Learning Italian? Here Are 7 Books I Recommend You Use

  • Keri A. Johnson
    Written byKeri A. Johnson
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Learning Italian? Here Are 7 Books I Recommend You Use

There are many great books to help you learn Italian and make your dream a reality.

Books are excellent tools to help you learn Italian because they’re a visual learning guide.

Using Italian books and self-study guides allows you to learn and acquire skills at your own pace.

Some language learning books are designed like textbooks and organized by skill.

Starting by skill is an excellent way to cover the basics of grammar and verb tenses at the beginner level.

When you get started learning Italian, you’ll need the basics. Just like starting anything, you need to have a good foundation.

Once you have the basic skills and some essential vocabulary in place, you can move up to books focused on Italian dialogues and conversation starters.

These will help you develop your speaking skills.

As you continue your Italian language learning journey, you’ll want to use some listening resources like audiobooks.

Another important reason that Italian books are an excellent tool is to learn new vocabulary in context.

Learning words in context is the best way to retain what you learned.

You can connect the vocabulary with the idea that the word represents, which helps you remember what you learned.

In addition, language learning books have illustrations and graphics that further reinforce new vocabulary.

I have put together a list of seven excellent books to help you learn Italian. I have used them all, and I highly recommend them.

Book recommendations for learning Italian

Brand new to Italian (Beginner)

Italian in 10 Minutes a Day

Italian in 10 Minutes a Day

_Italian in 10 minutes a Day _is part of a series of books designed to get you learning any language quickly.

I love this book as a jumping off point for learning Italian. It’s colorful and gets you off on the right foot.

It comes with flashcards and vocabulary stickers.

Both the flashcards and stickers have key vocabulary explaining how to say each word or phrase phonetically.

The book has a workbook, grammar guide, menu guide, and fun activities to keep you engaged while learning.

The book starts with the basics, numbers, money, food, and culture.

The colorful book is filled with language learning games, and the interactive software makes learning fun.

It’s designed to encourage active learning.

It’s easy to use and only requires, you guessed it, 10 minutes each day.

It debunks the excuse that you don’t have time to learn something new.

Anyone can find ten minutes to review verbs, practice phrases, and build vocabulary using this book.

My favorite part is the vocabulary stickers.

The stickers have a basic household vocabulary that you can stick around your house to help you remember new words and exactly what they mean.

I put the sticker with the word specchio on my mirror, il tavolo on my table, and la scrivania on my desk.

Every time I looked in the mirror, ate at my table, or sat at my desk, I was reminded of my new Italian words.

It’s a great way to learn and retain new vocabulary, especially for visual learners.

English Grammar for Students of Italian

English Grammar for Students of Italian

Don’t let the title fool you. Yes, it is an English grammar book.

So as a student of Italian, why is this book on the list?

Well, amico mio, because it is helpful to understand grammar in your native language before you start trying to learn it in another language.

If you are learning Italian as your third or fourth language, you have probably already figured this out.

But if learning Italian is your first time opening your mind to a new language, you’ll need to understand your own grammar.

In other words, if Italian is your first, second language, then this book will help you more than you can understand.

This book helps you connect grammar points in English to Italian.

When it mentions the present continuous you can see that in English the present continuous is the verb to be + ing.

Knowing this can help you make the connection that in Italian present continuous is formed with stare + ando/endo.

Do not underestimate the value of this little book when learning Italian. Not only is it packed full of great grammar points, but it’s small and compact.

You really have no reason not to add this book to your Italian language learning resources. You can thank me later, prego.

Intermediate Level

Italian Made Simple by Cristina Mazzoni

Italian Made Simple by Cristina Mazzoni

This is not your regular textbook.

It has everything a good textbook needs, like grammar basics, pronunciation guide, common phrases, word puzzles, and vocabulary building exercises.

But it is better than the average textbook.

Why?

Because this textbook is geared toward adults learners who really want to communicate in the language.

There are no rote memorization exercises or boring pointless dialogues.

This book gives you all the essentials you’ll need to get started and move to the next level in a fun, meaningful way.

Italian Short Stories for Beginners

Italian Short Stories for Beginners

Language and culture go hand in hand.

So learning a language should include information about the country, culture, and people.

Reading short stories is way into the culture.

Reading lets us relax.

Studies have shown when language students are relaxed and have a lower affective filter, they can take in more information.

This collection of short stories is curated for beginners.

The vocabulary and sentence structure are easy to follow and let you see the language in use rather than just in textbooks and grammar exercises.

If you love to read and dive into character and story, you’ll enjoy exploring Italian culture through these short stories.

You’ll see the concepts you have been studying come together in a relevant way.

And it will inspire you to keep learning.

Each of the twenty stories has a quiz and a summary in English and Italian so you can check comprehension.

As you read, watch your confidence grow, and your vocabulary expand.

Fuggedaboutit! Italian Swear Word Coloring Book

Fuggedaboutit! Italian Swear Word Coloring Book

So you are tired of grammar.

You need a little break but still want to learn something.

The Fuggedabouti! Italian Swear Word Coloring Book is the answer 😊

It’s a fun break when you want to learn but don’t want to conjugate verbs and wrap your head around masculine and feminine pronouns.

Learning a new language should be fun.

Of course, you need to learn the basics, but it’s ok to blow off some steam and take a little break with a fun coloring book.

Quasi Perfetto

Practice Makes Perfect Italian Reading and Comprehension

Practice Makes Perfect Italian Reading and Comprehension

Intermediate students to advanced students will find this book a great resource.

The Practice Makes Perfect series is dedicated to following the five Cs of Foreign Language Education, including communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and community.

The book follows this structure to help you learn not just the vocabulary but how the words are put together and actually used in context.

While the book is probably a bit much for the beginner student, it is perfect for any student that already has some basic understanding and wants to improve their language skills.

The readings are organized with pre- and post-reading to help you understand the material.

And as you move through the book, the readings progressively get more challenging, so you can see yourself improving with each chapter.

At 563 pages, it may not be the most portable Italian resource book, but it is definitely the most thorough.

Ecco Italian In Depth

Ecco Italian

Here it is, ecco qui qua. This book takes an in-depth look at Italian grammar.

_Ecco Italian In Depth _is a superb resource for those that are intermediate to advanced.

Are you stuck on a language learning plateau?

This is a great book to help a motivated learner move past any language learning plateau and move to the next level.

This book provides opportunities to review vocabulary and work on comprehension.

It’s well-organized by theme, so you are not stuck looking for a keyword or phrase.

The best part of this book is an extensive list of idioms.

Using idioms helps you sound more like a native speaker.

Idioms and phrases also give you a look into the culture through common expressions and popular sayings.

If you are ready to take your Italian language skills to the next level, buy this book.

How to choose the right book for learning Italian

Choosing the right book for you doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you know your learning style.

Some students are more audio learners and would benefit from books with audio.

Others are visual learners and will appreciate colorful books laid out in dynamic design.

And some need a lot of writing exercised to see the material in their own handwriting to remember.

If you know how you learn best, you are already on the road to successful learning.

Where do you need improvement?

Think about your goals and where you need to improve.

Analyze which skills are a priority.

Then, choose a book that will move you closer to your language learning goals.

An excellent way to self-analyze where you need to improve is to think about the why.

Why do you want to learn Italian?

Understanding your motivation can help you pinpoint which skill you should focus on improving.

Are you learning Italian for your career?

Are you learning Italian to make friends on an upcoming trip?

Are you learning Italian to impress an attractive Italian colleague?

Whatever your reasons are to learn Italian, use them to guide you to the best study and learning guides for you.

Don’t limit yourself to books

Books are an essential learning tool for learning a new language. But don’t limit yourself to just books.

There are apps, courses, and audiobooks. Try listening to podcasts or get a conversation buddy (see italki).

Learning a language is a process, and your brain needs lots of input to practice and solidify what you are learning.

So look for opportunities everywhere to practice and learn.

Read an Italian newsletter, play an Italian video game, rewatch your favorite TV/Netflix show but this time in Italian.

The more you practice, the faster you’ll improve and be able to say, Si io parlo italiano!


Any Italian books or resources I should add here?

Comment below!

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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