The 30 Best Online Italian Language Courses for 2021
If you haven’t put a language course on your to-do list yet, now’s the time.
These structured, expert-taught resources are the keys to mastering the most important Italian skills and taking the next big step toward fluency.
I’ve sifted through the most popular Italian courses online and conducted an in-depth review of each one’s features to find which ones work for every type of learner. Below I’ve hand-selected the best of the best to get you started on your Italian journey.
- The 30 Best Online Italian Language Courses for 2021
- Best Free Course: FSI Italian Fast
- Best Audiovisual Course: FluentU
- Most Flexible Course: Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Online Italian Courses
- Best Immersion Course: Rosetta Stone Italian
- Best for Busy Learners: Duolingo Italian
- Best for Travelers: Italian Level 1: Master Speaking Italian
- Best Course for Speaking Practice: Speechling Italian
- Best All-in-One Course: Mondly Italian
- Most Content: Rocket Italian
- Best Course for the Basics: OUINO Italian
- Most Practical Course: Instant Italian from ed2go
- Best Course to Improve Pronunciation: Glossika Italian
- Best Structured Course: Learn Italian Language: Complete Italian Course for Beginners from Udemy
- Best for Young Learners: Infinite Italian (iOS | Android)
- Best Range of Learning Materials: ItalianPod101
- Best Course for Listening Practice: Pimsleur Italian
- Most Stress-Free Learning Course: Michel Thomas Italian
- Best Flashcard App: MosaLingua Italian App
- Most Diverse Courses: Italy Made Easy
- Best Cultural Course: Italiano Automatico (Automatic Italian)
- Best One-on-One Lessons: Rype Italian
- Best Course for Beginners: Let’s Speak Italian! Podcast
- Best Audio Course: LingQ Italian
- Best Course for Daily Life: CoffeeBreak Italian
- Best for Intermediate Learners: Easy Italian
- Best for Self-Directed Learners: OnlineItalianClub.com
- Best Course for Self-Study: CyberItalian
- Best Classroom-like Course: Italian Language and Culture: Beginner from edX
- Best for Serious Learners: Babbel Italian Language Course
- Best Video Course: One World Italiano
- Why Take an Italian Language Course?
The 30 Best Online Italian Language Courses for 2021
These days, there are so many Italian courses available online, so it can be hard to know which is the right fit for you.
Whatever your learning style, check out these 30 online Italian language courses. You’re sure to find something that suits your needs!
Best Free Course: FSI Italian Fast
Summary: A structured and fully-formed Italian course that uses a textbook-based approach.
Our first online Italian course is an oldie but a goodie.
FSI Italian Fast is actually a course that was developed by the U.S. government for diplomats and other government workers. That means it’s targeted and concise, and it focuses on getting learners to speak effectively to native Italian speakers as soon as possible!
Further, this governmental course is in the public domain, meaning it’s absolutely free to access.
The FSI Italian Fast course mixes a textbook-based approach with hours of audio recordings. And I’m not exaggerating: there are literally hours of professional, government-grade recordings accompanying the Italian lessons.
This course is perfect for growing your comprehension alongside your communication skills and allows you to develop that awesome Italian accent and intonation.
In addition to the instruction material, this course contains many exercises for you to practice and perfect your Italian.
After this course, you can expect to be proficient in the most basic and common Italian conversations and ready to tackle a more comprehensive and grammar-focused program.
See our full review of FSI Courses here.
Best Audiovisual Course: FluentU
Summary: Video-based learning platform that uses authentic media clips to teach Italian, equipped with interactive subtitles, flashcards and quizzes.
Looking to learn Italian the authentic way?
How about with contemporary Italian videos covering any topic you’re interested in?
FluentU is an app that immerses you in the language through authentic videos and content made by and for native speakers. The videos cover a variety of topics from news reports and music videos to drama clips and movie trailers. Each video has easily accessible language interactive subtitles to help you understand every word.
When you are learning Italian, it’s not always easy to access real Italian media without having to look up every word. But with the video player in FluentU, you can hover over any word in the captions to see the meaning. When you click on a word, you can find the definition, examples sentences and links to other videos in which the word is used.
The program is also equipped with personalized quizzes to help reinforce new vocabulary and grammar points. And each quiz has audio so you can practice your listening skills, as well as pronunciation and intonation.
Aside from quizzes, the app has a built-in flashcard system that uses spaced repetition software–an algorithm that is one of the best techniques for remembering vocabulary. This means that every day, you’ll get flashcard reviews based on which words you’re most likely to forget.
No matter if you are a beginner or more advanced, FluentU has videos that match your level.
Most Flexible Course: Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Online Italian Courses
Summary: Online zoom courses for learners with different schedules and priorities.
With online Italian courses for beginner, elementary, intermediate and advanced students, the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci promises full Italian immersion from the comfort of your home.
After taking a placement test, you’ll be assigned to the appropriate class according to your level.
Classes are delivered via the Zoom platform, with a maximum of 14 students.
One of the best things about taking a course at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci is that you can start your course whenever you want (courses start every two weeks all year round), and you can even decide if you want to attend the morning or the afternoon classes.
There are four different kinds of courses learners can choose from:
- Intensive—four hours of class every day
- Part-time—two classes per week
- Private lessons—you design your own Italian course
- The Junior program—for children between 10 and 15.
With native Italian teachers and a focus on immersion in both the Italian language and its culture, you’ll find exactly what you need with just a couple of clicks.
Best Immersion Course: Rosetta Stone Italian
Summary: An immersive learning program that teaches Italian through photos in an intuitive way.
Rosetta Stone is, well… the Rosetta Stone of learning Italian!
By that, I mean that it’s perhaps one of the oldest language learning software programs, and it has completely stood the test of time.
In fact, the first Rosetta Stone was released as a CD-ROM back in 1992 and, to date, millions of people worldwide have used it to learn a language.
Rosetta Stone is available in many formats.
Its CD-ROM iteration can be bought in online marketplaces such as Amazon. You can download the program for a lifetime account at a flat price. You can also pay a monthly subscription fee for its online iteration, and there’s also an app for on-the-go learning.
Rosetta Stone uses a method called “Dynamic Immersion” to help users learn Italian. That means that it uses authentic Italian audio as well as visual cues and input exercises to teach the language.
Rosetta Stone Italian follows a detailed curriculum and is stretched over five courses, spanning beginner to advanced levels.
The lessons are built around phrases and authentic conversations. Learners must read and listen to genuine Italian content and then write words and phrases in Italian.
There are also clear and concise grammar lessons, and Rosetta Stone’s speech technology, TruAccent, which allows learners to work on their pronunciation.
Some plans even include live tutoring with actual native speakers.
Best for Busy Learners: Duolingo Italian
Summary: A fun Italian learning app that builds vocabulary and sentence structure through game-like quizzes and challenges.
Unlike many other language courses on this list, Duolingo is completely free!
Like Rosetta Stone, Duolingo is immensely popular, and as of June 2021, there are over 40 million people who use Duolingo for learning Italian.
Duolingo’s Italian lessons are based on a language learning “tree.” In essence, this is a curriculum for learning Italian from scratch.
The tree contains multiple modules revolving around a specific topic. Each module contains multiple lessons that teach common phrases and vocabulary around that topic.
Each lesson includes speaking, reading, writing and listening practice as well as grammar notes. You can choose to level up topics for more practice or advanced learning.
To move forward in the “tree,” learners have to complete the preceding modules, so learning is very much guided.
There’s also a simple solution for non-beginner Italian learners: new users can take an Italian proficiency test and, based on results, start further in the “tree” so as to not relearn beginner topics.
See our full review of Duolingo here.
Best for Travelers: Italian Level 1: Master Speaking Italian
Summary: A two-part course that covers an intro to the Italian language and a travel guide.
This course was created by Dillon March, the Travelling Linguist.
It actually includes two courses: an Italian introductory course and a travel guide throughout Italy.
The Italian language course is recommended for beginner learners and occasional travelers who want to get the basics of Italian to be able to introduce themselves, order at restaurants, check into a hotel, deal with public transportation or give and ask for directions, among other travel-related topics.
The travel guide part of the course includes modules on some of the most popular Italian cities.
In these modules, Dillon gives learners valuable information about the cities together with key language aspects that will make communication easier. He’ll also share his favorite must-see places.
Best Course for Speaking Practice: Speechling Italian
Summary: An app that uses audio and a recording feature to help you perfect your speaking skills.
Speechling Italian is the perfect language course for speaking practice.
It mixes flashcards and speaking practice, with an added bonus of native-speaker support.
Speechling Italian presents common Italian words and phrases via audio flashcards.
Like Duolingo, Speechling also uses the “tree” format to structure its course offerings with decks available for beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert learners. There are even decks available for specific topics such as transportation, health and verbs.
Once you’ve chosen the level or topic deck you want to learn, Speechling uses Spaced Repetition System (SRS) technology to perfectly time flashcard review so the words and phrases stay in your brain.
Each flashcard allows you to see the Italian word and its translation as well as hear the word and record your own audio for each flashcard.
While the base of Speechling is available for free online, learners can opt to pay for a premium account.
That premium account gives you the opportunity to have your recorded audio evaluated by native speakers for tips on how to improve pronunciation.
Best All-in-One Course: Mondly Italian
Summary: A comprehensive Italian course that uses immersion techniques with a guided structure.
Mondly is a great all-around Italian language course that takes the strengths from immersion-esque programs such as Rosetta Stone with the structure of courses like Duolingo.
It’s a paid language learning program, and subscriptions can be purchased in one-month or three-month intervals.
Primarily, Mondly teaches Italian through pictures, phrases and conversations.
Learners follow a visual map of topics to progress through the course, and each “destination” on the map revolves around a particular topic.
Each lesson contains crystal-clear native Italian audio. The lessons also use matching exercises, sentence-building exercises and speech recognition technology to get learners to use the language.
The conversations featured on Mondly are also recorded by native speakers, and the included flashcards can be studied at regular intervals through SRS technology.
Additionally, learners can even have an Italian chat conversation with the Mondly bot, an artificial intelligence program to enhance learning.
Most Content: Rocket Italian
Summary: A comprehensive full Italian course in an app with high-quality content.
Created by Rocket Languages, Rocket Italian is a comprehensive online course perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.
Rocket Italian has several features that allow you to learn the language “your way.”
If you tend to commute or prefer to learn through audio, you’ll find the audio lessons very useful.
The lessons include an Italian native speaker and an American-Italian native speaker who have conversations about different topics. They use these conversations to explain different aspects of the Italian language.
There are also language and cultural lessons for students who prefer a more classroom-like way of learning. However, these lessons are interactive and include audio, explanations and exercises, so the overall experience is very engaging and fun.
Rocket Italian also has lists of phrases with voice recognition so you can practice your speaking skills, and there’s also an app you can download to learn on the go.
You can get access to Rocket Italian by buying any of the plans available on their website. And to get a taste of what learning with this method looks like, you can sign up for a free trial.
See our full review of Rocket Languages here.
Best Course for the Basics: OUINO Italian
Summary: An online course that covers a foundation for learning Italian including in-depth explanations.
The OUINO program aims to help Italian learners excel in the two tools needed to speak Italian fluently: a strong core method and external sources.
They claim that external sources are the things that help you create an artificial immersion and fall in love with the language (like books, movies and TV shows). The strong core method, they say, is OUINO’s Italian course.
The course itself can be accessed for a monthly subscription fee, but learners can also opt to buy lifetime access.
Unlike other Italian language courses, learners can choose their own learning path. There’s no set curriculum for learners to follow, so they can choose which topics they believe are the most useful to their Italian language journey.
The course’s lessons include explanations of grammar and vocabulary, as well as exercises to reinforce what’s been learned.
There are also handy “Building Blocks” modules that teach the structure of the Italian language so that an infinite amount of sentences can be created after completion.
OUINO Languages also includes various tools to support the course. These include a verb conjugator, vocabulary lists, audio and written conversations and pronunciation practice.
Most Practical Course: Instant Italian from ed2go
Summary: A beginner’s Italian course that teaches the basics of daily life, perfect for those who will soon travel or live in Italy.
If Italian travel is in your near future, this six-week online course from ed2go will set you up with the basics of the language and load you up with the kind of practical knowledge you’ll need while abroad.
You’ll start with basic greetings, the alphabet and pronunciation, and work all the way up to shopping and eating out in restaurants.
Instant Italian—which is taught by a real college-level instructor—provides the audio of words and phrases, dialogues, exercises and more.
You’ll learn not just the language but also the historical and cultural context you need to make your way around Italy, including gestures.
This course, while still very flexible, is a little less so than some others on this list, as it’s suggested that you complete each lesson during the two weeks after it’s released in order to gain access to a corresponding interactive discussion area.
This might make it a good option for those who need to learn basic Italian in a limited amount of time or want to push themselves.
Even if you’re not planning on traveling anytime soon, this is a great starter course for anyone looking to get their feet wet with the Italian language and culture.
Best Course to Improve Pronunciation: Glossika Italian
Summary: A course in which students learn Italian vocabulary and pronunciation through repetition exercises.
Glossika is a superb tool that will help learners get in contact with Italian as it’s spoken by native speakers.
Theoretically, students at any level (A1-C2) can use this course, but if you’re a total beginner, I recommend you learn some Italian basics before you start.
Glossika is based on repetition, and there’s a lot of it.
After you take a placement test, you’ll be assigned a language level and will start listening to random sentences time and time again in short mini sessions.
Each mini session includes five sentences that will be repeated several times. Every time you listen to a sentence, a rep (repetition) is counted, and when you reach 30 reps, the mini session ends.
These sentences can be related to any topic, from numbers and health to restaurants and work.
The audio is professional and has been recorded by native speakers, so you know you’re in direct contact with real, native Italian.
There are two ways in which you can learn and interact with Glossika.
On the one hand, you can choose the Listening Only mode. This will give you sentences in your native language (which you have to choose when signing in) followed by their Italian translation.
On the other hand, you can go for the Full Practice mode. This option is also based on repetition, but it allows you to write and practice your pronunciation while doing your reps.
Glossika is a great way of improving your Italian listening and speaking skills, but I wouldn’t recommend it for learners who need a comprehensive learning method or are studying for an official exam, since there are no grammar explanations at all and the cultural aspect of the language is completely non-existent.
Best Structured Course: Learn Italian Language: Complete Italian Course for Beginners from Udemy
Summary: College-level classroom-style Italian lessons in a video-based course.
This Italian language course is run by the popular online learning platform—Udemy.
In short, Udemy offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which are structured courses similar to those offered by universities and colleges but completely open to anyone online.
This course in particular is a full online self-paced Italian course created by AbcEdu Online that can be purchased for a one-time fee.
The course itself includes eight hours of HD video with Italian captions and English subtitles.
Each lesson revolves around said video and the vocabulary and grammar associated with it. The lessons also come with practice exercises as well as a PDF of the lesson’s video and associated content.
Best of all, after you complete the beginner’s course, there’s an intermediate course available.
Best for Young Learners: Infinite Italian (iOS | Android)
Summary: A fun game app that teaches Italian vocabulary.
There’s not a lot to say about the Infinite Italian app other than it’s awesome!
This simple, cute app is one of the best options out there for kids and total beginners who want to learn their very first Italian words.
Designed with visual learners in mind, the app is all about playing to learn (the creators call this the “game-first” learning method).
With sweet pictures, simple animations, no use of English and 30-second levels, this little app will definitely grow on you!
Granted, if you need a complete course to learn Italian, Infinite Italian isn’t your best option, but if you just want to practice basic Italian vocabulary when you have a couple of minutes to spare, this app is where it’s at.
Best Range of Learning Materials: ItalianPod101
Summary: A podcast-style app with content for all learning levels.
ItalianPod101 is from Innovative Language, the company behind the famed Pod101 series.
The Pod101 series offers courses for many languages, including Russian, Finnish and, of course, Italian.
In addition to their courses—which can be completed on their website—they offer a lot of free material on their YouTube channel and in podcast form.
ItalianPod101 offers four “pathways” (courses) for Italian learners depending on their level: Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
These courses can be followed chronologically or completed in whatever order the learner chooses.
The lessons themselves are a mix of grammar and vocabulary, often revolving around a video or audio dialogue that covers a certain topic.
ItalianPod101 offers authentic Italian audio, vocabulary flashcards and in-depth lesson notes. With some plans, ItalianPod101 even includes the help of teachers.
You can learn Italian for free with ItalianPod101 by signing up for a free account on their website. This free account allows you to access the first three lessons in every pathway as well as new lessons added every week.
A monthly or yearly subscription to the Basic, Premium or Premium Plus plans gives you full access to the course as well as add-ons such as audio dialogues, quizzes and an Italian audio dictionary.
Best Course for Listening Practice: Pimsleur Italian
Summary: An audio course that helps beginners develop their listening and speaking skills.
Pimsleur is a series of language learning courses that are based on the research of renowned linguist Paul Pimsleur.
According to his Pimsleur Method, nothing is more important than memory to language learning, and Pimsleur Italian uses Pimsleur’s principles to deliver an effective course.
Primarily, Pimsleur is a structured course that can be followed chronologically.
It uses “Graduated Interval Recall” to help learners move Italian words and phrases learned in authentic content to their long-term memory. To do this, it uses digital flashcards in addition to teaching core vocabulary in the course itself.
Other features include Pimsleur’s Speak Easy speech recognition tool to help master Italian pronunciation and extensive online exercises.
Further, Pimsleur courses are compatible with Amazon Echo devices, so you can master Italian while cooking or cleaning.
Pimsleur can be purchased with a monthly membership.
See our full review of Pimsleur here.
Most Stress-Free Learning Course: Michel Thomas Italian
Summary: An audio-based course that focuses on beginner Italian with a relaxed atmosphere.
Michel Thomas was also a renowned linguist who turned his research into a comprehensive method for learning languages.
This method is based on Michel Thomas’ famed language learning techniques: lots of audio input, a reduction of stress and learning comfort.
In fact, Thomas believed that the best way to learn a language was to create an environment as comfortable as possible, which is definitely something we can all get behind.
(Where are my track pants at?)
There are currently six Michel Thomas courses available for Italian. The beginner’s course, “Foundation Italian,” is an eight-hour audio-based course. It focuses on learning vocabulary, phrases and grammar to begin speaking instantly.
There’s not a ton of authentic Italian audio in the courses, but there are lots of opportunities for learners to participate in the audio exercises.
Originally sold as an audio course in CD-ROM form, you can now download the courses for a one-time, per-course fee.
If you’re interested in testing out the Michel Thomas method, there’s a free lesson available on their website (you have to register to the site to get access to it).
Best Flashcard App: MosaLingua Italian App
Summary: A comprehensive app with a focus on its enormous flashcard bank for Italian vocabulary.
The MosaLingua Italian app was created to help learners of all levels improve their Italian.
Although its strongest feature is the flashcard bank (which includes over 3.5k flashcards), MosaLingua Italian offers much more.
Apart from vocabulary, MosaLingua also includes native audio, grammar bites, verb conjugation and communication tips.
Through dialogues on everyday topics like introducing yourself, answering the phone or asking for help, the app will allow you to immerse yourself in the Italian language without having to leave your house.
The app is free to download, but it offers in-app purchases. These purchases give you access to slang, idioms, additional dialogues, advanced vocabulary, false friends and more Italian grammar, among others.
If I had to choose my two favorite features, I’d go for the possibility to create your own flashcards and the fact that everything you learn can be accessed offline.
Most Diverse Courses: Italy Made Easy
Summary: A course with multiple tracks including simple vocabulary, an audio course, as well as courses for beginner and intermediate learners.
The “Italy Made Easy” Italian courses are based on the successful “Italy Made Easy” YouTube channel.
Manu, the creator of the courses and the YouTube channel, is a native Italian speaker and polyglot who’s passionate about teaching his mother language.
There are multiple “Italy Made Easy” courses offered.
There are straightforward courses for beginner and intermediate learners as well as a course that teaches the language exclusively through Italian podcasts. There’s even a short course that teaches the 400 most common Italian words that’s sure to give your vocabulary a quick boost.
All “Italy Made Easy” courses follow a structured curriculum. There are hundreds of lessons per course covering many vocabulary and grammar topics.
The crux of each course, however, is Italian speaking and listening, with Manu offering lots of authentic Italian in each lesson. In fact, there’s virtually no English used in the intermediate-level lessons.
Best Cultural Course: Italiano Automatico (Automatic Italian)
Summary: A video-based course centered around Italian culture and history.
Like “Italy Made Easy,” Italiano Automatico was originally made as a YouTube channel.
Its creator, Alberto, originally set out to create the #LearnItalianShow, where he offered 300 free video lessons for Italian. Since then, he’s continued to create Italian content on his YouTube channel as well as Italian courses that can be purchased on his website.
Italiano Automatico‘s courses are unique because they revolve almost exclusively around Italy’s rich heritage: its famed food, culture and history.
Further, the Conquista l’italiano (Conquer Italian) course teaches the language primarily through listening and reading interesting and authentic material.
In fact, there’s no explicit memorization of grammar rules or vocabulary. Instead, the course aims to teach the language through the consumption and production of real Italian content.
In addition to the courses, there are over 600 free videos and lessons available on Italiano Automatico’s YouTube channel.
Best One-on-One Lessons: Rype Italian
Summary: A site that connects learners with native Italian speakers for one-on-one lessons over Skype.
Rype is an app and language learning program that was primarily funded through an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign.
In its current form, it’s a paid service for learning Italian with a free trial available.
Rype promises you’ll learn authentic Italian with real native speakers. Instead of memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary tables, the lessons are catered to each individual learner’s needs and their purpose for learning the language.
In fact, during the first lesson with a native speaker, the teacher will even ask you: “Why are you learning Italian?” Your subsequent lessons will be based on your answer.
Rype uses Skype to conduct its one-on-one Italian lessons. There are many Italian teachers available, and learners can choose when they’d like the lesson to be conducted from a teacher’s available time slots.
Best Course for Beginners: Let’s Speak Italian! Podcast
Summary: A podcast-based course that teaches Italian for beginners.
Do you want on-the-go learning that can be accessed at home, during your commute or as you do your grocery shopping?
Well, Let’s Speak Italian! is a podcast that teaches the Italian language from scratch, and it can be directly downloaded onto your smartphone or computer.
This is the perfect Italian course for learners who have zero knowledge of the Italian language, and it follows a logical learning path for beginners to bring their skills up to the intermediate level.
The lessons are taught in both English and Italian, with the focus being on the most common vocabulary and essential grammar. Lessons also feature authentic Italian conversations and opportunities for learner participation through audio exercises.
Best Audio Course: LingQ Italian
Summary: An audio and reading app that allows you to save unknown words for later study.
Like the Let’s Speak Italian podcast, LingQ is a language learning platform that revolves around audio as a primary tool for teaching Italian.
Created by accomplished polyglot Steve Kaufmann and his son Mark, LingQ has thousands of hours of audio lessons for all levels of Italian.
Steve Kaufmann’s method places much importance on input, so the lessons in LingQ use reading and listening in tandem to help learners excel in the Italian language.
There’s a predetermined learning path for users to follow, but learners can also choose from the feed of lessons according to their needs and interests.
Best of all, LingQ contains a lot of user-generated content. New lessons are constantly being added, and learners can import their own material such as online news articles.
In each LingQ lesson, there’s a transcript of the content in Italian as well as a built-in translation. Unknown words become LingQs (essentially, flashcards) that can be reviewed later. Each revision of said flashcard increases that word’s status until it becomes a “known word.”
There are also Italian grammar notes available and tutoring lessons taught by native speakers.
LingQ has a limited free option available, and an unlimited premium account comes with a monthly subscription fee.
See our full review of LingQ here.
Best Course for Daily Life: CoffeeBreak Italian
Summary: A beginner’s course that teaches Italian through fun conversations about daily life.
CoffeeBreak Italian is a free podcast that includes two seasons (S1—Beginner Italian and S2—Intermediate Italian).
Over the course of these two seasons, Mark, the teacher, and Francesca, an Italian native speaker, will teach you the language through conversations on topics that get more challenging as the course advances.
Some of the topics covered are introductions, ordering food, hotels, using the phone or visiting the doctor, among many others.
The course starts with Mark and Francesca using English and Italian, but they’ll use less and less English as the seasons progress.
This fantastic podcast covers both language and cultural aspects, and since it can be considered an audio course, it’ll allow you to learn Italian grammar and vocabulary as well as improve your listening and speaking skills anywhere you go.
If you want even more, you can always go premium and subscribe to the online course.
The premium content takes each free episode of the podcast and supplements it with a video lesson, a downloadable audio version of the podcast with a transcript, a lesson guide with notes and bonus audio content that will help you review the whole episode and test yourself.
Best for Intermediate Learners: Easy Italian
Summary: A YouTube video course that focuses on conversations about different aspects of Italian culture.
Easy Italian is a YouTube video course that’s completely free.
It was created within the popular Easy Languages series, which creates authentic content for languages such as German, French and Russian.
The Easy Italian videos are completely in Italian, so this course is recommended for intermediate learners. They revolve around authentic Italian conversations between the videos’ hosts and native Italian speakers in the streets.
Italian and English subtitles are available on-screen. Each video covers a specific topic, like Italian cuisine or culture. Weekly exercises that accompany the videos, transcripts and other extras are also available for their Patreons.
There are currently 80+ video lessons available, with new videos being added regularly.
If the Italian in the videos is too advanced, there’s also a playlist called Super Easy Italian that’s aimed at beginner learners.
Best for Self-Directed Learners: OnlineItalianClub.com
Summary: An online community hub for Italian learners with extra course materials.
OnlineItalianClub.com is exactly what its name suggests: an Italian club!
As such, it offers what most clubs offer: personal contact, friendly service and a community feel.
There’s course material for all learning levels, from beginner to advanced. That means you can start with zero knowledge of Italian and work your way up to advanced status!
Unlike other Italian courses, the lessons offered by OnlineItalianClub.com are relatively unstructured and self-directed. This is perfect for learners who have a clear idea of what they want to learn or may not have the time to commit to a complete intensive course.
The course materials include themed lessons and grammatical explanations, as well as audio recordings, verb conjugation guides and vocabulary building exercises. While membership is required for some of the club’s content, most is available without one.
And even still, membership is free!
Best Course for Self-Study: CyberItalian
Summary: An Italian course for all levels with set lessons and teacher support.
CyberItalian isn’t free, but this resource has a pretty cheap monthly subscription fee. In fact, you can sign up and take self-study courses for as low as $4.95 monthly.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Students who are interested in self-guided study can choose from the beginner, intermediate or advanced courses.
Each course comes with 20 online lessons comprised of audio and video resources, pronunciation guides, a voice recording system, grammar references and more.
There’s even an “ask-the-prof” service for those moments when you’re feeling lost in the language.
If you’d like something more structured and don’t mind spending a little more, CyberItalian also offers students the option to take tutored courses or one-on-one private lessons to help perfect their accent and language skills.
Best Classroom-like Course: Italian Language and Culture: Beginner from edX
Summary: Exceptional university-type courses that cover the Italian language basics made by vetted professionals.
Okay, so you want that classroom feel, but don’t want to pay those hefty tuition fees?
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.
Welcome to edX! edX offers university-style online courses available to anyone, anywhere. In fact, this particular Italian course—which is offered by Wellesley College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—is so flexible that you can join it at any time!
It’s aimed at beginner Italian learners and is self-directed. However, the course’s organization is everything you’d expect from university-style learning.
The course itself is a mixture of video, podcast and textbook work. That means you get the benefit of a lecture-style learning method as well as practical experience learning and speaking Italian.
You get the full university experience without the university price (and without having to pack up your stuff and move cross-country!).
The best part: after this Italian course, there are two more courses for intermediate and advanced study to continue to grow your skills.
Best for Serious Learners: Babbel Italian Language Course
Summary: Italian course that utilizes audio, images and text, as well as lessons with dialogue for a practical approach.
With Babbel, you can start at the beginner level and take courses all the way up to independent user.
The courses combine grammar and vocabulary explanations and the audio and video component is superb.
Alongside the comprehensive beginner and intermediate courses, there are also themed courses focused on everything from idioms to Italian for vacationers.
Each course also offers a wealth of exercises to practice the skills you’ve just learned. The courses follow a logical sequence so you can work your way toward proficiency at your own pace.
A Babbel subscription is available for a monthly fee.
See our full review of Babbel here.
Best Video Course: One World Italiano
Summary: Video-based lessons that cover specific topics with grammar exercises.
If you’re looking for a course that’s a little less textbook-based, try One World Italiano.
You simply log on, pick your lesson and watch away. It’s the perfect method for informal, approachable Italian learning.
Each video tackles a specific topic in the Italian language.
The videos are completely in Italian, which may feel a little intimidating for beginner learners, but they include translations, helpful grammar notes and exercises. Think of it as an Italian immersion experience!
After completing the beginner video course, there are subsequent pre-intermediate and intermediate courses you can follow. If you want to complement your video lessons with something else, you can also check out one of One World Italiano’s non-video courses.
Why Take an Italian Language Course?
I know taking an Italian language course can sound intimidating and even expensive, but hear me out.
Italian courses are an awesome way to learn the Italian language because they’re structured to ensure that you get all the important stuff covered. They normally hit all the bases: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Furthermore, online Italian language courses help keep you focused and on track.
Let’s be real, sometimes life gets busy, and what starts off as an ambitious Italian learning goal becomes just another forgotten item on a to-do list. But with a course, you can’t help but stay focused!
Italian courses are especially useful if you’re looking for concise definitions and explanations.
Maybe you’ve picked up some basic vocabulary and comprehension skills and now you’re dying to be able to actually communicate with Italians.
Sometimes the best way to build on your beginner skills—especially when it comes to grammar—is just to have someone explain how the rules work to you.
Now, what if I told you that you could take an inexpensive Italian course without even leaving the comfort of your own home?
I mean, taking a course in Italy would be ideal, but with the many resources available online, it’s possible to save the cost of a flight, accommodation and course fees and still get a quality Italian language education!
These online courses typically offer a wealth of great audio and reading resources perfectly targeted for your learning level. You’ll never have to wonder if something is too advanced for you to do again!
Best of all, some Italian courses allow you to connect with instructors and classmates.
This is fantastic because, ultimately, we learn Italian so that we can speak it. Having a course instructor or course peers means added practice and direction for your Italian communication skills.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
So, get a good matita (pencil) and andiamo a scuola (let’s go to school), Italian learners!