More than twenty years ago, before my first trip to Italy, I took a six-week evening course geared for tourists. I learned a lot in that class and more important–I learned that knowing some of the local language would greatly enhance my travel experiences. Over the years I have furthered my studies with online programs like Rosetta Stone, with apps like Memrise and Duolingo and Babbel. I took two semesters of Italian at URI. I’ve also studied Italian in Italy at a wonderful language school called Il Sasso inMontepulciano. These lessons have been invaluable and, while I will never be fluent, I can chat with friends and neighbors with confidence. I will never regret learning Italian (and some French) as it has given me a deeper understanding of the people who are the lifeblood of the country.
Today the New York Times published a great article with many ideas on how to study your language of choice and many of the options are free. I invite you to challenge yourself and learn a little Italian or French while we are waiting to travel again.