“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall but wise words endure.” — Edward Thorndike
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.
While that’s a perfectly fine point of view, many of us believe that the words themselves are absolutely priceless!
Pause for a moment. Think about all the incredible adventures words have taken you on. Really, take a minute and consider where you’ve been and what you’ve done, courtesy of words.
Aha! Now you see my point, don’t you?
Let’s face it: Literature is timeless, engaging, socially relevant and informative. Books teach, inspire, bring people closer and provide limitless opportunities for growth.
Books bring language to life. And that goes for all languages—including Italian!
So if you’re really committed to getting your Italian groove on, you’ll need to add books to your language program. No excuses—not even that ever-popular “but I’m too busy to read!” pretext.
Anyone can include books in their studies thanks to Italian audiobooks!
Audiobooks are the busy learner’s best friend. They’re fabulous for on-the-run learning as well as those rare long, uninterrupted stretches of relaxation time. They go anywhere, so they’re excellent traveling companions!
Listen to books in Italian and you’ll soon realize how they can help optimize learning. Audiobooks will entertain, teach and grow your language skills almost effortlessly.
Let’s check out a few places that offer audiobooks in Italian!
The Busy Learner’s Guide to Italian Audiobooks: 5 Resources and 11+ Book Picks
If you want to squeeze even more Italian studies into your busy day, or just need a break from audio-only listening, you’ll enjoy using FluentU along with these audiobooks. That’s because FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
What that means is that you can hear real native Italian speakers in content made for other Italian speakers. It’s a great way to train your ears to the natural flow of the language and to supplement your audiobook learning with some visual stimulation.
Plus, FluentU is loaded with great features for learners like video-based flashcards, interactive subtitles, customizable vocabulary lists, full video transcripts, adaptive quizzes and so much more.
Best of all, like these audiobooks, you can take FluentU with you wherever you go with the Android and iOS apps.
Ready to start listening? Enjoy these awesome audiobook picks and the five best places to find even more!
Audible, an Amazon company, is the go-to place for audiobooks. With thousands of titles available, their offerings (in several languages) cover fiction as well as non-fiction. Fortunately, there’s an expansive selection of audiobooks in Italian. Honestly, it makes choosing what to read an adventure in itself!
Signing up for Audible is easy. There’s a 30-day free trial that includes one audiobook and two Audible original titles. After the month is up, there’s a fee to continue to gain access to the same number of titles as in the free trial period.
There’s something for every level learner with Audible. Whether you’re a beginner or close to fluent, they’ve got you covered! Check out three of our favorite picks.
“Italian Short Stories for Beginners” by Talk in Italian
This Italian audiobook is exactly what you’d expect. It’s a collection of short stories geared toward beginning learners. The vocabulary is basic and the grammar is uncomplicated but there’s the potential to add 1,500 vocabulary words to your skill set so it’s definitely worth a listen!
Additionally, every story in the book is recorded in two ways. One reading is slowed down, so learners can more easily grasp content, vocabulary and pronunciation. The second reading is at a faster pace, designed with intermediate and advanced learners in mind. Whichever way you listen, the stories are entertaining and educational.
As an added bonus, reference materials are available to those who choose this title! Subscribers gain access to a “My Library” section where some extra goodies like flashcards, vocabulary lists and word definitions are stored.
“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
“Wonder” is a best-selling children’s book that’s been a hit with readers of all ages. It’s also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie by the same title.
This is a story about a child born with a facial difference who just wants to be treated like other kids. In the past, his facial issues have kept him isolated but now, finally, Auggie is going to school—and what happens when he gets there will touch any reader’s heart.
The book is intended for young readers so the vocabulary, grammar and plot line make it a good option for even basic-level Italian language students.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fans will adore Audible. Every title in the wildly popular series is available in Italian!
From the first book, “Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale” (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”) through “Harry Potter e l’Ordine della Fenice” (“The Order of the Phoenix”) all the way to “Harry Potter e il Principe Mezzosangue” (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”) and beyond, Audible’s got every Hogwarts adventure ready for Italian language listeners!
And since these books are intended for young adult readers (though people of all ages adore them), they’re approachable for intermediate learners.
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
“Jane Eyre” is fabulous in any language and Italian is no exception. The story, told in the first-person narrative, showcases family dynamics and emotional growth. It’s a tale of hardship and endurance, and its ending is timeless.
High intermediate and advanced learners will have a lot to learn from this classic.
Google Play has lots of Italian course books for audio listening. Course books are a very good way to add some listening, pronunciation and vocabulary practice to any language program.
Also, there are two books of short stories available in audio format for Italian language listeners. Both will entertain more advanced learners as well as those just starting on the Italian journey.
And despite being an Android-centric store, the audiobooks you get on Google Play are accessible on many devices via the apps, including your computer as well as Android and iOS devices.
“Raccontini: Easy Italian Reader” by Alfonso Borello
This reader is a collection of three short stories geared toward intermediate level learners. They cover very different topics and use simple vocabulary meant specifically for learners to be able to follow easily.
They’re also available individually, so if you’re trying to gauge whether you’ll be interested in this collection, try one to decide!
“Short Stories in Italian for Beginners” by Olly Richards
“Short Stories in Italian” covers a number of genres including science fiction, history and thrillers. Its focus is on entertaining while teaching, so be ready to power up your vocabulary skills and learn authentic, everyday conversational skills.
While beginners will appreciate this audiobook for its simplicity, more advanced learners will benefit from listening to it, as well. The eight stories range from A2 to B1 levels on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
The stories build upon each other, starting easier and gradually increasing in difficulty, so listeners will find that by the time the final story concludes they’ll have been exposed to lots of new vocabulary and grammar—all while having fun!
Overdrive is an app that makes e-books and audiobooks available for free through public libraries and schools.
That means that although we recommend a number of our favorite picks below, you might not find them available through your local library or school. However, since available content does vary so wildly from place to place, you’re sure to find some other treasures!
To search OverDrive for Italian audiobooks, you’ll need to connect to your library account or your school. Once connected, you can run an advanced search through your institution’s database of books. Generally, you should be able to select “audiobook” for format and “Italian” for language. Then, enjoy the free Italian audiobooks that become available for you to borrow!
OverDrive also has a newer, more streamlined app currently available, called Libby. If you already use OverDrive, don’t worry: Your information will sync between the two apps.
OverDrive is the ideal spot for finding language-learning audiobooks as well as authentic options. For learners whose focus is fast learning—perhaps for an upcoming trip to Italy?—there are many super options.
“Easy Fast Italian for Travel and Eating” by Mark Frobose
This Italian audiobook is perfect for those preparing for a culinary trip to The Boot—or even for anyone who just wants a handle on basic conversational skills.
Whether it’s ordering food, asking basic cooking questions or calculating the tip after a fabulous meal in Rome, this audiobook will give you the tools to do all that—and more!
“Power Italian Accelerated” by Mark Frobose
Brought to you by the same author as our previous pick, “Power Italian Accelerated” is a bestseller that’s helped countless students learn Italian quickly and easily. The 144 units in this book teach learners how to speak Italian, fast.
It’s a fast-moving book that’s designed for on-the-go learning!
Many Other Titles!
Since choices vary by library, we thought we’d offer a few more general links here. For unknown reasons, the OverDrive website search doesn’t allow for “Italian” to be selected as a language, so you’ll need to get a bit more specific in your searches (or just search via your library or school).
For instance, you can browse the titles in the “Foreign Language Study” category for Italian audiobooks. You can also search by a specific author, like Dacia Maraini. Another option is to look up Italian audiobook publishers, like Il Narratore.
YouTube once again proves that it’s more than a place to find videos of silly cats and how-to tutorials.
It’s a treasure trove of Italian audiobooks—and they’re all absolutely free (and legal)! What’s not to love about that?
“Le avvnture di Pinocchio” (“The Adventures of Pinocchio”) Carlo Collidi
This is the childhood favorite we’re all familiar with, read in Italian—which seems super appropriate since its author, Carlo Collidi, wrote it in Italian.
The narrator of this version does a great job of bringing the well-loved characters to life.
Since the story was written for children, the vocabulary is pretty straightforward, making it a great choice for every level learner, including beginners.
“Emma” by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s beloved classic “Emma” is available as an Italian audiobook on YouTube. The story is divided into two parts.
Part One begins Emma’s story, showcasing her matchmaking adventures and all the romance and intrigue of the time. It focuses on the role of women in society in 19th-century England.
The second half, with its satisfying conclusion, can be found in Part Two of the narrated reading.
This should be considered an intermediate level book in any language. But with audiobooks, there’s the option to pause, check out any unfamiliar vocabulary and then continue on with the story.
So if this is your dream Italian beginner audiobook, go for it!
“La divina commedia” (“The Divine Comedy”) by Dante Alighieri
Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. It’s a long poem, written in Italian, or at least, the language’s very early iteration.
The story tells of the narrator’s journey through the three dominions of the dead. It’s not light reading, packed with historical references (sometimes obscure and sometimes downright personal) and, given that it was written in the early 14th century, its vocabulary can be difficult even for native Italian speakers.
But if you’re up to a challenge, this is an excellent resource for putting those advanced Italian skills to use!
eBay is a language learner’s paradise. Yes, really!
There are audio and print books available for pennies on the dollar—if you’re willing to do a quick search and return frequently to search again. Since it’s eBay, the options available change rapidly.
To locate audiobooks in Italian, simply type “Italian audiobooks” into the search bar at the top of the page—or just click the eBay link above to be taken straight there. It’s lots of fun to see what’s available!
It’s a good idea to note the seller’s rating and the audiobook’s condition. Look for new items, if possible, to ensure you’ll have a positive experience. When the description says the audiobook is pre-owned, there’s a chance you might end up with a scratched-up or non-working CD. So, as with anything, pay attention to what you’re buying and try to get good deals.
That said, I’ve picked up a bunch of Italian audiobooks for next to nothing. And I’ve been fortunate—all have been in excellent condition!
For Italian language learners, reading is an integral part of any program. It’s a super way to gain fluency, increase your vocabulary and even gain cultural insights.
But with busy schedules, it’s not always possible to sit down with a book.
So grab one of these Italian audiobooks, instead, give it a listen—and learn while having fun. It’s a fantastic way to effortlessly power up your language skills.
Good luck—and happy listening!
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