Ten of the Best Resources for Learning the Italian Language

Apr 12, 2018


Recently Tutorful, an online tutoring marketplace in the United Kingdom, surveyed some 60,000 Italian tutors, students and parents to identify the resources they felt benefited their Italian skills most on a day-to-day basis. After what the editors described as "a tough selection" to whittle down the recommendations, LA BELLA LINGUA has won a “Best Italian Resource” badge and inclusion on Tutorful’s official list.  

I’m delighted to be in such good company. Whether you’re learning Italian, already speak Italian or are just thinking about studying Italian, I heartily recommend that you check out Tutorful's selection of apps, podcasts, videos, blogs  and books. Here are ten of the helpful resources, with Tutorful's descriptions, that I’ve used myself:

  1. News in Slow Italian This app is designed specifically for intermediate learners and it's updated weekly so students can improve their Italian through current events. The news stories and conversations are read at a slower pace to improve comprehension, and the audio also includes a transcript with contextual translations. Besides news, the program offers grammar in context, idiomatic expressions, quizzes, pronunciation and live conversations.   
  2. Duolingo This website was created so everyone everywhere can learn languages in the most efficient way for them. Probably the world's most popular language learning platform. Quick, intuitive and absolutely free! 
  3. Online Italian Club A website for Italian language students looking for free learning materials. If you know your level already, click their handy links to go to a hub of useful resources, online lessons and pronunciation tips.
  4. Learn Italian with Lucrezia In her youtube videos Lucrezia always tries to be as clear as she possibly can and always uses language that she would use in her daily life. Grammar is hugely important, and she explores ways to learn it in interesting ways. Lucrezia keeps it fun and gives context to all her examples, so that students won’t shy away from it because they think it is too hard.
  5. Coffee Break Italian This is a fantastic way to maximize your downtime and learn Italian where and when it suits you. The course features structured lessons in which you'll join teacher Mark, native speaker Francesca and learner Katie; you'll be the "second learner." Coffee Break Italian features audio, video and text materials and is perfect for beginners through intermediate students.
  6. Rick's Rome Rick Zullo’s podcast topics range from useful pronunciation advice and general language tips to dating in Italy and Italian superstitions. An all-round fabulous talk show with just the right amount of humour and cultural insight.
  7. Ciao Citalia Join Romina and Clive as they take you on the journey to fluent Italian! A great evening listen if you've got an upcoming holiday booked to the romantic country with everything from restaurant language tips to survival phrases!
  8. Studentessa Matta  This blog promotes the study of Italian language and culture through dual-language posts. On the site, you will find lots of free ways to practice and improve your Italian skills, as well as encouragement, inspiration and insight about language learning and traveling in Italy based on personal and unique experiences.  
  9. Bleeding Espresso Michelle started Bleeding Espresso to keep in touch with family and friends as well as to build up a freelance writing business. In the years since it began, the blog has become a wonderful source of insight into Italian life in the medieval hilltop village of Badolato. You'll also find  interesting books, recipes and traditions — the perfect companion to your Italian language lessons.
  10. Italian Grammar (Barron's Grammar) Our favourite fast-reference Italian grammar guide. Whether you're a student or a translator, this book offers pocket-sized language knowledge when you really need it.

And, of course, I’m partial to this listing:


LBL paperback coverSince its publication in 2009, La Bella Lingua has become a New York Times best-seller as well as a highly recommended resource by various associations of Italian teachers. The reason is that it offers a unique combination of an accurate history and depiction of the language and an engaging writing style. The book has motivated hundreds of people studying Italian to learn the language, provides insights into Italian culture  and adds to their enjoyment of Italy and Italian.


I advise sampling different types of learning resources. You’re sure to find some  that will deepen your understanding and enthusiasm for Italian–and enjoy yourself along the way.


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