There are many reasons why you should learn Italian in Italy, not the least of which is that you will learn how to speak Italian using the correct Italian accent, and even with a dialect of your choosing. Many people want to learn this ubiquitous language, so let's have a look at why visiting Italy to do so is such a great idea. You might not need too much persuading, but perhaps you feel the expense won't be worth it. Wrong - and here's why.
Let's say you learn Italian at local night classes: what do you get? Perhaps just the one lesson each week and you are in a class with a variety of people with different objectives: some might just want to learn the basics, and others might have been forced into it by their parents or relatives. That happens, and the result is that the tutor has to spend more time with those least interested so that less is available for you. However that's not the major problem - the major problem is one lesson a week.
You get one lesson a week and then what? Sent home to study, learn vocabulary and likely forget most of it because nobody at home speaks Italian! In fact perhaps nobody in your entire family speaks Italian. If they did you likely wouldn't have to pay for lessons! You have to study hard and remember everything learned at each weekly class because you aren't using the language during the rest of the week.
Now let's say you decide to take learning your language seriously and learn Italian in Italy. You will travel to Italy and learn with people who are just as committed to learning the language properly as you are. In fact you can even choose where you learn so that you can get used any individual dialect of your choosing, simply by learning in a specific part of Italy. So not only do you have the benefit of learning a language in the country that speaks it, but also in a specific area of your choosing.
Just think of the benefits: get immersed in Italy's history and its culture. Understand how the language developed and find out how ancient Latin developed into the Italian language of today. Purchase your food and everything else in Italian stores and shops rather than just have a lesson on food names and how to buy them in Italy. Then get stuck when you get there!
Speak to Italians in their own language and learn every waking minute of your day. Another advantage of learning Italian in Italy is that you get to know all the colloquialisms - these quirks of any language that baffle the tourists or those that learned in school. Learn the Italian version of being 'over the moon' or 'under the weather'. Learn what their version of a 'nodding donkey' or 'slam dunked' is. That is really learning a language, not just going through the textbook stuff.
Who in the USA, for example, or even in the UK where it is most grammatically spoken, talks perfect English as you would learn from a textbook? Why is it that people who learn from textbooks, such as at school or night classes, find it easier to speak to each other than to residents of the country, or can't even speak it all - just write it?
By learning Italian in Italy, by mixing with the Italian people and reading Italian newspapers and watching Italian movies, you will learn to read it, write it, speak it and understand it - whether spoken by an Italian aristocrat or by an ordinary working class guy from the Italian version of the Bronx or East London. That's the way to learn Italian: be there in Italy, and learn it all day every day you are there. Not from books and listening to others that learned Italian at school, college or university, but from real, genuine Italians that have live in Rome, Milan or Florence all their lives.
So, if you are serious about learning Italian, or any other language you feel you want to learn, then considering learning the language in the country it is native to. You wouldn't travel to Germany to learn French, or England to learn Spanish, so why try to learn Italian other than in Italy?
If you learn Italian in Italy then you will be learning the language the best possible way so that you don't forget the vocabulary and you don't have to learn too many academic rules. Kids don't understand academic rules of grammar and they speak their own language perfectly well!