Yes I was thinking that the more I practice, the more I can hear the nuances in the sentence in my mind. I use the term hear quite loosely; I almost mean that my mind is filling in the blanks, or running through the options of what kind of pronoun / adjective / article are possible to apply to given noun, and then trying to fill in the blank. I swear sometimes I think I'm beginning to actually hear the missing word. I'm very hopeful that this is exactly the training I need because I have heard many comments like yours above that Italians blur these words together; I'm not being mean, as an AE speaker I would be the first to tell you that people feel that our language blurs everything together when we speak, and people have a hard time differentiating our words. So I am reserving my duoLingo grazie for a future day when I am speaking with Italians and can hear all the little nuances between their words (I don't doubt the day will arrive!)
Well for what it's worth I think I'm a little less afraid of the Italian listening than I used to be. So, I think that means I understand a bit more. If anything it makes me more conscientious on the other sentences so I'll have hearts left for the listening-not that it always works.