My name is Jacqui and I live in the beautiful Veneto region of Italy between Verona and Venice.
I was born and educated in London, where my mother, brother, sister and one of my sons live. Before moving to Italy I lived in Malta, which is where my sons were born and there I worked as an elementary school teacher, journalist and English teacher.
I moved to Italy in 2003. I met my partner the same year and we bought our lovely home together in 2006.
Moving to Italy was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's a beautiful country rich in history, art and culture and of course the food and wine are fabulous too!
My greatest pleasure is spending time at home, walking my dogs, taking photos or working in the garden when the weather is good. When it's not so good I have plenty to keep me busy as I love cooking, reading (I have hundreds of English books!), watching films (I also have a good DVD library), listening to music and writing. I am currently researching my second novel.
Although we are only two living in the house we often have guests from UK, Germany and Malta including my sons and other family members. We have a number of Italian friends who speak English as well as non-Italian friends who we socialize with often. English is the main language at home as my partner's English is better than my Italian!
My partner also loves cooking and being Sicilian his specialities are fish and pasta! Being close to ski resorts many friends and family go skiing for the day. Nearest slopes less than 2 hrs by car.
We are not such great skiers however. We are only two in the house but very often have visitors from UK, Germany and Malta including my sons.
Also a number of our Italian friends speak English and we have close non Italian friends who we socialise with.
I've been teaching English as a foreign language since 2002 and have worked for a couple of schools (EC in Malta and Oxford school, Verona), as well as a number of companies where I've taught courses in general and business English.
I have good experience in specifically helping students to improve their fluency through conversation. I have also taught exam courses helping students to prepare for exams such as KET, PET, FCE, CAE and Proficiency.
THE SOCIAL PROGRAMME
We are very happy for students to join us when we go out or have friends at home, which is fairly often. And I can of course organize English speaking social occasions to coincide with student stays.
Depending on the time of year and the weather there are many village and town fairs to visit as Italians love to celebrate everything.
There are wine and cherry harvest fairs, chocolate fairs, chestnut fairs and flower fairs.
There are also a lot of markets both antique and those selling food and clothes and the Verona Exhibition centre holds many interesting events including VinItaly which is the biggest wine fair in Italy.
Verona is also famous for the open air opera in the Roman Arena(June to September) and if planned in advance would be a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
I am only too happy to accompany students on sightseeing excurtions to Venice, Verona, Lake Garda as well as a number of other interesting places, such as some of the medieval walled towns of which there are many in this part of Italy.
Although I am not a qualified sommelier, I do appreciate a good glass of wine. There are many wineries in the area where we can go for wine-tasting and a tour of the winery.
Walkingis a must for me every day, especially as I have two dogs that need the exercise. There are many beautiful places to walk and I often take my camera along to photograph the landscape. From the hill above my house you can see the Dolomites which are spectacular. There are many orchards and so it is also possible to have a fruit snack along the way! If the weather is good, we can take along a picnic too.
Both my partner and I love cooking. Our main meal is usually dinner as my partner is not at home for lunch. He's Sicilian and so his specialities are fish and pasta. He makes a great risotto too! I tend to cook less Italian food.
I like cooking English dishes such as Shepherds pie and apple crumble, different soups and roasts. I also cook some French, Greek, Indian and Thai dishes so eating in our house is always varied.
When the weather is fine we bbque a lot and then I make a good selection of salads and vegetables as side dishes.
We have our own vegetable garden so the vegetables often come from that.
Italians aren't great breakfast eaters but I usually have a variety of jams and honey, bread, yoghurt, fruit and cold meats and cheese for my guests.
Our house is situated in a hamlet and so there are no shops, but the nearest village is only 3km away and there you can find the post office, supermarket, bank, pharmacy etc.
The main town, San Bonifacio, is 20 mins by car and from there trains go to Verona, Venice and Lake Garda, all worth a visit and within 75 mins.
If students wish to go out on their own and have no car, I can drop them at the station or in the town and pick them up later.
Otherwise there are many beautiful walks and the scenery is spectacular.
THE TEACHER’S HOMEANDTHE STUDENT ACCOMODATION
My house is situated in a hamlet in the hills behind the medieval town of Soave, 25 kms from Verona.
The setting is rural with vineyards, cherry orchards and olive groves around the hamlet and the Dolomites in the distance. The nearest village 6 mins by car with supermarket, post office, bank etc. Nearest town San Bonifacio for Buses, trains (20 mins by car). from there trains to Verona (20 mins), Venice (75 mins), Lake Garda(1hr).
The area is beautiful for walking and cycling and just enjoying the beautiful countryside.
The student accommodation is on beautiful attic floor with 2 bedrooms and a shower and wc. One bedroom with double bed and one with twin beds. Wooden floors - ceiling beams - skylights - very cosy. There is also separate annex with single bed and own shower room.