Where To Learn Italian In London

Where To Learn Italian In London
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Image: Shutterstock

Planning a move to Bel Paese? Got a business trip to The Boot? Maybe you've got an Italian amore, or want to connect with your own heritage.

Whatever your reasons for learning Italian, London's got you covered. Here's our pick of the best group classes, private sessions and meet-ups to take you from complete novice to fluent speaker.

Buona fortuna!

City Lit

What's good about it? City Lit's tutors are consistently excellent, and the communicative approach of its Italian courses — which span all ability levels — are ideal if you're looking to put your newfound language skills to practical use. The homework can be challenging, but the venue boasts a decent cafe for last minute cramming session over an espresso.

When? Standard courses take place on various weekday evenings and generally last around six weeks. Alternatively, you can opt for an intensive weekend course.

Where? 1-10 Keeley Street, Holborn, WC2B 4BA. City Lit classes also run from Euston House.

Italian Cultural Institute

Image: Shutterstock

What's good about it? The Italian Cultural Institute (or Istituto Italiano Di Cultura) offers elementary, intermediate, and advanced classes taught by native Italian speakers from inside the The Italian Embassy. Not sure what level you're at? There's an online assessment to help with that. Oh, and for all you Fellini fanatics, there's even the option to learn Italian through cinema or drama.

When? ICI offers nine progressive levels, each of which take ten weeks to complete. Classes run at various times throughout the working week and during the weekend.

Where? 39 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, SW1X 8NX.

Vivere L'italiano

Image: Rose of York Language School, where some of Vivere L'italiano lessons take place

What's good about it? As well as offering beginner, intermediate, and advance Italian classes, Vivere L'italiano offers fun workshops for Italian culture vultures that combine language practice with cookery, wine tasting, or art. It's all part of the school's ethos of bringing the Italian language to life.

When? Most courses take place on weekday evenings.

Where? Vivere L'italiano operates across three venues in Bloomsbury, Marylebone and Oxford Street. See website for details.

International House London

Image: International House London

What's good about it? If you've studied Italian in the past but are feeling a bit rusty, give International House London's online assessment a go. This will help determine which of its classes is best for you — from beginner to advanced. One-to-one classes and closed group courses are also available

When? Various weekday evenings and weekends. Most courses run for six weeks, but fast-track and intensive courses are available if you need to learn quickly.

Where? 16 Stukeley Street, Holborn WC2B 5LQ.

Of Course Italian

Image: Westminster Quaker Meeting House

What's good about it? Of Course Italian takes a communicative approach, with students encouraged to speak in Italian from the very first lesson. Classes are small, with a maximum of six students per group. However at the time of writing Of Course only runs beginners' courses.

When? Every Thursday evening for six weeks.

Where? Westminster Quaker Meeting House, 52 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4EH.

Lingua Diversa

Image: Lingua Diversa

What's good about it? There's a maximum of eight students per class at Lingua Diversa, so you should have ample opportunity to get the support you need from your tutor. One-to-one classes are also available for those with a busy or unpredictable schedule (a tutor can travel to your home or workplace if needed). Lingua Diversa also offers lunchtime classes, if evenings are tricky for you.

When? Various weekday lunchtimes and evenings.

Where? Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL.

My Italian Lessons

Image: Shutterstock

What's good about it? My Italian Lessons are great for learners with limited mobility, or those who simply don't have the time or inclination to travel far because they all take place at your home. At home lessons are inevitably pricier than most group classes, but the one-on-one setup means you get to learn at a pace that's right for you.

When? Hour-long sessions run between 9am and 9pm, Monday-Friday.

Where? At your own home, provided you live in Zones 1-2. If you live further away from the centre, a tutor may be able to travel to you, but you'll have to cover their costs.

The Italian Bookshop

Image: The Italian Bookshop Facebook page

What's good about it? If you're serious about learning Italian, The Italian Bookshop is your new favourite haunt. It doesn't offer any lessons, but is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Italian. As well as stocking all your course books, there's Italian language fiction for a variety of levels — from kids' story books, to simplified classics specially adapted for learners, to contemporary Italian bestsellers. The book shop also runs discussions with Italian author if you're looking to hone your skills.

When? The Italian Bookshop is open 10am-6.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.

Where? 123 Gloucester Road SW7 4TE (located inside The European Bookshop — don't let the signage confuse you).

Find a Meetup group

Image: Shutterstock

What's good about it? Classroom environment not for you? Meetup groups give you the opportunity to socialise — possibly over a glass of chianti or two — as you learn. As these are often free or low-cost, they're great if you're on a budget. This one, for intermediate speakers, convenes at least twice a month at pubs and Italians bars/restaurants.

When? Most groups meet once a week/month.

Where? Meetups can take place anywhere, with most groups opting for centrally located pubs or bars.

Last Updated 22 January 2020