VIA Links

Via Links: Via Optimae recommended websites and resources to help you learn Italian and explore Italian culture.  Via Optimae,

for Via Optimae content in particular, see: VIA Site Map & VIA Digital Publications !


Word Reference (EN-IT) (IT-EN) (Dizionario italiano)
I turn to Word Reference constantly- it's great for finding the translation of basic terms as well as common expressions and generally has some useful examples. The forums are great when you don't see exactly what you're looking for and/or want clarification on a point. (EN-IT) (IT-EN)
Great for seeing terms in context with lots of real life texts and translations, is a great resource for understanding the multiple uses of any given term.  They also have fun games, like L'impiccato (Hangman), useful Phrases, and a handy verb Conjugator

While English-Italian dictionaries are very useful, there are some obscure or less-commonly used vocabulary that can often only be found on Italian dictionary sites. These sites usually offer more examples too.  I use these sites most often when I want just the Italian definition, and not necessarily the English translation. Dizionario (IT-EN) (Dizionario Italiano) Dizionario (IT-EN) (Dizionario Italiano)

If you don't see what you're looking for on any of the above, it might not be a word that you need to know... but just in case, some other resources:

The Free Dictionary by Farlex (Dictionary)
Nice because it searches multiple languages at once so you don't have to switch back and forth between dictionaries.

Forvo (Site in English with links to pronunciation of Italian words)
While many sites offer the phonetic transcription for each term, it can be difficult for people who haven't studied phonetics to really imagine how the word sounds.  This site offers audio files of several words, and often, more than one speaker so you get a feel for how the word can vary by region.

This site is great for seeing the pronunciation of entire phrases and sentences and not just individual words. Browse through others' audio requests and hear them recorded by native speakers- or if you're looking for something specific, make your own audio request and even specify which region or accent you prefer.  In my experience, users are quick to record your request- especially if you speak one of the languages they're studying and complete an audio request for them too.

L'Espresso (Slangopedia)
Especially fun for browsing slang terms, this site is updated by users who are constantly submitting new expressions so you know it's up-to-date and how Italians really speak.  (All terms and explanations in Italian)

Online Magazines in Italian
A list compiled by (See list)
With links to a wide variety of online publications in Italian, covering everything from culture, fashion, travel, sports, ecology, and more! 

Online Courses
Duolingo (— One of the best free programs out there!  Units are divided by topic and give you the opportunity to hear and repeat key phrases and vocabulary.  Very little grammar is explained explicitly, instead you're meant to grasp new grammar concepts in context and using trial and error and/or guessing (which can be a good thing!) Lingots (a type of currency) and goal trackers help keep you motivated.

BBC Languages ( out their video drama adventure "La Mappa Misteriosa", their online video tutorials, plus lots of other great links to tests, vocab lists, and other resources!

Bliu Bliu ( — Especially useful for improving your reading skills, Bliu Bliu finds real content at your current level in your target language and keeps track of words you know, words you might know, and words you need to learn. You can choose from several different "playlists" like movies, jokes, and more… do "drills" to target specific vocabulary, or even upload your own content! I've been practicing with several languages and can say that there is already a lot of great Italian content on the site, and it's really fun!

Italiano in famiglia ( — A video-based course that introduces new grammatical concepts in context then provides grammar, exercises, and games to accompany each episode.  Beginners should start with "Percorso 1" while intermediate learners can start with "Percorso 2". 

Lessons by topic
Languages Online (State of Victoria, Australia)

Lessons & Exercises by Grammar Point
la grammatica italiana (by Cristina Mazzoni)

Online Italian Newspapers

Corriere della Sera
Gazzetta del Sud
Giornale di Calabria
Il Centro Internet
Il Giorno
Il Manifesto
Il Mattino di Padova
La Nuova Sardegna
La Nuova Venezia
La Repubblica

Streaming TV Shows/Movies
Programmi On Demand from Rai — 
List of all shows available on demand from Rai… The availability of each series (and even particular episodes within a series) varies a lot, but here are some in particular to look out for:

   Tutti Pazzi Per Amore (Everybody's crazy about love) Romantic sit-com
   Season One, Episode One
   Season Two, Episode One
   Season Three (not currently available to stream- link takes you to the site with other multimedia/videos)

   Ho Sposato uno Sbirro (I married a cop) Part detective-crime show, part romantic comedy)
  Season One, Episode One
  Season Two, Episode One

YouTube Playlist: Popolari ora - Italia (Popular now in Italy) The online video channel for Alma Edizioni, a publisher that specializes in Italian as a foreign language books and materials. Check out Grammatica Caffè for grammar explanations of potentially tricky or confusing constructions— best suited for intermediate to advanced as the entire explanation is in Italian!.  If you're more interested in idiomatic expressions, check out Vai a Quel Paese (also entirely in Italian!)
Italiano in famiglia ( — A video-based course that introduces new grammatical concepts in context then provides grammar, exercises, and games to accompany each episode.  Beginners should start with "Percorso 1" while intermediate learners can start with "Percorso 2". 
Italian for my Girlfriend (a Tumblr Blog) Very cute and charming illustrations of vocabulary and expressions, created by Rosangela and updated daily! 

Giochi | Games
Akinator (Online or download the app) Practice reading and responding to questions (in Italian) about the famous person/character you're thinking about and see if Akinator, the Web Genie can guess!

Twitter Accounts to follow
Italian Language (@Italianlanguage) They often retweet my tweets— so you know they're good! ;-)

Facebook Pages to "like"
Impariamo Italiano They always post great content with quizzes and questions that get a lot of user participation, which can be fun.  Also, they're very strictly "all Italian" so it forces you to practice!
Accademia della Crusca Great for advanced learners who would like to learn about the rules and guidelines that even native speakers sometimes get confused!

The Florentine For Florence lovers! Great pictures, news & events… 
Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles (IIC) News about Italian cultural events in Los Angeles as well as general cultural tips and resources.  Or— look for the Italian Cultural Institute nearest you {here}

Books & Materials to purchase
For recommended products available to purchase, check out the VIA Shop page!

These are all in addition of course to the content available on Via Optimae!

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Frasi celebri su Via Optimae

Frasi celebri su Via Optimae
Acque del sud (To Have and Have Not) original: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow."