Top 20 Free Online Italian Courses [with podcasts, audio & video]

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Did you know that the words broccoli, fiasco, propaganda, flu, quarantine, lottery and zucchini all originally came from Italian? And the fact that there is an Italian word 'quattrocentocinquantaquattromilacinquecentoquarantaquattresimo' which means ‘454,544th’? By all accounts Italian is definitely a fun and interesting language to learn and understand, especially if you are in love with the Roman history or old mafia movies. Whether you are looking for a refresher or are new to the club, here are some great free online classes, lessons and learning materials for you to enjoy!
Italian Classes

Free Online Italian Classes (Complete Courses)

If you are looking to get a taste of some proper Italian courses but is hesitant to invest the time and money just yet, try out some of these website! Some of them offer massive open online courses (MOOC) for a more systematic approach to learning Italian, while others provide interactive and fun ways of mastering the Italian language!
  • Duolingo: Most people are no stranger to Duolingo, as it is one of the biggest free online language learning websites. Enjoy great lessons, learning materials, podcasts, discussion forums and fun challenges – all for free! Instead of textbook style learning and teaching, Duolingo focuses more on interaction and real-time practice with everyday scenarios. You can learn at your own pace on Duolingo, and it would also encourage you by giving out awards and achievement to keep you going. However, it could be somewhat difficult to jump in if you are completely new to a language since it doesn’t offer a methodical, step by step course so to say.


  • edX: Like Coursera or Udemy, edX provides many MOOCs across various subjects, including Italian classes. It currently has 4 courses on Italian Language and Culture taught by Wellesley College, and the good thing is – they are all free! (or you can choose to add a certificate for $49) These courses typically lasts 12 weeks and require 2-5 hours of effort each week. Despite the fact that the courses offered is somewhat limited, it is still a great chance to take structured Italian courses taught by real professors for literally nothing!


  • Online Italian Club: If hard-working is in your blood, look no further! Online Italian Club offers extensive learning materials on a total of 6 levels of Italian classes. From level A1 to C2, you can access a database of transcripts, audio recordings and exercises. The courses are broken down into vocabulary, listening, grammar and practices so as to give you a comprehensive learning experience. They are even thoughtful enough to offer you a checklist to keep you on track with your progress. 


  • Openlearn: Openlearn is also a website that offers MOOCs on Italian learning. While most of its courses require payment, it still provides some free lessons to choose from. At the moment it has 2 free courses: Beginners’ Italian (4 hours) and Intermediate Italian (8 hours) classes. Although it doesn’t offer video lessons like edX does, it is still a great chance to get some solid learning. If you like the free courses, you can always sign up and pay for more advanced or sophisticated lessons. 

Free Online Italian Classes (Video Lessons)

Love watching Youtube videos but feel guilty of wasting too much time? Why not learn Italian at the same time? Here are some great Youtube channels that can provide you with a fun and relaxing experience learning Italian, as well as some other websites that also provides video learning resources.

[Youtube Channels]

  • Italy Made Easy: Created by its host Manu, Italy Made Easy is a great Youtube channel for Italian learning. It provides videos on listening practices, term usage, expressions, grammar and even regional dialects! The videos are made with an educational purpose in mind so you won’t find too many travel vlogs or fun videos, but it is a great place for some serious learning!


  • Learn Italian with Lucrezia: Lucrezia’s videos supply a rich learning experience. Besides the regular lessons on grammar and vocabulary, she would also made vlogs in Italy, interviews with Italians or fun units like “correct my text”. Advanced level videos are made in Italian while beginner lessons is taught in English. You won’t realize how fun learning can be until you saw her videos!


  • Weilà Tom: This is another nice channel to freshen up your Italian. It is dedicated to teaching English and Italian in a fun and casual way, it also touches on some topics about language learning processes. Most of the videos features a “How To” topic, such as How to pronounce the Italian R, How to make your world Italian and How to learn Italian with songs. Visit this channel often to get a daily dose of Italian knowledge!


  • Marco Nisida: If you are already an advanced Italian speaker, this channel is definitely worth checking out. All the videos are made in Italian, with topics ranging from regular Italian courses to vlogs and other interesting video made by the host Marco. It could be quite difficult for beginners as there are no English in the channel and the Italian is spoken quite quickly, but if you are up to the challenge, go for it! 


[Other video lessons]

  • One World Italiano: One world Italiano is a comprehensive learning database with a wide range of free online materials. You can find short Italian courses, video classes, video exercises, audio files, Italian news and even Italian trailers here. All to help you improve your Italian skills. It also features fun exercises and challenges like listening to a Italian song and filling out the lyrics. It is definitely the place to go for if you are trying to learn Italian online. 


  • Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full: This is a MIT open course taught by professor Dr. Paola Rebusco. It features a total of 13 courses in which you will learn Italian with cooking scenarios! The course contains full video lectures as well as exercises to help you practice, even recipes for you to take home not just the language but also the amazing food you can make!

Free Online Italian Classes (Audio Lessons)

Don’t have the time to take courses or watch videos? Too tired to do exercises and practices? Here’s a thought, why not listen to some Italian on the go or during a coffee break? We have a few websites and podcasts just for that. You can even listen to audiobooks if you love to enjoy a literary journey.

[Online audio lessons]

  • The Italian Experiment: This site offers quite a few basic and simple Italian lessons, perfect for beginners to dig in. And the best thing is – they all come with audio files! The topics mostly focus on daily life usage such day of week, time, numbers and pronouns. You can practice your listening while learning how to ask for direction in Italian!


  • Live Lingua: Live Lingua offers multiple Foreign Service Institute (FSI) courses in different languages. It has 4 FSI Italian courses at the moment, complete with eBooks and audios. The courses run a total of 36 hours and you can choose to download the materials or read online. Not a bad place to visit if you want some high quality Italian learning.


  • You can find a huge collection of Italian audiobooks here, as well as eBooks, music and videos. Find a book you like and immerse yourself into the flow of beautiful Italian words. This site could be hard to navigate if you are new to Italian since it doesn’t have an English version. But hey, more learning opportunities right? 


  • This is another great website if you like listening to audio books. It has a wide range of audio books in the public domain to choose from. Genres include fiction, drama, romance, biography and even children’s books. You can also volunteer to read books in your native language if you feel like giving back to the community.


  • Progetto Babele: Also an Italian website providing audiobooks on multiple genres. You can choose to listen to the books you like and enjoy the ride!


  • Radio Lingua – Coffee Break Italian: This podcast updates a new episode every week and it offers fun and interesting Italian podcasts discussing foods, travel and even Italian authors. It currently has 2 seasons of podcasts, season 1 for beginners and season 2 for intermediate level. It also features a magazine type podcast that you can take after completing the 2 seasons of podcasts. 


  • ItalianLingQ: LingQ is an amazing website for online language learning. It contains a massive library of learning resources, including topics on business, sports and entertainment. It also offers Italian podcast complete with full transcript and instant translation exercise and tips to help you go a step further. Sign up for some great podcasts and practice while you are at it.


  • LearnItalianPod: This site offers some Italian classes and podcasts on everyday life usage. It is quite beginner friendly since the Italian is spoken very slowly and clearly. However you will have to pay extra for transcripts, exercises and other tools. Still not a bad place to check out once in a while.


Other Online Italian Learning Resources

Here are some other useful online Italian learning resources you can use to improve your Italian skills. 
  • BBC: BBC does a great job on providing language learning resources and has a page dedicated to Italian learning. It contains online Italian video and audio courses, vocabulary, grammar, Italian news, radio and TV, even a Italian test for you to learn Italian in every way possible.


  • This website is a giant archive of Italian lessons and learning materials. It has a total of 6 course levels which cover grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and term usage. The special thing about this site is that it offers a very detailed explanation on Italian grammar. Especially useful if you are struggling with the proper way of applying grammar.


Have you found the perfect way to learn Italian online?

I hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget learning a new language doesn’t always mean spending a lot of money and time sitting in a classroom. Make good use of all the free lessons and learning resources available online to help you along the way! 
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