First thoughts: Bootcamp on the Italian/French border, anyone?!

Justin has quite breath-takingly suggested that he and Eirwen would be willing to host a Bootcamp in their house on the side of a hill over-looking the Med on the Italian side of the border…!

I want this to happen almost more than I want to breathe, and I suspect some of you might share my enthusiasm.

I must mention at this point that we’re at the ‘discuss the idea’ stage - so nothing set in stone with dates - or indeed with languages - maybe a multilingual Bootcamp for people who’ve bootcamped before would be kind of fun?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, once you’ve got your breath back…:wink:


Tell me the dates and I’ll book!!
So, when does SSiI or SSiF start?
Diolch o galon to Justin and Eirwen for this offer and for this idea.


For many reasons, this sounds amazing. If you need any extra fluent Welsh speakers as helpers, I’d be more than happy to tag along. :slight_smile:

Also, after visiting several cities in Italy in the last 7 months, Italian is creeping up the list of languages I would like to learn.


French as well as Italian is spoken in the local markets because so many French pop over the border to shop and wine and dine.

Our place used to be a Spanish restaurant, believe it or not, so we have minimum credentials to do a little Spanish too.

We are ‘‘foodies’’ so if there is an interest in pairing cooking/dining and wine- tasting with language I think we could pull it off. Just an idea.

So any mix of French, Italian, Welsh (and Spanish) would be natural here.


If (to my wild amazement) we don’t have the numbers to make this a Bootcamp, we’ll have to do a pivot and make it a brain-storming week for SSi… :sunny:

For walkers we are positioned on the Ligurian ‘‘Alta Via’’ which is an Italian sponsored network of walks. The natural walk from our hilltop is down to the fruit, veg, and fish markets and then to the beach or across the hills to the historic town of Dolce Acqua. A Welsh picnic in the olive groves above Dolce Acqua, perhaps?

Dolce Acqua is a haven for painters as it is where Monet painted the ‘‘humpty’’ bridge. For that reason it is a focus for quite a few artists.

For nature lovers there are ‘‘falcons’’ on the hilltop here that sweep down to the Med where you can see them soaring and depending on the .season the occasional wild boar will attempt to dig up our garden and wreck havoc with the flower beds !

On food, wine and olive oil etc - well we would need to set up a separate thread on that subject!!

Brainstorming or Bootcamp a warm Welsh welcome awaits on this hillside.

1 Like

I know this is throwing the cat amongst the pigeons somewhat, but rather than SSII or SSIF wouldn’t it be more in the spirit of SSI to use this as an opportunity to introduce SaySomethingInPiedmontese or SaySomethingInLigurian? :smile:

1 Like

Say Somethging in Piedmontese is best introduced with a bottle of Barolo or a bottle of Barbaresco, though occasionally I have seen it quite well paired with a fresh Barbera. As for Ligurian, there is a very local dialect called ‘‘Pignese’’ which is best spoken after a course of grilled Capra with Pigna white beans washed down with a Rossesse from Dolce Acqua.

And how about Occitan which was the lingua franca of the Roman commercial route all along the Mediterranean coast all the way from Italy to Spain until the Northern French took power and pushed modern French down from the North.

If you take the little choo-choo at the bottom of the hill you weave through French and Italian towns on the way to Limone and Cuneo that were on ancient. smuggling routes between France and Italy and have local ‘‘country’’ cuisines that contrast beautifully with that of the Med.

1 Like

What a great idea!!

We live in Piemonte, just over an hour from Justin and Eirwen and would love to give a hand with the bootcamp as needed. Liguria and Piemonte have both some stunning landscapes, fantastic cuisine and wine and cultural attractions to enjoy, far away from the crowds that come to visit Firenze, Venezia & Roma.

As for SSiPiemontese, I have thought of starting it several times. It is sad to see how the language is vanishing. You can still hear people in 40’s and older folks speak it at home, and farmer’s markets are “the place” where people use it the most outside their homes, but that’s it. Teenagers don’t speak it and young parents don’t use it with their children any more.



Hi Gaby,

I agree. I have many friends who speak Piemontese. It is beautiful to hear them speaking it but their children don’t speak it. It’s such a shame.

This is a wake-up call to all beautiful languages. Speak it at home, speak it to your children - and I would venture most of all get SSi into the schools.

And if your children marry someone who doesn’t speak the local language include a SSi course as a pre-wedding gift!!


I thought we could probably tempt Gaby along… :sunny:

I’m surprised we haven’t seen more interest here from some of our multilingual learners - so maybe we should be starting to think more in the direction of an SSi Think Tank session at some point :sunny:

[I *will* have my trip to the Alta Via, in this life or the next…;-)]

1 Like

If there is any possible way that I can make it, I will be there - no matter what the language - as long as it’s not English I will give anything a go :smile:


Oh but I am interested, but present family health commitments might scupper any firm plans I might wish to make for something so special. I like to think that in future years I would go to one of these.


I’m there! Do you want a deposit? Take my money - take it now! :laughing:


Me! Me! Maybe Phil too, but definitely me! Just depends on dates.


Aran - it looks like you have stirred up kindred spirits. Eirwen is so excited she is planting daffodil bulbs by the dozen!


Ali!! Hewrop!! It’s starting to feel like Magnificent Seven déjà vu :wink:


I can’t make a firm commitment, but I would love to come play if possible. I studied abroad in Siena, so I used to speak some Italian and it’d be a fun experiment to try to reboot that. Okay, really it was more Spanglitalian (Spanish-English-Italian), but it got the job done! :smile:


I also speak SpangIitalian. Living on the Italian/French border Eirwen and I learned to get by in Italian first, as we already spoke French having spent quite a bit of time in Paris and the Languedoc. Then I developed a desire to learn Spanish, and started by reading and also watching films in Spanish. But when I speak Spanish Eirwen says it definitely comes out as Spanglitalian. Roll on Aran and Gaby’s Spanish Level 2 as I can’t wait to speak Spanish properly! And I hope they have Spanish Level 3 already on the drawing board.



Aha - I thought the right people would see this at some point, and join me in selling off limbs to make sure of getting a place… :sunny:

I think this just moved from ‘talk about’ to ‘start planning for’… :star2: