Italian Department

Palermo Photo Collage



If you love Italy and the Italian Language, Sicily is probably the best destination.
The real characters and colours of Italy are still vivid in Sicily.
Here the weather is always mild and food is everyone's greatest pride!

There are eight Italian levels, from Real Beginners to Advanced. The courses are for students of eighteen years of age and above.
For levels from Elementary upwards an entry test is necessary to assess the level of the student and to place the student in the correct class at the appropriate level.
Class numbers range from a minimum of three to a maximum of 12 students. The length of each lesson varies from three lessons per day to four lessons per day during which the student will be able to explore different aspects of the language including: speaking, reading, writing and listening.
students in the patio
Students in the Patio


An IH Elementary Class
  • 15 lessons per week
  • From real Beginners to Advanced
  • Maximum 12 students per class
  • 10.00 – 13.00 Monday to Friday (including a 15 minutes break)

These classes are designed for people who need to improve their language in a brief time-span. Standard courses cover all aspects of the Italian language including: speaking, reading, writing, listening and grammar.


  • 20 lessons per week
  • From real Beginners to Advanced
  • Maximum 12 students per class
  • 10.00 – 13.00 Monday to Friday (including a 15 minutes break)
  • 13.30 – 14.45 Monday to Thursday

These classes combine the Standard Course with an extra focus on fluency. They are specially designed for students who wish to reach communicative efficiency in the shortest time possible.


  • Lessons schedule arranged according to students’ needs
  • From real Beginners to Advanced

These classes are specially designed for students who need individual attention or wish to focus on specific areas/abilities of the Italian language.


  • Intensive Course
  • Exam preparation three times per week p.m.
  • Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Course length: 6 weeks

These courses prepare students for The Universit? di Perugia CVCL Examinations: CELI (Certificato Lingua Italiana). There are 5 levels which follow the ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) guidelines. To attain an adequate language competence to pass the exams, students should follow the General Italian Intensive course and CELI classes which are based on specific exam preparation techniques.


  • Intensive Course
  • Levels: Pre-Intermediate to Advanced
  • Course length: from 4 to 12 weeks
  • Age 18-35 years old

These courses combine General Italian Intensive course with the opportunity to practice Italian in different professional fields linked to the area of studies or career. Students will extend their experience in an International context and gain practical work skills. This special course includes an Italian Language and a Work experience certificate, which will expand future employment opportunities both in Italy and abroad.


Scuba Diving in Palermo
Scuba Diving in Palermo
  • Intensive Course
  • Levels: Pre-Intermediate to Advanced
  • Course length: minimum 2 weeks
  • Age 18+

These courses combine General Italian Intensive course with the opportunity to attend scuba diving practical lessons in Mondello beach and theory lessons at the Scuba Diving official centre in Palermo. Scuba Diving courses include 5 theory lessons + 6 practical lessons done in a minimun of 2 weeks, with the opportunity to add extra dives Courses for experienced scuba divers are also available on request. This special course include an Italian Language and a ISDA (International Scuba Diving Academy) certificate.

Courses should generally be no less than 2 weeks long. One lesson is 55 minutes long

2020 Holidays

  • Monday 13 April
  • Saturday 25 April
  • Friday 1 May
A bunch of keys
Accommodation is normally provided from the Sunday before the course begins to the Saturday morning after the course ends.
Extra nights are usually available on request on payment of a supplement.
Please note that students staying even one extra night will be charged accordingly.
Unless you are from the Palermo area or have friends/family here, International House Palermo recommends that you stay with an International House host family. We have chosen families for our Italian Language students.
International House Palermo can arrange accommodation with a host family, independent mini-flats/bedsits or residential accommodation. Each of these services is equally convenient. Hotels and Youth Hostels are also available in the city.

Host Families

Yes Single room with breakfast € 150 per week

Yes Double room with breakfast € 130 per week

Yes Single room with breakfast and 3 evening meals € 175 per week

Yes Single room self-catering € 155 per week

Yes Extra nigt for a single room € 30 per night

Yes Extra night for a double room € 30 per night

Apartments Weekly Rent

Yes Studio from€ 250 January to April per week

Yes Studio from € 350 May to October per week

Yes Shared € 170 per week

Residential Accommodation

Yes Single or Double Flat From € 1700 per month

Bed & Breakfast

Yes Single € 30 - 60 per day

Yes Double € 70 - 90 per day

Yes Triple € 100 - 120 per day


Yes € 50 - 300 per day

IH Certificates' recognition

Every student attending a course will receive an IH official letter of attendance. If the student completes a full level (generally 4 weeks intensive for Italian courses) and passes the final level test, she/he will receive the International House certificate which is recognised by International House World Organisation and by AISLi (Associazione Italiana scuole di lingue – Italian Association of Language Schools).

International Exams

Globally recognised Italian Certificates

International House Palermo is a fully recognised exam centre for the CVCL international examinations by the Università per Stranieri di Perugia.
CELI - The most honoured general Italian Language Certification
International Exam organised by IH Palermo
There are 5 CELI levels, from Elementary to Proficiency. They are based upon the Common European Framework for Modern Languages established by The Council of Europe and ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe). The level description is based on the students' ability to use general Italian in real life situations, at work or when studying. International students can enter Italian Universities with a CELI 3 Certificate or higher.


  • CELI 1: A2 (pre intermediate)
  • CELI 2: B1 (intermediate)
  • CELI 3: B2 (upper intermediate)
  • CELI 4: C1 (advanced)
  • CELI 5: C2 (proficiency)

Exam cost (all levels) €150

a photo of Mondello Beach
A photo of Mondello Beach
An amazing sea landscape, the great warm-heartedness of its 1,000,000 inhabitants, and an almost perfect climate, makes it an ideal place to be at any time of the year.


Palermo (Italy) is Sicily's largest city and is one of the largest cities on the Mediterranean.
Many different cultures have left a remarkable trace of their passage through the island over the centuries.

In Palermo the influence of these civilizations can be seen in the variety and diversity of architectural styles and traditions (Greek, Byzantine, Norman, Arabic, Spanish).

This city has great cultural vitality, along with its beautiful theatres (the world-famous Massimo Theatre is the 3rd largest in Europe).


There is also an excellent cuisine based on the poor peasant tradition which dates back to a millenary Greek-Arabic school, also still present in Palermo's "Arabic" markets (some of the most picturesque places to visit indeed).

This contributes to the image of Palermo as a very lively "cultural cradle".

Please refer to the Visit Palermo website for more information on Palermo and Sicily.

A photo of Teatro Massimo
A photo of Teatro Massimo

IH Palermo organises city tours, shopping trips, museum excursions, days on the beach, sailing days out and more.

Trips, tours and excursions are advertised in the school and participations regularly collected.

Trips and tours may cost little to nothing, depending on the activity.

Have a look at our Typical Social Programme to see some of the possible activities.

Miscellaneous information


In Italy we use the Euro. On 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries.


The Italian summer is hot, especially here in the South where we are. Spring and autumn are mild, with sunny weather. Winter in Sicily tends to be drier and warmer than in central and northern areas of Italy, it does get cold and wet though!


Electricity in Italy is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC). The picture shows the most common type of plugs and sockets found in this country.

Telephone Services

Public telephones are available throughout Italy. A local call from a public telephone requires the use of a 20 euro cent coin.

The Italian equivalent of 911 (Emergency call) is 113. There should be an English-speaking person available whenever you dial this number. But remember, it’s for emergencies, not for information.

Long distance calls (Interurbana) between major cities can be dialed directly on the public telephone by using the proper area code number. you may use coins, or better yet, get a pre-paid card.

Area Code (Prefisso Telefonico): Following are the area code numbers for some of the principal cities in Italy. When dialing direct, the 0 should be left out. Example: A call from New York to Rome would be dialed as follows: 011 + 39 + 6 + phone number.

Mobile phones are widely used in Italy. The whole country, including remote areas are covered by the mobile network. It is recommended to verify the access options to the Italian network with your own mobile phone, from your local service supplier before you leave your country. The major mobile phone operators are Vodafone, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), 3, and Wind.

Postal Services

Stamps may be purchased only at tobacconists and at the post office. Airmail with insufficient postage is not returned to sender, but is sent via surface mail, which can take weeks or even months. Private couriers such as UPS and FedEx are widely avaiable in Palermo.

Transport in Sicily

Sicilians tend to travel by car or bus, train services are available and are generally quite punctual, save for the odd strike. Ferries connect Sicily to Italy and the many small islands around it. For more information please visit the Regione Siciliana Tourist information website.

Food in Sicily

As far as food is concerned, such is the pride that Sicilians take in their cooking that you will rarely be disappointed. Sicilian cuisine is world famous.

Coming soon information about:

  • panelle
  • caponata
  • sfincione
  • cannoli
  • cassata siciliana
Airport Pick-up/Drop-off

IH Palermo provides an airport pick up/drop off service at €50 per trip.

Safety in Palermo

During the day The Palermo City Centre is always very busy and car traffic is therefore quite slow. Palermo has also lots of bars and restaurants, which are open until late. In summer there are always lots of people around eating ice cream and going to concerts in the evenings. The atmosphere is friendly both during the day and at night.

Palermo is a large city and it is as safe as any city its size in Europe.

Step 1

Please complete the online application form
or dowload and complete the application form and send it via e-mail to


Step 2

Fees may be paid by bank transfer or credit card. You will receive all the details as soon as you send your application form.


Step 3


  • A bank transfer supplement of Euro 15,00 must be added to cover bank charges
  • Please allow 5 working days for a bank transfer to arrive
  • State your name and student number on the bank transfer form

Step 4

On the first day please bring proof of payment

A view of the IH Palermo patio
A view of the IH Palermo patio
italian test form

Palermo a strategic city to learn Italian


International House Palermo has been a school of Italian as a second language since 2001. As it is rich of culture and can be useful for study, work, tourism or just for fun.The Italian language is generally appreciated because of fashion, cuisine, fast cars, lifestyle and tourism in general.


Every year we strengthen our business connections between International Language Agents and Palermo. Our partnerships create new language learning opportunities for many linguistic travellers. IH Palermo is proud of the beauties of our city (monuments, buildings and museums) and Island. Agents help us to divulge the best traditions and excellences where Sicily stands out as an Italian region.


Language tourists who come to Palermo to study tend to stay for at least two weeks and learn to appreciate the colours, the tradition, the architecture, the sea and the flavours of Palermo as well as the Italian language.


For many years our city has seen a increasing number of language learners' coming from different countries like Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, USA, China and others.

Palermo has many opportunities to offer. We want to carry on establishing the importance of Italian as a second language internationally. It is a reality that is growing majorly in Italy that we are happy to be working in.


Why become an IH Palermo agent?

International House Palermo is the oldest Language Centre in Palermo and has a long experience in teaching Italian to International students.

When you are in the business of sending students abroad, you want to be sure that they will get what is promised and be delighted with their stay. We strive to achieve that.


With IH Palermo, students will improve their language knowledge and skills and have a great time in Sicily!


How to become an agent for International House Palermo.

Becoming an agent for International House Palermo is very easy. Contact us, we will send you the Agent's Manual.


Send all enquiries to


International House Language Centre was established in 1975 by Pat Durden, founder, and has been an affiliate member of the International House World Organisation since 1984. It has also been an authorised centre for the University of Cambridge English examinations since 1980, and a member of AISLi (Association of Language Schools in Italy) since 1990. In 2002, the school became an official centre for Italian language examinations run by the Università per Stranieri di Perugia.