Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, the Vatican City, Malta and Eritrea by about 60 million people. Today the Tuscan dialect is known as Italian (Italiano) and is the offical language of Italy. It is the main language of literature and the media. Each region of Italy also has its own dialect, some of which are so distinct from standard Italian that they are mutually unintelligible. The Sicilian dialect for example, is sometimes regarded as a separate language and has a literary tradition older than Italian itself.

The longest word in Italian is the 29-letter esofagodermatodigiunoplastica, which refers to a reconstructive surgery related to the removal of the stomach. A better-known monstrous word is precipitevolissimevolmente, which means “very fast”, though it has “only” 26 letters.