The Benefits of Practicing Italian in Italy

| Sat, 10/18/2014 - 03:30

I always encourage my students to go to Italy whenever possible, even if just for a weekend, so they can be immersed in the Italian language. Recently a student of mine signed up for a two-week language course in Venice, and there was a real difference to her spoken Italian when she got back.

The key benefit to practising the language in Italy is that you have to speak, listen to, read and understand Italian throughout your stay. This improves confidence, comprehension and the speed at which you process the language.

I visited Italy for the first time as a student on an Italian exchange visit, staying with a family in Sessa Aurunca (Campania) for two weeks. It was an amazing experience, and made me realise that even though I had so much more Italian to learn, I was committed to putting in the work and being able to communicate well in the language.

However, language learning is a journey. Even after four years studying Italian at school, four years studying Italian at university and five years living in Rome, I still make mistakes when speaking Italian in Italy! But we have to not worry about those mistakes, as that’s how we learn. We can just laugh it off, apologise and move on:

Scusa - Sorry (informal)

Scusi - Sorry (formal)

Sometimes, you will try to speak in Italian and well-meaning Italians will talk back in English. If you would like them to help you practice your Italian, you can simply tell them that you are studying Italian, so would like to speak in Italian:

Io studio Italiano, quindi possiamo parlare in Italiano?

Buona conversazione!

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Alesha Allen is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is now back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs Italian immersion courses at authentic Italian cafe Nonna Rosa’s in Coulsdon, Surrey. You can contact her at or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website is