Basic Italian – Learn Italian in context

basic italian

Learn Italian in context

The effective and fun way to learn a language

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to remember Italian vocabulary or phrases when you learn them randomly?  By “randomly”, I mean outside the context of an experience related to the Italian language.

Research shows that in order to avoid  “Systematic forgetting” words and phrases must be learned into context. Hence, you should avoid learning from vocabulary lists, phrase books, apps which lack of structure and so on.

The good news is by putting words into context you give them meaning and meaningfulness is vital for storing those words into the long memory.

This is the reason I decided to create a video version called live & learn Italian which have been delivering face to face for years. Live and learn Italian will catch your attention making you learn the Italian language effectively and in an enjoyable way.

This is not all; you will also have the opportunity to absorb the Italian culture without lifting a finger.

So here is my first video mini experience, below a mini fun test to practise what you learned.


Created on By Raffaella Palumbo

What did you learn today?

1 / 24

Legare i capelli

2 / 24

Io ho i capelli (hair in Italian is plural in this context)

3 / 24

Which ingredient I do not need to make tiramisu?

4 / 24

Un uovo, due?

5 / 24

How many grams of savoiardi do I need?

6 / 24

Choose the right option

7 / 24

Choose the right option

8 / 24

Choose the right option

9 / 24

Choose the right option

10 / 24

Choose the right option

11 / 24

Choose the right option

12 / 24

Choose the right option

13 / 24

Montare a neve means

14 / 24

Aprire means:

15 / 24

Choose the right option


16 / 24

Lei 3rd person feminine singular

17 / 24


18 / 24

Intingere i savoiardi nel caffè; means:

19 / 24

Finire means

20 / 24

Choose the right option


21 / 24


22 / 24


23 / 24

Fridge in Italian is

24 / 24

Tiramisu means

Your score is

The average score is 63%


It was fun wasn’t it?

Here 10 Italian idioms related to food which will make your day.

► Buono come il pane

Literally good as bread meaning good as gold.

► Brutto come la fame

Bad as hunger meaning bad as sin.

► Pane al pane, vino al vino

“Let’s call a spade a spade.” They’ll call it as it is. There’ll be no “sugar coating” and no “beating around the bush.” If they think you’re a bad singer, they’ll tell you so. If they think your cooking sucks, you’ll hear about it.

► Non sai tenerti un cecio in bocca

You can’t keep a chickpea in your mouth.
Meaning: you can’t keep your mouth shut.

► Tutto fumo niente arrosto

Literally: all smoke and no roast.
Meaning: all talk and no action.

► Non c’è trippa per gatti

Literally: there is no tripe for cats 🐱
Meaning: there is no chance to do a certain thing.

► Sei sempre in mezzo come il prezzemolo

You are always in the way like parsley or mingling with things that are none of your business.
The meaning refers to the vast use of parsley in the Italian cuisine

► Avere il prosciutto sugli occhi

Literally to have ham on the eyes

Meaning: If your eyes are covered by ham you can’t see what is going on or you pretend not to see, surely much more picturesque and funnier than simply burying your head in the sand like an ostrich, don’t you believe?

► Sono pieno come un uovo

Literally I am full as an egg

Meaning: I am stuffed

► Farsi i cavoli propri

Literally meaning: to mind one’s own cabbages
Actual meaning: to mind one’s own business

Created on By Raffaella Palumbo

Test your knowledge

1 / 10

Buono come

2 / 10

Pane al pane

3 / 10

Farsi i

4 / 10

Non c’è

5 / 10

Sei sempre in mezzo come

6 / 10

Brutto come

7 / 10

Sono pieno come un

8 / 10

Tutto fumo niente

9 / 10

 Non sai tenerti

10 / 10

Avere il prosciutto

Your score is

The average score is 66%



Interesting facts about Tiramisu

The world’s favourite Italian dessert became extremely popular in Florence in the 19th century among English intellectuals and artists. The dessert made then its way to England where its popularity grew quickly.

The traditional dessert doesn’t contain any alcohol and children in Italy can eat it at a young age even though it contains coffee.


In the dictionaries since 1983.

This word entered the Italian dictionary very quickly. The first Italian vocabulary that certifies its existence, almost simultaneously with its appearance in cookbooks, is Zingarelli, who wrote: “Dessert made from sponge cake soaked in coffee and layered with a cream made of eggs mixed with mascarpone, sugar and whipped cream, all covered with a little bit of chocolate powder and served cold”.

In 1989 also the Oxford Dictionary introduced the word tiramisu


Many terms of Italian cuisine have become international: pizza, pasta, espresso, spaghetti. The “Academia italiana della Crusca” has certified that tiramisu is now present as “Italian gastronomic term” in 23 different languages. In China is the most clicked Italian word on the web.

 The largest tiramisu ever prepared was in Gemona (Udine), Friuli Venezia Giulia: 3015 kg of delicacy certified by Guiness World Record.


Tip: In Italian tiramisu has an accent on the u so it reads tiramisù