Books for learning Italian

Here you’ll find a list of the books I recommend and/or use in my Italian classes.

If you buy the products using the links in bold face or clicking on the pictures on this page, I might get a small commission from Amazon.

Books for learning Italian

The market offers a number of great books for learning Italian. From the usual phrase books, to more structured self-study books like the BBC’s Talk Italian Complete to the books I am using in my language courses and I am recommending. Click on each image to order them directly from Amazon. They should be available from other online or high street bookshops also.

These books are:

The Il Balboni series is complemented by video, audio, supplementary exercises, and additional materials that can be downloaded online. The digital version of each book is also included. I find that it works very well for one-to-one teaching and small classes. After an initial time with a competent tutor, it could also be used for self-study.
I’m also recommending a few other books, for more in-depth study and reference, including:

Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana - for English speakers.
– This is a practical grammar book with explanations and assignments in English for A1 to C1 students. It is clear and simple but quite exhaustive, and covers all the main structures of the Italian language. With exercises. It is identical to the Italian version , but in English.
Grammatica pratica - Eserciziario.
– A book of additional exercises for Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana.
Caledoscopio italiano B1-C1.
– A compendium of contemporary Italian authors, highlighing the context and the cultural background of each piece. Good for a look at the various cultures of modern Italy. For medium to advanced readers B1-C1.
Modern Italian Grammar: A Practical Guide.
– It is perhaps the ideal reference grammar for learners of Italian at all levels, from beginner to advanced, combining traditional and an amazing function-based grammar in a single volume. With a strong emphasis on contemporary usage, all grammar points and functions are richly illustrated with examples. However, I strongly advise against even looking at it if you are just starting with Italian :-).
I verbi italiani by Alma edizioni.
– Alma is a prolific publisher of Italian learning books. This series, including The first 3000 words, New Italian Grammar in Practice, Advanced Italian Grammar,Present Perfect and Imperfect, and Italian Pronouns is very useful to reinforce the various structures. They are all in Italian (except the Italian Grammar in Practice).