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Best podcasts to learn Italian

The tidings are fair, my friend. Fear not! These Italian podcasts are not so fleet of foot as to baffle the novice mind. Nay, they shall prove an excellent addition to your studies.

In the pursuit of learning any language, ’tis true that cultural immersion holds import. Yet, the case of Italian, a tongue that must be experienced as much as enunciated, assumes an even greater significance. For Italians, communication involves not only words but also gestures. And this is a facet that a mere tome cannot convey. That’s where the Italian podcasts come in.

With genuine conversation to fortify your burgeoning lingual abilities, tuning in to Italian podcasts serves as a remarkable means to plunge oneself into the language and grasp its true essence. Not to mention that they also shed light on cultural themes and present-day occurrences that concern the Italian populace. If thou art seeking a collection of stimulating and invaluable shows, lo, here are some of the most noteworthy Italian podcasts for the aspiring learner.

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Italian Podcasts For Language Learners

News in Slow Italian

Listen up, friend. Here’s the skinny: you can get your fill of the latest happenings, served to you at your desired tempo. That’s right, News in Slow Italian is just what it says on the label. Every week, they dish out Italian lessons that cater to your level of comprehension. Take your pick from novice, intermediary, or advanced recordings, and each session comes along with a transcript, so you can peruse it while you listen.

But there’s more to it than just news, my friend. These lessons also provide a crash course in Italian grammar and turns of phrase. It’s the complete package, I tell you. So, if you’re looking to stay informed while sharpening your language skills, News in Slow Italian is the way to go.

Caterpillar

If you’re partial to bite-sized news, then the moderate stride of the Caterpillar may be just the ticket. This afternoon broadcast, beaming across the airwaves of Italy’s Rai Radio 2, stars Sara Zambotti and Massimo Cirri who hold forth on the latest events in a condensed, “Cliff’s Notes” rendition of the goings-on. Not to mention, they’re not averse to rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. In fact, in 2015, the duo made a plea to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to bestow the Nobel Peace Prize of 2016 upon the humble bicycle.

4 Verticale

Babbel’s inaugural Italian podcast goes by the name of 4 Verticale. It’s a show that’ll have you on the edge of your seat with its sparkling banter between the effervescent Giulia Depentor and her co-host, Stefano Nucera. And that’s not all, for they regale the listeners with captivating tales spun in the Italian tongue. This is “the podcast that shatters the monotony of learning composed solely of books and professors.” Its focus is on amusing anecdotes about the experience of living abroad and, every now and then, vintage Italian barbs that’ll make you chuckle.

Learn Italian With Music

Say, have you ever stopped to consider how it’s easier to commit song lyrics to memory than it is, let’s say, all the capitals of the world? It’s high time we take that concept a step further with Learn Italian With Music. Every episode deals with a distinct term, such as casa (“home”) or essere (“to be”), and explores various tunes in which the term is featured. In the process, it delves into grammar, vocabulary, and culture. Even if you’re not yet proficient in the language, it’s a nifty way to dive into Italian media.

La Bottega di Babbel

Babbel’s La bottega di Babbel is a show crafted for the intermediate learner. It endeavors to tackle the perplexing inquiries in Italian that have long troubled you. Questions such as, what, pray to tell, is Ferragosto? When was the holy grail of pizza first concocted? And how do the Italians celebrate the yuletide season? Host Gianluca strives to provide answers to these and a plethora of other queries through lively discussions with native speakers and fellow learners of Italian.

Senza Rosetto

Senza Rosetto, which translates to “Without Lipstick,” is a feminist Italian podcast, a trifecta of joy for those who cherish such things. It delves into the myriad issues women grapple with in the modern era, ranging from the notorious wage gap to the righteous expression of one’s wants and needs. The podcast saw its genesis on the momentous occasion of the 70th anniversary of the first political referendum that afforded women the opportunity to vote, on June 2, 1946. With three seasons to its credit, the show packs in a lot of history and serves as a beacon of hope for those who strive for gender equality.

La Linguacciuta

Yet another of Babbel’s advanced-level Italian podcasts, this show whisks you away on a wondrous journey through the idiosyncrasies of the Italian language. Hosted by the effervescent Ilenia Zodiaco, La Linguacciuta regales you with tales of untranslatable concepts, whimsical made-up words, and insightful musings on how language can reflect one’s personality. With 10 episodes currently at your disposal, it’s easy to drink in all the linguistic goodness that this show has to offer.

Camposanto

In the shadow of death, there lies a curious Italian podcast. Hosted by a former Babbel content producer, Camposanto takes listeners on an unexpected journey through the places we tend to avoid: cemeteries. Though the topic may seem bleak, the show manages to unearth fascinating stories and compelling histories that lie within the walls of these final resting places. From the lives that came before to the lives left behind, Camposanto examines it all, all while conducted entirely in Italian. While perhaps not suited for beginners, each episode comes with a transcript to guide you along the way.

Con Parole Nostre

In the hills of Italy, nestled among olive groves and vineyards, you’ll find three Italian teachers – Elfin, Silvia, and Barbara – who gather to talk about life in the bel paese. Their podcast, “Con Parole Nostre,” is a charming and authentic glimpse into the daily conversations of Italians, and a must-listen for anyone learning the language.

The trio’s discussions are unscripted and effortlessly engaging, covering everything from the latest news in Italy to the quirks of Italian culture. And for those who find their rapid-fire Italian too challenging, fear not – transcripts are available for every episode, so you can follow along at your own pace. With “Con Parole Nostre,” you’ll feel like you’re sipping a cappuccino at a café in Florence, chatting with your Italian friends about la dolce vita.

History Cast

In History Cast, you’ll journey through the ages of Italy’s storied past, from the days of ancient Rome to the present day. This podcast is an excellent way to expand your vocabulary while deepening your understanding of Italy’s rich cultural heritage. The show is designed for native Italian speakers, so you’ll need a solid grasp of the language to follow along. But even if you lose the thread from time to time, there’s plenty of context to help you catch up. Whether you’re an avid history buff or simply seeking to learn more about Italy’s fascinating past, History Cast is one of the best Italian podcasts out there.

Italiano Automatico

In the vast realm of language learning, Italiano Automatico is a podcast that stands out from the rest. Hosted by the remarkable Alberto, this show is an excellent way to enhance your understanding of the Italian language. Alberto’s expertise lies in providing listeners with the necessary skills to speak Italian fluently and with confidence. His episodes cover an array of topics, ranging from everyday conversations to cultural curiosities, allowing learners to improve their speaking and listening skills. As one fan put it, “Alberto’s teaching methods are truly exceptional. His content is engaging and relevant, and he speaks with clarity and ease.”

Italian Conversations

In the world of language learning, there’s nothing quite like real-life conversations. That’s why it’s important to tune in to Italian podcasts that feature authentic, everyday discussions rather than relying solely on reading novels or watching the news.

By focusing on the most common topics, you can build your speaking skills and better prepare yourself for real-life situations. And with so many Italian podcasts to choose from, the possibilities are endless. So why not start listening and immerse yourself in the language and culture?

Coffee Break Italian

If you’re just starting out with Italian, Coffee Break Italian is a fantastic place to start. The show features three hosts, including Katie, who is learning Italian right alongside the listeners. This makes for an approachable and comfortable learning experience. As you follow along, you can see the mistakes and learn from them alongside Katie.

The episodes are paced slowly, with plenty of drilling and repetition to help the concepts sink in. And if you’re feeling a bit hesitant or intimidated about learning Italian, this podcast is an excellent choice.

While there are paid courses available that include video lessons, detailed notes, and bonus audio, the audio lessons themselves are completely free. So give it a shot and see how far you can take your Italian skills! Coffee Break Italian is among the best Italian podcasts out there for beginners.

Ripeti Con Me

Ripeti Con Me trains you to think in Italian. You might think it is too good to be true, but this course has been crafted to help you learn Italian rapidly.

The secret? Daily listening practice, just 20 minutes per day, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Italian like a native. As you progress through the course, you’ll gain fluency in new words and expressions, picking up the language almost unconsciously.

Of course, the key to any language is listening comprehension, and Ripeti Con Me is specifically designed to immerse you in the language, allowing you to better understand how native Italians communicate in different situations.

So, I would sum up this course by mentioning:

  1. You get access to simplified materials to distinguish the different words. 
  2. You’ll hear authentic Italian, which will help you speak with ease and confidence when conversing with Italians.

ItalianPod101

In the sprawling landscape of Italian language podcasts, ItalianPod101 stands tall as a comprehensive and immersive option, spanning from beginner to advanced levels. The episodes are delivered by lively and engaging hosts, who present dialogues in a clear and concise manner, covering a wide range of grammatical features and cultural topics.

If you are looking to dive deeper, signing up for premium content provides access to spaced repetition flashcards, PDF lesson notes, and a community forum. For those just starting out on their journey to learn Italian, ItalianPod101 is a fantastic option to consider.

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4 Comments

  1. News in Slow Italian certainly sounds like a fantastic resource for anyone looking to multitask their learning and stay updated on current events. It’s like having the best of both worlds – staying informed about the latest happenings and improving your Italian language skills simultaneously. The option to choose your level of comprehension and having access to transcripts is a thoughtful touch, making it accessible for learners at all stages. The inclusion of grammar and turns of phrase in these lessons is a valuable addition. It’s not just about understanding the news; it’s about grasping the language’s nuances and becoming more proficient in Italian.

    1. If you merely want to write and read a language, you would be okay with the common, mainstream lessons. But to understand and speak fluently, you need to assimilate the native Italian nuances and enunciation. This is where listening becomes a vital part of the language-learning process.

  2. A lot of these recommendations are excellent! I use “News in Slow French”, “Coffee Break French/Spanish”, and French/Spanish Pod 101″ and they really help.

    Of the three, I like Coffee Break best for learning grammar and some basic vocabulary. News is great for pushing your vocabulary and grammar once you have a basic understanding of the language, and Pod 101 is good for improving your conversational skills.

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