Italian for newcomers

Are you new to Italy? Do you want to learn to speak Italian? Read about ways to learn the Italian language.


Adult class with smiling teacher
Photo: Monkey Business Images/ iStock

It is important to understand people speaking the Italian language in your new country. You want people to understand you, too! Then you can talk to the doctor, ask for what you need in shops, and register your child in school.

Learn Italian for residency

You may need to know some Italian to stay in the country and gain more rights. Italian officials will ask you to take an Italian language test for these reasons:

  • you signed an “Integration Agreement” and you need to renew your residency permit
  • you apply for an EU long-term residence permit

So how can you learn the Italian language?

Go to an Italian language class

You can take a class in the Centro Provinciale di Istruzione per Adulti (CPIA) in your city. Everyone over 16 years old is welcome and classes are free. When you finish, you will get a certificate you can show for your residence permit. You can read more about CPIA and you can find your local CPIA.

There are also associations that provide free Italian classes for immigrants. There are private schools, too, but they will charge fees.

Study Italian language online

If you want to study on your own, you can take Italian language courses online. Many of them are free and very good. Visit these pages to learn about the ways you can learn Italian online:

Italian courses taught in Italian

These courses are good for students with a little knowledge of the Italian language.

Italian courses taught in English

These are good courses for students who can speak some English.

Learn Italian in other languages

You may find courses in your native language or other languages that you know.

Italian courses using mobile learning apps

These are good courses to use if you are studying on your mobile phone.

Learn some grammar too!

Your online classes will teach you some very useful words. You will practice speaking and writing Italian sentences. Try to learn Italian grammar, too. Grammar is the structure and rules of a language. If you learn Italian grammar, you will be able to make new sentences you haven’t learned from your classes.

You can find websites and books that teach Italian grammar. For example, you can learn Italian grammar in English with Grammatica.

How to take the Italian language test

Do you need to take the Italian language test for your residence permit? To take the test, register through the website of the Ministry of the Interior.