Mastering a new language demands time and commitment, with confidence and motivation reigning as key pillars of success. Glossika, a cutting-edge app designed to facilitate language fluency, emphasizes that confidence springs from repetition. Our brains grasp concepts when exposed sufficiently. And what language could be more enticing to tackle than Italian? Even celebrities succumb to the allure of the Italian language's charm! It might surprise you to learn that many stars, from actors to singers, have embarked on the journey to embrace "la lingua bella." America Domani has curated a list spotlighting celebrities who've ventured into the realm of Italian, showcasing varying proficiency levels from conversational to fluency.
Former One Direction heart-throb, Harry Styles, surprised Italian fans when he gave a full speech in Italian during the last leg of his world tour at his Reggio Emilia show. While many of us were trying to stay entertained during the pandemic by making sourdough bread and watching Tiger King on Netflix, Styles used the extra down time to start learning Italian. Needless to say, the studying he did during the quarantine paid off, as three years later his level of Italian is quite impressive!
Talented actress, Jodie Foster, renowned for her role as Clarice in “Silence of the Lambs”, is a polyglot who added Italian to her extensive linguistic repertoire. During an interview at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, Foster explains that she learned Italian during her university studies at Yale, but jokes that she speaks Italian with a French accent, most likely due to the fact that French is her second language!
Many are unaware that the late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, not only conquered the basketball court, but also the Italian language! Bryant spent a significant period of his childhood living in various Italian cities, including Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Pistoia, and later Reggio Emilia. Because of this, Bryant was able to pick up Italian quickly and spoke it fluently. Reggio Emilia in particular held a special place in Bryant’s heart, as it was the town where he started playing basketball seriously, which would later launch his NBA career.
Bombshell Colombian singer and dancer, Shakira, mesmerizes fans not only with her performances, but with her linguistic abilities. Along with Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese, and French, she also speaks Italian. Shakira has distant Italian roots in Sicily on her mother’s side, which she explains in many interviews conducted in Italian. Motivated either by the opportunity to connect with her large Italian fan base or by her desire to kindle a familiarity with her Italian ancestry, Shakira was inspired to learn a decent amount of the language and speak it at a conversational level.
Nothing says “ti amo” like learning your partner’s native language! That’s exactly what beloved British actor, Colin Firth, did for his Italian wife, Livia Giuggioli. Firth started learning Italian over 20 years ago and now speaks the language fluently. He also received dual citizenship in 2017 and his family divides their time between living in London and Umbria, Italy. "Anyone will tell you when you marry an Italian you don't just marry one person; you marry a family and perhaps an entire country”, stated Firth in an interview with BBC in 2017. Che romantico!
Emily Rascon is from San Diego, California and is currently in the process of completing her Masters in Human Geography through the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. She has always had a passion for traveling and learning new languages, having lived in Germany and now Italy. Emily loves reading books, going hiking, and of course, practicing her Italian! In addition, Emily enjoys creating content on TikTok, where she documents her life abroad and encourages people to find the confidence to pursue their inner wanderlust.