four ipads with webistes to learn italian for free online

22 Best Websites To Learn Italian

As long as you have an internet connection and a bit of free time, you have everything you need to learn Italian without ever setting foot in a classroom—and without breaking the bank.

Read on to discover 22 of the best websites to learn Italian for free online, all of which are either completely free or allow users to access free features such as blogs, lessons and video content.

Contents

1. Memrisememrise logo

Website | iOS | Android

A website that teaches you new vocabulary through SRS (Spaced Repetition System) flashcards and games.

Level: All levels

Price: Free, with the option to upgrade to the premium version

Memrise lets you learn Italian for free with tons of free courses. It makes learning fun instead of a chore by presenting its lessons as a series of games and flashcards.

All of Memrise’s flashcards use mnemonics—memorization aids that use images or phrases to help retain information faster. This makes Memrise great for new Italian learners because it starts at the beginning and helps you to build up a vocabulary in a memorable, enjoyable way.

Memrise is devoted almost entirely to learning new vocabulary. Each Memrise lesson comprises at least five new words, which you must learn before moving on to the next lesson.

Memrise teaches vocabulary using the SRS method, which counteracts the brain’s natural forgetfulness by showing you words just as you’re about to forget them. This method will help cement these vocabulary words in your long-term memory.

You can read our full Memrise review here.

2. FluentU

fluentu-logo

Website | iOS | Android

FluentU turns short, authentic language videos into immersive language lessons through interactive subtitles and other learning tools.

Level: All levels

Price: Free trial, monthly and annual subscriptions available

FluentU exposes you to Italian spoken in real life, helping you improve your natural speech.

Here are a few features on FluentU that make this process seamless:

  • Short, authentic Italian videos. The videos in the FluentU library are curated by language experts specifically with language learners in mind. They cover everything from news reports and vlogs to movie trailers and inspiring talks so you’re able to see and hear exactly how Italian is used by native speakers.
  • Interactive subtitles. A useful things about this program is the interactive subtitles that come with each video. If you come across a word or phrase you’re not familiar with, just tap it for information such as pronunciation notes, a contextual definition and other videos that also include the term. Plus, you can pause the video by just hovering your cursor over the subtitles.
  • Multimedia flashcards. The site also has SRS flashcards for memorizing vocabulary words that you discover. You can make your own sets or choose from readymade decks, then test yourself through quizzes that require you to speak your answers.
  • Video dictionary. It’s important to understand how words are used in different contexts, as one word may have several meanings depending on the situation. The video dictionary feature gives you an in-depth understanding of contextual definitions of words and phrases by showing you different videos where that term is used in context.

3. Online Italian ClubOnline Italian Club logo

Website

This website contains a ton of online material including articles, listening exercises, conversation prompts and recordings, vocabulary and verb lists and online lessons.

Level: All levels

Price: Free, Skype lessons available at a charge

Here are some of the main features of Online Italian Club:

  • Membership. Becoming an official member is free and comes with some amazing benefits. You receive up to three free lessons per week and they often include vocabulary tests and audio exercises.
  • Conversations. One of the best features that Online Italian Club has to offer is its recorded conversations. These always include at least two Italian speakers and an increase in speed and difficulty as your skills improve. The full transcript of the conversation is provided too.
  • Options for all levels. The levels are arranged according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Ranging from A1 (Beginner) to C2 (Proficiency or Mastery), there is something here for students of every imaginable skill level.
  • Classes and readers. Online Italian Club also offers links to Skype Italian lessons taught by reputable tutors from their site. If you are more of an independent learner, the Club also offers Italian “readers,” which are short, downloadable e-books featuring stories for learners at various levels.

4. DuolingoDuolingo logo

Website | iOS | Android

This gamified app is extremely user-friendly and covers many aspects of the Italian language in a relaxed and fun way. 

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free, with the option to upgrade to Duolingo Plus

Duolingo has over 120 million users and has won several awards. The sheer amount of material in its free online Italian course is impressive.

The lessons are like quick tests that exercise your skills in vocabulary and retention by having you translate sentences, fill in the blanks or define words. They also have audio tests for pronunciation.

More features include:

  • Skill tracking. Duolingo keeps track of how much you have learned and how often you practice. The more you practice, the more experience points you earn.
  • Daily reminders. When you create an account and complete your first lesson, you start a “streak” that continues as long as you work on your skills daily. If you skip a day, you go back to zero (your lessons stay completed, but your ego deflates a bit when you see that your streak went from 167 days to zero!)
  • Weakest words. Duolingo keeps track of the words you miss the most during the exercises.
  • Duolingo’s desktop version has articles to read in Italian.

Read our full Duolingo review here.

5. Live LinguaLive Lingua logo

Website

The practical and comprehensive courses give a great overview of the Italian language, and provide audio files and a recording feature along with e-books.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free

Live Lingua uses the same materials that are used by the United States Foreign Services Institute, which teaches foreign affairs officials another language.

Some of the resources include free downloadable audio files, e-books and a recording feature.

Materials are separated into the following sections:

  • FSI Italian Headstart. This section focuses on pronunciation and simple things, such as the alphabet and the numeric system, while briefly introducing conversational skills and techniques.
  • FSI Italian Programmed Course. Starting with introductions to things like letter sounds, this course starts at the very basics and then explains grammatical aspects, including number and gender distinctions, nouns and verb tenses.
  • Italian FAST Course Volume 1 & Volume 2. These courses are the ones that many government officials use when trying to learn a foreign language quickly and efficiently. FAST stands for “Familiarization and Short-Term,” and is a training course designed to toss you into a language and have you get by on just what you know.

Each course section includes an e-book textbook and audio files for each lesson. If you’re curious about FSI courses in general, here’s an in-depth guide.

6. ItalianPod101ItalianPod101 logo

Website | iOS | Android

These audio-based lessons expose you to spoken Italian and improve your listening comprehension while teaching other language elements.

Level: All levels

Price: Free, premium account available for access to exclusive content

ItalianPod101 has free lessons in podcast form for all levels.

Here are some of the features ItalianPod101 offers:

  • Lessons. ItalianPod101 has thousands of lessons to offer, and more are always being added. These lessons are available in both audio and video forms.
  • Flashcards and lesson notes. Flashcards and downloadable PDF notes accompany each lesson. These features can help you focus on the concepts introduced in the lessons and enable you to practice your vocabulary even when you are not listening to the podcast.
  • Community. ItalianPod101 lets you interact with other Italian speakers, as well. You can discuss lessons with other students and even chat with them in a forum designed to foster a sense of community, which is a great way to increase your confidence.

Read our review of Innovative Language (the company behind ItalianPod101) here.

7. One World ItalianoOne World Italiano logo

Website

This website provides endless resources around Italian grammar, culture, vocabulary, verbs, reading, listening and more, as well as authentic materials from newspapers and TV shows.

Level: All levels

Price: Free

Developed by an Italian language school in Cagliari, Italy, this site is Italian taught by Italians.

Here are a few of this site’s best features:

  • Courses. The courses cover grammar, verb tenses and conversations, and include reading, writing and listening exercises.
  • Videos. One World Italiano has many video resources for audio and visual learning. These include YouTube videos that come with various comprehension exercises and movie trailers for films that have been dubbed and released in Italy. With these, you get a real feel for how Italians speak, which will do wonders for your own pronunciation and listening skills.
  • News and culture. One World Italiano has links to Italy’s biggest and most popular news outlets, including Rai News and Corriere della Sera. They also have grammar and comprehension exercises based on passages about Italian customs and culture so that you can learn even more.

8. Language TransferLanguage Transfer logo

Website | iOS | Android

This website is based on audio lessons that deliver an unconventional but effective teaching method.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free, donations are welcome

The brainchild of linguist Mihalis Eleftheriou, “The Thinking Method” revolves around the concept of transferring what you already know from English into Italian. Because it encourages your brain to make connections, the idea is that you also avoid having to learn the language from scratch.

Here are some great features of the site:

  • Listen to episodes on several platforms. For ease of listening, you can listen to the episodes either on the Language Transfer app, SoundCloud and even YouTube.
  • Download all the files for offline learning. You can download the audio files in their entirety to your computer, and use them when you can’t access the internet. 
  • Learn from the other learner. Instead of making the mistakes yourself, you can listen to your fellow Italian learners as they progress through the audio course.

9. OpenLearnOpen Learn logo

Website

This website offers university-level Italian courses, without the university price tag.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free

When it comes to education, universities are usually ahead of the field. Unfortunately, not everyone can attend them, nor afford the often expensive course costs.

The Open Learn University is an online charity that gives you access to various educational courses. And lucky for us, that includes Italian courses. Here are some specific courses worth looking into:

  • Beginners’ Italian: Food and Drink. Who doesn’t like Italian food and drink? Here’s your chance to combine your love of the Italian language with your love of Italian food! It even includes a section on famous cafés.
  • Italian for travel activity. While not a course, this activity helps test your Italian skills via an interactive journey through Italy.
  • Intermediate Italian: Describing People. For immediate learners, this course will expand your knowledge around describing people’s physical appearance, making comparisons and talking about their personality, plus some extra activities.

10. Coffee Break ItalianCoffee Break Italian logo

Website | iOS 

This website provides short, engaging and informative Italian lessons in the form of podcasts, with premium options for courses and other resources.

Level: All levels

Price: Free, monthly subscriptions to The Coffee Break Italian Club

Join hosts Mark and Francesca as they thoroughly explain everything from basic words to complex grammar elements.

The podcasts are entertaining and enjoyable to listen to and come in digestible 15 to 20-minute episodes (incidentally, the length of time that a coffee break might take!).

Some of the best features include:

  • Relaxed learning. The lessons are slow and relatively easy to follow.
  • Easy navigation through episodes. Each season is conveniently broken into different levels, with season one, season two and season three reflecting beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. 
  • Italian courseFor $20/month, you can sign up to The Coffee Break Italian Club, which provides you with reading activities every Monday, listening activities every Wednesday and a video lesson every Friday.

Coffee Break Languages has a bunch of other languages which they teach in much the same way, so if you want a bit more info you can read our full review on Coffee Break Spanish here.

11. The Italian ExperimentThe Italian Experiment logo

Website

This beautifully designed website teaches Italian through stories and free lessons.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free

The Italian Experiment includes several free resources on its website.

Created by New Zealander Aletta, it’s one of several effective language learning websites that follow the same format and method.

There are three main elements to the website:

  • Italian Children’s Stories. This section involves learning from several traditional children’s stories—such as Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears—which have been translated into Italian. Because the stories are relatively simple and well-known, they’re ideal to learn from and include transcripts, English translations and even audio!
  • Online Italian Lessons. The beginner Italian lessons come complete with audio and cover a number of important topics: talking about your family, asking for directions, time concepts, possessive adjectives, numbers and more.
  • Italian Course Reviews. If you want a bit more support learning Italian, The Italian Experiment gives its honest opinion about a number of popular online courses that you can study at home.

12. Loecsen ItalianLoecsen Italian logo

Website | iOS | Android

This Italian website bases learning around simple, interactive flashcards that cover a range of practical topics.

Level: Beginner 

Price: Free, small fee to download the content

While everyone loves a nice flashy website, sometimes the basics are all you need—especially when the content is effective and highly practical, like in the case of Loecsen Italian. Lessons consist of Italian text and an English translation, Italian audio and rather endearing stick figures which act out the phrases. 

These are some of my favorite aspects of the website:

  • Downloadable content. You can download the audio and text as MP3 and PDF files for a small fee of about $8.
  • Stick figures and simple images. Initially, I didn’t particularly like the images, but their simplicity is great and they serve well to help you picture a similar situation in real life.
  • Easily applicable phrases. As mentioned, the practicality of the phrases and vocabulary used is a big plus. It covers topics such as conversation, family, feelings, restaurants, beach and colors.

13. Italian Mastery

italian mastery youtube logo YouTube channel

This YouTube channel offers a free comprehensive beginner Italian course.

Level: Beginner

Price: Free

Italian Mastery is a YouTube channel that features a comprehensive beginner course. The videos range from one to twenty minutes, making them easy to fit into your busy schedule.

What’s great about Italian Mastery is that it doesn’t just spit rapid-fire Italian at you and expect you to understand. Claudio, the teacher behind Italian Mastery, speaks slowly and then breaks each sentence down on-screen.

The text of each sentence is displayed, and as he explains each word or structure, the relevant words are highlighted to guide your learning.

By the time you finish, not only do you know how to say new phrases but you’ll also have a better understanding of functional Italian grammar and vocabulary. 

14. 50LANGUAGES50 languages logo

Website | iOS | Android

A 100-lesson Italian course to teach you various topics like conversation, grammar, travel and business.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Price: Free

50LANGUAGES teaches Italian using a 100-lesson course. The topics range from small talk and travel to grammar and business issues.

Each lesson introduces core vocabulary on a particular subject, with audio and helpful sentences included.

There are other resources in addition to the 100-lesson course. Online vocabulary cards teach more than 2,000 words. You can also try out crossword puzzles in Italian or do drills through language quizzes and number practice.

15. edXedx logo

Website | iOS | Android

A platform for finding MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and free university Italian courses.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free, with a fee for certificates

edX is an outstanding resource for learners who aren’t set on a particular learning program.

You can learn Italian for free with a huge variety of courses. The courses are self-paced too, which makes them ideal for busy learners. 

  • Italian Language and Culture: Beginner. This is a great course for beginning learners. It teaches the core skills of listening, speaking, writing and reading. Culture is stressed as heavily as the language itself so expect lots of authentic conversation, culturally relevant videos, reading assignments and interviews discussing Italian cultural issues.
  • Storia Economica (Economic History). This course covers the history of world economics and is a fun way to power up Italian skills while learning something new! (Side note: I’m currently enrolled in this one and am really enjoying it!)

16. Speak Italian With Your Mouth FullSpeak Italian with Your Mouth Full logo

Website

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full is an undergraduate course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Level: Beginner

Price: Free

This archived, free online Italian course taught by Dr. Paola Rebusco uses cooking to help students learn Italian.

It’s fun and informative—and there are even incredible recipes for learners to use! Believe me, the recipes justify taking the course—the biscotti and eggplant parmesan taste so authentic you’ll think you’re in a Roman pizzeria!

This is an excellent method for learning the Italian language while gaining some cultural insights into Italy, its people and its food

There are video lectures, cooking videos, assignments, activities and casual discussions about all things Italian. Future Italian cooking will be a breeze with the recipes, explanations and relevant Italian chats close at hand!

17. Learn Italian with Lucrezia

YouTube channel

A YouTube Italian course for all levels, beginner through advanced.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free

Lucrezia is an Italian woman living in Rome who’s so charming learners feel as if they’re visiting with a migliore amica (best friend) rather than taking language lessons!

Videos cover every essential Italian topic—from beginner to advanced.

There are grammar reviews, lessons on how to accent words, activities for learning to write basic sentences and so much more. There are recipe vlogs to teach you to make Italian dishes like a scrumptious carbonara. A lot of the videos even have subtitles and excellent diagrams. 

Lucrezia also writes an informative blog in addition to the YouTube channel. Reading the blog in Italian (it’s possible to have it translated into English by choosing that option in the top right-hand corner of the blog’s home page) is a neat way to learn about Italy while powering up reading skills.

18. Parliamo italiano! (We Speak Italian!) parliamo italiano logo

Website

Vocabulary, grammar, audio and video lessons for Italian levels A1 to C2.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free

Parliamo italiano! features coursework for learners at every level, from basic to advanced. There are reading exercises, grammar and vocabulary lessons and much more.

Beginning learners will benefit from the simple Italian dialogues with English transcripts. These dialogues build upon one another, using words learned in previous lessons. 

Many of the lessons also focus on Italian cultural issues. There are fairy tales, lessons on famous Italians and exercises pertaining to recipes.

You’ll even find an entire section on art topics that’s incredibly entertaining, bringing Italian culture to life for learners. For example, the section on Italian opera explains every important Italian opera in detail. This is a fantastic spot for practicing reading skills while learning about some culturally significant music!

19. ielanguages.comielanguages logo

Website

Grammar, vocabulary and conversation lessons for Italian beginners.

Level: Beginner

Price: Free, with paid options

ielanguages.com offers Italian lessons that cover enough essential grammar, vocabulary and conversational topics to give even beginning learners a solid foundation.

This is a super resource for building vocabulary. Each lesson offers a long list of relevant words and phrases, and most are presented in chart form so they’re easy to read. And if there’s a word you need to look up, there’s most likely a lesson pertaining to the subject.

Some of the lessons provide flashcards, like those found in the Useful Words category. Practicing vocabulary with flashcards turns this language exercise into a game, so use the flashcards when they’re available!

This course covers everyday essentials, like shopping and going to the bankIt’s a fabulous resource for anyone who’s planning a trip to Italy and is interested in gaining basic skills before departing.

20. My Language Exchange my language exchange logo

Website

A website for finding Italian language exchange partners.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free

There are a lot of language exchange apps that connect people from all over the world, like My Language Exchange.

You might begin by emailing or messaging your partner but try to start video chatting as soon as possible. To get the most out of free Italian lessons through an exchange, remember that speaking is the best way to improve!

If you live in a big city, organizing face-to-face Italian lessons might be easier.

Just look up the name of your city plus the word “Italians” on Facebook, and there will likely be a group dedicated to bringing Italians in that area together.

When you meet up, let your exchange partner know you’re serious about learning and improving. Bring books, exercises and give your partner homework if they want it!

21. Global Penfriends global penfriends logo

Website

A website to find Italian pen pals.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free

This website helps you find Italian pen pals—you can talk to them online or even send letters the old-fashioned way.

Italians will be eager to start a correspondence and help you learn Italian for free, but you’ll need to help them in exchange!

You’ll get some great experience with Italian grammar and sentence structure with a knowledgeable teacher. Be sure to repay the favor by being a good English teacher for them.

Make sure to encourage them to correct you at every opportunity, ask them lots of questions and get suggestions of good Italian resources (TV shows, movies, books, etc.). Form a friendship based on respect and commitment and you’ll both improve quickly.

22. Fluent Simplelearn-italian-online-for-free-with-audio

Website

Level: Beginner to advanced

Price: Free; premium content for free 7-day trial, then starts at $19.90 a month

The philosophy of Fluent Simple is to do away with standard grammar book-style learning and instead focus on the spoken and conversational aspects of the language. The site offers 10 free audio-based lessons to help you confidently speak the language.

They also have a solid number of audio short stories that make the language really come alive, dropping cultural insights along the way. Speaking of stories, the site also offers news in slow Italian.

Fluent Simple provides Italian language learners with clearly spoken Italian, as well as a text option.

The audio lessons are perfect for beginners and intermediate language learners who want to immerse themselves in the language from the comfort of their home or car.

 

Any one of these websites would be a great place to learn Italian for free online, but if you really want to immerse yourself in italiano (Italian), try using as many of them as you can keep up with!

And be sure to check out some print or e-books, too.

With all this knowledge at your fingertips, you will speak Italian like un nativo (a native) in no time!

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