1. Italy has played a major role in the cultural and social development of the whole Mediterranean area, deeply influencing European culture. Italian is the language of culture, art, music and knowing Italian gives you the possibility to understand masterpieces of Italian literature, opera, cinema, and theater.
2. Throughout the world, Italian is the fourth most taught non-native language and about 90 million people world-wide speak Italian as their first language.
3. The Italian language is also used as a lingua franca in some environments. For example, in the Catholic ecclesiastic hierarchy, Italian is known by a large part of its members and is used in substitution of Latin in some official documents as well.
4. Italian is derived from Latin, and knowledge of Italian will help you to understand the English language, which has a very large percentage of words derived from Latin.
5. Today, Italy has the seventh-highest GDP and the 17th-highest Human Development Index rating in the world. It is a member of the G8 and a founding member of the European Union, having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Italy was also a charter member of NATO.
6. Italian is a scientific language and may be teamed with the physical sciences and mathematics.
7. A UNESCO study placed over 60% of the art of the world in Italy. No other country in the world has such a rich heritage of artistic creativity. More than thirty million tourists visit Italy every year.
8. Some Italian Nobel Prize winners include writers Grazia Deledda, Luigi Pirandello and Dario Fo, physical scientists Enrico Fermi and Carlo Rubbia, inventor Guglielmo Marconi, doctors Renato Dulbecco and Rita Levi-Montalcini, and economist Franco Modigliani.
9. Research shows that it is easier to learn Italian than English.
10. Italian combines well with studies in other foreign languages, history, political science, international relations, international business, communication, film studies, medicine, as well as the sciences.