The best way to learn Italian

stefano lodola italian teacher
Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn’t find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you’ll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.
What makes a good method of learning a language? To me, a study method is good if it delivers results. Typically, people want to learn Italian to communicate. Thus, progress...
Struggling with listening? An Italian polyglot has valuable advice about comprehensible input. A quick guide to master any language fast. From pain to joy!
What is active recall? In the last years, there has been so much hype around active recall as it is believed to improve your study results and get you better...
How to practice speaking alone? For best results, turn virtually any study time (reading, listening, writing) into speaking practice for language immersion!
Language is communication It is really fascinating how human beings communicate with each other and with everything in the world. From their first cry, they start communicating with the world...
Activities to improve communication skills in a foreign language shift the focus of teaching from the language itself to actually doing things in that language.
Italian for beginners can be a pain to learn. Not with this polyglot's video guide with 8 solutions to get started! The best way to survive and avoid pitfalls.
Struggling with new words? An Italian polyglot has valuable advice about spaced repetition. A quick guide to memorize vocabulary fast, from pain to joy!
Language learning is an artificial exercise that occupies time, money, and effort that could be better spent doing language acquisition. Learn to communicate!
How long does it take to learn Italian? Is it hard? How fast you improve depends on your study method. Learn why in this honest guide by an Italian polyglot!


Whether you want to learn a few words for the holidays or have fallen in love with the language, the best way to learn Italian is the one that works for you.

  • Use language apps: They’re great for building vocabulary with audio and visual aids. Apps like Duolingo can help you practice speaking, even alone. Just remember, they lack personalized feedback.
  • Enroll in courses: Whether online or in-person, courses offer structure and feedback. They require commitment, but you can ask questions and interact with others. For flexibility, try 1-on-1 lessons like Skype sessions.
  • Watch Italian media: Dive into Italian TV shows and movies to hear native speakers. Start with materials designed for learners and gradually move to native content as your skills improve.
  • Immerse yourself: If possible, travel to Italy. It’s intense but effective. You’ll learn organically by speaking Italian daily in real-life situations, picking up nuances and slang.
  • Self-study with textbooks: Grab an Italian textbook for structured learning. It’s a slower method and lacks interaction, but it’s good for self-paced study. Don’t forget to review often.
  • Label your environment: Stick notes with Italian words on household items. It’s a visual reminder that helps you learn vocabulary faster. Seeing the words daily reinforces memory.
  • Create verb cheat sheets: Verbs can be tricky. Keep a handy list of conjugations to reference. It’s a quick way to review and ensure you’re using verbs correctly.
  • Switch your phone’s language: Change your device settings to Italian. It forces you to engage with the language in a familiar context, making learning more intuitive.
  • Read Italian books: Start with simple texts and work your way up. Reading helps with spelling, grammar, and context. Keep a dictionary close by for new words.
  • Write in Italian: Practice writing sentences or even short stories. It solidifies your learning and boosts confidence. Share your writing with others for feedback.

What is the best way to learn Italian?

Should you buy a textbook? Is it more effective to use software or an app? What about immersion? Does it indeed encourage you to learn organically, as a toddler would?

Is it really necessary to know all that grammar?

**Warning **

There isn’t a single tool to teach you everything you need to know to master the Italian language.

You’ll probably wind up using various tools to cover all of your needs, from learning the grammar to polishing your pronunciation to expanding your Italian words.

YouTube video player

How To Learn Italian?

For sure, there’s not only one way to learn Italian.

The world is moving faster than ever, and the learning methods are unlimited. We have access to all kinds of courses, mobile apps, and books to help us learn everything we need.

In terms of learning a new language, it’s even better, so let’s take a look at each option you have and see the advantages and disadvantages.

Mobile Apps

Many would argue that the easiest way to learn the Italian language is with the help of language apps.

Mobile apps are getting more and more popular, and most of them are promising to interactively teach you how to speak a foreign language. Now, as with anything else in this world, they have some pros and cons.

These apps are amazing for building vocabulary. They provide audio and visual support, helping you associate the image with the word.

Besides that, they can be much more relaxing than a course, offering you to take your lesson from wherever you are.

Some apps focus a lot on grammar, but not necessarily in a good way. You won’t be able to master Italian just from using them.

The ideal app for your language learning should focus on speaking because, usually, that’s the most overlooked skill and the hardest to practice if you’re alone.

In that sense, I strongly recommend the Italian audio course “Ripeti con me!”

For a free option, check out free Italian audio lessons for total beginners and these Italian lessons on Youtube.

A popular app for beginners to learn Italian on their own is Duolingo.

Surprisingly enough, with a well-designed learning resource, you can practice speaking even when you’re alone.

The biggest downside of these apps is that you won’t receive any feedback or explanations.

Some of them are mechanical and repetitive. Besides, some aspects are very hard to understand without a teacher nearby.

Anyway, it’s good to keep one on hand and practice new words on your way to work.

So, How to learn Italian fast? With an app or an Italian online course.

Indeed, foreign language apps are the best way to learn Italian if you know how to use them.

best way to learn Italian

Language Courses

The courses always seem like the best options. You are part of a group, you can ask questions, you will receive feedback, and you have someone to talk to.

Of course, courses require a certain level of commitment and resources, and you can’t lose a module or work at your own pace.

In most cases, you must review all the information you received and ensure you are prepared for the next course.

Since the best way to learn Italian depends on many factors before you go ahead and choose a course, you must look out for these two aspects:

  • Your purpose – there are courses with different specifics. Some are designed for business, others will prepare you for university, and there are the general ones. You should pay close attention to this aspect before choosing, as it needs to be useful for you. 
  • Method of teaching – there are many approaches when it comes to the method (see language learning vs. language acquisition). An Italian teacher may work by books; another one make their materials. This is not as important as the purpose, but if you want to be able to access the materials online, for example, you should make sure you will have the possibility.

If you have a very dynamic personality and you would rather fail and try again until you get it right, classes may not be the best choice for you.

You have to follow the rules and develop your grammar and vocabulary along with the others.

1-on-1 classes work much better than group classes. With the internet, you don’t even have to go to school. You can take an Italian lesson on Skype, for example.

If you don’t want to spend money, plenty of free Italian lessons are online.

learn italian by yourself


For a very long time, television shows were the main way of having access to a second language. Of course, now we can choose whether we want to watch an Italian movie or not.

Why is it a great idea? Because with Italian tv and movies you get to hear native speakers and test your language skills.

If you are just beginning though, it can be very confusing and you may have a hard time understanding most words. That’s not the best way to learn the language on your own if you can barely understand a single Italian word.

The best way to use media as a way of learning Italian is to combine it with an Italian course or an app.

They were created to provide the native speakers with a form of entertainment, so most things are created for them, not for a beginner language learner.

Entertaining short Italian stories, Italian news websites, and news in slow Italian are endless sources of material.

If you’re a beginner, start with resources specifically designed for non-native speakers.

Italian idioms, proverbs, sayings, quotes, and songs are witty ways to expand your vocabulary and practice reading and listening.

learn italian fun way

Immersive learning

Communication skills in a foreign language are fundamental in the real world. Immersive learning can dramatically boost them.

Immersive learning of Italian would require you to travel to Italy and learn from the natives. Without prior knowledge, this can be a very hard task, and it can take a lot of time.

The good part is that it gives you the opportunity to learn the language from native Italian speakers and also adapt to their lifestyle.

You would have to speak it every day, and in every situation, so it can definitely overwhelm you if you’re not the adventurous kind.

For some people, this is the best option for learning Italian fast, but others would instead go ahead and find different and less expensive learning methods.

In my opinion, this is the optimal way to learn Italian if you have time, and time and you’re confident enough to go through the initial pain of not relying on your native language.

This is the easiest way to learn Italian.

learn italian immersive learning

Learning by yourself with a manual

Another great option is to buy yourself an Italian textbook. You can start by learning from it, but achieving your purpose this way may be hard.

You wouldn’t have any feedback, meaning you won’t know if what you are doing is right.

This is a method that can take a tremendous amount of time and devotion to see some results. The good news is that you can learn at your own pace and precisely what you want.

Make sure you don’t skip any important parts in the process.

Nowadays, textbooks are hardly the best way to learn Italian alone.

In addition to textbooks, there are practical resources like lists of the 1000 most common Italian words or basic Italian phrases to prepare for your next trip to Italy.

You can learn basic Italian for travel before going to Italy.

Italian grammar lessons can help you figure out grammar rules but won’t make you fluent.

So now, what is the best method of learning Italian? That’s discussable.

Best Way To Learn Italian: is there only one?

The best way to learn Italian is to combine all the methods.

You can start attending an Italian course, where you learn the basics and use the application to start mastering the vocabulary.

Only these two combined can give you a massive boost into the language.

It also helps to use an Italian language study planner so you don’t get lost. Choose one of the study schedule templates and stick to it.

Then, you can start watching Italian movies and shows and listening to music. You will start listening to what you learned and have a much easier time understanding what they say.

Ultimately, you can start planning your trip to Italy and experience the language.

You can start practicing from the moment you land in an Italian city.

From ordering your taxi to checking into your hotel and ordering your first course, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn even more!

The Italian people are very nice, and they will completely understand, appreciate, and help you in your efforts to learn their language.

learn italian methods

Can you Learn Italian On Your Own?

Can you learn Italian on your own? Of course!

What’s the most effective way to learn Italian at home? I’ll tell you!

Learning a new language is always an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be hard. In the European Union, there are over 60 million native speakers spread across the continent.

And let’s be fair here. Learning a new language is fantastic! You get to know a new culture, and learn about their different habits, specifics, and similarities.

When it comes to learning Italian on your own, Italian for beginners may seem confusing at the start.

You don’t know exactly what to do or what to expect (how long does it take to learn Italian?), and the truth is, you may need it for a certain purpose.

It’s not a hard process, but it’s a process that takes time and resources.

It all depends on you and on how much and how often you are willing to practice.

Tips For Learning Italian

As you can see, there are several options and approaches to learning Italian.

All you need to do is find the solution that works for you.

The secret formula to getting it to stick is in your mindset. If you want to learn Italian and set aside time each day, you will.

Here are my tips to make your learning successful:

Find someone to practice with

Learning Italian on your own can be discouraging. In that case, go find someone to practice with.

It doesn’t have to be a native Italian speaker or an Italian teacher. It can just be someone as eager to learn as you are.

And chances are you will find someone in one of your groups. If not, you can join a learning group on social media and find your learning partner there.

How to learn Italian fast? With someone!

For many, a language exchange is the best way to learn Italian for free.

Put labels around your house

This is one of the tips for learning Italian that you hear often.

Learning every word you need to use may take some time, so this can be a very easy way of memorizing the vocabulary.

Simply put sticky notes with the words on the objects you use, and see them every time you look at that object.

You will have a very easy time learning everything. This is one of the common study tips to learn foreign languages you hear from polyglots.

best way to learn italian on your own

Create verbs cheat sheets

In general, when you start learning the grammar of a language, you can have a very hard time understanding the verbs. To make your process easier, you can start making a verb cheatsheet.

This is easy to do, useful and I will give you an example. Keep these nearby whenever you practice.

Mnemonics work, too, for common Italian words and Italian numbers.

However, remember that this alone is not the best way to learn a new language.

Change your phone’s language settings

Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

The best way to learn Italian alone is to surround yourself with that language.

Even though this change can be confusing at first, it’s a great way of getting accustomed to the new vocabulary.

You already know everything on your phone, so you only need to start practicing the Italian words.

Watch Italian shows and movies

You can find many movies voiced in Italian. Simply put your usual English subtitles and listen carefully to what they are saying.

Ensure you note the unknown words so you can check them out later.

This is a good way to learn Italian for free if you already understand intermediate Italian.

Read Italian books

Reading is a great way to master any language. You will see how every word is spelled and its position in a sentence.

At first, keep a dictionary nearby, as you may find words you have never seen before, but after a while, you can deduce these words based on the context.

Some people don’t dare to follow these tips for learning Italian because reading can be intimidating when you don’t understand.

Write as much as you can

Just like reading, writing is also a very important exercise.

Whether you write on paper or on a computer, it helps you learn how the words should look, and gives you the confidence to start talking.

If you enjoy writing, this is the best way to learn Italian and improve your range of vocabulary and grammar patterns.


By the way, you should also get enough sleep because you can learn Italian while sleeping.

Sleeping is the best way to learn a new language for free when you’re lazy.

learn Italian sleeping

You choose the best way to learn Italian

Is it hard to learn Italian?

A trick to enhance your brain would be to take nootropics for language learning.

Learning Italian is not hard, but you need to find the method that suits your needs, especially if you want to learn it yourself.

It’s a long process, and you can only master it by speaking and learning from native Italian people.

There’s always something new and very specific to discover, and at some point, you may want to take the time and visit Italy.

And not just to learn the language but also to learn more about the people, their history, and their habits.

It’s a very beautiful country with a lot of things to see. From the marvelous Colosseum in Rome to the Duomo di Milano, you won’t have time to get bored.

Read about the Italian experiment of Leonardo da Vinci and learn Italian with Lucrezia Borgia.

Today is the perfect time to get yourself up and start learning. I showed you the best way to learn Italian on your own, and now it’s your turn to start getting it done!

Check out Ripeti Con Me and start speaking Italian today!

Learn in the car with Think in Italian
Play Video about Learn in the car with Think in Italian

FAQs on The best way to learn Italian

What is the best way to learn Italian for beginners?

The best way to learn Italian for beginners is to take a course, use language learning apps, and immerse yourself in the language. Practice speaking Italian regularly, learn grammar and vocabulary, and consider traveling to Italy to improve your language skills.

How long does it take to learn Italian?

The time it takes to learn Italian depends on your level of dedication, how often you practice, and how quickly you pick up the language. On average, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to become proficient in Italian.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when learning Italian?

Some common mistakes to avoid when learning Italian include relying too heavily on translation, neglecting grammar and vocabulary, and not practicing speaking the language enough.

Italian word of the day
È una giornata lunga.
It’s a long day.
Follow me to fluency​

Receive my free resources once a week together with my best offers! 

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.

Leave a Reply


Take a free lesson today!

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lessons and other resources.

I’ll also deliver my free resources my best offers to your mailbox (opt out at any time).

Read more about How to learn Italian
Why learn Italian on your own? What are the main benefits of learning a new language without attending lessons? First of all, learning in this way allows you to be...
Basic Italian Phrases for Travel To master Basic Italian Phrases for your next travel adventure to Italy, use this section on the Italiano: Learn Italian for Travel and Adventure. You’ll...
Dreaming of Italy? Don’t be afraid! This article will help you transition to the Italian lifestyle and language. Let’s get started and make your dream come true! Learn how to...
Try my courses for free​

Log in

Reset password or get in touch.

Not a member yet? Join today!

How long to fluency?

Find out how long it will take you to master Italian!
Get on the right track in 3 minutes.

dolce vita logo

We're already friends!

Coming from Luca and Marina?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
all language resources

We're already friends!

Coming from All Language Resources?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
50% OFF

To receive free resources once a week together with my best offers, just tell me where to send everything. Opt out at any time.

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.