Reading and Pronouncing Italian
Italian is based on a 21-letter alphabet. Though you will come across the letters J, K, W, X, and Y in your travels, you will notice that these letters only appear in words borrowed from other languages (whiskey and jolly, to name a few).
English and Italian share many cognates — words that are spelled similarly in the two languages. Some of these words are modern and are related to recent technology: telefono, calcolatrice, macchina. You will recognize many words related to musical terminology (alto, soprano, trombone) and to cuisine as well (al dente, biscotti, pepperoni).
The vowels a and e can have two slightly different pronunciations. There is no way to tell by looking at a written word which pronunciation to use. Pesca (peach) is spelled the exact same way as pesca (fishing). There is a very slight pronunciation difference between the two: pesca (pronounced PAYS-ca) means fishing, pesca (pronounced PESS-ca) means peach.
In addition to the 21 Italian letters, there are five foreign letters, used in words borrowed from other languages.
How can I practice my pronunciation?
Pronunciation isn't something that can be learned from a book, and learning to speak Italian won't come from reading a book. Hire a native speaker as a tutor, watch Italian movies, and listen to Italian music to develop an ear for spoken Italian.