If English is your native language, then you may have learnt some Spanish, French or German while at secondary school. You may have considered Italian somewhere down the line. What’s stopping you now? Let me focus your mind on five compelling Italian topics that could enhance your learning experience.

Italian food

In Italy, food is “twice blessed because it is the product of two arts, the art of cooking and the art of eating.” As written by famed cookbook author Marcella Hazan in “The Classic Italian Cookbook.” Italian food is something to be savoured, revered, studied and examined, at a leisurely pace and with gusto.

Learning a new language doesn’t just have to be about reciting greetings, the Italian alphabet and doing countless listening comprehension and Italian grammar exercises – consider Italian cuisine!

If you think about it, you already have an extensive vocabulary: pizza, pasta, spaghetti, risotto, panini, panettone, tiramisu, tagliatelle, fusilli, Americano, cappuccino… and I’ll lay bets that you can also pronounce them correctly, more or less.

Learning the names for food on an Italian menu is a terrific advantage too. They can be long and difficult for the English reader to guess – and rarely translated into English for our benefit. You could be several jumps ahead of your English friends, interpreting the menu and finding bargains in the markets.

Italian style

Fashion is an exciting and ever-evolving world. Italy is a major fashion powerhouse, starting new trends that spread across the world and produce huge profits year after year. The revenue of the Italian fashion industry in 2017 was set to grow by 2.5% on a yearly basis, reaching €64.8 billion. Even though it expects to stall in the present climate, it also expects to rebound in 2020!

In a world where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening in every country, the luxury industry has never been so successful. The good news for the other side is that Italian high-street fashion is also booming. The tailor-made looks of the high-end runway make their way into our fashion outlets.

Armani, Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Valentino… the list of famous Italian fashion brands is impressive. Home to one of the major four fashion hubs, Milan is a powerhouse of luxury goods. It produces some of the world’s best known brands, with a speciality in leather. It makes sense that Italian men and women are considered some of the best dressed in the world.

Italians love tailoring, a statement coat, a logo bag and a splash of colour. They aren’t afraid to stand out and experiment. A quick walk around most Italian cities confirms it – the streets are packed with Prada and Gucci-clad locals.

So why not take Italian lessons and become a part of the fashion scene? The Italian language is known around the world for its beauty, and when it comes to the fashion industry, Italian is the language of choice. For this reason, many people who are aiming to enter this profession want to learn the language that goes with it.

Italian opera

Many opera singers and opera aficionados choose to learn Italian. During the Renaissance, Italy was the birthplace of 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 Puccini, Verdi, Rossini 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 at least a few of the words without needing to rely on subtitles.

I’m not saying that if you learn start learning Italian you will soon be able to understand La Traviata from beginning to end. That sounds like hard work! However, you can begin to understand a little, and that brings you closer to the operatic world, and intensifies your enjoyment of opera from the beginning.

Italian film

Italy is the birthplace of Art Cinema and it is not surprising that the stylistic aspect of film has been the most important factor in the history of Italian movies.

From epic films with complex set designs, lavish costumes and big budgets, to the Spaghetti Western genre. Italian film has brought generations of notable directors and actors. With the Italian language under your belt, you’ll be able to enjoy a special understanding of some of their best films.

If you’re a bit of a film buff, then watching Italian films can be a highly effective way of improving your Italian language skills. Plus, it won’t feel like studying!

Italian art

Italian is the best language for art-lovers to learn. It’s invaluable in the modern art world and can also help you to study 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 more easily when you visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Borghese Gallery in Rome.

Italy is one of the world’s top art destinations – as you might expect from a country that gave the world some of its greatest art movements. 

The Roman Empire produced some of Europe’s most iconic architecture, while the Renaissance set a benchmark for what artists could achieve using paint and stone that has never been exceeded. Italy hosts some of the most stunning architecture ever built, from the Colosseum to Brunelleschi’s Duomo to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The roll call of Italian artists is studded with luminaries: Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Donatello, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci. 

Works by these great masters are displayed in museums, galleries, and public and religious buildings across the country. Indeed, some of Italy’s greatest masterpieces were painted directly onto the ceilings and walls of the churches and palaces that commissioned them. For example, Michelangelo’s frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City in Rome rank among the most famous artworks in existence. 

Has one of the above piqued your interest? Then start straight away! If you would like some advice ten contact our friendly team on 0207 1010 750 or learn@talklanguages.co.uk. Whether you want online language tuition or face-to-face sessions, we can set you on the right path with helpful advice. How to start learning Italian by focusing on your favourite subject!

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