Madrelingua Italian Language School in Bologna, Italy, has helped thousands of people from around the world realise their dream of learning to speak and understand Italian.

So why not you too?

To make it easier for you to try our school, we have a special deal for new students!
Fill out the form on the right to receive a voucher worth 15% off any group Italian course.
Italian courses in Italy
Learn Italian online

Learn Italian in Italy, or study online: your choice!

Learn Italian in Italy, or online from your home or office.
Madrelingua offers a full range of Italian courses and Italian language exams to adult students of all ages.
Choose a standard or intensive Italian course at our school in the historic center of Bologna, or study online with one of our experienced Italian teachers.
For more information on Italian courses in Italy or online Italian lessons, follow these links:

Italian courses in Italy | Italian lessons online

Three Ways To Learn Italian (and two FREE offers!)

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as Italians don’t say*.

I assume that’s true, though I’ve never tried it.

My kids wouldn’t let me.

But it’s certainly true that there are multiple ways to learn Italian.

Here are three:

1.) Take an Italian course

I was sitting on the couch in the reception of our school yesterday, chatting to a client, a retired American.

He was telling me how pleased he was with the teachers, who ‘always knew exactly what stage he was at’ with his Italian.

I told him that it wasn’t surprising. They have permanent contracts, so do exactly the same things, again and again, week after week, month after month.

It’s not that surprising, then, that they get pretty practiced at it.

And so tend to be able to spot problems before a student is even aware of them, and hopefully take appropriate steps.

But of course, that’s the point of taking a structured course, with a set syllabus and duration.

YOU don’t have to think about it too much.

The school, and by extension the teacher, takes the strain.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no work involved, of course.

But the responsibility is shared with professionals.

And they’ll likely know from experience what will work, and what won’t!

2.) Self-study

Personally, I don’t have the patience for an Italian course.

Time is the enemy, right?

When I have to learn something, I prefer to figure it out for myself.

In particular, I find reading and listening to the language that I want to learn very helpful indeed.

If I get enough ‘input’ in the language, my brain starts ticking and before long I begin to understand how things fit together.

Simplified stories with audio work well for me.

I also read online newspapers, and occasionally (rarely) do online exercises.

Currently I’m working on my French and Spanish, and sporadically on my Turkish, which I knew well several decades ago but now seem to have lost.

3.) Online lessons

Taking online lessons from an expert Italian teacher would be a good way to prepare for a course in Italy.

Or an excellent way to follow up such an intensive learning experience!

So making sure the benefits are consolidated, rather than being lost as time goes on.

Spend a fortnight in Italy studying at a decent language school.

Then, when you get home, maintain your fluency with regular online lessons.

Once a week would be perfect!

But online lessons would also work as a supplement to a self-study approach, such as mine.

I’m happy learning on my own and don’t have time for a full-time course.

But that said, a little conversation would be very nice!

It would make a change to my routine, and could boost my confidence at speaking and listening.

So in the end, it’s up to you how to go about learning Italian.

Though if you’re unsure, trying out different approaches would a good starting point.

I’d therefore mention two free offers which might interest you:

Free Online Lesson Offer! is running a free trial online lesson offer.

Book a 30-minute Skype lesson with an online teacher – normal price €20, this week absolutely free!

N.B. These are NOT Madrelingua teachers, though it should be a good experience anyway.

And, as it’s free, what’s to lose?

Also, the offer is only open to new students – if you’re already taking online lessons with them, this offer doesn’t apply to you.


Book by Sunday, when the offer is ending.

(You don’t have to take your lesson before Sunday, just book it.)

For details:

Offer details | Book now

Free Italian ‘Easy Reader’ (.pdf ebook + audio download)

And over at EasyReaders.Org there’s another free ebook + audio download available.

Around 600 people downloaded the last one, apparently.

You listen to the original story, while following the text.

Check any unknown words in the glossary.

Then test your understanding with the comprehension exercises that follow each chapter.

(I usually skip that part…)

The normal price is £7.99, but there’s currently one FREE download for each of Italian, Spanish, French and German.

No credit card or payment details are required!

Find out more


For more information about Italian courses in Bologna, follow these links:

Italian courses | PricesBologna | FAQHow to book

*The nearest translation we could find for ‘many ways to skin a cat’ is ‘tutte le strade portano a Roma’, which to me doesn’t seem like the same thing at all! However, ‘una gatta da pelare’ (a cat to skin) = something difficult to do, perhaps similar to ‘a hot potato’ in English.

Don’t miss the free e-book offer!

This is a quick ‘heads up’ to Madrelingua students. Free ebook offer!

(Apologies to those of you that also frequent as you will have already heard this!)

This week there’s a free e-book parallel text offer in the Learn Italian section over at

The free title (usual price £7.99) is called Colpo di forbici.

The level is ‘A1- Elementary’ but this material would make useful practice wherever you’ve reached with your Italian.

The e-book is structured as a parallel text, which means Italian chapters alternating with English translations, so that you can compare the two versions.

To get it, go here, click ‘Add to cart’ and complete the order form – shortly after, you’ll get an email containing the download link.

Just to be clear – no payment is required.

Nor do you need to enter your credit card details, or anything like that.

The free ebook offer ends on Sunday, so here’s that link again.

Or, for more information, see the articles from Monday and Wednesday this week:

Buono studio!


Not into self-study?

Come to Bologna instead, and let our expert teachers take the strain!

Madrelingua Italian Language School | Italian Courses in Bologna | Prices

1776 and all that!

Madrelingua Italian language school opened its doors ten years ago, in 2006.

Learn Italian in Bologna

Learn Italian in Bologna

So I was curious to find out just how many people have joined us for Italian courses since then.

Our stats show the number of online enrollments each month (and so exclude people who actually visit the school to sign up for their course.)

A quick copy and paste from the spreadsheet and I had the answer – 1776, coincidentally the year that American states declared their independence…

Think around 170-180 people a year, from all around the world, who are sitting at home in the USA, Australia or wherever and decide to come to Bologna to learn Italian with us!

We’re a small, family school and so will typically have four or five classes running throughout the year. We close only for a fortnight at Christmas/New Year.

Class sizes are a maximum of ten, often smaller, plus we also offer Italian evening classes for anyone already here, and online Italian lessons for those who can’t get away from commitments at home.

Courses can be as brief as a week, or as long as a year, but are always enjoyable and effective due to our staff of permanent teachers (some of whom have been here since the beginning!)

For more information about learning Italian in Bologna, check out these links:

Italian courses | Prices | About Bologna | How to book | FAQ


You may have heard about yesterday’s earthquake in central Italy. But don’t let that put you off!

Our city is famous for its brick towers, constructed hundreds of years ago by medieval workman (with wooden scaffolding…)

The most famous example, the Asinelli Tower, is 97 metres tall and was completed in 1119!

And it’s still standing, nearly 900 years later…

So during your visit, be sure to climb to the top, enjoy the amazing view, and take photos for envious friends and family back home!