learn italian online

Learning Italian Online: The Smart Student’s Guide

Your computer screen is more than just a screen.

It’s a gateway.

A portal into another world.

Look at it this way.

Learning Italian online gives you access to native Italian speakers, audio resources, lessons, apps and more all in one place! And best of all, it can be done from the comfort of your home or study space!

There aren’t many other tools that offer such a comprehensive, immersive and fun approach to learning (apart from flying to Italy).

It’s a way to maintain contact with the Italian-speaking world. To explore, engage and grow your language skills all from your desk!

There’s a surprising amount you can do with your Italian learning online and best of all, it’s usually free.

If you dream of one day speaking fluent Italian in the stunning streets of Italy then it starts right here! With some of the best Italian online learning resources.

If you’re ready, then come with me as we jump through the gateway into the fascinating and interesting world of Italian learning online.

Why Learn Italian Online?

Apart from Italian being a beautifully intricate language (also known as “the language of love”), you must also assess the reasons why learning Italian online as opposed to another method’s right for you. Please note that this isn’t, however, an either-or situation.

Your Italian learning would definitely benefit from in-person study and social components but having a steady base of online learning materials will help your Italian significantly improve!

The following are the six fundamental reasons why learning Italian online is the way to go!

1. Learning online is a convenient and user-friendly strategy to approach your Italian acquisition. With access to Wi-Fi and a device, you’re good to go!

2. Learning online is usually free or at the very least affordable option when it comes to your choice of resources.

3. The range of access and variety is remarkable. You can go from speaking with native speakers to watching funny internet clips in the same study session.

4. Online lessons are also highly enjoyable as you’ll have access to a full range of content and study resources.

5. Italian online lessons are available to all. No matter your schedule or daily plans, with online lessons you can enjoy increased flexibility. This means studying online is the perfect option no matter your lifestyle.

6. Thanks to native content and the availability to engage with online speakers you’ll be able to enjoy increased exposure to the Italian forms. While in school or a course you may be learning a more normative style of Italian with online resources you can enjoy materials from all across the Italian-speaking world. This means listening to differing accents, dialects and language usage.

How to Learn Italian Online

So, you’ve got a “why” (or several). What you need now are some concrete strategies to help maximize and enjoy the Italian learning process online.

Also known as your “how.”

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as jumping online and downloading Italian content. But, with the right resources and correct approach, the road to Italian fluency becomes a lot clearer (and easier).

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step approach and some of the best tips for learning Italian.

Step 1: Figure out why you want to learn Italian

learn italian online

Setting goals has incredible psychological benefits related to habit-forming, motivation and drive. Having a clear goal and justification for your Italian learning can help in a range of areas including study strategy and resources used. Generally, there are two underlying purposes as to why we wish to acquire a new language.

1. Passion for the language and culture is a fantastic starting place when it comes to your driving motivation for learning. You may have traveled to an Italian-speaking country before, have a keen interest in Italian art and culture or simply enjoy the way it sounds.

While this is a fantastic starting place it’s important to set a clear-cut goal from the why. For example, if you love the way Italian sounds then your end goal could be to have a conversation with a native Italian speaker. 

As you can see, the goal has become clear, measurable and more related to language acquisition.

2. Practical and work purposes may also come into play when learning a new language. For example, you may wish to expand your job opportunities and employment horizons. It makes sense, as communication is a highly desirable skill in the global workforce.

In this case, your approach may shift slightly towards a more formal acquisition. Again, it’s great to set a measurable goal from this why. For example, if your goal is to work using business Italian then sitting a job interview in Italian could be a great target to aim for.

Step 2: Set your Italian learning goals

learn italian online

When it comes to language learning, often the first questions that we have are related to time and time-frame. Many learners wish to know how long it’ll take to learn Italian? or How often should I study every day to learn Italian?

Because of this, we’re going to look at two simple, measurable and proven goals that’ll help your Italian learning development. These goals are for beginners learning Italian online. However, they can serve as a great measure for more general learners of different stages.

Setting measurable and achievable goals is a great way to maintain your motivation and commitment. With these two goals, you’ll be on track to speaking fluent Italian in no time! Make sure you support this process with heaps of great content for learning Italian online to maintain that native connection.

Please find the two goals below!

Goal 1: Short-term strategy, a.k.a. the first 500 words

Your first goal should be to acquire usable vocabulary in a short yet reasonable amount of time.

A good clear goal for this is to learn the top 500 most commonly used Italian words at a rate of 10 words per day. A great strategy to do this is to write out your 10 words in the morning and refer to this word-list throughout the day. During your day you can test your recollection, use mnemonic devices, write sentences and simply read the words out loud.

You can find heaps of great lists online which have already compiled the most usable vocabulary in Italian.

This means that in 50 days or about two months (give or take) you should have a pretty good base in Italian vocabulary.

Goal 2: Daily study times and skills after a year

According to an article from the BBC, the ideal daily study time sits somewhere between 30-60 minutes (the recommendation is a full hour). This means that with your vocabulary building plus assigned study goals you should be a very capable Italian speaker in a year’s time.

Of course, during this time you can also add extra forms of input such as podcasts or music which can help the vocabulary building stage. This may help to speed up the process and give some native input to your learning.

And best of all, you can learn Italian online for free!

Step 3: Collect resources and establish a hierarchy

learn italian online

This is where it’s time to start searching for Italian learning tools. It’s important to choose resources that both interest you personally but will also ensure ongoing improvement with regard to your Italian language skills. Because of this, it’s generally recommended to search for a wide range of resources that’ll allow you to dive deep into Italian learning.

We’ll examine this section in two separate parts. Please note that the suggested resources are a few of many available options for studying Italian and are suggested as a starting place.

Part 1: Look for resources that support your goals

As a general refresher, you might want to consider tools that cover the following areas.

Grammar and Vocabulary

Some great tools to cover grammar and vocabulary might include Italian language learning courses or even online Italian games to make vocabulary building and grammar learning fun!

Of course, some classic examples would also include a solid textbook and a dictionary!

Reading and Writing

To improve your reading and writing skills there are tons of resources available online. For example, if you have an upcoming Italian exam with a focus on essays and writing skills then you can sign up for an online Italian course at university to help with these specific skills.

You can also consider online blogs, short stories and additional materials to help with these skills. Another great tip is to receive feedback on your writing to help you improve. For this step, you might want to consider using an Italian tutor who can provide insightful corrections to help your writing proficiency.

Listening and Speaking

It goes without saying that one of the top ways to practice your listening and speaking skills is to speak with a language exchange partner. There is a full range of options available to you with regard to listening and speaking resources. You can get started with some Italian skype lessons or use one of the many available platforms to help you with this goal.

Part 2: Compile a list of resources and establish the main one

Once you’ve thoroughly explored the full range of resources and learning tools it’s time to take it to the next level by choosing one main resource.

This is like your rock.

The central focus allows you to progress and explore the language. In your mix of resources, there should also be resources that help to support this main resource. These are your foundational Italian learning tools.

When choosing the main resource you might want to consider the following questions. Keep in mind that you’ll want this tool to help you achieve your goals quickly and with a high level of proficiency.

  • does it use native content?
  • is it appropriately leveled?
  • does it cover more than one key skill?
  • is there any accreditation?
  • are there reviews of the resource and are they positive?

A great strategy is to check out some online breakdowns of the top Italian learning tools or for a fantastic approach especially for beginners, a solid online Italian course always makes a great starting place.

Essentially, your main resource or learning tool should support your learning goals and outcomes (refer to step 1). It should directly benefit your overall strategy, for example, if you want to study grammar then your key tool might be an online course, online grammar checker or conjugator.

Step 4: Study with your main tool every day

learn italian online

This is where the fun begins. When you start to use your learning tools and experience the feeling of fulfillment as you develop your Italian skills.

Be sure to use your tools every day if possible. This is very important for the process of habit-forming and building healthy language learning behaviors.

Remember that to place yourself on a solid trajectory for Italian fluency you should be aiming for between 30-60 minutes of Italian practice online.

Consistency is the name of the game and due to schedules and additional obligations, this time target may not always be achievable. Be sure to squeeze in a smaller session (even five minutes) to help maintain the habit. Some strategies that help with this include time blocking and setting clear daily goals.

Step 5: Have fun online with Italian media

learn italian online

With all the talk about tools, habits and study routines sometimes it’s easy to forget that language learning is also a fun and engaging process.

It’s equally important to locate learning resources that you find personally enjoyable to use. It’s amazing how much incredible music and entertainment is out there once you simply switch languages over.

Take some time to discover new YouTube channels, music, films and TV. One of the easiest (and most addictive) ways of enjoying your Italian study is to play some online Italian learning games.

It’s very important to immerse yourself in the world of Italian content as much as possible. This is especially true if you want to learn Italian effectively and quickly!

Did you know that it’s entirely possible to merge the world of entertainment and language learning into one resource? Take the FluentU Italian learning program, for example.

learn italian online

What’s great is that the range of videos means you’re able to learn with content that you’re genuinely interested in. This means that the days you don’t feel like studying become a lot more manageable and exciting.

I’ve found it one of the best ways to overcome procrastination and lapses in motivation.

Plus, it’s also one of the best ways to create an environment of fun and learning at home!

Check out some of the key features below and enjoy a free trial to dive deep into the wonderful world of authentic Italian!

A Roundup of the Best Online Italian Learning Resources

Here we’re going to explore all the great Italian learning resources available to you as a learner! These are a surefire way to get you started on your own Italian learning pathway. All these resources are available online and serve as a great way to maintain a consistent schedule with heaps of great Italian input.

Here they’ll be introduced with a brief description. It’s up to you to explore the options that they offer and to investigate further just how these tools can help you with the various components of Italian learning!

  • E-books and story websites: These resources make a great foundation for an online lesson. That’s because along with the stories and books you’ll find additional materials such as reviews and notes to help with comprehension.
  • FluentU Italian learning system: The FluentU Italian system introduces you to native Italian from lesson one! The importance of exposure to native materials and content when learning cannot be overstressed. Get started with a free trial and see how much of a change you notice in your overall skill level.
  • Online courses: Online courses are without a doubt one of the best Italian resources available to you. They provide a great structure and there’s a full range of available options. For example, if you’re focused on time you could take an online Italian intensive course or if you want to study more advanced structures and vocabulary then you can always take an advanced online Italian course. If you’re short on time you can always check out some Italian crash courses for a quick dose of Italian! See, something for everyone!
  • News sites: Keep up to date with all the latest news (in Italian). News sites are a great way to study real-world Italian while keeping up to date with all the latest global events. One of the great benefits of using online news sites is the opportunity to fact-check across multiple languages!
  • Italian blogs: Learning blogs are a great resource for Italian learners as more often than not they’re written by Italian learners who have experienced the exact same issues, setbacks and complications. This means that the explanations and breakdowns are often clear and actionable. Be sure to check out the FluentU Italian blog plus some additional Italian learning blogs for some great insights into Italian learning. If you ever have a question then blogs should be the first place you check.
  • Websites for learning Italian: There are plenty of great websites for learning Italian that’ll provide a range of different focuses. Be sure to become familiar with a mixed bag of learning sites. For example, when you’re feeling like a challenge or wanting to test your skills you can jump on a website that offers online Italian exercises.
  • Online games: Online games just aren’t for children! They’re a great little motivator when you don’t feel like studying and can help solidify information and vocabulary very quickly! I also find them an excellent way to “break up” longer and more complicated study sessions.
  • Chat websites and forums: Got a question or searching for a language buddy? Chat websites and online forums are great places to meet, engage and interact with language fellow Italian learners. Similar to blogs, you’ll find plenty of great explanations, as well as insights into learning.
  • Online lessons: It certainly pays to have a large community of language learners. This is because there are heaps of high-value and ready-to-go online Italian lessons for you to choose from. These are great resources for a language learner due to their convenience. Simply find a lesson on a particular theme or topic and then go from there. You’ll find that you can also locate great lessons related to a particular difficulty, for example, choosing some advanced online Italian lessons to give your learning a big boost.


It may seem strange, but it’s entirely possible to bring Italy to your home! With the right learning resources, access to native content and a positive attitude learning online can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Best of all, you’re building an authentic environment while developing your Italian skills. So jump online today and start learning Italian with ease!

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.

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