Speaking Italian is fun, even if you know a few words. The Italians, as a culture, are friendly and even if you slaughter their language, you will still get a thumbs up from them for just trying.
Having an Italian son-in-law made it necessary to learn some words of Italian, especially since his mother spoke not one word of English and was very anxious to know that her son was being treated well in the US. He arrived in the US with no English, missed 2 flights in JFK because he didn’t know the flight was being called. He still spoke only a few words when we went before the Federal Judge to perform the marriage.
We took classes at the local junior college, private lessons and best of all intensive, immersion Italian lessons each year for the entire month of August when the family descended en masse for Ferragosto (the national August Holiday). Long car rides taking them to all the US sites printed in travel books for Italians (Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park, Las Vegas, Tijuana, Death Valley, Hollywood, the Redwood National Park, China Town, the Golden Gate Bridge and who knew Italians wanted to see the Saguaro National Park) led to learning Italian in a very unforgettable format as they usually wanted to drive. “Stop at the traffic light!!!! No it’s not just a suggestion, we’re not in Napoli...” Or explaining to sales people in stores that they were not deaf, so speaking louder really wouldn’t help. A quick lesson in Italian measurements of clothing as a result of lost baggage prepared us to shop like an Italian even for the most intimate of clothing!
The US Consulate in Milano put out a RAP video on learning Italian, not just any Italian, but specifically the language spoken with Hand Gestures. Some of the translations have been modified for a PG audience, but you’ll get the drift. It might have helped us in the beginning to know some of these. It’s catchy and you’ll be singing along. Enjoy and there are some good scenes of Milano as well.