Learning Italian in Rome: 5 Non-Obvious First Steps
Why do people fall in love with Rome? Some say it’s all the beautiful ancient architecture that makes this city so unique, while others say that it’s the city of amore. But what is true about this city is that it has wonderful energy – one that makes you feel alive. In fact, you may want to start a new life, like Liz Gilbert did in the movie Eat, Pray, Love.
Of course, you can’t experience Rome fully if you see it through the eyes of a foreigner, not a local. And that means you should combine your visit to Rome with an opportunity to learn Italian. We’ve prepared a few essential steps for those who would like to try to learn Italian when visiting Rome the easy way.
1. Find Couchsurfing in Rome
Wherever you go, if your goal is to experience the country through the eyes of a local, couchsurfing is the best way to do it. Couchsurfing is the type of accommodation where a traveler uses sleeping arrangements provided by a local host. Usually, locals also invite you to participate in all their household activities.
What are the benefits of couchsurfing?
- You experience local culture firsthand.
- Locals can tell you about the hidden sights of the city you’re visiting.
- Couchsurfing helps you form long-lasting friendships.
The perks of couchsurfing for learning Italian are obvious – your hosts can teach you essential Italian words and phrases and encourage you to practice them right away. They can also take you along on the trips around Rome and show local culture in all its glory.
2. Join Italian Walking Tours
While your couchsurfing experience can teach you the basics of Italian, soon, you will have to start expanding your knowledge with new experiences. And joining walking tours in Italian is the best way to combine learning Italian and visit Rome’s most beautiful sights.
How will walking tours help you improve your Italian?
Tour guides often use scripts to explain the history of famous sights. You will learn many new words connected to history and culture, along with some everyday Italian phrases. Where can you find walking tours while in Rome? That’s easy – walking tours are everywhere in Rome, and you can come across one while wandering around the streets of this beautiful city. But, if you’ve seen some sights already, it’s best to plan your tour in advance. You can find free walking tours through Guruwalk or simply ask your couchsurfing hosts for recommendations.
3. Enroll in an Italian Learning Course
There’s no way around it – if you want to improve your Italian, the next step is to sign up for an Italian learning course. But, in Rome, it’s going to be a whole different experience.
There’s no one like an Italian person who can expose you to all the beauties of this language. Besides, a native speaker will do a better job at explaining how to learn Italian the right way and help you master your pronunciation.
Rome has plenty of language schools designed specifically for foreigners. But don’t relax just yet – your teacher won’t let you speak any other language other than Italian. Italians love their language and heavily advocate for its purity. Besides, such an attitude facilitates complete language immersion.
4. Visit Local Bars on Football Nights
Rome, like the rest of Italy, has excellent sports bars. Locals love to gather there and watch football matches. And you can use it as an opportunity to advance your Italian and possibly meet new people, even if you do not drink alcohol.
Which sports bars are the best in Rome?
Yelp shows the following top three:
- La Botticella
- The Druid’s Den
- The Public House
Most of these places follow the usual British sports bar pattern, but you can’t take the Italian flair from them.
Try visiting a sports bar in Rome on football nights. Are you going to hear a lot of swear words? Yes. But think of it as exposure to colloquial language and the raw Italian character.
5. Find Volunteering Opportunities
Lastly, you can join volunteering organizations when in Rome. It’s a great opportunity to advance your Italian and learn some words and phrases specific to a particular occupational field.
The best way to find a volunteering opportunity is by building connections with locals. They will recommend you the organizations that currently need help and will gladly take foreigners. You can also talk to your couchsurfing hosts.
Italian is a tough language to learn. But when you combine it with a traveling experience around Rome and Italy, it creates a once-in-a-lifetime adventure full of local colors and gems.
To make this adventure truly unique, don’t follow the beaten path of learning the language before going to Rome. Instead, immerse yourself right away when you arrive. It might be a bit of a culture shock, but you will catch up pretty quickly. Italians are quite supportive of everyone who tries to tap into their language and culture.
About The Author: Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist; you can check his website here. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.