8+ Best Italian Textbooks for Beginners

Looking for the best Italian textbooks?

Some people like learning with Italian courses. Others want language apps. And some people like learning with textbooks.

And Italian textbooks are a safe way to learn Italian. Why?

Books guide you from page 0, to page 1, to page 3… to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. You learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way. So, in this guide, you get… the 8+ Best Italian Textbooks for Beginners. Take a look.


  • Be careful about getting books on Kindle. The formatting may differ from the print version and textbooks that you want to refer back to/flip through aren’t user friendly on the Kindle. If you do opt for the Kindle version, be sure to try the free sample first.

best italian textbooks

1. Italian Grammar For Beginners: The most complete textbook and workbook for Italian Learners

Grammar is not the easiest part of learning a language.

But, that’s where textbooks – and this book included — offer the most value. This 400-page textbook contains 25 “lessons” or chapters. In each chapter, you learn the most common grammar rules and how to use them. Even better, there are tons of exercises inside making this book much more engaging than others. You’re asked to listen to audio clips. Yes, audio is provided. You’re asked to translate English to Italian. To choose the right phrases. In other words, you’re tested on Italian grammar…which means you’ll master it faster than just “Reading and absorbing” rules as we usually do with textbooks.

2. Living Language Italian, Complete Edition

Living Language makes the list of “best Italian textbooks” because of everything you get. What do you get?

You get 3 course-books (beginner, intermediate and advanced), 9 CDs and online resources.

So, you get “quite enough” to get you up and speaking with Italian.

Living Language teaches you the must-know grammar and words in each chapter. Then, at the end of each chapter, they bring it all together so that you can use the rules, make your own sentences and master what you’ve learned.

Plus, the 9 CDs are there to help you hear Italian and guide you through all of the exercises in the book.

3. Learning Italian for Beginners: 2500 Italian Phrases & Basic Grammar Rules

This is another noteworthy Italian textbook.

Across 397 pages, they promise to teach you over 2500 words and phrases — which is a big promise. It delivers on that promise…but with one catch. The catch is, it’s not for fresh, brand new learners.

You go through themes like conversations, time phrases, education, adjectives, etc. etc. And inside each one, you get a word and a sample sentence for each, with a translation. If you don’t know some basic Italian – like how to read and basic sentence patterns – it will be a bit tough.

Click here to learn more.

4. Italian All in One for Dummies

It’s “all in one” because you get “6 books in one.”

  1. Italian For Dummies
  2. Intermediate Italian For Dummies
  3. Italian Verbs For Dummies
  4. Italian Phrases For Dummies
  5. Italian Grammar For Dummies
  6. Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

And overall, it’s 672 pages. A lot of pages. But at it’s price-point, that’s a steal. That’s why it makes the list of best Italian textbooks.

5. Easy Italian Phrase Book: 770 Basic Phrases for Everyday Use 

It’s one thing to learn words one by one.

It’s another thing to learn phrases… which actually get you speaking. Which is why I stuck this phrasebook here. The one complaint is the book is quite old and references like the fax machine.

The upside is, it’s small in size, just 80 pages, and sections are categorized by specific topics. Easy to get through.

6. Short Stories in Italian for Beginners (Teach Yourself Foreign Language Graded Readers)

Another good way to learn things is… through stories!

This 288-page Italian storybook promises to take you from A2 to B1 and has 8 stories to “boost” your Italian. And yes, there’s also audio you can listen to as you read along. At the end of the stories, there are exercises to test you.

Some downsides are… if you’re a brand new learner, this can’t be your first step. You won’t understand much of it. That and the word lists at the end may not offer all the words you needed to know. So, you’ll need a dictionary.

Click here to learn more.

7. Conversational Italian Dialogues: Over 100 Italian Conversations and Short Stories 

An even better way to learn Italian is… through conversations!

Yes, what if you can read sample conversations that are used every day. And learn from? Well, you can with this book. This 289-page book starts you off with an Italian dialog. Then the English translations and explanations. Pretty straightforward.

8. Italian Now! Level 1: L’italiano d’oggi!

This book is used in high schools and colleges which means… you can trust.

This is a great introductory book for new learners. It has everything you need. Dialogues, exercises, grammar explanations, and even crossword puzzles. Probably the best bet for a beginner interested in Italian.

The one downside is that you don’t get audio to listen along.

These are some of the best Italian textbooks I’ve found so far.

But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend ItalianPod101.

ItalianPod101 is an Italian learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. So, if you want to HEAR real Italian and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.

Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at ItalianPod101.com.

– The Main Junkie

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