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Here is some background on this particular sonnet:

The first 8 lines (known as an octave) make a statement about something and the following 6 lines (a sestet) respond to that statement, but you do not need to follow this format when writing your first Italian sonnet. 

This sonnet also uses Iambic pentameter (heartbeat rhythm where the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed: buhBUM, buhBUM, buhBum, buhBUM, buhBUM) and consist of an octave, or 8-line stanza, followed by a sestet, or 6-line stanza.

For the rhyme scheme, the first 8 lines (octave) are a/b/b/a   a/b/b/a.  The next six lines (sestet) can be in a different rhyme scheme like c/d/e   c/d/e or c/d/c  c/d/c   c/d/d/  c/d/d/  and so on.

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