I will try and make this article short and sweet. Before I moved to Italy I studied Italian using interactive CD's on the computer. I used the Rosetta Stone package and really increased my vocabulary fast and learned a lot in a short time. The CD's are a bit expensive $400 US approx. (I was lucky to have free access because my workplace had a learning center), but if I was to try another language course I would certainly recommend them.
Anyways, I am not trying to sell anything, just thought that if you were going to tackle Italian, this would be a good place to start. The other thing I discovered is that once I had my Codice Fiscal (like a Social Security Number), I was able to register for free Italian language lessons three times a week at a local school downtown. Any documents that show you have permission (Permesso) to study in Italy should get you into these classes. The school is in Genova off of Via XX Septembre, on Via Fieschi. I cannot recall the name of the school but it's not hard to find. Feel free to contact me through my blog (help! I live with my Italian mother in law) if you want directions.
Ok, so no, I have not mastered the language, I am a work in progress as they say, but I am able to get by and every day my mother in law comments on how I have improved. There is also a website www.myhappyplanet.com where you can chat online with people who are looking for a language partner. I joined and chat with people who help me with my Italian in exchange for help with their English.
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