Why learn Italian
- Italian is one of Europe’s leading languages, with roughly as many mother-tongue speakers on the continent as English and French.
- Young Kiwis can go and work in Italy for one
year under a working holiday scheme. A knowledge of the Italian language would obviously make a huge difference to anyone’s job prospects.
- Italy is probably the greatest magnet for anyone interested in the history of western art and civilisation; it’s like a vast cultural treasure house. Even a limited knowledge of the language helps to introduce some of the works of art.
- Three cities in Italy are of paramount interest: Rome as the capital of the ancient empire and the heart of the Catholic church; Florence as the cradle of the Renaissance; and Venice as a unique and unforgettable link between eastern and western European styles.
- Italy has made huge contributions to scientific progress, with Leonardo and Galileo being just two of the most obvious names.
- Since the time of Boccaccio and Dante, Italian writing has been at the forefront of European literature.
- Italy was the home of opera, and many of the world’s greatest works were composed in Italian; even today, Italian is the international language of music.
- Italian food has achieved worldwide fame, and nearly all of us could name a good few Italian dishes and culinary expressions.
- Italy has long been synonymous with fashion, elegance and design; go and see for yourself!
- Italian cinema has long had a worldwide reputation, as have many directors and filmstars.
- Italy is not just “culture”: the modern country has one of Europe’s largest economies. And Italian cities are not just museum pieces: they are full of vitality and energy, which nearly everyone finds infectious.
- The Italian landscape is incredibly varied, ranging from alpine to mediterranean, and the picturesque villages and small towns give it tremendous character.