Six Reasons to Learn Italian

Learn to eat, live and love like an Italian

Tuscan food shop in Arezzo
Roger Coulam/Photolibrary/Getty Images

When you have an innumerable amount of other “useful” languages to choose from, why would you choose Italian -- a language spoken by around 59 million people, compared to, let’s say Mandarin’s 935 million.

Despite the fact that every day more and more Italians are learning English, there is still a huge appeal to learn la bella lingua.

Here are six reasons for you to study (or continue studying) Italian:

Investigate Your Family History

Many people feel drawn to Italian because it’s a part of their ancestry, and learning Italian can be a great tool to utilize as you . While , actually visiting your great grandfather’s birth town in Sicily will require more than just a list of survival phrases to truly get a feel for the locals and hear stories about what the town was like while he was alive. What’s more, being able to understand and will will add a depth and a richness to your relationships.

Experience a More Authentic Italy

So you’re going to Italy for ten days and you’ll be flitting between Rome, Pisa, Florence, and Venice. While it would be relatively painless to get by with English, by learning enough Italian to order food at restaurants, ask for directions, shop at fashionable boutiques, and make small talk, you’ll see a more authentic side of Italy that typical tourists rarely experience.

Dive into Italian Literature and History

While there are plenty of the classic Italian texts translated from Italian to English, there is something magical about . The language has changed a lot since the Renaissance, so you can’t be expected to understand every word but if you only need to reference, instead of rely on, the English version of the text, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the sentiment behind the literature and have a better appreciation of the historical context it was written in.

Improve Your Craft

Perhaps you're an aspiring musician who wants to learn what adagio, allegro, and andante mean, or an who wants to improve her pronunciation. If you engage in any kind of craft that has Italian influence, it’s likely you’ll find new techniques to explore, new artists to discover for inspiration, and a renewed passion for your art.

Improve Your Memory

If you’re at all concerned about the possibility of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, that learning a language can delay the negative effects for up to seven years. However, at this point, there is no evidence that learning foreign languages can prevent the diseases entirely.

Live in Italy

If you’ve ever dreamed of waking up and walking outside to be greeted by an Italian lifestyle, learning Italian is a must if you want to feel integrated and experience how Italians live. When you make friends or are able to participate comfortably in community events, you’ll find yourself behaving, speaking, and eating like an Italian. If you’re interested in researching how to move to Italy,