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16 Best Italian Podcasts for Beginners to Advanced Learners

Having issues with pronunciation, grammar, or learning Italian vocabulary? We’ve been there before. But not anymore! Dust off your old Italian dictionary, grab a bicchiere di vino, because it’s time to settle into some Italian podcasts.

Podcasts can elevate your learning, introduce you to new concepts easily and, best of all, they’re free to access. Thanks to Italian podcasters, we can now get Italian lessons while we wear sweatpants, clean the house or exercise. Awesome, right?

Rome colosseum

We’ll start by telling you how podcasts help you learn Italian, and then we’ll move on to getting the most out of them at the end. Finally, we’ve broken down our favorite 16 Italian podcasts into categories so you can find what you’re looking for. Be sure to check out each section, though – you might find a hidden gem.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these podcasts with other resources, such as apps, books, online courses, and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled an epic list of 50+ Italian learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!

Let’s get into it!

Why learn Italian using podcasts?

Put simply, podcasts are pocket tutors, entertainers, and motivators all in one. Think of your podcast hosts as your Italian personal brain trainers. Think about it. You’ll never learn or improve your Italian if you aren’t motivated, actively engaged, and learning from people who know the answers.

Also, listening to Italian helps you get a feel for how Italian is actually spoken. You know how in English we do things like throw “do” and “not” together to make “don’t”? Well, there are Italian versions of that, too. Slang, regional distinctions and idioms don’t always make it into the textbooks. Italian podcasts deliver that knowledge right to your device.

So, listening to Italian podcasts will improve your understanding of Italian, your pronunciation and your listening skills. Did we also mention these lessons come free of charge?

Girl with headphones

Who needs to listen to a podcast to learn Italian?

Anyone and everyone. Seriously, no learner out there is exempt. In the absence of a great teacher or tutor, listening to a podcast in Italian is your key to mastering it.

Beginners, we’ve listed some Italian podcasts which are suitable for even brand new Italian learners. Nothing too complicated, and nothing that will scare you off. That’s in the next sub-heading, so head there if you’re a newbie.

Intermediate and advanced learners, we haven’t forgotten about you. You actually have a bit more room for maneuver. If you know you love Italian history or culture or news, head to those sections. Otherwise, we’ve got some learning-based podcasts for you in the section titled Italian Podcasts for Intermediate and Advanced Learners.

Best Italian podcasts for beginners

1. Coffee Break Italian

My number one favorite. Visit Italy through your headphones and learn vocabulary, grammar and random trivia about big cities or places you’ve never heard of. Mark is also a great host and really takes his time to help listeners learn new concepts or phrases. 

Coffee Break Italian

This podcast is best for:

  • Complete novices
  • Easy introductions to grammar and vocabulary
  • People who love traveling in Italy
  • Keeping your Italian lessons fun 

2. Let’s Learn Italian

Never had a lesson before? Start with these tracks on Spotify. Although they aren’t a podcast per se, the tracks are packed with information in sizable chunks. Learn everything from saying “yes” and “no” in Italian, all the way through to using the possessive correctly.

Let's learn Italian

This podcast is best for:

  • Complete novices
  • Easy introductions to new topics
  • Helpful pointers with English translations included

3. The Italian Coach

Another great option for beginners. This podcast is full of interesting tidbits, Italian lessons and is a great accompaniment to traditional teaching methods. It’s all in Italian – but don’t let that freak you out. You get free access to the transcripts, and each episode is built on “simple” vocabulary that increases in complexity.

The Italian Coach

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners who prefer a slow-paced approach
  • People who hate grammar drills (none of those here!)
  • PDF transcripts that are free and easily accessed
  • Getting cultural references

4. Italy Made Easy

Another favorite of mine. Simplicity in this case definitely = effectiveness. Plenty of topics, great pace and the passion for Italian emanating from the host is infectious. This podcast accompanies a free course with the same name by the same people, so check that out if you’re interested.

Italy Made Easy podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Beginners moving towards intermediate level Italian
  • Access to lots of topics
  • Learners who need guidance

Italian podcasts for intermediate and advanced learners

5. Be Italiano

A great podcast designed to take your Italian beyond the basics. Be Italiano markets itself as a teaching course, and it’s great if you already have a rudimentary understanding of Italian. I’d say this is a great podcast to try if you’re unsure of whether you should move on from beginners to intermediate or not.

Stefano (the host) also has an online Italian course.

Be Italiano podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • New intermediates
  • Learning pronunciation and new vocabulary
  • Expanding your knowledge about spoken Italian
  • Learning about Italian culture

6. La Bottega di Babbel

A podcast produced and hosted by Babbel, our favorite language app. Host Gianluca chats with native Italians and learners, discussing Italian traditions, culture and life in general. Designed to improve conversational and listening skills (intermediate level).

La Botega Di Babbel podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Intermediate learners
  • People interested in Italian culture
  • Listening to spoken Italian at a regular pace
  • People who get bored easily learning Italian (contains a wide range of topics)

7. La Linguacciuta

Another podcast by our favorite language app teachers, Babbel. This is a podcast for people with a real passion for languages. Episodes include idioms, the notion of perspective, “untranslatability” and cultural meanings behind languages.

La Linguacciuta podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Intermediate to advanced learners
  • People looking for an entertainment podcast in Italian
  • Learning new and more complex vocabulary
  • Learners driven by curiosity of languages

Italian podcasts about news and culture

8. News in Slow Italian

This podcast delivers news updates in easy to understand Italian. I’d recommend replacing your native news network with this podcast once a week to get the most out of it. Full of new vocabulary, great for weaving into a conversation.

News in Slow Italian podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Gaining new vocabulary
  • Staying up-to-date with news from an Italian perspective

9. Il Proviniciale

Curious about life in Italy outside of big cities? Although this podcast was discontinued, I can really recommend going back to episode one and listening through to the final show. Learn about quiet villages and pick up on regional accents and dialects. Produced by Italian radio sender, RAI.

Il Proviniciale podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Intermediate to advanced learners
  • Cultural escapism
  • Insight into accents and dialects
  • Fun new trivia about Italy

10. 4 Verticale

Humor, anecdotes and even some old-fashioned Italian insults. It’s hosted by Italian teachers who discuss creative ways of learning languages away from the monotony of books and drills.

4 Verticale pocast

This podcast is best for:

  • Intermediate learners
  • Hearing Italian spoken naturally
  • Seeing the funny side of mistakes
  • Motivation while learning Italian

11. Quattro Stagioni

Just 10 minutes long, each episode is packed with new vocabulary. Perfect podcast for improving conversational Italian for beginners. Covers topics such as Venice, choosing a wardrobe, and how holidays are celebrated in Italy.

Quattro Stagioni podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Short, sharp episodes perfect for busy people
  • Interesting snippets of everyday life in Italy

12. Tutti Matti per l’Italiano

“All mad for Italian” is the ideal podcast for anyone obsessed with Italy. Listen to topics such as Italian events, legends, and cultural references.

Tutti Matti per l’Italiano podcast
Tutti Matti per l’Italiano podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners and intermediate learners
  • Entertainment
  • Understanding Italian colloquialisms
  • Readily-available transcripts

Podcasts to improve conversational Italian

13. L’Italiano Vero

A chatty podcast that feels like sitting down with an old friend. You’re invited to eavesdrop on the host as he discusses everything and anything with his guests. Also, it’ll bring a piece of Italian charm to your commute or lazy day.

L’Italiano Vero podcast

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners and intermediate learners
  • Those who need Italian transcription
  • Mixing up short and long episodes

14. Con Parole Nostre

Likewise, this is a podcast that centers around friendly conversation. Moreover, listening to this feels like sitting down to chat with long lost friends. Topics include pet peeves, passions and humor. In short, a great way to absorb Italian.

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Learning new ways to express yourself
  • Exposure to common phrases in a fun way

Miscellaneous Italian podcasts

15. Valeno

True-crime fan? This is a binge-worthy podcast that will have you gripped. Each episode delves into the horrifying story of kidnapped children, cult-like rituals, all told from the perspective of eye-witnesses. Trust me, this podcast is impossible to put down. Transcripts are available in Italian here.

This podcast is best for:

  • Intermediates
  • Taking a break from “traditional” Italian studies

16. Italian Dish

We’re guessing you’re in need of a break. Enter Italian Dish. Above all, this is a podcast you might be able to sympathize with. The host is an expat who moved to Italy, and knows all too well the struggles of learning Italian. These days, she cooks delicious Italian food, while answering your questions about life in Italy.

This podcast is best for:

  • Beginners
  • Cultural escapism
  • Regaining motivation to learn Italian

How to get the most out of learning with Italian podcasts

Now you know why you should listen to podcasts, and you might even have an idea of which ones you’d like to try. If this is the first time you’re listening to a podcast, or your first time listening to podcasts to learn a language, there are a few things you’ll want to know before starting.

First: Utilize Spotify’s features to your advantage.

Remember, you can change the speed of the track or podcast at the bottom of the screen where it says “1x”. If the speaker is going to fast, just slow them right down. This is especially handy if you like to take notes. The same button exists on the app version. Here’s a visual how-to:

Change speed spotify

Secondly, incorporate podcasts a couple of times a week for maximum effect.

It’s so important you listen to Italian as you try to learn it. Similarly, you’ll need to do it often enough that it becomes a natural habit. If you can, try to listen to two podcast episodes a week – it gets easier once you find your favorites.

Thirdly, discuss your favorite podcasts with other Italian speakers.

There are loads of forums out there where you can discuss latest episodes. Discussing in Italian is a great leap forward on your journey to achieving fluency.

Finally, use podcasts as a part of your learning regimen.

There are so many different resources out there, but using a combination is almost certainly the best way to achieve your language goals. Podcasts cover a lot of bases: vocabulary, grammar, listening, to name but a few. That said, there’s stuff they can’t do. So mix it up with books and apps to learn Italian.

For more information about resources to use on top of these podcasts, check out our article: Learn Italian: 50+ Apps, Podcasts, Books and Online Courses. Arrivederci!

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