What are the best books to learn Italian for beginners?

Best books to learn Italian beginners

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about what are the best books to learn Italian for beginners.

So, we’re going to focus on special books for language learning.

If you’re a beginner, it’s important to have a reference book with grammar rules, new vocabulary, and examples.

Of course, you should also learn in other ways and not just with a language book.

This is why we’ll also mention some books that you can read for fun if you have a more advanced level.

Let’s get started!

What is the best book to learn Italian

What is a good book to learn Italian?

A good book to learn Italian should fulfill these conditions:

  • It should be in Italian;
  • It should be comprehensive, which means it should include all aspects of the language and not just grammar;
  • It should include common expressions;
  • It should include exercise and examples;

You may be thinking that if you’re a complete beginner and the book is all in Italian it’ll be impossible to learn.

However, that’s not true. Usually, instructions tend to be repetitive and include examples.

And explanations tend to be straightforward.

It will be up to you to look for a translation if you really don’t understand. But believe us, it’s much better to avoid your native language when you’re learning a new language.

Once you get used to common instructions and you start to understand the vocabulary and grammar, it’ll be easier to understand explanations.

Keeping all of that in mind here’s a really good book to learn Italian:

Italiano di base

It includes language that is useful in everyday life. It follows the Common European Framework for A1 and A2 levels. It’ll definitely help you develop your language skills.

What is a good book to learn Italian

What is the best book to learn the Italian language?

Saying which is the best book to learn the Italian language can be tricky since this is very subjective.

We’ve already given you a really good book. If you’re not 100% happy with that choice, we’re going to give you a description of another book.

It’s up to you to decide which one you prefer.

Here’s one that’s considered the best book by many learners and Italian language teachers:

Facile facile by Paolo Cassiani 

It starts very easy and becomes gradually complex without you realizing it.

It includes exercises to improve your communication skills and grammar explanations.

It also mentions some Italian traditions in context.

What are the best books to learn Italian

What are the best books to learn Italian for beginners?

As we just mentioned, deciding which is the best book to learn Italian is hard.

It depends on what you like.

You may like a book with lots of grammar and examples.

You may prefer books with images but without too much grammar.

Or you may like a book with useful expressions and texts to develop your comprehension skills.

This is why we have prepared a list of other books for you to make your own decision based on the descriptions we give you:

Parlo italiano (Giunti)

This is a really good book if you want to learn the daily use of Italian in a not-too-complicated way. It is useful as an everyday manual.

It’s well-illustrated and divided into various units, each of which is dedicated to different topics: introducing yourself, work, health, home, transport, services, shopping, food, media, and having fun.

In each unit, real-life situations are presented with dialogues of ordinary people followed by vocabulary and grammar.

Una parola tira l’altra by Luciana Guglielmino and Emanuela Paterna

This is a great book with survival phrases.

There are 22 units with different topics in which basic vocabulary and phrases, necessary to communicate in daily life situations.

There are lots of drawings representing authentic situations of Italian life and culture.

Short Stories in Italian for Beginners by Olly Richards

Even though we told you the best Italian books should be in Italian, this is a really good one.

An essential part of learning a new language is simply reading.

This anthology of short stories is digestible and entertaining, perfect for on-the-go and squeezing in some extra study time.

Bar Italia by Annamaria Di Francesco and Ciro Massimo Naddeo

This book presents a series of articles on Italian life, society, mentality, and habits.

The great thing about it is that there are texts about very Italian topics such as coffee and fashion aimed at developing your reading, speaking, and writing skills in Italian.

The texts are all taken from the press and are organized in didactic units of progressive difficulty.

Bar Italia is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced students ( A1 – C1 ), and is proposed as a useful tool to approach Italian reality.

Grammatica italiana per tutti by Elisabetta Perini 

This is not just for beginners but for all levels. So, it’s a book to keep.

It’s a very complete book with clear explanations and drawings.

It covers formal or informal language, both written and spoken, and real-life grammar

It includes tests and fun games.

Nuova Grammatica Pratica Della Lingua Italiana by Susanna Nocchi

This grammar book isn’t just for beginners but for A1 to B2 levels.

Grammatical explanations are clear and exercises are useful and become more complex gradually.

Best book to learn Italian

What are some great exercise books to learn Italian?

If you’re learning Italian, other than explanations, you’ll want to do exercises.

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How to Learn Languages Fast

Here’s a list of 3 great exercise books to learn Italian:

Come si dice?

The full name is Come si dice? Imparare a comunicare in tutte le situazioni della vita quotidiana.

It’s an illustrated manual that aims to help foreigners express themselves in Italian and communicate the most elementary needs in various daily situations.

Structured according to an easy-to-use self-learning path, it is divided into 17 units focused on the most common scenarios of everyday life

It’s very complete with exercises and self-test keys.

In [email protected] (Hoepli)

This book is great for both teenagers and adults.

It is well illustrated and there is a variety of articles, dialogues, and tips about Italian culture, and lots of exercises, both for comprehension and vocabulary learning.

Comunicare in italiano (Hoepli)

Comunicare in italiano is a reference grammar for foreign students.

This exercise book includes 2 CDs and many exercises.

It’s a great option for those who want to achieve an advanced level.

There are many parts dedicated to idioms, to the particularities of the language. There is also a section for further reading which includes the most difficult parts of Italia.

Also, it is a book for students of various levels.

Best exercise books to learn Italian

How to make the most of your language book?

First of all, don’t just use your language book. Remember your book is one of your tools but it’s not the only one.

In fact, learning a new language is not all about checking grammar and vocabulary.

Use your language book as your reference book.

Also, don’t forget to check the grammar section at the back, with examples, and explanations.

Make sure you use the listening transcripts for pronunciation practice.

Learn to understand meaning through context. Don’t worry if you’re reading a text and there’re a few words you don’t understand. It’s fine.

Finally, make sure you take notes of what you read, especially if there’s a topic you don’t understand very well.

You can always double-check online, for example by reading our grammar lessons.

How to make the most of your Italian book

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!


I’m originally from Argentina but grew up in Italy, so I’m bilingual. I love languages, which is why I studied French and Linguistics in London. I’m a grammar nerd and I love finding out about the meaning of words.

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