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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

Francesca la Sala has been teaching with Langues Services since 2007. She loves meeting people of all ages and cultures. She is also a nature lover and a cognoscente of Lunigiana, the land of her forefathers, where she was raised. This beautiful area of Tuscany surrounds the Watermill. Francesca has an artistic background and has a passion for the figurative and graphic arts, particularly from the Renaissance period and from prehistory; this love adds a further dimension to her teaching.

The Watermill at Posara

Lois and Bill Breckon

Lois and Bill Breckon, who own and run the watermill have more than 25 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 is now at the Tisch School of New York University for a two-year Masters course as a Composer in Musical Theatre. 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.