From French to Italian

So I’m currently learning French and eager to pick up another language: I’m caught between Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish.
I know that French and Italian are very similar and Italian will be much easier for a French speaker however if I were to start learning it now the French and Italian would be too similar, so I will wait before bringing the Italian into my studies. But I also want my French to be strong enugh to help my Italian studies so my question is, when should I begin studying Italian, could I begin when my French reaches b1/2 or would I have to wait till at least c1?

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It’s your brain, you know best how it works. Are you comfortable with language interference at the start of the second FL learning process? What amount of initial interference would be too much? Give it a go. For you as an English speaker, Spanish may be the easier choice as your second FL. But only you can decide. Interest, application, time: all will tell.