Why learn Italian? If you've ever asked yourself that question, then you're in the right place.
When you decide to devote the time and energy it takes to become fluent in Italian, you need to be sure you're passionate about it. And that suits your plans for life and your interests.
Italian is a beautiful language and a useful one. It just might be the ideal language for you to study. That's why I’ve compiled this list of eight powerful reasons why learning Italian will change your life.
From Italian food, to art, literature and opera, by the end of this post, you'll know your own personal answer to the question: why learn Italian?
By the way, if you want to learn Italian quickly and having fun while doing it, I strongly recommend Italian Uncovered, my in-depth online Italian course for beginners that teaches you through the power of story.
Anyway, back to the question at hand… why learn Italian?
1. Go On The Journey Of A Lifetime…To Italy
Wanting to travel to Italy is the #1 reason people choose to learn Italian. From the rolling hills of Tuscany, to the canals of Venice, to the astoundingly gorgeous beaches of Cinque Terre, Italy is full of intoxicatingly gorgeous landscapes.
It abounds with:
- fascinating history
- great museums
- delicious food
- and so much more
So it’s no wonder Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Travelling is always a more fun and rewarding experience when you can communicate with the locals in their own language.
It makes every part of your trip easier, whether you’re booking travel by train or ordering dinner in a restaurant. You can also have more authentic cultural experiences when you can communicate with the locals.
Many Italian people are eager to share their beautiful country and culture with travellers. And if you’re able to speak Italian, you’ll be better equipped to take advantage of these opportunities.
By the way, if you're planning a trip to Italy, then you'll love these 82 basic Italian phrases to use when you're there.
2. Connect Better With Italians And Make Friends
Approximately 63 million people around the world speak Italian as their first language. It's ranked as the 20th most-spoken language in the world. That's pretty high on the list when you consider that there are around 6,500 different languages spoken in the world today.
Italian is not only the official language of Italy – it's also one of the official languages of Switzerland and parts of Croatia and Slovenia. There are Italian speakers living in almost every corner of the world, from Canada to Venezuela to the Philippines.
If you learn Italian, you'll be able to communicate with 63 million more people than you could before. That’s 63 million more potential friendships.
63 million more people who could:
- make you laugh
- share their insight with you
- or tell you a story.
If you’re passionate about friendships and want to be able to connect with more people, then learning Italian might be the perfect fit for you.
3. World-Famous Italian Dishes
Italy is revered around the world for having one of the best cuisines of any country. Pizza and pasta both originated in Italy.
Italians are the masters of
- and risotto
Italy is also home to fabulous desserts like
- and the cannoli
It's a country known for its excellent wine and one-of-a-kind coffee tradition.
It’s no surprise that many passionate foodies decide to learn Italian. Some of them want to learn to spin pizza dough alongside the best of the best in Naples. Others just want to better understand the etymology behind their favourite dishes.
Did you know saltimbocca – the Italian dish consisting of veal wrapped in prosciutto and sage – translates to “jumps in the mouth”? Because it’s just that good!
4. World-Renowned Italian Opera
Many opera singers and opera aficionados choose to learn Italian. During the Renaissance, Italy was the birthplace of the opera.
Italian is a lilting language that lends itself well to musicality. Many of the most well-known operatic works were composed in Italian.
Opera lovers are sure to recognise many Italian names, such as:
- and Bellini.
Even Mozart, who was Austrian, wrote many of his operas in Italian.
If you’re a singer, learning Italian will help you get your pronunciation just right when you perform Nessun Dorma or O Mio Bambino Caro.
If you’re more comfortable in the audience, you can listen to the music and understand the stories without using those pesky, distracting subtitles.
Intersted in learning Italian and opera? You're going to love my interview with Gabe Wyner, an author, polyglot and opera singer!
5. Italian: A Must-Learn For Art Lovers
Italian is the best language for art-lovers to learn. It's invaluable in the modern art world and can also help you in studying art history.
Imagine being able to read Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks without the help of a translator.
If you learn Italian, you can understand the titles of great paintings like Boticelli’s Primavera (Springtime) as you make your way through museums, without pausing to consult a guide.
You can communicate easily when you visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Borghese Gallery in Rome.
6. Incredible Italian Literature To Read Translation-Free
What about reading great works of literature in their original forms?
Even in the best translations, something can be lost. If you value the power of words and storytelling, you understand how valuable it can be to read a text in its original version.
Learning Italian will unlock the doors to many incredible works of literature. You can read classic gems like
- Dante’s Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) including:
- Inferno (Hell)
- Purgatorio (Purgatory)
- and Paradiso (Heaven)
You could also read more modern works like:
- Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities)
- Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose)
- or Elena Ferrante’s recent bestselling “Neapolitan Quartet”
If you're new to reading in Italian, or you're after some book recommendations, check out my guide to 7 Italian books to boost your fluency.
7. Why Italian Is The Most Stylish Language
If you’re interested in working in the fashion industry, Milan is the place to be. Did you know that many people consider it the fashion capital of the world?
You'll find many up-and-coming fashion houses there, as well as classics like:
- and Valentino.
Its semi-annual fashion week, established in 1958, draws global attention on a scale similar to London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week.
Whether you want to work as a designer, a buyer, an art director, or even a model, speaking Italian can be hugely beneficial for your career in fashion.
Even if you’re not planning to move to Milan for your career, having Italian proficiency on your resume is a huge plus for fashion industry jobs around the globe.
8. Discover Fascinating Italian History
Are you a history buff? In which case, Italian is right up your street. Whether you’re researching for academic purposes or just for fun, understanding Italian will allow you to understand primary resources from many fascinating eras throughout history.
- Just imagine reading an Italian soldier’s letters home to his mother during the Spanish Civil War?
- Or what if you could read the correspondence of the Medici bankers of Florence from the 15th century?
With a language as old and storied as Italian, the possibilities for a curious history buff are endless.
Embark On Your Amazing Italian Journey With Italian Uncovered
Whether you’re a foodie, a fashionista, or you just really want to be prepared for your visit to the Sistine Chapel, I hope this article has inspired you to embark upon the amazing journey of learning Italian.
Learning any language is an adventure. And Italian is particularly special because of the access it gives you to culture, the arts, and history.
When it comes down to it, no matter your motivations, learning a new language is always about communication. And gaining access to new places and things through the people you can communicate with is an awesome bonus.
There is no better way to honour a culture than by learning its language.
If you want to get started with learning Italian, there's no better way to do it than with Italian Uncovered, my story-based course to take you from beginner to intermediate level in Italian.
It's based on the reading and listening method I tested during my Italian Project, where I learned Italian without touching a textbook or memorising verb tables.
If that sounds like a language learning method you'd like to try, click here to find out more.
So, let me know, why do you want to learn Italian? Has one of the reasons in this list inspired you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!