Where is Italian spoken in the world?

Exploring the globe to uncover the diverse corners where the melodic Italian tongue dances beautifully.

Where is Italian spoken in the world?
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Published on
Oct 12, 2023
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Italian is a Romance language spoken by millions of people worldwide. It is the official language of Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City. However, Italian is also spoken in several other regions and countries around the world.

In this section, we will explore the various locations where Italian is spoken and understand their significance in preserving the language's rich linguistic heritage. We will delve into the cultural and historical aspects of Italian-speaking regions and the role they play in shaping local identities.

Key Takeaways

  • Italian is a Romance language spoken in several regions and countries worldwide.
  • Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City are the official Italian-speaking regions.
  • Italian language areas hold cultural, historical, and linguistic significance.
  • Exploring the Italian-speaking regions can provide insights into the diverse cultures and identities of the locals.
  • Italian-speaking communities have spread across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia, showcasing the global reach of the language.

The Rich Italian Speaking Regions of Europe

Europe is home to several regions where Italian is spoken. From the boot-shaped nation of Italy itself to neighboring countries like Switzerland and San Marino, we will explore the hotspots of Italian language and culture in Europe.


Italy is where the Italian language originated, and it remains the language's largest and most significant speaking location. Italian is the official language of Italy, and it is spoken by the majority of the population. However, there are many different Italian dialects, with some regions having their own unique versions of the language. Some of the most distinctive Italian dialects can be heard in regions like Tuscany, Sicily, and Venice.


Switzerland is another European country where Italian is spoken. Italian is one of Switzerland's four official languages, along with German, French, and Romansh. Italian is spoken mainly in the southern part of Switzerland, particularly in the canton of Ticino. Other Swiss cantons where Italian is spoken include Grisons, Bern, and Valais.

San Marino

The small nation of San Marino is one of the few countries outside of Italy where Italian is an official language. Located in the heart of Italy, San Marino has a population of around 34,000 people. The majority of the population are Italian speakers, and the country's official language is Italian. San Marino is also known for its unique dialect of Italian, which has influences from the surrounding regions of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.


The Italian language has a rich history and cultural significance in Europe. The regions where Italian is spoken are not only linguistically diverse but also have their own unique identities. From Italy to Switzerland and San Marino, Italian language hotspots are scattered throughout the continent. The next section will explore the cities in the Americas where Italian is still spoken today.

Italian Spoken Cities in the Americas

Italian has left a significant footprint in the Americas, with some cities having a strong Italian-speaking population. The migration of Italians to the Americas in the 19th and 20th centuries brought the Italian language and culture to new shores. Today, Italian continues to be spoken in many American cities and communities.

New York City, USA

New York City is home to one of the largest populations of Italian Americans in the United States. While Italian is no longer the dominant language in the city, many neighborhoods in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens still have a strong Italian-speaking presence. In these areas, you can hear Italian spoken on the streets, in markets, and in local businesses. Little Italy in Manhattan is also a popular destination for locals and tourists alike to experience Italian language and culture.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires has a thriving Italian-speaking population, due in part to the mass immigration of Italians to Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, Italian is the second most commonly spoken language in the country and is recognized as a co-official language of Argentina. In Buenos Aires, you'll find Italian restaurants, cultural centers and events, and even Italian-language newspapers.

São Paulo, Brazil

While Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, São Paulo has a significant Italian-speaking population. In fact, São Paulo has the largest number of Italian descendants outside of Italy itself. The Italian community in São Paulo has preserved their language and culture through the establishment of schools, cultural centers, and events.

These cities, along with others such as Montreal in Canada and Montevideo in Uruguay, show the enduring influence of Italian language and culture in the Americas.

Italian Dialects in Other Parts of the World

Italian is not just confined to Italy and the neighboring European countries. Italian-speaking communities also exist in various other parts of the world, often due to historical migration patterns.

Italian in Australia

Australia has a sizable Italian-speaking population, primarily due to post-World War II migration. Today, Italian is the second most commonly spoken language in Australia after English, and it is even recognized as a co-official language in the state of Victoria.

Italian in Africa

Italian colonization and influence in Africa have led to Italian-speaking communities in countries such as Libya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. In Eritrea, Italian is even recognized as a working language alongside Tigrinya, Arabic, and English.

Italian in Asia

Italian-speaking communities can also be found in various parts of Asia. In Indonesia, there is a small Italian community in Jakarta, and in Japan, there are Italian language schools and cultural events for the Italian expat population and Japanese enthusiasts.

Furthermore, there are Italian-speaking communities in South America, notably in Brazil and Argentina, due to historical immigration patterns. These communities have preserved the Italian language and culture through the generations, bringing a slice of Italy to their new homes.

Italian linguistic territories have spread across the globe, illustrating the reach and influence of this beautiful language. From the beaches of Australia to the bustling cities of Asia, Italian continues to hold significance and command a place among various cultures.

Italian Language Areas and their Significance

Italian is not just a language, but a cultural symbol of Italy that has spread around the world. Italian language areas are not only important in terms of language, but they also hold significant cultural and historical significance. These areas demonstrate how the Italian language has influenced the identities of different cultures, and how it has been influenced by them in turn.

One such area is the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, known as Ticino. Ticino is located in the southern part of Switzerland, bordering Italy, and is the only canton in Switzerland where Italian is the official language. Other regions within Switzerland also have significant Italian-speaking populations, such as the Graubünden and the Canton of Bern. Italian language areas in Switzerland reflect the country's diverse linguistic heritage and contribute to its overall cultural richness.

Italy itself is another important Italian language area. Italian is the official language of Italy and is spoken throughout the country, from the northernmost regions of Valle d'Aosta and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol to the southernmost regions of Sicily and Calabria. The Italian language serves as a unifying factor, bringing together the different regions of Italy under one linguistic umbrella.

Italy's history and culture have also influenced its former colonies, such as Libya and Somalia. Italian is still spoken by some in these countries due to their past colonization by Italy. In Eritrea, which was an Italian colony until 1941, Italian also remains an official language, although it is not as widely spoken as it once was.

In addition to these areas, Italian is also spoken in parts of Africa, Australia, and Asia. In Africa, there are significant Italian-speaking populations in Ethiopia and Tunisia. In Australia, Italian is the second most commonly spoken language after English, particularly in cities like Melbourne and Sydney where Italian immigrants have settled. In Asia, Italian is spoken by a small community in China's Macao Special Administrative Region and by a significant number of people in Israel, particularly among Italian Jewish families.

Overall, Italian language areas hold significant cultural and historical importance, reflecting the country's diverse linguistic heritage and influence around the world. These areas serve as a testament to the power of language to shape and unite cultures, and to the enduring relevance and beauty of the Italian language itself.


In conclusion, the Italian language is spoken in diverse locations and regions around the world. From the rich Italian speaking regions of Europe like Italy, Switzerland, and San Marino to Italian spoken cities like New York City and Buenos Aires in the Americas, there are vibrant Italian-speaking communities. Italian dialects have also found a place among different cultures in regions like Australia, Africa, and Asia.

The significance of Italian language areas cannot be overstated. The language has influenced local cultures and identities in profound ways, showcasing the enduring power of this beautiful language. With a global Italian-speaking population and cultural influence, it is clear that the Italian language will continue to be a global language with a rich linguistic heritage.

Italian spoken locations

Italian is spoken in many locations around the world, including Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world. These diverse locations showcase the enduring power of the Italian language and its cultural significance.

Italian language areas

Italian language areas hold immense cultural, historical, and linguistic significance. They represent the lasting impact of the Italian language on local cultures and identities.

Italian spoken cities

Italian is spoken in many cities around the world. These cities have vibrant Italian-speaking communities that showcase the enduring cultural influence of the Italian language.

Italian speaking population

The Italian-speaking population is diverse and spread across various regions of the world. Italian is a global language with a rich linguistic heritage that continues to be spoken and celebrated by people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Italian linguistic territories

Italian dialects can be found in various linguistic territories around the world, showcasing the enduring power and influence of the Italian language. These dialects have found a place among different cultures and are an integral part of the local identity and heritage.