According to Frederick Bodmer, in his book, The Loom of Language, French, Spanish, and Italian derive directly from Latin.
“The deeper we delve into the past, the more French, Spanish, and Italian converge. Finally, they become one in Latin, or, to be more accurate, in Vulgar Latin as spoken by the common people in the various parts of the Western Roman Empire.”
Today, these languages are known as the Romance languages.
Later in the book, Mr. Bodmer states that of all the Romance languages, Italian is the closest modern living relative of Latin.
If you already know Latin, and you want to learn a modern Romance language, the leap from Latin to Italian is the easiest leap.
In the past, I have not recommended much for Italian learners. That is simply because I have not been able to find much Italian instruction online for free.
As you learn a language, I always suggest you start with free material first. In this way, you are able to gauge your interest. Are you serious about learning the language, or are you not? Better to test your resolve with free content before wasting money.
Now you can start learning Italian for free!
Yesterday, I found out that the Radio Lingua network released their newest series: Coffee Break Italian!
Now, if you want to learn Italian, you can begin for free!
Check it out here: https://radiolingua.com/category/shows/coffee-break-italian/
Want to learn Latin first? Get started with my ebook, Via!