What countries use Italian as their primary language?

Italian is spoken as the primary language in several countries across the globe. This article explores the question, "What countries use Italian as their primary language?" By delving into the linguistic landscape of these nations, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of where Italian holds its position as the dominant language. Whether you are curious about the historical roots of Italian or planning a future trip to one of these countries, this article will offer valuable insights into the countries where Italian is spoken as the main language.

Countries where Italian is the official language


Italy is home to approximately 60 million people and is the most prominent country where Italian is the official language. Italian is not just the primary language in Italy but also serves as the national language. As the birthplace of the Italian language, Italy has a rich cultural heritage and a strong influence on the development of art, literature, and music.

San Marino

San Marino, a small independent country located within Italy, also uses Italian as its official language. With a population of around 34,000, San Marino has a long history, dating back to the early 4th century. Despite its small size, San Marino has managed to preserve its distinct identity and linguistic heritage by adopting Italian as the primary language.


While Switzerland is known for its multilingualism, Italian is one of its official languages alongside German, French, and Romansh. The southern region of Switzerland, known as Ticino, is predominantly Italian-speaking. Additionally, some parts of the cantons of Grisons and Valais also have Italian-speaking communities. With Switzerland’s unique linguistic diversity, Italian plays a significant role in the country’s cultural fabric.

Italian being the official language in these countries highlights its widespread influence and importance. Whether it’s for business, travel, or cultural exploration, understanding Italian can open doors to these fascinating countries and their rich heritage.

Countries where Italian is a co-official language

Vatican City

Vatican City, officially known as the Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. With an area of just 0.44 square kilometers, it is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. Italian is not only the primary language spoken by the Vatican City’s population but also holds the status of its co-official language. As the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City plays a significant role in preserving and promoting the Italian language.


Slovenia, a picturesque country located in Central Europe, shares its border with Italy to the west. While the official language of Slovenia is Slovene, Italian holds the status of a co-official language in some regions of the country. This is due to the historical presence of an Italian-speaking minority in the areas bordering Italy. The Italian language plays a crucial role in these regions, where it is used in education, public administration, and cultural exchanges, fostering a strong connection between the two countries.


Croatia, a stunning country situated in Southeast Europe, also recognizes Italian as a co-official language in some of its regions. The Istrian Peninsula, located in the western part of Croatia, has a significant Italian-speaking population. Italian’s co-official status in this area acknowledges the historical and cultural ties between Italy and Croatia. Visitors to this region can experience the rich Italian heritage through the language, cuisine, and architecture, creating a unique blend of cultures.

These countries demonstrate the influence and importance of the Italian language beyond the borders of Italy itself. The co-official status of Italian in Vatican City, Slovenia, and Croatia reflects the historical, cultural, and linguistic connections between these nations, highlighting the enduring influence of Italian as a primary language in various regions.

Italian is primarily spoken in Italy, where it is the official language. However, Italian is also spoken as a primary language in some other countries. These include San Marino, Vatican City, and Switzerland, where it is one of the four official languages. Additionally, Italian is spoken by minority populations in countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, and Malta. While Italian may not be as widely spoken as some other languages, its influence extends beyond Italy’s borders, making it an important language in various regions.

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