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My Favorite Italian Language Learning Podcasts

I'll level with you: Learning a new language is hard. From verb conjugation, to pronunciation, vocabulary and irregularities, it's definitely a puzzle that takes a long time to put together. Thankfully, there are some wonderful resources available for those who want to work at it.

My favorite way to keep up with the Italian language is through #podcasts. One major reason why it's my favorite method is because podcasts are free. (As the saying goes, free is for me!)

Not to mention, integrating podcasts into your life, like when cleaning the house, driving to work, or taking a walk, is really easy. Who doesn't want to have some entertainment in the background while doing chores?!

I've listened to nearly every #Italianpodcast out there, and let's just say...there are some truly excellent ones. I've included my running list of favorites below, organized by my best guess of #languagelevel. Let me know if you've discovered any others on your journey to #learnItalian and I'll be sure to check them out!


For Those at the Beginner Level:

Have you always wanted to #learnItalian but don't know where to start? If you're not sure how to dip your toe into the water, these podcasts either integrate a lot of English so that you can understand every rule and nuance, or the pacing is slow enough to ensure you don't feel like you experienced whiplash from the speed.

Coffee Break Italian - For absolute beginners through advanced levels, I recommend this podcast to literally everyone who asks me about my favorite hobby. Mark, the host, is Scottish and an immensely talented polyglot, and Francesca is like the Italian best friend you wish you had. So, English speakers get the best of both worlds! The way they explain everything is very attainable, logical and easy to use.

Five Minute Italian - With this one, you also have the benefit of hearing from a native speaker (Matteo) and an English speaker (Katie). They do a great job of dissecting real-world situations into bite-sized pieces so that you better understand the reasoning behind everything.

Italian Grammar Made Easy with Margherita - Instagram pointed me to Margherita, and I couldn't be more pleased that it did. She explains (you guessed it) Italian grammar rules slowly and very clearly. I loved it and it's also a solid recommendation for those starting out.

For Those at the Intermediate Level:

By now, you've gathered the basics. You've learned a lot of vocab, you're mastering different verb tenses, can put some sentences together, and are ready for the next challenge.

Con Parole Nostre - Join this chat with three girlfriends! I like this one because it's multiple people who talk about everything from their favorite celebs (OMG, I could talk about this all day) to my #1 most fascinating subject, the use of English words in Italian. You'll have so much fun, it will feel like you're at happy hour.

Easy Italian - Don't let the title of this one fool you. "Easy" is not part of the title to describe the level, but also know that it's not terribly difficult. Easy probably means easy to follow or an easy pace. I find this podcast very natural, a conversation among two friends. The topics they get into are interesting and it's overall just a fun time!

Fiabe per Bambini - This is one of my favorite "curve ball" recommendations for people who are exploring Italian further--fairy tales for kids! As someone who enjoys reading children's books and worked in children's publishing for years, I can tell you that they make you feel like a kid again! Podcasts for kids are great because they control the pacing, use relatively simple words, but still help you go beyond your comfort zone. I listen to this one when I want to brush up on my passato remoto.

Italiano Automatico Podcast - This is a fave. In addition to long-form content, Alberto puts lists together that are great to save and practice. I'm currently listening to episode 536, "27 Verbi Italiani Per Migliorare Le Tue Conversazioni," (27 Italian Verbs to Improve Your Conversations). His episodes are easy to consume in less than 20 minutes, he brings on native speakers to help you hear natural conversation, and his episodes that get into the nitty gritty (conoscere versus sapere, for example) are very practical for everyday life.

Italiano con Amore - I love Eleonora's podcast because it's short, informative, and very easy to follow. Rather than focus on the ins and outs grammar, she lets you immerse yourself in topics. She explains Italian customs and holidays in an engaging, light way. From the different types of pizza, to Befana, Italian films, and more, you'll be sure to enjoy these roughly ~10-15 minute episodes. She also offers courses and more on her website.

Just Italian - I really love this one! The hosts are charming, pronounce everything clearly, and choose interesting subjects for each episode. It's a great way to hear Italian between two native Italians in a non-intimidating way.

Learn Italian with Lucrezia - Another fave, I found Lucrezia because Instagram suggested I follow her, and then I found out she has a podcast! And YouTube (for more visual learners), Facebook, and a website! Her enthusiasm for sharing the Italian language shines.

Pensieri e Parole - This one is perfect if you're "advanced beginner" and want to take on something more challenging. I really enjoy the host's voice, and her engaging way of educating people about Italian culture through her slow, easy use of the language. Sit down with this podcast and write down the vocab you don't know, and turns into a fun exercise.

For Those at the Advanced Level:

You've personally gone from John to Gianni, Catherine to Caterina. You know exactly when to integrate passato prossimo versus l'imperfetto, your pronunciation is top notch, and Italian is all you can think about! Maybe you even dream in Italian. And when you visit? Mamma mia - Italians ask you how you speak so well (*blushing*). Here is a good option for you to take it up a notch.

100 Cose Belle - Are you someone who needs help looking at the bright side of life? Then this podcast can help you in multiple ways! The hosts take traditionally "bad" things and try to find 10 beautiful things in each one. Caution: This is not specifically to help people learn language, so it's a true conversation between Italians. It goes quickly, so it's in the advanced category because it takes a lot of knowledge to keep up.

Amare Parole - Word lovers out there, it's time to tackle some tough topics. In this podcast from il Post, host Vera Gheno (academic, linguist, essayist and translator) tackles complex ideas, analyzes the use of words, and considers the way Italian is changing. My favorites are episodes that tackle whether architetto and avvocato should have feminine versions (architetta, avvocata), and whether foul language is necessary.

Illustri Sconosciuti - This is one of the most interesting ideas for a podcast I've ever heard. It's a podcast that is dedicated to the "almost famous" who have realized a great undertaking but never became famous (or famous enough or us to rememeber their names). Learn about the people who came up with bubble gum, hairdryers, erasmus, and more.

Ma Perché? - One upside of getting to an advanced level of Italian is the ability to think about, conceptualize, and talk about more complex topics. This podcast is great because it gets into world issues, asking one simple question: Why? Why are the farmers protesting? Why are there no more low-cost flights? The pace is fast and the topics are timely, sort of like a mix of conversation, interview, and news program.

No matter which podcast you choose, happy listening and learning. Buon ascolto!


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