Is your phone stocked with Italian learning apps?
Have you scoured the internet for Italian education websites?
Are you signed up for a quality Italian language course to solidify your skills?
Wait a minute…
If you haven’t put a language course on your to-do list yet, now is 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.
Of course, there are a ton of Italian courses out there, catering to all different types of learners. Where to begin?
Well, grab your notebook—class is in session!
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.
Further, 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 Italian. Having a course instructor or course peers means added practice and direction for your Italian communication skills.
Va’ a Scuola: The 8 Best Online Italian Language Courses
Ready to get your study on? It’s time to va’ a scuola (go to school)!
Check out the eight best Italian language courses available online!
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 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. So this course is perfect for growing your comprehension skills 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 Italian program.
Looking to learn Italian the authentic way? How about with contemporary Italian videos covering any topic you’re interested in! FluentU’s Italian program takes real-world content—like music videos, movie trailers and inspiring talks—and turns them into language learning experiences.
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.
Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you’ve watched a video, you can use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.
Plus, it’ll tell you exactly when it’s time for review. Now that’s a 100% personalized experience!
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 audio of words and phrases, dialogues, exercises and more. You’ll learn not just the language but 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 on the 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.
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 that 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 those who have a clear idea of what they want to learn or those who may not have the time to commit to a complete intensive course.
Further, 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 a membership.
And even still, membership is free!
Cyber Italian 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 comprising audio and video resources, pronunciation guides and 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, Cyber Italian also offers students the option to take tutored courses or one-on-one private lessons to help perfect their accent and language skills.
Okay, so you want that classroom feel, but you 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 has been 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 full 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 Italian-language courses for intermediate and advanced study to continue to grow your skills.
With Babbel, you can start at the beginner level and take courses all the way up to the intermediate level.
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.
And now that I’ve convinced you, here’s the price: $7 to $13 a month depending on the length of your subscription.
If you’re looking for a course that’s a little less textbook-based, try One World Italiano. It’s got an Italian course feel without the Italian course pressure.
You simply log on, pick your lesson and watch away. It’s the perfect method for informal, approachable Italian learning.
Each course 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 each video has 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.
So, get a good matita (pencil) and va’ a scuola (go to school), Italian learner!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.