How to Learn Italian: Native Resource Guide

If you’re looking to speak Italian like a local, the traditional textbook worksheets and grammar lessons won’t give you the colloquial dialogue you need to speak fluently. Like any language, Italian has nuances and slang you’ll only be able to pick up from native resources that are created for and by fluent speakers.

When you’re ready to take your Italian language skills to the next level, tune into this comprehensive guide of native resources you can reference on your fluency journey. Whether you’re listening to an Italian podcast while you cook up dinner or relaxing with some wine and watching an Italian film, these resources will help you incorporate Italian into your everyday life.


Grab your favorite movie theatre snacks and settle in with one of these Italian films. You can pick up cultural cues, conversational grammar and new vocabulary all while relaxing.

Life Is Beautiful

This classic Italian film follows a father and son using their imagination to survive the Holocaust. The film masterfully balances between drama, comedy, romance and war while giving you the perfect opportunity to practice your Italian language skills!


The Great Beauty

If you’re in the mood for a somewhat bizarre but equally entertaining Italian movie, try The Great Beauty. When a famous novelist turns 65, a shock makes him recoil from the scene of Italian nightlife he is so accustomed to and instead revel in the beauty of Rome.


This beautifully executed modern film tells the story of a mother grieving her dead son — though there are plenty of turns and twists that make this movie even more gripping. The pace is perfect for language learners, so you can follow along without getting lost in the intricacies of dialogue.

TV Shows

If a TV series is more your speed, there are plenty of shows to stream online for free. You can opt for subtitles if you’re an intermediate speaker, or go without if you’re ready for a more advanced option.


If you were a fan of Euphoria and are itching for another teen drama that can also improve your Italian, Baby hits the mark. The show follows two friends as they navigate a complicated web that spans between their elite private school and scandalous secret life outside.


Rocco Shiavone

For those who love crime shows like Law and Order or Fargo, try out the Italian favorite, Rocco Shiavone. This series follows a rule-breaking cop as he navigates a mysteriously twisted rural Italian mountain town.

L’Amica Geniale

This beautifully shot coming-of-age series follows young girls as they grow up alongside the Italian mafia and communist ideas. If you’re a beginner you’ll definitely need subtitles — the Neapolitan dialect isn’t a breeze to understand but can give more advanced learners a sense of different regional dialects.


Listen to a native Italian podcast while you’re working out, on your daily commute, or doing chores.

Da Costa a Costa

This native podcast covers American politics from an Italian perspective — giving you the perfect chance to catch up on current affairs while picking up some new language skills.


If you’re in search of a breezy podcast that can keep you up-to-date on Italian affairs, try out Caterpillar. The episodes are fairly short and provide Italian commentary, so you can pick up on conversational grammar and vocab while you listen.


True crime junkies, it’s your time to tune in. The terrifying 20-year-old crime story will keep you on the edge of your seat, and give you plenty of new vocabulary that you won’t pick up from any typical grammar lesson.


Photo by La So on Unsplash

Swap out your typical morning newspaper or internet search for a native Italian source instead. You’ll stay up-to-date on all the latest stories and pick up some new language skills while you’re at it!

Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata

Also known as ANSA, this non-profit wire service covers international and Italian news. Rather than reading your local paper, browse ANSA online and pick up useful Italian vocabulary while staying informed.

EuroNews Italy

If you’re looking for the Italian equivalent to well-known news sites like NBC or ABC, browse through EuroNews Italy to find similar content in your target language.  


For those that would rather browse entertainment, sports or business stories, try out Lercio. Though the coverage is still serious, there’s more variety which can give you a chance to pick up new vocabulary and read up on cultural stories in addition to news.

No matter what resource you choose, incorporating native Italian resources into your daily media digest can help you take your language skills to new heights.