Have you considered learning how to speak Italian? While taking Italian lessons with an experienced teacher is certainly a good idea, language-learning books can be a great supplement to traditional classes.
Reading Italian books – particularly Italian books that are meant to teach the language to beginners – is a great way to boost your skills and proficiency in this language.
In fact, many teachers encourage or even require their students to utilize Italian books while not in class to further their studies.
With so many Italian books on the market, however, it can be difficult to determine which ones are best suited for you. That’s why we’ve combed through thousands of books to collect the five best Italian grammar and vocabulary books for beginners.
These Italian books will not only help you better understand the language, but they will also provide hours of fun and challenging grammar and vocabulary drills. Below are the top five Italian books for beginners and beyond.
What Books Should I Read in Italian?
Are you learning to speak Italian? If so, these Italian books for beginners are sure to inspire you to keep up with your studies!
- “Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Italian Grammar”
- “Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition”
- “Italian Grammar (Barron’s Grammar Series)”
- “Mastering Italian Vocabulary: A Thematic Approach”
- “Essential Italian Grammar“
Of course, watching instructional videos never hurt, either. Here’s a quick video discussing the Italian language for beginners, courtesy of TakeLessons:
How Can I Learn Italian?
There are countless ways you can go about learning Italian, but these are some of the best methods to help you become proficient in the language:
- Take Italian lessons either by yourself or with a group of people
- Listen to Italian audiobooks
- Practice by speaking to a native speaker
- Take a trip to Italy!
- Practice with flashcards
- Immerse yourself in Italian media, from books to television to movies
- Practice early and often!
Best Books to Learn Italian
Are you on the hunt for the best Italian books? Whether you’re looking for the best Italian books for beginners or the best books to learn Italian for more advanced speakers, these top picks should be able to help you out in your studies!
1. “Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Italian Grammar” (2008)
Amazon Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Estimated Price: $13.00 (new) $3.00 (used)
“Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Italian Grammar” is a comprehensive book in Italian language that makes Italian grammar rules simple and easy to understand. While it lacks an expansive vocabulary section, it is an incredibly useful guide to grammar, which includes realistic examples and clear explanations.
Worksheets included after each chapter allow you to practice what you’ve reviewed at your own pace. While a vocabulary book or dictionary will be needed to truly utilize this book to the fullest, it is one of the more comprehensive grammar books on the market, specifically geared toward beginners.
2. “Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition” (2000)
Amazon Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Estimated Price: $15.00 (new) $2.00 (used)
If you’re more of an independent learner then this learn Italian book is perfect for you. Author Edoardo Lebano delicately walks you through the process of learning Italian, from basic vocabulary to grammar. While the book can seem a bit redundant at times, the lessons are short and easy to understand.
Unlike most other books, “Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide” provides mini-dialogues from real-life situations, which will teach you how to hold everyday conversations, such as ordering at an Italian restaurant or asking for directions, with Italian natives.
3. “Italian Grammar (Barron’s Grammar Series)” (2012)
Amazon Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Estimated Price: $6.99 (new) $1.99 (used)
From the makers of test prep books comes the book titled, “Italian Grammar”. Inside this book you will find all of the basics you need to get started on your journey toward Italian fluency including parts of speech, sentence structure, Italian punctuation, and more.
One of the special things about this book is that it’s printed in two colors to highlight critical study points and help students find important information quickly and easily. While the book does lack more in-depth concepts, it is a great option for language beginners.
4. “Mastering Italian Vocabulary: A Thematic Approach” (2001)
Amazon Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Estimated Price: $89.00 (new) $36.00 (used)
“Mastering Italian Vocabulary: A Thematic Approach” stands out in a crowd of Italian vocabulary books for a few reasons. First and foremost, this book contains over 5,000 Italian words and phrases that are commonly used, including some slang.
Secondly, it presents the Italian language in a thematic structure. Vocabulary words are divided by theme (for example, business terms, medical terms, and household terms) instead of alphabetically. The thematic approach makes it easier for students to discover words based on their interests and needs. While a bit more expensive than a traditional vocabulary book, the structure makes it well worth the extra money.
5. “Essential Italian Grammar” (1963)
Amazon Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Estimated Price: $6.95 (new) $2.00 (used)
An oldie but a goodie, “Essential Italian Grammar” is one of the most comprehensive beginner books on the market. Inside the book, which is available in both paperback and e-book, you will find a series of easy-to-understand grammar and vocabulary lessons.
What’s great about this book is that it was designed for adults who don’t have a lot of time to learn Italian, but still wish to acquire basic Italian grammar and vocabulary skills. This book can easily take a new learner through the beginning stages, and may still be used as a reference when moving into more complex, intermediate grammar concepts.
Italian Children’s Books for Little Learners
Are you trying to teach Italian to children? If so, these books are perfect for any tyke in your classroom – or your own kids, if that’s the case!
- “Italian Picture Word Book”
- “First Thousand Words in Italian”
- “The Toddler’s Handbook: Bilingual”
- “Getting to Know Italy and Italian”
- “Italian Picture Dictionary (Let’s Learn…Picture Dictionary)”
- “Let’s Learn Italian Coloring Book (Let’s Learn Coloring Books)”
- “My First Bilingual Books”
- “Zoe Sophia’s Scrapbook: An Adventure in Venice”
- “Strega Nona”
Pick a few copies of these up to read through with your littlest learners!
Where Can I Download Italian Books?
Your learning resources don’t have to be printed on paper – you can also learn Italian by listening to the language!
You can download Italian audiobooks from any player you already use to listen to your favorite books and podcasts. Of course, Italian audiobooks are also available for download via language-learning websites like LearnOutLoud, too. YouTube is another great resource to browse.
Of course, reading Italian books is a great way to supplement your Italian lessons. Browse through the reviews of each of these books to find one that best suits your needs and learning structure or ask your Italian instructor which one he or she prefers.