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This might be of interest to some people (assuming the attachment goes through okay).
I found this graph (attached) poking around on some web sites, searching for information on how long it takes to develop fluency in a language. This plots progression over weeks for various starting points. 36 weeks is probably the equivalent of 3 semesters of college courses I'd imagine (though this could be more intensive study than that). A1, A2, B1, etc. are one standard measure of language learning.
So starting fresh, with no knowledge of a language, after 36 weeks of hard study you'd end up at a level B1 at best (more likely mid-A2, which is where I'm at after more than that amount of study). You can read for gist and produce a several connected sentences and understand a good bit of what someone is saying if it's a familiar topic.
If you started at A2, after 36 more weeks, you'd get to around B1/B2, which means communicating and comprehending with a fair amount of proficiency. You're not fluent by any means, but can understand and be understood.
If you start at B1/B2, after 36 more weeks, you'd get to C1/C2, which is close to native levels of fluency. You might even do better on some grammar rules than some native speakers, but you'd still confuse idioms and turns of phrase.
I didn't post this to discourage folks interested in learning Italian, just as a reality check on how much time it'd take to develop fluency. Even with a concerted effort with significant investments of time and hard work, it's probably three years to become fluent.
I've seen posts here and elsewhere from folks disappointed with their lack of progress. I feel that every day in the Italian class I'm taking. But then I go back and look at the material I was learning in my first or second semester Italian class and realize that I can read and understand material at that level nearly flawlessly.