Image by Federico Beccari

Top Resources for Learning

Italian

Do you want to finally become fluent in Italian and feel like a local in countries where Italian is spoken? Find below a summary of my top recommendations for tools and resources that will help you learn this beautiful language.  I've personally tried and tested all of them and selected the ones that I found to be most effective, user-friendly, and fun. Mix and match them, and use 3 or 4 of them interchangeably to keep your motivation high and attention span - focused. 

   

Best audio course

This is my #1 recommendation for anyone starting to learn Italian or trying to improve their listening and pronunciation skills. The 30-minute lessons are easy to fit into your schedule, and they do wonders for pronunciation and speaking skills!

 

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: *****

Cost:

   

Best live lessons with a tutor

Learning a language successfully is impossible without interacting with native speakers and getting lots of speaking practice. This app gives you access to thousands of professional and community teachers, and you can book private online courses with them for as little as US$ an hour!

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $$

Best learning through story

This online course has the most impressive innovative way to teach you Italian through immersion into an addictive and super-fun story. Rather than following a standard curriculum of grammar, sample dialogues, etc., the teaching happens by engaging you into a creative story context, and it's surprisingly effective! Although access to this course is on the pricier side, it's one of the best investments you can make to help you learn Italian, and it's totally worth it.

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $$$

Best free YouTube courses

Enjoy this free YouTube channel with excellent Italian classes from a very fun teacher Manu. His content is engaging, fun, and really effective! He covers the basics as well as challenging grammar concepts. This would be an excellent complement to other learning tools you are using. Manu also has comprehensive and very good paid courses on his website

Effectiveness: ***

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  

   

Best bite-size lessons

This website and app have great short 10-15 minute videos and podcasts with lessons from beginner to advanced level, flashcards, dialogues, grammar break-down, and vocab lists. Premium plans give access to a tutor for accountability and faster progress. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $$ 

   

Best app for busy people

Mondly is a fun game-style app that teaches you vocabulary through core words and phrases. The app breaks the learning process down into short lessons and puts them into themed packs. It has great visuals and is easy to use if your schedule is too busy for more structured or intensive courses. A free version has a lot of good content, but more complete premium access is also a bargain.

Effectiveness: ***

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $

Best on-the-go app

This is my favorite app to train my memory and retain vocabulary in Italian. It uses spaced repetition system to help you remember words and phrases more effectively. It also has a great game-like interface, making this app a fun and exciting pass-time. And you can complete a session in as little as 5 minutes, making it very easy to practice your Italian on a break or during a commute. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $

Best Grammar Course

This non-traditional grammar course helps you learn Italian grammar by "internalizing" it and helping you see how grammar is being used in context. Like other courses from StoryLearning.com, this one teaches you the language through story and helps you understand grammar without memorizing endless rules. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $$$

   

Best progressive course

For me, Rocket Languages is like learning on steroids. It has great audio content, comprehensive vocabulary-building tools, pronunciation training, solid grammar break-down, and a steady path for progression. It's a pricier course and somewhat trickier to do on-the-go, but it's incredibly well-structured and effective.

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ***

Cost: $$$ 

Best podcast

This is my favorite podcast for learning Italian. Its 20-25 minute episodes teach useful vocabulary, every-day phrases, grammar, and culture, and do so in a progressive and easy-to-follow way. There are over a hundred episodes starting with the very beginner level and going all the way to advanced. The podcast is completely free, although premium content is available for a small subscription fee. 

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ***

Cost:  

Best app for learning with audiobooks

This fun app helps you learn Languages with Audiobooks and Music. The app shows the exact same text in two languages, side by side, so you can compare the two and learn the language in context. And all texts have audio narration! The texts go from fairy tales and news to science papers and novels, and new ones are added every week. You can listen to a native speaker narrate at your preferred speed (even with your phone locked or while offline) and take tests to assess your comprehension.

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $

Best course for spoken Italian

This Conversations course from StoryLearning.com helps you understand real Italian and transform your listening skills. It's based on recorded short conversations on a variety of topics between two native speakers who speak the way people actually speak on the street, so you really get an ear for the sounds. This course is quite pricey, but its quality and great results justify this price and make the course worth it. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $$$