italian short stories

11 Easy Italian Short Stories for Beginners

If you’re short on time, easy Italian short stories will help you make the most of it.

Better yet, the Italian short stories on this list come in convenient formats—from stories you can read online or on the go to stories that come with an audio component so you can listen along.

Read on and learn!


Easy Italian Short Stories You Can Read Online

Reading Italian short stories online is convenient: Just pull up your laptop, tablet or favorite internet-connected device and visit the following resources for plenty of reading practice options.

1. Cose per crescere (Things for Growing)

italian short stories

This resource is a website that’s written exclusively in Italian.

That may seem a little intimidating for beginner Italian learners, but a little work during the first visit will allow you to reap the benefits of this great website.

Primarily, the site is a directory of children’s stories, with each story comprising of short posts with a title, photo and some text on the directory page. Simply click on a story that looks the most interesting to you and start reading.

Best of all, you can sign up on the website with an email and download the stories for access anywhere, anytime! Many of these stories are folktales and fables at a level best suited for pre-intermediate learners.

Being a website all in Italian, I definitely suggest the three-step approach for these stories.

2. Grimm Stories

italian short stories

This site full of Grimm fairy tales offers a large selection of childhood favorites to read.

Each story is initially presented in Italian. At the bottom of each story, there’s an option to pick another translation. Most helpful of all is the option to have a side-by-side comparison of English and Italian.

Starting with the Italian translation only is great practice for reading comprehension. Then you can compare it against the English text and find vocabulary that you didn’t understand the first time around!

3. Ercole Guidi’s Parallel Texts

If you’re looking for something more challenging than children’s stories, this is the website for you. This page of literary translations features side-by-side Italian and English versions of popular short stories and limited excerpts of longer works by famous authors.

The resource now offers the new option to shift from parallel text to hiding the English or Italian text. You can start by seeing both languages, then hide the English version to reduce distractions and focus on the Italian text.

This website also offers a wide variety of genres to choose from. You can practice your spooky vocabulary by reading some Edgar Allan Poe. Or brush up on your wit by reading some Mark Twain. You can even read excerpts from popular novels!

Choose from Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Grey,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” just to name a few.

If you’re feeling super brave, you can try your vocabulary with a Shakespeare play or reading some Italian to English translations. And, if you want to get back to some fairy tales, there’s a well-translated version of the Italian story “The Adventures of Pinocchio.”

Easy Italian Short Stories with Audio

Wondering what a certain word sounds like? Wonder no more. The following resources feature easy Italian short stories that come with audio so you always know exactly how to pronounce every word in the story.

Read along to maximize your learning potential.

4. “Learn Italian with Subtitles for Children and Adults” 

This YouTube playlist by BookBox is a fantastic resource for all Italian learners and it includes 19 easy Italian short stories aimed at beginners and children. Despite this, I recommend this playlist even for intermediate learners.

Each story includes slow, clear audio accompanied by a video. Additionally, stories include written, on-screen subtitles in Italian that BookBox has put in the video itself. No need for dodgy YouTube subtitles.

Each story is about five to seven minutes long—perfect when you have a bit of downtime in your day.

italian short stories

As an added bonus, each story has beautiful illustrations so it really feels like you’re reading an Italian fairy tale.

If you’re interested, Bookbox is also an app! Check out all the Italian stories on the app for iOS and Android.

5. One World Italiano

italian short stories

If you’ve been studying Italian for a while, you’re probably familiar with One World Italiano—an online Italian course that has a great YouTube channel and supplementary material.

Since it’s on this list, you’ve probably already guessed that the website also has a selection of easy short stories and texts for learners to use to improve their Italian.

The best part about One World Italiano is how short the stories actually are. Each tale is only a couple of paragraphs long, making these stories perfect for bite-sized Italian learning when you’re really in a tight squeeze.

Every story also includes a quiz to check your understanding and solidify concepts and vocabulary. Additionally, stories come with an audio reading and the option to follow along with the written story or hide the text and focus on the spoken words.

The stories include well-known tales such as “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “The Emperor’s Nightingale,” which makes them good resources for learners who are already familiar with the stories to some extent. Beginners, try this one!

6. The Italian Experiment

italian short stories

This fantastic website has a little bit of everything for practicing your Italian.

Channel your inner child, and enjoy revisiting stories that you loved! The Italian Experiment features “Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

The best thing about The Italian Experiment is that you have the option to read the stories in Italian, listen to a native Italian speaker recite the story or listen as you follow along with the text.

Since the stories are spoken at a slow pace, it’s easy to follow and understand the vocabulary.

Easy Italian Short Story Books

Want to take your reading on the go? You can with these books. Just load the e-book onto your e-reader or throw the physical book into your bag and you’ll be ready to learn Italian short stories, no matter where you are.

7. “Italian Short Stories for Beginners” 

Italian Short Stories for Beginners: Improve your reading and listening skills in Italian (Learn Italian with Stories Vol. 1) (Italian Edition)

For those who love their Kindle, this resource for easy Italian stories is for you! It’s an e-book that’s specifically made for English learners of Italian!

The book includes 10 short stories which cover everyday topics such as jobs, home and travel.

The best part is that the stories are broken into sections, and each section is followed by a word list of key translations. 

Better yet, each story has a subsequent summary and multiple-choice questions. These questions are great to test comprehension and reinforce your Italian learning.

Also included with the purchase of the e-book are 13 hours of audio recordings of the stories read aloud in Italian.

8. “Learn Italian III – Parallel Text – Short Stories

Learn Italian III - Parallel Text - Short Stories (Easy to Intermediate Level)

Our next resource is actually a book created for Italian learners from Polyglot Planet Publishing. Who doesn’t prefer paper to screen, after all?

The book includes seven English-Italian short stories, presented in a parallel, dual-language format. For each line of Italian text, there’s a translated line of English text underneath.

The book also has the same seven stories but in an Italian-only format. This is a great way to review the content of the stories and the words you didn’t know during the first read-through.

The parallel text occurs line-by-line, which ensures that the translation is always close. This is perfect for beginners who often find themselves spending too much time flipping through the dictionary for every other word.

Further, the topics of these stories are varied and include art, relationships and food, making them excellent resources for learners looking to build their vocabulary.

9. “Italian Reader – Short Stories

Italian Reader - Short Stories (English-Italian Parallel Text): Elementary to Intermediate (A2-B1)

This collection has a whopping 16 stories for you to read and study.

There are even five “warm-up” stories to ease you into reading! Each story is presented in both English and Italian, adapted from well-known authors.

“Italian Reader – Short Stories” is a super helpful way to practice your Italian.

10. “Italian Short Stories for Beginners: 8 Unconventional Short Stories to Grow Your Vocabulary and Learn Italian the Fun Way!

Italian Short Stories For Beginners: 8 Unconventional Short Stories to Grow Your Vocabulary and Learn Italian the Fun Way! (Italian Edition)

This book by Olly Richards is an excellent resource for practicing Italian.

Written for students from beginner level to intermediate, the eight short stories in this book have been developed to make learning as enjoyable as possible.

They use simple grammar and vocabulary, and the topics are ones that will keep you constantly entertained.

This book is a great read!

11. “Italian: Short Stories for Beginners – 20 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Italian and Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way!

Italian Short Stories for Beginners: 20 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Italian & Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way! (Easy Italian Stories)

This book contains several different genres of short stories, so there’s something to entertain everyone.

The stories are fun and interesting enough to keep you motivated and intrigued, making the book hard to put down.

There are several bonus features in this book, including vocabulary, story summaries and even testing exercises.

All these aspects combined make it easy to grow your understanding of vocabulary, grammar and context. “Italian: Short Stories For Beginners” is a top choice for practicing your Italian!

The Benefits of Easy Italian Short Stories for Beginners

Since short stories are by nature short, you can use them to squeeze a lot of Italian learning into a relatively small span of time.

Reading short stories is a great way to get quick, informal doses of Italian language practice.

Easy short stories in Italian offer exposure to simple, natural sentence structure. This makes them great for beginners just getting accustomed to the language and even intermediate speakers who want to maintain their language competency.

Further, short stories often include repetition of the most common Italian words. “To say” in Italian? It’s probably in the short story you’re reading (dire). Basic conversation structure? That’s probably there too!

Best of all, short stories make great learning tools because they’re more entertaining than a textbook. Unless you’re a grammar nerd like me, reading verb tables and agreement rules is no way to spend your 20 minutes of free time. Simply open up a short story and learn away!

Thanks to technology, many short stories are available on the web, so they’re perfect for a blast of Italian just about anywhere, whether you’re on your commute, in the waiting room or during lunch. Just download and read away!

How to Learn Italian with Easy Short Stories

Since these stories are often pretty straightforward, you’ll need a simple plan for learning effectively with them. To get the most out of your short story, I suggest this three-step approach:

  1. Read the story for the gist, not the details. Focus on trying to understand the main ideas of the story—the characters, the major plot developments and the setting.
  2. Read it again but this time do a careful read. Highlight or underline unknown words, phrases or grammatical constructions that are unfamiliar to you. Once you finish this read, translate all the unfamiliar words and phrases and write them down in a notebook or on flashcards to help you remember them later.
  3. Use the translations to read the story one final time. This allows you to understand the text fully and have quick access to the translations and explanations.

For extra practice, I suggest writing a summary of the story. This will give you a more complete understanding of it and make new vocabulary and grammar topics easier to recall later.


You can also pair your stories with visuals like pictures and video, to make the content more memorable. On FluentU, for example, you can find plenty of Italian videos, including some animated short stories.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Before, your biggest problem was finding the time to learn.

Now, it turns out that your biggest conundrum is deciding which easy Italian short story to read first!

Happy learning!

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