

Bill’s early career was as a writer and broadcaster specialising in medical topics and in current and consumer affairs: it spanned newspapers and magazines, radio, television and books. He set up and ran the international Media Alliance communications agency, but is now largely retired. He has recently published a detective story, A Matter of Perspective set in Renaissance Florence where the hero is the miller's son at Posara! His latest book in progress is a series of essays on lesser-known Italian towns, called Just in Time for an Aperitivo.